Should I borrow to invest in shares?
Borrowing, or gearing, can help you accelerate your wealth creation. It can allow you to buy assets such as an investment property, or shares that you may not be able to afford outright. However, borrowing to invest is considered a high risk strategy and can result in you losing more than your invested capital.
Before taking out a share investment loan, you should ensure that you can service the costs associated with the loan, including repayment of the loan principal. You should also seek professional financial and tax advice regarding the potential risks and benefits of geared investing.
How do I borrow to invest in shares?
You can take out a margin loan to invest in shares. A margin loan allows you to buy shares by paying only a fraction of the cost of the shares upfront, and the lender uses your shares as security for the loan.
The prices of shares move frequently and you risk losses if they fall in value. Lenders often express your level of gearing using a loan-to-value ratio (LVR) or gearing ratio. The LVR is the amount of your loan divided by the total value of your shares.
If the value of your shares falls to where LVR exceeds an approved maximum, you may be required to top-up your loan collateral or repay some of the loan. This is known as a margin call. If a margin call is not met within a timeframe set by the lender, your shares may be sold by the lender to satisfy your margin obligations. This may result in you suffering a loss.
How do I manage the risks associated with a margin loan?
There are a few strategies that can help you manage the risks associated with a margin loan:
What are the benefits and risks of borrowing?
To find out whether gearing may be a suitable strategy for you, please contact us.
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