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For readers in a rush:

  • Forget your ABC’s, know your AAA’s. Age, appetite, and amount should be the first step to creating a good foundation for an investment strategy
  • Your investment strategy should flex with you, it doesn’t need to be set in stone
  • Knowing your investment goals for the short, medium, and long term doesn’t just have to be about money
  • Understand that risk can influence the type of investments you hold

In its simplest form, an investment strategy looks at the goals you’d like to achieve from investing, the type of investor you are, and the types of investments you have.

Your strategy can keep you on track, as well as giving you the opportunity to explore what you really want out of investing both now and in the future.

Plus, the best part about it is that it isn’t set in stone, you can change it as often as you need to.

You also don’t need to spend hours on your strategy… unless you’d like to. We don’t judge.

Everyone’s investment strategy is different. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. But here’s a starter for ten.

First, the fine print. Our tips can guide you to making your own investment strategy, but we can’t give you personal advice. The value of your investments can fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you put in. If you’re not sure about investing, you should get independent advice. You can find that at Unbiased Link opens in a new window

1. It’s aaall about you…

When it comes to the first part of your strategy, make it about you and think AAA:


Age is just a number, baby. But it matters when it comes to investing. Someone in their twenties should have a different approach to investing compared to someone in their fifties. This tends to go hand in hand with your risk appetite.


First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room—what’s a risk appetite?

Your risk appetite is how much risk you’d be willing to take on when it comes to investing. It’s not just based on your age, there’re a few other factors to consider. Like the stock market itself.

The stock market is cyclical, meaning it has ups and downs. Peaks and troughs. Booms and busts. Bulls and bears. You get the idea.

We can’t rely on the past performance of the market to predict any future outcomes, but we can see how it has moved through time.

When you’re younger you can typically invest for longer, meaning you’re able to recover losses that occur through the ups and downs of the market. You could be a bit more adventurous, if you felt comfortable to do so. When you take on higher amounts of risk, your investments have the potential to make higher returns. Although this isn’t a guarantee.

As you get older, you don’t want your money to be impacted as much by market fluctuations, and taking on too much risk could impact your future goals. The returns may be lower, but low and steady can be a real benefit.

The Investment Mix

The Investment Mix graphic shows you how much of your money typically goes into higher risk investments with higher potential returns, and how much is in lower risk investments with lower potential returns. It helps you see at a glance how each of our funds is typically invested, before you explore the detail to find the right fund for your needs.

How your fund is invested

  • Higher potential returns and risk
  • Lower potential returns and risk

  • Higher potential returns and risk
  • Lower potential returns and risk
Cautious Growth approach to investment
Virgin Money Growth Fund 1

Our Cautious Growth approach

How your fund is invested
Virgin Money Growth Fund 2

Our Balanced Growth approach

How your fund is invested
Virgin Money Growth Fund 3

Our Adventurous Growth approach


How much you put into your investments is entirely up to you. Although you might find it helpful to invest little and often.

You can invest with us from £25 per month, so you don’t need to break the bank. Investing smaller amounts could help you to feel more in control. It’s what we call regular investing. It forces you not to think about ‘the best time to invest’ and it can also help you feel more confident about any bumps in the market.

You’ve got your AAA’s in the bag. What’s next?

2. Set your investment goals

Your investment goals should fit into your overall financial goals. They may even influence them. Just make sure when you set them, you know that they can move and grow with you.

The goals you set today might not be the same you’d set in a year, or five, or ten. So, it’s always good to check in with yourself and see if you’re on track or if you need to move the goalposts at all.

You might find it useful to set your investment goals based on a timeframe such as short, medium and long term. Or in years. You may find that your goals aren’t always about money.

Setting out your goals could look like the below. But remember, this is not personal advice and is just a guide.

Short-term goals (1 to 3 years):

  • Invest £100 a month
  • Make investing part of my overall saving strategy
  • Learn more about investing

Medium-term goals (3 to 5 years):

  • Build my investment portfolio
  • Save towards my goal of £5,000
  • Be able to afford first class upgrade on Virgin Atlantic

Long-term goals (5 years +):

  • Invest in a few funds if you fancy it
  • Use my investments for different bigger goals such as; retirement, paying off mortgage, trip of a lifetime
  • Put any bonuses, Christmas, or Birthday money into my investments after I’ve put some into my pension

3. Different types of investments

If you need to get to grips with all the different investment terms, our jargon buster will help.

But for now, we’ll talk about shares and funds.

When you buy a share, you’re purchasing a very small amount of a company. You then become known as a shareholder. When you buy shares in a company, you may be paid a dividend.

Not all companies will pay them, but generally, when a company makes a profit, they share that out amongst shareholders. With some funds, you can be paid as income, or your dividend can be reinvested automatically.

If your dividend is reinvested automatically, it means that if you had 100 shares in a company and they paid out a 10% share dividend, you’d then have 110 shares.

With shares, you’re your own investment manager. You’ll be keeping tabs on the share price, how the company is performing in the market, and making investment decisions based on your knowledge and observations.

Funds are a little bit different. Instead of buying a single share, investors’ money is pooled together and managed by a fund manager. They do all the leg work, so you don’t have to.

Because there’re lots of different shares in a fund or lots of different assets (what the fund is made up of), this spreads your risk more widely.

Think of it like eggs.

If you buy a single egg (like shares in a single company), there’s a risk that by the time you get it home, it could crack. If that’s the case, you don’t have any other eggs. But if you were to buy a box of ten eggs (like a fund made up of lots of shares), and by the time you get home two of them break, you’ve lost 20%, but you still have 80% remaining. Your risk is more widely spread.

You’ll have noticed by now that each part of your investment strategy feeds into the others.

So, in order to know what to invest in, you need to know whether you’re more risk hungry (happy to take a chance on a single egg not cracking), or you’re more risk-averse (you’d rather take the box of eggs and spread your risk more evenly).

You’ll take into account your age, and what type of goals you want to achieve and by when.

And you’ll understand how the amount you invest influences or impacts your goals.

And that’s how you start to build an investment strategy.

Where to next?

Need to keep brushing up on your knowledge? Read about investing in funds.

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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