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How to start investing

So you've familiarised yourself with the basics and are keen to start investing. It might be easier than you think.

And you might also be surprised at how little money you need to begin. If you feel you know your way around the basics of investing and your finances are in good shape, then this simple guide will show you how to start investing.

Will I need a lot of money to invest?

What if I need to access my money?

Do my goals affect my decision?

How do I choose investments?

How much will it cost me?

So, how do I start investing my money?

5 money investment tips for beginners

Will I need a lot of money to invest?

As you may have figured out by now, the answer is: no, not much. In fact, some of the biggest companies started out as "penny stocks".

At its initial public offering (IPO) in 1997, Amazon shares were trading at under USD2. Fast forward 25 years and the average share price for the company topped USD3,300[@amzn-historical-data]. If you bank with HSBC, you can start investing with as little as INR500 per month or an INR500 lump sum.

While an INR500 investment is a nice gentle way to start when you're learning how to invest, you may want to invest more than that if you have it. Because the more you contribute to your investment fund, the higher your potential earnings in the long run.

The key thing is to make sure you've got some money saved up in reserve before you start investing. We recommend having an emergency fund, held in a separate, easy-access account, to cover 3 to 6 months of expenses.

Remember, investing your money involves a certain amount of risk. You could get back less than you invest. Your money could potentially grow too of course – that's why people do it – but there is that risk you could lose money.

So an emergency fund can give you peace of mind that you'd have money available, without needing to dip into your investment fund, if you needed to cover an unexpected cost.

For other simple guidelines to follow for making wise investments, see our Investment FAQs.

What if I need to access my money?

Big things in life can, and do, happen out of the blue. We understand that. With any HSBC investment, you have peace of mind knowing that you can access your money quickly if you need to – usually within 5 days of selling your funds or shares. However, this will impact the overall performance of your investment.

That's why we say that investing is for the long term – 5 years, at least. When you've time on your side, there's no need to panic if your investment falls in value at times. That's all part and parcel of investing.

The longer you leave your money invested, the more time it has to potentially grow and recover from setbacks. 

Do my goals affect my decision?

Yes they do. Once you know how much you can invest, you need to set your objectives. Why are you investing and how are you planning to use your investments? Your objectives could incorporate a combination of:

  • protection for your family
  • education for your children
  • retirement planning
  • managing and growing your wealth

Now make a list of your objectives, in order of priority, because you may not be able to afford to achieve every single goal. Divide your objectives into long, medium and short-term goals. This will help you to choose the type of investment that you need to make. While doing this, you should also consider your risk appetite before making any investment decision.

How do I choose investments?

If you don't feel equipped to choose your own shares – and let's face it, most of us don't – there are lots of ready-made alternatives.

For example, based on how long you can afford to leave your money invested and how much risk you're prepared to take, you may want to choose a ready-made portfolio of investments.

If you chose this option, your money would be invested in funds made up of a wide range of investments, including shares and government bonds. Your investment would then be managed on your behalf.

If you already have a wealth management account and have registered for HSBC online banking, our Wealth Dashboard online tool gives you a unified overview of your HSBC wealth portfolio, including investments and insurance. Alternatively you can speak to your Relationship Manager about your investments.

Make sure you understand exactly what risks are involved with every investment you make. If in doubt, seek professional advice.

How much will it cost me?

There will be costs involved whichever way you decide to invest. Some of the more common types of fees you'll come across are:

  • trading or transaction fee:
    if you're investing in shares, you normally pay a fee every time you buy or sell them
  • account or platform fee:
    the cost a provider will charge to look after your funds or shares, giving you access to the tools and resources on their investment platform
  • ongoing charge:
    if you're investing in funds, this can be a useful comparison tool as it gives you a breakdown of the charges that are deducted directly from the fund, including the fund managers' annual management charge and other expenses
  • advice fee:
    this is the cost of receiving a personalised recommendation based on your circumstances - of course, if you choose your own investments you won't pay any advice fee

Costs will be clearly signposted by the investment provider in the relevant product documents before you apply. It's important to read these carefully before you invest and to factor the fees in, as they will impact your overall returns.

So, how do I start investing my money?

You can now open your HSBC Wealth Management Account through the HSBC India Mobile Banking app or online banking in just a few simple steps. Choose from a wide range of funds, manage your investment portfolio and access your Digital Wealth Dashboard at your convenience.

You need to be at least 18 years old, a resident of India, and have a savings or current account with HSBC.

Non-resident Indian (NRI) customers can visit their nearest HSBC India branch for wealth account opening.

Choose mutual funds

Mutual Funds Online help you to manage your wealth better. This HSBC feature provides a fund performance snapshot to help you make informed decisions. Choose your preferred level of risk and view real-time status of your transactions.

Choose a Demat Account

Dematerialisation (Demat) is the process of converting your physical (paper) shares into electronic form. A Demat Account is a safe and fast way to purchase, hold and sell shares in this form.

5 money investment tips for beginners

  1. Save up an emergency fund of 3 to 6-months' worth of living costs before you invest.
  2. Be prepared to invest your money for at least 5 years.
  3. Think about starting small and setting up regular contributions.
  4. Consider taking advice to help you decide what's right for you.
  5. Make sure you understand exactly what risks are involved with every investment you make.

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HSBC currently offers investment products from third party entities registered and regulated in India.


Mutual fund investments are subject to market risks. Please read the Scheme Information Document (SID), Statement of Additional Information (SAI), Offer document, Key Information Memorandum (KIM) and addendums, as applicable, issued from time to time, carefully before investing.


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