Investments are considered to be different to savings for two main reasons. Firstly, they tend to be much longer term in nature – often five years or more. Secondly, they tend to have an element of risk attached – there is the potential that you could lose money as well as gain it.

There are dozens of different types of investment products available – all with different goals, risks, potential benefits and timescales attached. Some are more high risk such as stocks and shares. These could potentially give you a greater return on your investment, but could also mean that you may lose more. It all depends on how well the markets that the stocks are shares are invested in perform. Lower risk investments may not offer you such a good return on your investment but are also much less likely to lose you money. Examples of this may be bonds which work a little like an IOU – you lend a company money for a set period of time, and they promise to pay you back your money at the end of a period of time with a certain amount of interest.

We don't offer investment products, but as lots of other financial products are linked to investment it's an area that's important to understand. To help you understand more about investing and the different options available, we've compiled a wealth of information that tells you more.

Types of investment

What types of investments are available and if they’re right for you

Assessing performance

How to evaluate different investment performance

Capital gains on investments

Taxation on investment growth and capital gains

Buying investments

Where and how to invest your money