Do-it-yourself investing?

The world of investing has certainly changed over the years, especially when it comes to access and culture. There used to be a time when people of a certain wealth with a certain background would have stockbrokers to help them manage their investment assets. The idea of, say, a factory worker or a plumber having an investment portfolio would have seemed strange back then.

But times have changed, haven’t they? Or have they? There certainly has developed over the years a greater amount of access to investing with the public at large. From discount brokerages to do-it-yourself online investing, the opportunities for everyone to invest on their own have never been greater.

Doubts about investing

However, according to a recent survey conducted by TD, Canadians in general are still very anxious about doing investing on their own, and are lacking in the confidence and knowledge needed to do so.

Specifically, one in three surveyed say they don’t know the basics of investing,  almost 40 percent of people not confident in investing never seek out resources to learn about investing, but 65 percent said they’d like to be able to invest for retirement, 36 percent want to purchase a new home, and 23 percent want to save for an education.

So, what does this information tell us? Well, it tells us that people want to use investing for a lot of good purposes, but they’re just not sure of how to go about doing it. So, how does this gap get addressed?

Going beyond yourself

The first solution is that people should always try educate themselves about finance and investments. There is no shortage of resources on that front. It’s just a matter of having some confidence to take that first step.

However, as much as personal knowledge and investment is important, let’s face it, not everyone can be an investment expert, although they should still be able to benefit from investing. As a result, potential investors shouldn’t be afraid to seek professional investment help, whether it’s in the form of an advisor, planner, counselor — you name it. Combining your own learning with that of a trained professional can often be a formula for long-term investing success.

ASCEND GRP is an asset-management firm, with offices in Toronto, Richmond Hill, and New York, that services clients seeking investment opportunities worldwide.