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How to Invest £50k in the UK | 6 Best Ways

Invest 50k in the uk
Marko Marjanovic

While £50k is not a meager sum, it can become even bigger if you invest it smartly. In this guide, we’re offering some insight into how to invest £50k in the UK, the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, and some of the factors you’ll want to consider before investing. 

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What kind of investor are you?

You can invest £50k in various ways, but the optimal one will depend on your financial goals and investment preferences. To navigate through all the options more effectively, take into account the following three questions:

  • What are your financial priorities? Before investing in your initial financial asset, it is essential that you outline a clear investment roadmap and figure out what your end goals are. Your investment strategy won’t be the same if you’re trying to buy a cabin in the woods, prepare for a wedding, or ensure a comfortable retirement. Having a good plan laid out will help you determine the most suitable course of action and give you some insight into whether you want to prioritize short-term or long-term profits;
  • What kind of risk am I willing to take? £50k is a lot of money. So, it’s important to consider the risks you’re willing to take when investing, as such endeavors come with some inherent risks, which are usually in direct proportion to the profits (i.e., the higher the potential gain, the larger the risk). Assessing your risk tolerance and seeing how comfortable you are with potential losses will help you determine what investment strategy is the surest to yield profits;
  • How much do I want to be involved? While investing sounds like a passive activity, sometimes, it requires a lot of time and effort on the investor’s part. Depending on how involved you want to be, you can choose between passive and active investments. If you approach them from the right angle, both options should lead to profits. Still, if you’re new to the market, you might want to consider some passive investment methods, as facing all the challenges of the trading market can easily overwhelm you.

In short, the optimal investment strategy considers factors such as your financial goals, risk tolerance, and willingness to engage with the market actively. Naturally, everything is subject to change over time, and you’ll likely re-evaluate your goals and investments down the line. However, it is still crucial to start with a clear plan. 

How to invest £50k in the UK: 6 best ways

The best use you can find for an extra £50k is to invest it, and if you go about it the right way and arm yourself with patience, the prospects for greater profits will increase. As we’ve said, there is no one strategy or solution that can guarantee greater returns. Therefore, you’ll have to choose a financial strategy that suits your goals and needs.

The six best ways to invest £50k are:

  1. Stock market;
  2. Index funds and ETFs;
  3. Real estate — REITs;
  4. Peer-to-peer lending (P2P);
  5. Retirement — fixed-income investments;
  6. Retirement — self-invested personal pension (SIPP).

Let’s take a look at each of them.


1. Stock market

In this section: How to invest £50k in the stock market in the UK?

Investment type: Long-term growth

Risk level: Varies

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Investing in stocks is one of the oldest and most popular ways to invest if you’re looking for long-term profits. Remember, though, that while the prospects for profit are there, investing in stocks is not guaranteed to yield good results every time, and it is not a shortcut to instant profits. 

There are risks that come with each stock investment, so you’ll have to stay patient and flexible in how you approach the market. Stocks are volatile, so the returns will be different each year or even absent. If you remain pragmatic and adjust your plans, however, you’ll increase your chances of profit.

To illustrate the stock market’s volatility, we can look at the S&P 500 index. In 2021, its shares saw a spike, providing a return of +26.89%, but in 2022, it dropped drastically to -19.44%. Short-term, this volatility might seem ludicrous, but if we take a look at the bigger picture, it becomes clear that S&P 500 has been yielding annual returns of about 10% since it was introduced in the late 1950s.

invest 50k in the uk

If you’re investing in stocks, you’ll need to find a company whose shares you’d like to buy. What company is going to be will depend on what kind of industry or sector you’re willing to put your money into. Once you’ve made your decision, you can find an exchange platform, such as eToro, and start investing.

Pros and cons of investing £50k in the UK stock market

Pros

Pros

  • High returns: The stock market is more likely to yield greater returns than, say, bonds;
  • Liquidity: Stocks can be bought and sold quickly, which makes investments much easier;
  • Low barrier of entry: You can start investing in stocks with as little money as you want, and there are typically no account minimums these days;
  • Builds long-term wealth: Stocks have the potential to yield consistent returns over extended periods, and with a well-diversified portfolio, you’ll feel secure in the face of inflation.
Cons

Cons

  • Returns are not guaranteed: While stocks are more likely to result in long-term profit, that does not mean they are guaranteed to do so, and you might see some losses during periods of decreased performance;
  • No short-term gains: Stocks are not an ideal investment option if you’re looking to generate steady profit within weeks or months — they’re a long-term solution for those looking years and decades into the future;
  • Volatility: Stock prices fluctuate, sometimes drastically, which often leads some to make rash decisions when following the market;
  • Time and effort investment: As alluded to, you’ll have to plan ahead when investing in stocks. However, you’ll also have to monitor your assets and the market as a whole if you want to stay on top of the game, and that takes a lot of time and effort.

2. Index funds and ETFs

In this section: How to invest £50k in index funds and ETFs in the UK?

Investment type: Long-term growth

Risk level: Varies

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Both index funds and ETFs are a good way to make a passive investment and allow you to hold a diverse, multi-asset portfolio that does not require constant active trading. In other words, it’s a buy-and-hold strategy — you invest in ETFs or index funds when the market is uncertain and wait for the market to stabilize itself, leading to your assets increasing in value. 

In the UK, the most widely tracked indexes include:

  • FTSE 100 — The 100 largest companies in the UK;
  • FTSE 250 — mid-caps, i.e., companies ranked from 101st to 350th in the UK;
  • FTSE 350 — all UK companies from the 1st to 350th largest;
  • FTSE SmallCap — UK companies not listed within the FTSE 350.

Pros and cons of investing in index funds and ETFs in the UK

Pros

Pros

  • Easy diversification: By spreading your investments across multiple companies and sectors, you reduce the risk of financial losses;
  • Low fees: Since ETFs and index funds are a way to invest passively, transaction and maintenance fees are minimal. They also replicate their designated index and don’t need active trading;
  • Easy access: Investing in ETFs has never been easier thanks to a large number of online investment platforms;
  • Liquidity: ETFs and index funds are liquid assets because they feature hundreds or thousands of stocks, so you can convert them into cash quickly;
  • Transparency: Both ETFs and funds are publicly traded, which makes tracking and analysis accessible to everyone;
  • Convenience: Managing funds is more convenient than having to keep track of individual stocks across multiple companies;
  • Simplicity: Since ETFs and funds are a long-term solution, investors don’t need to worry about price fluctuations that tend to occur short term.
Cons

Cons

  • Limited control: Since investing in ETFs ties investors to a whole sector or industry, they won’t have a say in regard to what specific bodies and companies will be included in the fund. In other words, indexes might come with shares you don’t want to own;
  • No way to outperform the market: Index funds depend on benchmark funds, and their performances are in a tight relationship. If the market goes down, the funds are likely to take a nosedive too;
  • Slow gains: ETFs and funds might be among the least risky investment options, but that means profits will be smaller, too.

3. Peer-to-peer lending

In this section: How to invest £50k by peer-to-peer lending in the UK?

Investment type: Long-term growth, diversification

Risk level: Varies

Peer-to-peer lending (P2P) is one of the oldest ways to invest. Essentially, it is the process of borrowing money directly from people and not from banks or other financial institutions. By doing so, you’re “investing in loans.”

P2P lending has several benefits, both for lenders and borrowers. Most importantly, it is fast and convenient, and if done through online platforms, it is also transparent. In addition, P2P lending platforms usually do not impose fixed rates — the competition among investors ensures lower interest rates.

Pros and cons of P2P lending or investing in loans in the UK

Pros

Pros

  • Good potential for profit: Annual interest rates on consumer loans usually stay at about 10%, but more experienced investors can push that number to 20%;
  • You can invest small sums: You can start investing in loans with as little as a few pounds;
  • Accessible to inexperienced investors: It is relatively easy to start investing in loans compared to something like stocks, and some platforms even offer automated investment methods.
Cons

Cons

  • No liquidity: Should you wish to withdraw earlier than expected and recover your investment, you will have to sell your portfolio on a secondary market, which can take months;
  • Investors might suffer the burden of recovering borrowers’ loans: Sometimes, the costs of debt collection are transferred to investors, which is disadvantageous for long-term profits.
  • The sector is becoming more saturated, with borrowers turning to novel products like no interest loans.

4. Real estate — direct and indirect methods

In this section: How to invest £50k in real estate in the UK?

Investment type: Long-term growth, diversification

Risk level: Medium

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Investing in real estate is likely what the average person would do if they came in possession of a larger sum. However, £50k might not cut it if you are hoping to invest in a larger property. If you are fortunate enough to be able to buy real estate with that sum, you can invest in residential homes or buy-to-let property.

If you cannot invest in real estate directly, there are always indirect methods to invest in property in the UK, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs). REITs are companies that own and manage real estate assets across various sectors. By investing in them, you can avoid spending too much on actual property in a market that’s currently hitting an all-time high. Like ETFs, REITs are publicly traded, so transparency is guaranteed.

Pros and cons of investing in UK real estate through REITs

Pros

Pros

  • High dividend yield: The law says REITs must share at least 90% of income liable to taxation as dividends;
  • Diversification: Having a chunk of your portfolio in REITs is a good way to diversify your portfolio, as you won’t have to spend a lot of time actively managing them;
  • Liquidity: REITs are listed publicly, so buying and selling them is seamless;
  • Solid returns: As you can expect from real estate investments, REITs have the chance to yield large profits;
  • Stronger performance compared to something like FTSE investments: Although vulnerable to price corrections and crashes, the property tends to show stronger performances compared to FTSE investments;
  • Exposure to the real estate market: Investing in REITs is a terrific way to get familiar with the real estate market without owning any property per se.
Cons

Cons

  • Slow growth: As we’ve said, about 90% of REIT income is dividends, so you can reinvest only about 10% of it;
  • Interest rate sensitivity: REITs grow thanks to external debt and equity capital, which might lead to increases in interest rates;
  • Sector concentration risk: If the sector is negatively impacted, the value of REITs will, naturally, decrease;
  • Tax-eligibility: REIT dividends are taxable.

5. Retirement — fixed-income investments 

In this section: How to invest £50k for retirement in the UK?

Investment type: Conservative investing, retirement

Risk level: Low

Fixed-income investments are debt securities with predictable, consistent returns over a specific period of time. The way it works is simple: the investor usually lends money to an issuer, say, the government or a corporation, and later receives regular interest payments, as well as a return of principal. 

In the UK, the most common types of fixed-income investments are: 

  • Gilts: Gilts are government liabilities issued by HM Treasury. By investing in them, you ensure regular income at six-month intervals, as well as the return on principal;
  • Inflation-linked bonds: Inflation-linked bonds are a way to protect yourself from inflation. The government also issues them, and they make sure the value of your initial investment never vanishes;
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs): CDs are usually issued by banks, not the government, and they’re a somewhat versatile investment option. Their maturities range from one to five months, and they pay a set rate of interest over a fixed period. They also incur little extra administration costs.

Pros and cons of fixed-income investments in the UK

Pros

Pros

  • Stability and low risk: The profits provided by fixed-income investment are lowers, but the risks are just as low;
  • Predictability: Thanks to certain profits and unbroken revenue streams, fixed-income investments are a highly predictable investment option that won’t catch you off guard;
  • Diversification: Low risks make fixed-income investments a good portfolio diversification option;
  • Safety of initial investment: You won’t lose the principal unless you back away from the agreement of your own volition.
Cons

Cons

  • Low returns: Regular income comes with a price, as the returns will be much smaller;
  • Hypersensitivity to interest rates: If you buy fixed-rate bonds, you have to be ready for them not to yield as much profit as newly issued ones;
  • Inflation risks: Inflation might stall future payments;
  • Limited growth: Once again, low risks imply low profits, which, in turn, implies less growth potential.

6. Retirement — self-invested personal pension (SIPP)

In this section: How to invest £50k for retirement in the UK?

Investment type: Long-term growth, retirement

Risk Level: Low

A self-invested personal pension (SIPP) account is a great option for retirement savings for those whose employers do not provide retirement plans. These accounts come with low tax fees, and they are highly flexible since they allow investors to allocate their funds across a wide range of assets, including stocks, ETFs, bonds, etc.

Another plus here is that UK citizens can claim tax relief on 100% of their earnings as long as their annual contribution does not exceed £40k. If you put £2k into your SIPP, for example, you’ll get a tax relief of £500. That is, a total of £2.5k will be invested in the SIPP. If you pay taxes at a higher rate, i.e., 40%, you can also claim additional relief of up to £500 through your self-assessment tax or £325 if you pay taxes at the rate of 45%.

Pros and cons of investing in SIPPs in the UK

Pros

Pros

  • Tax benefits: If your annual contribution does not exceed £40k, your tax fees will be low;
  • Retirement savings: Since retirement savings are the main use of SIPPs, they’re a fantastic long-term solution;
  • Investment flexibility: SIPPs are highly flexible, so you can invest in everything from stocks to mutual funds and ETFs.
Cons

Cons

  • Contribution limits: SIPPs are a valid option only with an annual contribution of £40k;
  • Penalties for early withdrawals: Withdrawing from your SIPP before you retire might incur additional taxes or not be possible at all;
  • Tax withdrawal limitations: Tax-free withdrawals cease with the first 25% of your funds.

How to safely invest £50k — things to consider

At the beginning, we mentioned that you need a clear plan before investing, especially if you’re dealing with larger sums. So, before proceeding with your investments, be sure you take a few precautions to minimize the risk of losses:

  • Create an emergency fund: Instead of investing all £50k, it might be prudent to allocate a portion of the money to a savings account, just in case of economic and market uncertainties or in case you lose your job;
  • Pay off your debts: Investing in assets when you are in debt is incredibly risky, regardless of market conditions. If you have high debts or high-interest credit cards, it is highly advisable that you prioritize paying off the balance before buying any assets;
  • Figure out your comfort zone: As you know by now, investments are often risky. Before you invest in anything, be it stocks, funds, or bonds, you have to come to terms with the fact that you might lose more than you make at some point, especially if you’re investing in something that is not insured by the government. If you have a long-term goal, you’ll likely seek some high-risk, high-reward investment options, so be prepared to handle any potential setbacks;
  • Diversify: Diversification is among the most essential steps toward financial security. By investing in a diverse range of assets, you can minimize potential losses and ensure at least some returns, no matter how small. In addition, you’ll have a hedge against inflation;
  • Switch accounts when needed: Even if your savings account has great rates, you might want to keep an eye out for new, better options every now and then;
  • Stay safe: Environments as volatile as the stock/asset market attract a number of con artists preying upon inexperienced investors. They often create an illusion of legitimacy by means of paid marketing and spam, so you must do a lot of research on any broker you might be considering. If you can, listen to more experienced investors you trust; if you cannot, look for unbiased sources and never put your trust in shady brokers.

Additional tips

  • Drip-feed: If you’re new to investing and the market does not look welcoming, you can always drip-feed your funds, i.e., invest in smaller investments over time rather than putting all your funds into one big investment that you are not sure will succeed;
  • Reinvest: If you notice your investment income is increasing, it is always wise to use compound interest and reinvest your profits into new assets (of course, keeping in mind all the advice given above).

Conclusion

In short: investing £50k is better done with a long-term plan in mind, although there are some viable short-term options, too, if you are ready to take a risk and remember to take some safety measures before investing (i.e., diversifying, setting up a security fund, etc.). If you prefer to be safe rather than sorry, you can try investing less money when trying to meet short-term goals.

Whatever your investment goals are, the most important thing is to always have a clear plan lined out when starting. You can later adjust it as you see fit or to accommodate the changes in the market. But, venturing into the whole ordeal haphazardly will not yield positive results, especially if you have unpaid debts to take care of. If your investments are fruitful, you can always consider reinvesting or handling larger sums.

Disclaimer: The content on this site should not be considered investment advice. Investing is speculative. When investing, your capital is at risk.

FAQs about how to invest £50k in the UK

How to invest £50k in the UK?

The best way to invest £50k is to spread it across a number of assets and diversify your portfolio. Those include NTFs, REITs, funds, etc.

How to invest £50k in stocks in the UK?

The best way to invest £50k in stocks is to put your funds into multiple different stocks at a trusted brokerage, such as eToro.

How to invest £50k in real estate in the UK?

The most effective way to invest £50k in real estate in the UK is to invest in REITs. REITs generate passive income in dividends, and they are liquid assets.

How to invest £50k in index funds and ETFs in the UK?

To invest £50k in index funds and ETFs in the UK, use a legitimate broker, such as eToro

What is the best way to invest £50k short term in the UK?

£50k is a large sum, so investing it in highly volatile assets is risky. However, if that is your goal, you can invest in stocks, for example.

Is it safe to invest £50k in the UK?

Investing money in the UK is safe, provided you do it carefully and conduct your business with regulated brokers only.

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  • eToro USA is registered with FINRA for securities trading.

30+ million Users
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform. The value of your investments may go up or down. Your capital is at risk. eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs, only real Crypto assets available. Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest.

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