Ask the Expert: I’m ready to take more risks with my investments - where should I put my money?

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green

Carl Lamb, managing director of Almary Green - Credit: Archant

Our reader this week is keen to take a little more of a risk with her investments. But where should she put her money? Carl Lamb from Almary Green has words of advice.

I have always been really careful with money and have invested in ISAs every year for the last 20 years or so since they were first introduced.

Most of my investments are either in cash or in fairly safe stocks and shares, which seemed right while my children were young.

However, now they are settled with their own homes, I think I'd like to up the ante and put my money into something where the potential for returns is higher, like a venture capital trust, although I realise that will probably mean my money is less safe.

I'm looking to invest about £20,000 again this year: what do you suggest?

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Response from Carl Lamb of Almary Green

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When advising clients on their investments, we will always explore their risk profile to establish what level of risk is appropriate.

It is something that does change over time for some clients and I do understand why you feel you are ready to accept a greater level of risk at this point in your life – although this may change again as your circumstances change.

You can still use your ISA allowance and take on a higher level of risk, as the holdings in a stocks and shares ISA can be tailored to meet your objectives. I suggest you take independent advice to explore the right level of risk for you and a suitable portfolio of investments.

There are higher risk investment options that you may wish to consider including venture capital trusts and enterprise investment schemes.

These investment options involve investing in new or growing companies: the investment from a number of investors is pooled and spread across a range of qualifying companies.

There are tax reliefs available to those who invest in these schemes which can make them attractive, however it's important to remember that these companies are often in their infancy and so have a greater risk of failure.

This type of investment is therefore really only suitable for sophisticated investors who have significant amounts to invest, understand the risk and are comfortable with the prospect of losing money.

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