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Making an Informed Decision about Investment Opportunities

Unless a person is content to place all their savings in a low interest savings account at their local bank, the tried and tested way of making money from money is to invest it. The word “invest” is sometimes used as though it were a simple foolproof and magical formula for turning money into more money. However investment opportunities upon which a return is not guaranteed is speculative, and can result in financial loss as well as financial gain.

Some investment opportunities are large scale and involve taking very considerable risks. An example that springs easily to mind is the child-like fad, shared it would seem by many very rich men, of buying Premier League football clubs. Although football today is a massive money spinner its overheads too are phenomenal and anyone investing in a major English league club is these days taking on a very substantial financial risk indeed. Of course many of the people concerned are so rich that the “investment opportunity” could be said to be half-hearted. The football club is a plaything and should not be viewed as a calculated investment in the same way as, say, the purchase of a block of shares in a private company.

Stocks, equities and indeed any financial interest in a business are of course investment opportunities intended to bring a return considerably in excess of what the investor would have earned from a typical interest account. It is the pursuit of this enhanced dividend that inspires the investor to take a chance, believing as he or she does that the particular commodity or product involved has a bright future thereby bringing investment opportunities in its wake.

One particular type of initiative that has become popular in recent years is angel investment, whereby a person who has capital to commit will provide the necessary financial support to a new business to enable it to start up, in exchange either for a share in that business or for a return which will include a generous mark-up once it has become established. The success or otherwise of such a venture will depend entirely upon the investor’s ability to correctly access its potential in the market.

A more cautious investor may not be inclined to take a gamble by speculating on the future in such a way, and may seek instead to protect his or her capital even if it means a more modest return is expected. The simplest means of achieving this is to place one’s capital into a high-interest account such as an ISA, or in a guaranteed returns investment of whatever kind. Another way in which any risks can be minimised is by spreading one’s investment portfolio in such a way as to offer protection from the failure of one or even a small number of them. Although this does not guarantee against making a loss it does make it much more unlikely to happen.

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