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An investing checklist

  • 3 min reading time
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You have decided to invest and you're ready to begin making your money work harder. Here's a useful final checklist before you begin.

What you will learn

  • Whether you want to do it yourself or seek expert advice
  • What you can expect to pay
  • Whether you may have to pay tax
  • How you can protect yourself

If you have identified which investments you want to buy, here are four final questions to make sure you're on the right track:

What's your personal preference: online or face-to-face?

Ask yourself whether you prefer to deal with a person, or if online or telephone services are an easier way to invest.

If your investment plans are relatively straightforward, managing them yourself through an online platform can help you to learn about investing and build your confidence.

If you're looking at more complex investments, talking to a professional financial adviser may be a better option.

How much are you prepared to pay?

Taking time to understand the costs involved in the different ways of buying and managing investments is important, as any additional charges will affect your overall returns. Management costs, dealing fees and transfer fees can all add up.

If you want to invest in funds, buying them direct from investment managers is the most expensive route, whereas online fund supermarkets could be cheaper.

Should you be paying tax?

Some investments offer tax benefits, for example on sustainable investments, while using a vehicle such as an ISA or pension can reduce your tax bill.

Tax on capital or income can add up, so if the sums you're investing are high, speaking to a tax adviser may be a good idea.

How secure is your investment?

Make sure that any broker, financial adviser or investment company you use is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which gives you the right to redress if you are not provided with an appropriate service.

Use your instinct, too. If an investment opportunity seems too good to be true – offering incredibly high returns for very little risk – it's worth checking if it is genuine and legal. A good way to avoid this risk is to invest only in products offered by regulated financial services companies.

You can read more about how to buy investments here.

Risk notice

Any information provided should not be considered personal advice. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. You may not get back the full amount you invest. If you have any doubts about making your own investment decisions, seek financial advice. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and may be subject to change in the future. The information given is not intended to provide legal, tax or financial advice.

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Important legal information

The Lloyds Bank Direct Investments Service is operated by Halifax Share Dealing Limited. Registered Office: Trinity Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire, HX1 2RG. Registered in England and Wales no. 3195646. Halifax Share Dealing Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, 12 Endeavour Square, London, E20 1JN under registration number 183332. A Member of the London Stock Exchange and an HM Revenue & Customs Approved ISA Manager.

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The information published on this website is accurate to the best of our knowledge. However, we do not assume any liability whatsoever for the accuracy and completeness of the information and any reliance you place on such information is at your own risk.

The information contained within this website is provided by Web Financial Group, a parent company of Digital Look, unless otherwise stated. The information is not intended to be advice or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold any of the shares, companies or investment vehicles mentioned, nor is it information meant to be a research recommendation.

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The investments' operational and portfolio data on this website is sourced by Morningstar and is believed to be correct, but cannot be guaranteed. You should check any information you rely upon to make an investment decision to ensure that it is accurate and up to date. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information. Any views and opinions made by Morningstar do not represent those of Lloyds Bank.