Sunday, 31 January 2010

Mistakes to avoid when investing in interest-bearing instruments

Interest-bearing investments may be relatively stress-free, but they too have their pitfalls.  Watch out for the following:

  • Do not accept the first interest rate you are offered.  Compare interest rates, negotiate where possible and find out more about fixed versus fluctuating interest rates and the term of fixed-interest investments.
  • Do not think interest-bearing investments are safe, risk-free havens.  Remember the impact of inflation.
  • Do not forget about interest rate risk.  When interest rates increase, bond prices will decrease, resulting in a loss on your investment.  The longer the term of the bonds, the greater the drop in the market price.
  • Do not invest in bonds without understanding the terms of the bonds and the interest rate environment.  Invest in well-known and reputable bonds rather than in unknown corporate bonds.

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