An Investment is something you buy with the goal for it to either pay an income or appreciate in value, therefore increasing your overall wealth.
Many things can be classed as investments, but the most common investments are Stocks and Bonds. Investment values are usually not guaranteed and can rise and fall.
There are various wrappers that allow you to invest more tax efficiently, such as ISA's.
* As at 11/01/2018 ** Over the last 30 years ,Source: Barclays Equity Gilt Study
Investing allows you to make your money work harder for you, generally earning returns far above the standard base rate for savings. Inflation is the enemy of long term growth of your money, with cash savings usually reducing in value over time.
Investments have historically performed well giving the ability to build value over time rather than reduce it.
Using tax efficient wrappers can drastically improve overall performance over the years to help reach your goals quicker.
This depends on what your goals are, do you have a target figure in mind, or perhaps a date you require the investment funds for? These will greatly affect the amount you will need to contribute in order to reach your goals.
Risk is another factor that is very important to consider, are you looking to use a low, medium or high risk portfolio? Investment period will likely also have an affect on what amount of risk you are able to take.
When starting to invest there are many things to consider, what provider you choose, what to invest into, how much is affordable, and will it reach your investment goals.
Every investment provider has differing fees, these can drastically affect the end size of your investment. Some investment providers are only available when accessed through a Financial Adviser and aren't available direct.
The investment funds also another big consideration, some investment providers will give you access to over 6,000+ funds. Without the expertise of a Financial Adviser, building a fund portfolio can be very difficult, especially when trying to select a number of funds that will perform well, without taking too much risk or costing too much.