5 surprising investment tips that Queen’s best known songs can teach you

By HarperLees

As one of the UK’s most accomplished guitarists, and creator of some of the best-known riffs in popular music, Brian May’s knighthood in March 2023 was certainly well deserved. As guitarist and vocalist in the rock band Queen, he created some of the world’s best known songs alongside rock legend Freddie Mercury, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor.

In 2022, the world-famous band made UK history in by becoming the first act to sell 7 million copies of an individual album. Their first Greatest Hits collection is now thought to be owned by one in every four British households.

So, what can the band teach you about getting the most from your money? Read on to discover five important finance tips inspired by one of the world’s most successful rock groups ever.

1. Have at least “one vision”

The band’s energetic 1985 song was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr, and provides a crucial financial lesson: financial planning should always start with a goal, or “vision” of what you want to achieve.

The only thing Queen may have wrong though, is that you can only have one. When it comes to your financial future, you can have as many goals as you want, so that you have a clear vision of a lifestyle you want to achieve.

Whether you’re looking to retire early, pay for a child’s education or have enough wealth to decide how and when you work, ensuring you have objectives is central to a good financial strategy. Once you have decided, we at HarperLees Financial Planning then help you achieve your goals so that your “one vision” becomes your reality.

2. Compound growth is “a kind of magic”

Put simply, compound growth is where your money or investments enjoys growth potential on the growth it’s already made, and can have a seemingly magical effect on your finances. To demonstrate this, you might want to consider the following example.

If you use a compound calculator, you can see that if you invested £10,000 for a 10 year and received 4% a year without compounding, you would have £14,000 at the end of the period. If, on the other hand, your growth was compounded, this would rise significantly to £14,908, providing you with an additional £908.

As you can see, when it comes to compound growth, ‘it’s a kind of magic’.

3. Avoid the temptation to “break free” when the stock market dips

One of Freddie’s best-known videos was for the band’s 1984’s hit ‘I Want to Break Free’. Freddie Mercury and his bandmates all donned drag for the iconic music video, which was filmed in a terraced house in Leeds.

In it, Freddie’s character dreams of breaking free from their life, which has become stuck in a rut. This might be something investors can relate to when the stock market suffers a downturn, causing their investment to dip in value.

While short-term downturns in your investment’s value should always be expected, when they happen it’s usually best to keep calm, focus on your long-term goals and remain invested. To demonstrate why, you might want to consider the following illustration of the FTSE 100 between March 2003 and March 2023.

Source: London Stock Exchange

As you can see, while the index saw a significant increase in value during the period, it also suffered major downturns along the way. Deciding to “break free” of your investments during these downturns in an attempt to limit potential losses would have denied your money of the potential growth that followed.

Please remember that past performance can never guarantee future performance.

4. Investing need not feel as though you’re “under pressure”

If you have investments other than the ones you have with us at HarperLees Financial Planning, or have a friend or family member who’s a DIY investor, then you’ll know that investing can make you feel like you’re “under pressure”.

Understanding what’s happening with the stock market, what your options are at any given time and how to maximise growth potential can feel daunting – especially when the markets are jittery like they were in 2022.

Working with a financial planner can help ease the pressure when investing, and provide peace of mind when managing your wider wealth. A planner can help you understand why the stock market is behaving in the way it is, how the global economy could affect it and what your options might be.

5. When it comes to investment growth, avoid the temptation to “I Want It All”

Written by the band’s guitarist Brian May, ‘I want it all’ became one of Queen’s most popular songs. While the official title doesn’t include one of the most important financial lessons there is, the song’s powerful chorus does. In it, Freddie sings “I want it all, and I want it now”.

As clients of HarperLees Financial Planning, you will know the perils of being impatient with your investment’s performance, or seeing investing as a short-term venture. Trying to second guess how the market is going to perform and trying to buy and sell your investments to maximise returns could result in lower levels of growth.

The reason for this is that trying to time the stock market could mean that you miss out on the early days of any bounce back, something that could significantly reduce your money’s growth potential. This was highlighted in research carried out by Schroders, which looked at the performance of £1,000 if it had been invested into the FTSE 250 at the start of 1986 for various lengths of time.

According to the study, if you invested the money and left it alone it could have been worth £43,595 in January 2021. If you had missed out on the best 10 days during that period, your investment would have been worth £24,156, nearly £20,000 less. If you had missed the best 30 days, you could have had just £10,627 – a drop of £32,968.

Get in touch

As a client of HarperLees Financial Planning, you’ll be familiar with the lessons provided by Queen. If, on the other hand, you know someone who could benefit from working with us, whether that’s investing, getting the most from their wider wealth, tax planning or creating a retirement strategy, please email info@harperlees.co.uk or call 01277 350560.

We would be happy to help them.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. It should not be seen as a substitute for financial advice as everyone’s situation will be different.

Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article. All contents are based on our understanding of HMRC legislation, which is subject to change. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

Investments carry risk. The value of your investments (and any income from them) can go down as well as up and you may not get back the full amount you invested. Investments should be considered over the longer term and should fit in with your overall attitude to risk and financial circumstances.