It may not seem like it, but the stock market is actually experiencing a bit of a rally. As inflation slowly cools, investor confidence has been steadily returning to the markets, resulting in indices like the FTSE 100 rising by nearly 10% in the last 12 months.
However, even with this positive momentum, there continues to be many top-notch British stocks still seemingly trading at a discount. Therefore, the upward trend may be set to continue.
With that in mind, what is the best way to go about investing £5,000 today?
Finding the right strategy
There are lots of different ways to build wealth using the stock market. That’s the reason why so many investors can have differing opinions on which approach is the ultimate solution.
But in reality, the best strategy depends on the individual. Not everyone has the same financial goal, emotional temperament, or risk tolerance. And, subsequently, entire asset classes suitable for one investor could be absurd for another.
Even those operating on a long-time horizon still have plenty of paths to choose from. For example, is the best way to invest £5k index funds? Or is stock picking the better move?
Generally speaking, for those who have little interest or time to research, analyse, and manage their investments, index funds are most likely the more sensible option. After all, it automates much of the investing journey. However, the main downside is the inability to beat the market.
Returns are locked to the performance of an underlying index. Which, in the case of the FTSE 100, is around 8%a year. That’s nothing to scoff at, but it pales in comparison to some stock pickers like billionaire investor Warren Buffett, achieving nearly 20% a year.
Obviously, replicating Buffett-like returns is no easy feat and comes with significantly more risk. But investing £5k this way could lead to superior wealth much faster.
Regardless of the investment strategy used, risk can’t be completely eliminated. Even the most diversified portfolio, such as an index fund, can be sent into a tailspin, albeit likely less intense than a concentrated one.
But just because risk can’t be avoided doesn’t mean it can’t be managed. Diversification is one method, but pound-cost averaging is another. And this can even lead to superior performance in the long run.
The idea is to spread buying or selling activity over several weeks, or even months, especially during times of heightened market volatility. That way, if prices continue to fall, investors still have the capital to buy more at a better price. And if prices continue to rise, it’s possible to sell more at a higher value.
The bottom line
Personally, I prefer being the master of my own destiny, which makes stock picking my preferred method. This does demand significantly more attention versus a passive index portfolio.
But the potential for superior returns makes it a pursuit worth taking, in my opinion.