Decide how you’ll invest
Directly invest yourself – Online investing platforms
Online investing platforms enable you to trade shares in specific companies or funds yourself online. They are usually easy to use and often cheaper than a share broker, but you need to be comfortable making your own decisions as you won’t receive advice and often you won’t receive research reports.
Unlike investing in a single company, a fund allows you to invest your money in a bundle of shares in companies, bonds, or property.
Some platforms offer fractional investing which allows you to buy portions of shares instead of purchasing an entire share. This method allows you access to more highly priced shares.
Some platforms also offer investments that are higher risk, including derivatives like options trading and cryptocurrency. Generally, these types of investments are not suitable for the average investor and are best approached with caution. To find out more see Understanding the risks(external link) .
Find out about online investing platforms(external link) — FMA
Choose an online investing platform(external link) — FMA
Investing in small amounts regularly has other benefits too. It becomes a habit, so you’re less likely to forget.
Learn about drip feeding(external link) — FMA
The 5Ds of DIY(external link) – FMA
Using an adviser
An investment adviser helps you choose and make investments. Some advisers will offer additional services such as investing on your behalf or financial planning and will charge a fee for their services.
If an adviser is providing investment advice and has suggested certain investment products, they should make sure you have enough information to make an informed decision. This could include:
- Information about why these are right for you. For example, do they meet your personal goals and tolerance for risk?
- What returns you can expect and how likely these are to go up and down over time.
- What you'll pay in fees and how to get your money out.
- Where your money will be held – custody arrangements.
- How tax is paid.
- Details of the information you’ll receive about your investments.
- Some advisers may only be able to offer advice on products offered (manufactured) by their employer – for instance an adviser working for a bank may only advise on investment products offered by that bank.
Find out more about working with an adviser(external link) and the rules that apply to all financial advisers.
Understand how fees will affect your returns - fees are charged when investing online yourself or through an adviser. They are added to the cost of your investment so will affect your return.
Getting financial advice(external link) – internal
Code of professional conduct for financial advice services(external link) (PDF, 99KB) – Financial Advice Code
Find an adviser(external link) – FMA
Read about misleading advertising of investment products(external link) – FMA
Do your due diligence or research(external link) – FMA
Avoid investment and finance scams
Investment scams are becoming increasingly more sophisticated at targeting even the most careful person. Protect yourself from being scammed.
Check out current investment warnings and potential scams(external link) – FMA
Learn how to recognise, avoid, and act against scams - Scamwatch