Difference Between Savings and Investment

Difference Between Savings and Investment

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Rashmi
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Jan 9, 2024 16:54 IST

Savings and investment are financial concepts often used interchangeably. Many confuse two fundamental tools for building wealth: saving and investment. Both are alternatives to help you manage your finances and achieve your goals. We often incorrectly use saving and investment interchangeably. This article will help you to understand the difference between saving and investment. The article covers the difference between saving and investment.

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Comparison Table – Saving vs Investment

The key difference between saving and investment is that savings are meant to meet financial obligations in the near future, while in investments, a part is saved to obtain an extra profit, either in the short, medium or long term.

  Saving Investments 
Definition  Reserve part of the income for situations of need. Saved money to acquire assets or instruments that can generate returns or income.
Goals  Achieve specific short-term financial goals. Grow the saved money by generating returns, capital gains or income in the long run.
Objective  The savings are used for an objective, such as emergencies, gifts, vacations, etc. The investment is not used for immediate objectives and can be reinvested.
Access Money is easily accessible. The money is invested in financial products or assets that provide interest and thus is not easily accessible.
Risks  Lower level of risk. Significantly higher level of risk.
Returns  Very low returns. Returns on investment products are higher.
Benefits  The money is safe and readily available in case of need, and the interest rate to be charged is known. In investment, a wide variety of products with different combinations of profitability and risk are available, which allows each person to choose the product that best suits their needs and preferences.
Liquidity Highly liquid Low liquidity 
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The main difference between savings and investment are listed basis different criteria –

Performance:

  • Savings: Interest rates are typically low, offering modest returns over time. You might even struggle to keep pace with inflation, losing purchasing power.
  • Investment: Offers the potential for significant returns through capital appreciation (rising asset value) or income generation (dividends, rent, etc.). However, these returns are not guaranteed and come with the risk of losses.

Liquidity:

  • Savings: Highly liquid, meaning you can easily access your funds for immediate needs. Bank accounts and money market accounts offer quick withdrawals or transfers.
  • Investment: Liquidity can vary greatly depending on the investment type. Some, like stocks or mutual funds, can be readily traded, while others, like real estate, might require more liquidation time and effort.

Risk:

  • Savings: Generally considered low risk, primarily facing potential issues like inflation erosion or bank failure, which is usually protected by insurance.
  • Investment: It can carry higher risk and the potential for loss of principal due to market volatility, economic downturns, or poor investment choices. Different investments have varying risk profiles, with some considered more "conservative" than others.

Time Horizon:

  • Savings: Ideal for short-term goals like emergency funds, down payments, or upcoming expenses.
  • Investment: Best suited for long-term goals like retirement, building wealth, or planning for children's education. Time allows for weathering market fluctuations and compounding of returns.
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What is Saving?

Saving is a part of your earnings to reach a certain amount or have a backup in case of unforeseen events. One way to save money is by keeping it in cash or a bank account. The advantage of saving is that we know that we can count on that money for any eventuality that arises. 

What is Investment?

Investment is the money we decide not to use to obtain an extra return in the future. That is, we invest this money (such as in financial assets such as bonds, shares, investment funds, etc.) to benefit us in the short, medium or long term. 

It is important to remember that investing always involves a risk because we are still determining the benefit of that investment.

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Savings vs Investment: Which is Better?

Once a person has managed to raise money, they begin to think about the different ways to increase it. How can you invest that money to obtain a sum greater than the invested capital?

How do you decide which one is better for you? Savings and investments? You must be clear about your objectives and preferences. If you save, you will always have the same capital, it will not increase but will remain stable over time, and you will have the asset at your disposal all the time.

On the other hand, if you invest, you look for your capital to increase, but you will lose liquidity. That is, you have locked your money for a pre-defined term.

If you find it difficult to decide which one to choose, apply the 50-30-20 rule. This rule consists of allocating 50% of your income to cover basic needs expenses (electricity, food, etc.), 30% is the amount of money you could allocate to leisure (outings, vacations, etc.), and 20% is what will go to savings. 

This way, you can have a savings base without unbalancing your finances.

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FAQs

What is the importance of saving?

When we save, we have greater control of our income and expenses, and by having a savings base, we can count on that money for any unforeseen event we face.

What is the importance of the investment?

When we invest, we are looking for an increase in our investment, which allows us to increase our assets to dispose of them in the future.

What are the benefits of saving?

Saving gives us two great benefits: it protects us from unforeseen events or emergencies and helps us achieve personal, couple and family goals.

What are the benefits of investment?

Investing is one of the ways that allows us to do business and generate income, but it also offers us financial freedom in the short, medium and long term. Some of the benefits of investing are: Potential for growth; Diversification of the capital.; Certain investments, such as retirement accounts and municipal bonds, offer tax benefits.; Investing allows you to diversify your portfolio; Security and financial transparency.

What is the best way to save money?

Here are some steps to save money -

  • Record your expenses
  • Prepare a budget
  • Plan and set goals
  • Make decisions according to your priorities
  • Use savings -investment strategies for your financial planning and management.
About the Author
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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio