Whether you are new to investing or otherwise, you should probably read this first.
There are two possible routes to starting your DIY Pension. The first way, is to transfer an existing Pension Plan.
The second way, is to start with a small lump sum, or even nothing.
For either route, your very first real step is to select a DIY Pension provider.
But before that, we suggest you complete two preliminary steps.
Let's break it all down into baby steps. We've tried to keep things as simple as possible - just 8 steps.
Here's the first ...
If you were sat in front of someone with a view to starting your own DIY Pension we're sure there would be plenty questions you'd like to ask.
We've anticipated that.
We surveyed the market place and compiled 14 of the most commonly asked questions. Some of them naturally overlap each other but in general, they should cover every angle.
You can access them right here.
And if those Q&As don't give as much detail as maybe you'd like, you can get a more detailed answer by searching our website.
This could possibly be one of the most important decisions you make. Although, it may appear that all Pension providers are the same - they're not.
What you need to look for - are charges.
There can be a discrepancy between them. We thought the best way to show this is to list the main players in a tabular format. That way, you can decide which provider best suits your needs. Go to Stock Trading Platforms for a more deailed explanation.
Halifax Share Dealing
This step will only apply to you if you are transferring an existing private pension plan.
It may sound complicated but in fact it is simplicity itself.
Once you have chosen your DIY Pension provider (i.e. 'Stock Trading Platform'), they will do all the work involved to get your transfer complete.
It's simply a matter of filling in a form and they will do the rest.
The whole process only takes a matter of days. And then you're ready to go.
The previous Step may, or may not apply to you.
But even if it does, there's nothing stopping you contributing lump sums into your new DIY Pension.
But the best strategy of all is to consistently contribute monthly sums by direct debit.
Use our Pension Pot Calculator to find a monthly figure that will produce a total fund value at your retirement age.
Be comfortable with what you salt away each and every month.
Remember - consistency is the key. Contribute each and every month. Make it a figure you are comfortable with. That way you'll hardly notice it.
Depending on your age now, and the age at which you'll think you may retire, use the calculator to estimate how much you'll need to invest each month to give you an acceptable total fund value.
Remember 25% of your total fund, at current legislation, can be taken tax free.
Remember also, that as a standard rate taxpayer (currently 20%) the government will add to your monthly contribution. So if you want to invest £80 per month, the government will add a further £20, making your total monthly contribution - £100.
And if you're a higher rate taxpayer (40%) you need only invest £60 for your total monthly pension contribution to be £100.
What are you waiting for?
You've now either transferred another private pension into your DIY Pension, added a lump sum, and/or set up monthly contributions - it's now time to consider what to invest in.
It has to be said that this is the "tricky" part of DIY Pension investing.
But, if you follow everything on our website to the letter, you'll not only be O.K. you'll be far better off than all the managed funds out there. And by some margin.
How you do this is well documented on our website.
Ideally, what you need to do is study all the sections. These are itemised down the left hand side of every webpage.
Here is the list for completeness:
Retirement Planning Guide
Stock Market Psychology
Stock Trading Platforms
Stock Trading Strategies
Stock Market Indices
Stock Market Sectors
Stock Market Software
Exchange Traded Funds
Stock Trading Legends
Stock Market Books
Stock Trading FAQ
Stock Market Glossary
We won't go into each and every segment here, they are well explained elsewhere, particularly in the e-course.
What we recommend is that as you are waiting for your Pension to grow in value, take the time to study ALL of those sections and get the best performance you possibly can out of your fund.
Learn from past masters, the 'Stock Trading Legends' both past and present.
Read the books recommended. They are the best education you could possibly have.
The section on 'Stock Trading Strategies' should be particularly followed. There is the main strategy contained within there that you should follow.
There are other strategies too, but the main strategy should be the core of your investing philosophy.
As mentioned so many times on our website, the key method of stock selection is one that Warren Buffett follows.
We can't promise that you can be as good as him but if you can be half as good, you will be a great success.
The main strategy is to weed out "value" company shares, wait for the right moment to buy them, and then hold them until you get a signal to sell them.
Sounds simple, eh?
Our website will take you baby-step by baby-step through how to find these "value" shares using Fundamental Analysis.
And then, by using Technical Analysis, will show you when to buy them, and, more importantly, when to sell them.
Once you identify the type of share you may want to invest in, make a "watchlist."
Or in our case, several watchlists.
Create virtual portfolios in your chosen software (our website shows you how) and monitor their progress - at least weekly.
It may be that you will not trade for months. You have to be patient and wait for the right time.
Usually, there are frequent buying opportunities as the economic cycle shifts and certain sectors become more attractive than others.
The title of this webpage is apt - "Getting Started."
If you don't ever get started there can be no end result.
Quit the procrastinating and take action.
Set up your DIY Pension as soon as possible. What's there to wait for?
You need that income for your retirement years, why wait? It's got to be done, so do it NOW.
Selecting a Pension provider is not that difficult. Maybe make a shortlist of three and call them up. Get your own impression of which you think will be right for you.
The key is to start saving the money each and every month. Every month's delay will make a difference to your bottom line come retirement day.
Start young and stay with it.
Then, choose your investments wisely.
All is revealed on our website.