Photography is not how I make a living. Though I am not averse to selling my work if only because I want my images to be seen. That is why I have this site and why I use flickr.com
My everyday work is investing in equities quoted on the London Stock Exchange, though I will expand onto foreign exchanges in the fullness of time. I like LSE quoted equities because they are so international and the vast number of products that is available. I like Exchange Traded Funds and Commodities because it gives me an easy way of getting into foreign funds and holding gold.
I am a great follower of the power of compounding. That is, re-investing dividends of well run companies that give high dividend yields. I buy at prices that are good value and look to hold long term and only sell for one of the following reasons.
1> I made a mistake.
2> The company has changed from what I invested in
3> I need the money to buy something better.
4> I think the price seriously over value and I will be able to it for less later.
Do this and you could double your money every 5 years.
When starting the process of investing for the future please think about the period you are looking at.
What are the reasons to accumulate money. If it is next summer's holiday then the stock market is not the way. However, if you are thinking about creating a fund to buy a house in 5 years or more, then the market is a possible. Albeit only if you are experienced.
The most common reason for investing is ofcourse pension saving. And the earlier you start the better the outcome.
Which form of approaching the market should you use?
1> Delegate to a profesional and shortly you will be expected to use your work based scheme to save for your doteage.
2> Choose your own I.F.A. (Independant Financial adviser).
3> Possibly with no 2 in mind open an ISA (full not saver). Then open a share trade account.
4> Again with no2 in mind open a SIPP (Self invest pension plan). Most share trade providers will supply you with a SIPP account.
I have severe doubts about pension plans. You will be forced (as the law stands currently) to purchase an annuity with 75% of your funds. An annuity takes your hard invested dosh and pays a monthly amount to you until you die and then the funds die with you.
At the time of writing £100k will get the average 65 years old male less than £5000 per annum. And you will be subject to income tax. Yes, HMG will add money to your fund when pay in, but it sounds like giving with one hand and taking with the other.
My favoured method is the ISA. Currently you can put more the £15k per annum into it. You dont have any tax issues when removing money and you can then go on to do what you want when you want. This means you must act with discipline. This is a highly flexible tool. You will not get any assistance from HMG when paying in, but you will be free to remove funds at any time. However you must remember; you cannot put back funds that you have removed until a new tax year starts. Another advantage is; you can pass on any remaing funds to the next generation. This what will drive me on when I am too old to spend money new cameras and computers.