File picture: John Robinson/AP
DURBAN - Financial experts have advised against spending your Christmas bonus carelessly but instead use it to invest. 

Mellany Ramalho African Bank’s Group Executive for sales, branch network said "Investing for the first time can seem daunting and overwhelming, but should be an exciting and empowering experience". 

She added that there is nothing more thrilling than putting your money into a product that you know you are going to see it grow as over time. 

She urged investors, particularly first time investors to draw on the experiences from other people before you make any decisions regarding investments. 

She said that you must do  your research, ask questions and compare different products.  It is crucial to to find products that meets the goals of the investor, that is how much is going to be invested, the yield that the investor wants to see and the period of the investment. 

According to Ramalho the difference between savings and investment is that savings are low-risk funds that must be ready for use whenever and an investment is mainly an account in which money is invested over a duration of time and not required for many years. 

Ramalho said "In other words, an investment is an account which is used to grow your money. 'If you want to save for something in the long-term, you may choose to invest your money rather than put it into a general savings account". 

When contrasting low and high risk investments, Ramalho said that the higher the investment, the higher the return and the lower the risk, the lower the return. 

Ramalho said "Investments involve greater risk but yield much greater returns when left alone long enough to ride out the turbulence of the stock market".

The key thing to remember according to Ramalho staying the course. She said that if you want your money to grow then your must stick to your commitment.