The first step is always to think about what you want to achieve and by when, placing each of your goals into either a short-term goal category (five years or less) or a medium to long-term goal category.
Your short-term goals are for the next big purchases you want to save for such as a new car, a holiday of a lifetime, or a wedding. Whatever the reason, you will probably want to save as risk-free as possible and get immediate, penalty-free access to your money. For short-term goals you should save rather than invest – and it makes sense to put your money in a bank savings account offering a high interest rate and easy, penalty-free access to your money.
Medium to long-term goals
For money you are likely to need in five years' time or more, think of it as 'investing' rather than 'saving'. You could be saving for a deposit for a house, paying your child's university fees or for something longer-term like saving for a comfortable retirement.
To truly grow your money, you will need to beat inflation as the effects of inflation can really eat away at your savings. To get the best chance of growing your money, you will need to be willing to take some risk and to put your money away for a minimum of five years.
There are many investment products in the market that you can choose to put your money in such as stocks and shares, investment accounts and investment bonds. Once you and your adviser decide which product is right for you, you can start thinking about where to invest.
But, before you decide where to invest your money, it's important to think about how much risk you are willing to take and how much you can afford to lose.