Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I think anyone here will be loath to give you advice in case they get it wrong - you seem understandably risk averse and anything other than some fixed interest product therefore looks risky.  The problem is that with increasing inflation and declining dollar your real return on such products is likely to be zero or even negative - and that is after you pay advisor's and arrangement fees which are often a major rip-off..

What I would do - because I always was a bit of a risk taker - is pick some shares with good long-term prospects, and spend at least part of the money on that.  You only pay a very small brokers commission and capital gains are usually taxed less that income/dividends.

Of course the shares will go up and down, but over the long term stocks always tend to do better that bonds/deposits.  Spread the shares over different countries/sectors/markets to reduce risk - and some bigger companies are well diversified anyway.  Stock market prices are at historic lows and so unless the World economy goes into real melt down (ask Jerome), the prospects over 5 years+ should be ok.

Some stock broker sites provide free advice but you can buy directly on-line if you want reduce costs further.  I use a free advice service from Goodbody.ie for Irish shares for my little nest-egg which is a long term investment for my children, so I am less concerned with short term market volatility.  The key is to pick some well managed companies that can outperform even in difficult times or which are currently undervalued because market sentiment is against them.

The main thing is make sure your "adviser" is upfront with his charges and that he declares whatever commission he gets for the products he sells you.  A lot of these products are like buying a new car.  They are worth a lot less the moment you buy them because "commissions" have "depreciated" your investment from day one.

Hope that helps.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 4th, 2008 at 03:44:42 PM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:


Occasional Series