Back to Basics: Long-Term Investing

Mirella Iacurci, aged 9, asks Morningstar Investment Management's Dan Kemp about investing for the long-term

Holly Black 30.10.2019
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Mirella Iacurci: Hello, I'm Mirella Iacurci. And this is Dan Kemp. Today, we're going to be talking about investing. How long should you invest for?

Dan Kemp: Mirella, that is a brilliant question. It really depends on what you're hoping to do with your money. So, some people will just invest for a couple of years, some people will invest for 50 or 60 years. Some of the best investors in the world are in their 80s and 90s sometimes. So, there's no particular time period. People should just work out what they're trying to invest for.

Iacurci: Why do I have to wait for so long?

Kemp: Oh, it feels like a very long time. But the reason for that is because the longer you leave an investment, the better it will typically do. And so, that's because the growth that you receive, the interest of the money back compounds, increases over time. So, the longer you leave it, the better the returns. So, it feels like a long time, but it makes a big difference.

Iacurci: What if I want to change the things I invest in?

Kemp: Well, that's also a really, really good point. Because sometimes the things that you want to invest in today need to be changed, because they'll no longer be the best things. And so, it's really important to keep looking at your investments to make sure that they're the right investments for you. So, the investments you have now maybe different from the investments you need in the future, but some people make the mistake and they check their investments every day. And that leads them to make a lot of changes to the portfolio, changes to their investments, which aren't the best thing to do. So, check, but don't check too often.

Iacurci: How much of my money do I need to invest?

Kemp: Well, people invest all sorts of different amounts of money. So, some people like you may just save some of their pocket money and invest just part of their pocket money. Other people invest millions of pounds. So, it really depends on how much money you have available and how much you want to invest. There's no limit on investment. It's available to all of us.

Iacurci: Thank you, Dan. Goodbye.

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Holly Black

Holly Black  is Senior Editor,


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