Weekly Buzz: 🗓️ 3 investing resolutions to make for 2024
The new year is when people start to think about turning over a new leaf. And, if you’re investing, you’re going to want those leaves to be the green, profitable kind.
So, to start your year off right, here are 3 investing resolutions you could make to become a better-informed investor.
1. Discover another asset class
There’s more to investing than stocks – understanding other asset classes can make you a better investor overall, with a more holistic view of the investing world.
Assets like bonds and commodities not only provide you with more opportunities for generating returns, they can also reduce the overall risk in your portfolio. This is because they can perform differently than stocks, allowing you to diversify.
You could resolve to get more comfortable with bonds in 2024, like getting familiar with the differences between corporate and government bonds (our new Simply Finance section below can give you a quick head start!). This might then lead you to thinking about the role they play in your portfolio, and which ones look particularly attractive right now.
2. Manage your emotions
Your biggest adversary in the long-term investing game isn’t market downturns, or even finding the best investments. It’s your emotions and behavioural biases.
Your FOMO makes it more likely that you’ll buy an investment when it’s at its most overvalued and set to provide low future returns.
Your loss aversion, meanwhile, makes it more likely that you’ll sell your investments at the worst possible time – i.e., just after a rough patch or just before the market rebounds.
While you can’t completely cut your emotions out, you can resolve to better manage them. This helps you stay invested in the market, which is a winning strategy in the long run. And it’s a big part of why we’re championing the Lighthouse approach this year – to set meaningful and achievable financial goals that last for the long-term, as beacons for your investing journey.
3. Create a better tomorrow
Your portfolio’s main job is to grow your wealth, but it also has the potential to make a positive impact on the world.
That’s what ethical investing is: it’s about considering the societal and environmental impact of the assets you buy. You decide if the companies you invest in fall short of the standards you set – like championing sustainability or fair practices.
As you step into this new year, you could resolve to actively seek companies that have a positive impact. A great place to start might be our Environment and Cleantech, and Healthcare Innovation in Thematic portfolios.
Shifting your focus to the broader impact of your investments might be the most meaningful resolution you make this year.
📰 In Other News: Europe just got a wake-up call
A lot will hinge on inflation this year. That’s why the latest inflation data from Europe’s two biggest economies might just shake the region into action.
The latest reveal showed that prices in both France and Germany were 3.7% higher than the same time last year. More importantly, they’re bigger increases compared to the month before. That’s not ideal for budget-strapped Europeans or the inflation-fighting European Central Bank.
But a slight uptick was expected for Germany. That’s because of a one-off initiative back in December 2022 to subsidise household gas prices, which tempered inflation figures at the time, and contributed to the comparative increase now.
France and Germany are the two largest economies in Europe. That’s why investors watch the duo so closely: their success or failure often have consequences for the region as a whole.
Although this slight uptick has put a damper on expectations, many believe that prices in Europe and the US will continue cooling overall, paving the way for central banks to cut interest rates and give economies room to breathe.
But it would take just one nasty surprise to send prices back skyward. And if prices stay higher for longer, central banks could be forced to lean into interest rate hikes again – not the best scenario when it comes to economic growth.
These articles were written in collaboration with Finimize.
🎓Simply Finance: Corporate and government bonds
In short, when you buy a corporate bond, you're lending money to a company. On the other hand, when you invest in government bonds, you're essentially loaning money to the country. With both, they’re promising to pay you back at a future date, with interest.
The key difference is that government bonds are considered safer – they’re backed by the government’s ability to tax and print money, making them generally more reliable when it comes to repaying debts. Corporate bonds come with a bit more risk, since they depend on the financial stability and performance of the company, which can be impacted by market conditions or the company’s circumstances. It's all about the level of risk you're comfortable with when investing.