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Save or invest?

To make this decision, you need to know the difference between saving and investing:

Saving

  • Usually, you put your savings in places like a bank or building society account or a product that invests in cash.
  • You can save regularly or deposit a lump sum.
  • Keeping your money in cash doesn’t expose you to much risk, but it doesn’t offer much potential for growth.
  • Your money will grow slowly as it earns interest. How much interest you earn depends on the amount you save and the interest rate offered on your savings product.
  • You will never lose any interest that’s paid on your savings.
  • You can usually access your savings quickly and easily, although some accounts may ask you to give up to 90 days’ notice that you want to withdraw money and some may lock you in for a fixed time.

Investing

  • You usually invest by putting your money in funds, which, in turn, invest in assets . Assets can rise and fall in value. If they rise, you earn money when you sell your share of the asset. If they fall, you lose money when you sell your share of the asset.
  • Remember, investment values can go down as well as up and you might get back less than you paid in.
  • Investing is riskier than saving, but offers you the chance for greater growth on your money over the long term.
  • Different types of investment carry different levels of risk. Some offer high risks, but high growth potential. Others offer lower risks, but that means lower growth potential. You can choose to invest at a level of risk that you’re comfortable with.
  • You could lose some or all of your money if you invest.
  • Investing works better if you’re prepared to leave your money in place for at least five years. Generally speaking, the longer you can leave it, the better.
  • You shouldn’t invest if you think you’ll need that money back quickly.
  • You may have an exit charge if you withdraw your money before a certain time.

For further information you can visit our Enhanced Disclosure of Fund Charges web page.

When to consider saving

  • If you think you’ll need to get your money back quickly.
  • If you’re not comfortable taking risks with your money.
  • If you want the certainty of knowing what you will get back.

When to consider investing

  • If you can leave your money invested for at least five years.
  • If you want the chance to potentially earn more than you'd get from a bank or building society account.
  • If you're prepared to take some risks with your investment in return for the chance of potentially higher returns.

You can use our budget calculator to help you work out how much you can put away.

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WC02214 12/2013