Safety, risk and scams

When choosing investments it is most important to consider your needs and objectives, your investment time frames and the security of the products being considered. While the level of security investors are comfortable with can vary from person to person, it is imperative to research potential products and strategies thoroughly before making decisions.

An investor should be confident about the assets being purchased and, in the case of indirect (Managed) investments, the organisation/s through which the investments are made.

There are five asset classes in which investments can be made. The time the investments should be held to minimise the probability of financial loss varies with the asset class used.

Investment timeframes

As a general rule the following time frames can be suited to investments with the described volatility:

Shorter Time Frame (up to 3 years)

Conservative low volatility investments are suitable (e.g. term deposits, bonds, high interest on-line bank accounts);

Medium Time Frame (3 to 5 years)

Conservative low volatility investments together with a small amount of growth oriented investments are generally suitable (e.g. term deposits, listed property trusts, diversified balanced funds with shares in Blue Chip/sound long standing public companies);

Longer Time Frame (5 to 7 years and longer)

A diversified portfolio is more likely to produce a strong result as the impact of short term fluctuations in value are averaged out. To minimise the probability of initial costs not being recouped growth investments are generally held for at least 5 to 7 years (e.g. residential property, property trusts, Australian and international shares).