Choose the right investment and your return will outperform any savings account. Get it wrong and you could end up losing your capital.

While the risk that sits alongside the potential for reward that makes investing so very exciting you need to be smart. It's vital that you carefully consider where you invest, what you invest in, and who you want to invest with if you want to maximise your profit.

Here's how can help you make the decisions that will help you grow your investments.

1. Discover

There are so many different types of investment that working out which fits best with your financial objectives is the first, and possibly the most important step.

Our jargon-free investment Guides are packed with essential information that will help you make more of your money whether you're a novice or experienced investor.

They'll help you work out which type of investment is right for you, decide how much you should invest, what you should invest in, which company you should invest with, and even whether you should be investing at all.

2. Decide

Once you've investigated your options it's time to decide what you want to invest in and how much risk you want to expose your money to.

This will largely dictate the type of investment you go for. Fund based investments like unit trusts and OEICs tend to be less risky options, while CFDs and spread betting tend to be more so.

You'll also need to decide how want to manage your investments. Do you want to be hands-on and take an active role, or would you feel more comfortable if you left the decisions to an expert?

How much and how often you want to invest is also worth considering as it will determine the options available to you. This decision will largely come down to whether you want to deposit a lump sum or drip feed funds into your investment account.

Similarly, you'll need to decide whether you will want income from your investment, or would prefer to reinvest any profits you receive.

3. Compare

After deciding how you want to invest, it's time to compare your options.

You can use our investment comparison tables to view essential information on the fees, charges, performance and functionality of a huge number of investment opportunities and accounts side by side.

Use our ready-made comparison tables as a starting point, then our Advanced Search to find and compare the finer details of the investments that best fit your circumstances and your investment needs.

4. Choose

Once you've researched your options it's simply a case off choosing the investment opportunity that's right for you.

Do this then apply direct from our investment comparison tables - you'll simply need to set up an account and you can get started.

Remember to double check that you're happy with the charges that apply, comfortable with the way your investment will be managed and confident that you have made the right choice for your circumstances.

If you have any doubts then it may be worth speaking to an Independent Financial Adviser before you commit any of your cash.