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When making an investment, it is of course important to be informed about current market trends. Stocks and shares are a great way to get an excellent return on your money but fluctuations in productivity, raw costs and many other factors can also be quick to damage any financial investment. Successful, profitable stock buying always requires careful consideration.

With oil currently at its highest price for some years, potential investors are right to be keeping their eyes on the market. Experts agree that with predicted increases in oil productivity, prices could be set to increase and, barring any unforeseen volatility, new investments should expect a comfortable return on a three to five year view. Historically, stable energy prices lend stability to inflation, making energy equities a sensible investment with a lower risk of devaluation than commodities. Interest rates are looking set to increase slowly and in marginal increments, giving another reason to invest in resources.

It is now easier than ever to invest in stocks. There are a range of established online investment companies ready to share their knowledge and understanding of the market to give customers the tools and techniques needed for smooth investment transactions. With the online financial sector now being so heavily regulated and regularly audited by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), investors can be confident in the safety and security of their assets at all times.

When investing large sums of money, it is wise to be cautious and, if using an investment company, find one with the relevant contingency plans – which should be included as standard. For example, Interactive Investor (II) offers provision provided by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which covers investors if the company closes or an investment institution incurs a default.

Professional investors or experts in the field obviously have a clearer, more comprehensible understanding of their relevant sector than someone wanting to make a first time investment. However, that is not to say that active members of investment associations are the only ones who can profit. Ali Seytanpir regularly shares his expert property and financial opinions on investment community forums. Shared research can help potential investors know when the time is right to buy.

By July 2018, oil prices had risen by over 1%, boosting energy shares. Although this might seem a scant margin, the high value energy market means 1% is nonetheless a huge profit in monetary terms. Of course, the energy market can be notoriously volatile with recent sanctions threatened to Iran, one of the biggest exporters of oil, by the Trump administration in the United States. Asian countries, most notably South Korea and Japan, look most likely to be affected if sanctions are successful but this could of course have wider implications worldwide.

So, is this a good time to invest in energy stocks? Alternative energy certainly looks set for future growth but perhaps unlikely to have any booms in value in the short term. Macro, solar and wind power have steadily increased in availability, popularity and value in recent years. However, energy industry forecasts still tip oil as the resource most likely to earn profit on any immediate investment. There have definitely been worse times to invest in energy stocks but, as with any investment, a careful consideration of individual finances, preferably with an independent financial advisor, should form the basis of any decision.