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If you’re new to the investing game, the stock market can be a pretty scary place to start.

Seriously, knowing your investment ‘can fall as well as rise’ or that you could ‘get back less than you put in’ doesn’t exactly put your mind at ease, does it?

But there are plenty of good reasons to get involved in investing – as long as you’re comfortable with the risks involved.

History does show us that, over time, investing wisely tends to deliver better returns than cash. But remember, past performance is not a guarantee that the past will be repeated.

So if you’ve got an interest in investing, here’s a few things to help you work out if it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

What are your savings goals?

Before you decide if investing’s right for you, ask yourself a couple of questions. What are you saving for? And when do you want to achieve your goals?

If you’re putting money away for retirement or for your kids to go to college, you might not need it anytime soon – so investing could be well worth it.

But say you’re saving up for a new car or wedding and need to splash the cash soon. Well, in that case, investing probably isn’t right for you.

That’s because the value of an investment can rise and fall. So if you want to make the most of your money, you should leave it in as long as you can to give it longer to grow and enough time to recover from short term losses.

What’s your attitude to risk?

Different investments carry different types of risk. And only you can decide what you’re comfortable with.

With investments, there’s always an obvious risk – you may not get back the amount you originally invested.

Over time – thanks to inflation – your money could be worth less compared to what you could get with the same amount of money today, as prices rise and the rate of interest on your cash fails to keep up.

If you understand the level of risk you’re taking, and you’re happy to accept a higher risk for higher rewards, investing could be well worth it.

Can you reduce your risk?

Of course you can. You could choose less risky investments or invest in a mix of things to ‘spread’ your risk.

Or you could let us do it all for you. Our ready-made investments spread your risk across lots of different types of investments in lots of different countries. Less risky. More straightforward.

How much do you have to save or invest in stocks?

Investing isn’t just for the super-rich. You can start your investment journey with just a small amount of money – or pay in a bigger lump sum if you prefer.

Just remember that when you’re thinking about how much you can afford to invest, always keep some money saved away for a rainy day.

Virgin Money view

We know investing can be complicated. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to try and grow their money through investing.

That’s why we’ve created three brilliantly simple, ready-made investments. They’re only available direct from Virgin Money. Plus, they’re easy to understand and regular payments start from just £25. So you don’t need to be an investment guru or billionaire to get going.

Interested in finding out more about how we’ve made investing simple? Check out our investment pages and take a look around.

We hope the information in this article is useful, but it isn't financial, personal or tax advice. If you want expert advice, you should speak to an Independent Financial Advisor. Remember, the value of investments can go up and down, so you may get back less money than you put in.

You should think of investing as a medium to long-term commitment – so be prepared to invest your money for at least five years. Tax depends on your individual circumstances and the regulations may change in the future.

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