Investing carries risk. I think following the most recent market crash in 2008 (and all of the gory headlines that came with), most people know this now. And those that don't should have this pointed out to them about 20 times prior by anyone advising them in relation to investments to ensure they've got the point.

But what does this mean? Well, essentially, if you're investing your money, you're hoping it will provide positive returns and either increase in value, and/ or perhaps provide you with an income. However, there is also a risk that the investment can provide negative returns, particularly in the short term, as a lot of investments will be subject to fl uctuations as the markets go about their daily business.

Because of this fact, we generally recommend therefore that investments should be made with a long timescale in mind (minimum fi ve years), in order that if the investment does go down one day, you don't have to get too worried about it. Instead, you are in a position to just wait for it (hopefully) to go back up again and don't have to cut your losses. 

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