YOU DO NOT have to have a lot of money in order to invest. Marlon Yarde, chief executive officer and general manager of the Barbados Stock Exchange, made that clear to participants at a Life Le$ Seminar facilitated by Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd (ICBL) last week. Using the old adage “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, Yarde said investing was about making your money work for you and that the key to any plan was to have a budget. Speaking to the primarily young audience, Yarde offered some tips about investing. Aware that one of the first things youths bought when they started to work was a car, Yarde cautioned them against buying the most expensive one. He encouraged them to set aside money for emergencies; invest in a home, look to accumulate wealth and plan for retirement as soon as they started to work. Yarde also spoke of the difference between short- and long-term investments and various financial instruments that are available, including bonds, fixed deposits, shares, term deposits, treasury bills, property ownership, insurance and pension plans. He said they should get as much information about the investment before putting money into it and advised them to diversify and not put all their eggs in one basket. He encouraged them to use the three Rs when they were thinking about investing – risk, reward and recourse. Above all, he advised would-be investors to be patient because nothing ever came easy. He said investing was a long-term process that required commitment. During her opening remarks, managing director and chief executive officer Ingrid Innes told participants their journey in life was full of predictable and unpredictable twists and turns and how they coped would depend on a number of important decisions, many of which would be financial. “The educational level you attain, the social status you enjoy, the very financial independence you seek will be determined largely by financial decisions,” Innes said. She said the people at ICBL were very aware of the business of living and felt that equipping citizens with the skills and knowledge to get the most out of life was part of their corporate responsibility. She added that their primary goal was to help people achieve and maintain a good quality of life.