Want to buy breakfast with gold? Millions face British Gas price hike: Energy bills for dual fuel customers will increase by an average of 5. THE MINOR INVESTOR: An honest look at a year’s investing – and the mistakes that I made along the way By Simon Lambert for Thisismoney. Successful investing can be as much about intelligent investor the classic text on value investing mistakes as picking winners.
That’s something the world’s most famous investor Warren Buffett pointed to in his latest shareholder letter, as he revealed some of his own and argued that most investors should simply buy a tracker fund. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. With that in mind, the cohort of investors wondering where to invest their pension freedom cash would do as well to search for stories of other’s mistakes as hunt among the best-selling funds tables. The same is true for those investing to build their wealth earlier on in life.
Time may be on their side but on the basis that Mr Market will hurt them along the way, avoiding as many self-inflicted injuries as possible will pay off. It is just over a year since I started the Minor Investor column, with the aim of taking a candid look at my investing experience. In a portfolio of shares and funds, those mistakes range from not questioning companies and their seemingly healthy balance sheets enough, to being too hasty to invest and too slow to knock losers on the head. The best investment was up 42 per cent, the worst was down 67 per cent.
My portfolio is a mix of shares, funds and investment trusts, whereby I have tried to target investments that mix value, quality and the opportunity for growth. Income, to trusts invested in Japan, Europe and China, and individual shares tilted towards housebuilders, technology firms and consumer cyclicals. I am happy to put larger sums into the funds and trusts that I buy, where a manager or tracker is spreading my risk, while putting smaller chunks into individual shares. My evaluation is not entirely perfect. I paid a chunk of money into my Isa in February 2014, so really should have done this two months ago to get a 12-month snapshot.