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All Posts By

Elizabeth Pearson

Why Invest?

Simple Successful Stocks Why Invest?

Most people invest because they want to make money.  Of course!  But what is behind that desire to have more money.  What do you hope that it will bring you that you do not have right now?

I started investing for 2 reasons.  One, I thought there might be better a way of earning a living than my work as an architect.  I wanted to be free of doing something I did not enjoy for an uncertain financial reward.  Two, I thought learning about investing from my Dad would allow me to share an interest of his.  For me it was about freedom and better communication with someone I loved.

INVESTING CREATES ASSETS

The purpose of investing is putting money into assets.  Assets create wealth for you in the long term by giving you an income and/or increasing in value.  This could be stocks and shares, property, interest bearing accounts, artwork, jewellery or wine!  The wealth that an asset creates is independent of your time.  This is very different from having a job or business when we sell our time for money.  By investing you have money working for you rather than being a wage slave.

WOMEN RETIRE ON LESS THAN MEN

If you are under the age of 50 you cannot expect to live on the state pension alone and need to top up with a private pension. The average amount in a 60-year-old woman’s pension pot is £51,100 compared with £156,500 for men1.  This is 67% less!  The average private pension for women in the UK is far less than men because of generally lower salaries, timeout for childcare, care of parents, childcare costs and a lack of knowledge and understanding about money and pensions.

THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO INVEST

The great thing is that there has never been a better time to invest in the stock market.  And there is no better person than you to do it!  As you are the one that cares the most about your money.  With a basic understanding of a few principles behind investing and a bit of discipline you are perfectly capable of becoming an investor and creating far better returns in the long terms than leaving your money in a savings account.  The internet has made it really easy to invest in a way that works for you in your life.  You can start with as little as £25 per month.

START SIMPLY, START SMALL AND START NOW!

Managing, controlling and investing money is an essential life skill to protect and provide for your financial future and for those you love.  We are not taught this at school.  So please do not feel bad that you don’t know how to do it or have not started already.  The fact you are reading this means you are taking an interest on your financial education.  Well done!  If you are interested in investing please join one of my online INVESTING TASTER CLASSES.  It will teach you the first steps of investing.  These first steps are simple, easy to follow and build confidence.  With this support and encouragement many clients have gone on to become enthusiastic, successful investors.

1 Pensions Policy Institute, Understanding the Gender Pensions Gap, July 2019

Disclaimer:  Simple Successful Stocks are not financial advisors and the content of this article is for financial education only.  Please read our disclaimer here.

 

Investing: Mind over Matter

Simple Successful Stocks Mind over matter

I created the freedom to leave my job with the wealth I had created through investing.  At the time a trustee of the charity where I worked commented that it must be my ‘feminine intuition’ that enabled me to do this.  Intuition actually has nothing to do with successful investing!

INVESTING IS EMOTIONAL

One problem with investing is that it’s very emotional.  There’s the fear of losing money and the fear of missing out when other people are making money.  There’s the excitement of seeing your investments grow, the desire to make more getting out of hand and becoming greed and the fear that when things are going well it just won’t last!  There’s even a branch of psychology called behavioural economics to explore what’s going on when investors make irrational decisions.  A key finding it’s made is that we are prone to suffer more pain when we lose money than we are likely to feel delight and happiness when we make money.  Mobile phones don’t help at all, with their instant access to the media and investors checking the ups and down of their investments through the day.

FEELINGS SABOTAGE INVESTING SUCCESS

The time when most investors lose money is when the the stock market is falling.  It feels awful to see our investments go down in value.  Something I have experienced and know to be true!  We fear further losses, we fear that it’s all going down the tube and we may panic and sell.  Even though most stock markets recover in the long term and continue to grow, it’s very difficult to remember this at the time.  Our feelings can drown out everything sensible we have have learned about successful investing.  The problem is that if we sell our investments when things are going down and then wait for calmer waters to reinvest it means we often miss out on time ‘in the market’ where gains could be made.

IT’S NOT PERSONAL

It’s difficult to separate who we are from how our investments are doing.  I’ve met a number of people whose emotions were a roller coaster ride: euphoric when things were going their way and in the depths of despair and even angry when they weren’t.  They were traders rather than investors – buying and selling stocks, commodities, currencies etc in the short term (hourly, daily or weekly).  Whereas investors build wealth in the long term by buying and then holding stocks, funds and bonds, enhanced by the magic of compounding.  People addicted to trading put me off big time!  I was always far too busy to pay much attention to what the stock market was doing on a daily basis.  I have only invested money that I could afford to lose, had a clear strategy and stuck to it and not been attached to the results.  This has helped me take the losses and gains with a pinch of salt and not to take it personally.

KEEP CALM AND KEEP INVESTING!

It’s normal to have all these emotions about investing.  The important thing is to be aware of them rather than react or do anything rash – which isn’t at all easy! Having a clear purpose, a powerful reason why you are investing and a picture of your long term financial goals will help you to steer a steady course.  Removing uncertain feelings from the picture can be done by setting up an automatic investment plan with regular payments every month and a range of investments which will spread your risk.  It also helps to be busy and get on with your life.  So then you are not tempted to fiddle, tweak, take money out or do anything in panic.  And even if you do it’s not a mistake.  Every so called mistake is not a mistake because it is how we learn to become confident investors.  It’s all about how you approach it.

Disclaimer:  Simple Successful Stocks are not financial advisors and the content of this article is for financial education only.  Please read our disclaimer here.

5 Investing Fears to Throw Out the Window!

Simple Successful Stocks Investing fears

It is easy to think that investing in the stock market is not for us.  Here are the most common fears and why they are simply not true.

1. YOU NEED PILES OF CASH TO START.

You can start investing with as little as £25 a month.

2. YOU NEED PILES OF TIME TO DO IT.

It takes a few hours to open a stocks and shares Independent Savings Account (ISA) or Self Invested Pension Plan (SIPP) with an online broker.  You can then pay in a lump sum and/or a regular payment into a low cost, low-risk index tracker.  You then leave it alone to grow and get on with your life!

3. YOU NEED TO WORK IN THE CITY, HAVE A FINANCIAL BACKGROUND OR DEGREE.  IT’S ONLY FOR PEOPLE IN THE KNOW.

The financial sector is full of incomprehensible jargon and pictures of men in suits.  It is to their advantage that you think that investing is not something for the ordinary woman or man.  Gone are the days where investing required calling a stockbroker in the city to make an investment on your behalf for a hefty fee.  The internet has made investing available to everyone, to do at a time that works for you.  Online brokers (like banks for investing) are really helpful and if you get stuck you can always call them. I made my first investment in my lunch hour at work.  It is fun to be a secret stock market investor on the side!

4. YOU HAVE TO BE GOOD WITH NUMBERS.

Many people think they are not ‘good with numbers’ and therefore cannot invest.  Sometimes we believe we cannot do something when the reality is not a reality.  We may have had a bad experience at school or somebody made a comment which we then take on to be how things are.   To invest you only need to understand some basic concepts (see compounding above) and you’re away!  With a little bit of patience, you may see it is something you can learn, might actually like it and see you are much more than you thought you were.

5. INVESTING IS RISKY AND YOU YOU’LL LOSE EVERYTHING.

The golden rule of investing is only invest what you can afford to lose. Being financially responsible and taking care of yourself means setting aside £1000 for expected unexpected events (e.g. your dishwasher breaking down).   Then you need to have between 3-9 months of your basic living costs as a cash safety net.  This is a reserve which you can draw on should you perhaps lose your job, or for some reason cannot work.  This money is somewhere you can access it readily when you need it.  Then you can start investing and getting money to grow, secure that you have money to protect you.

Disclaimer:  Simple Successful Stocks are not financial advisors and the content of this article is for financial education only.  Please read our disclaimer here.

Investing: Start with 6 Wealth Pots

Simple Successful Stocks Wealth Pots

Creating wealth is not about earning more money.  It’s about managing the income you have and developing good wealth habits.  You can do this with Wealth Pots.

A simple and highly effective way to organise your money is to divide it into wealth pots for different areas of your life.  This is an idea from T Herv Eker and I learnt from Ann Wilson If salaried then you divide your money into pots after tax, which is taken automatically.  If you are self employed then you need to have another pot for tax and national insurance and then divide the reminder.

POT 1.  FINANCIAL FREEDOM POT  10%

Ten percent of every piece of income you earn goes into this pot.  You are paying yourself first rather then last when everything and everyone else has been paid for.  With it you invest (in stocks and shares, bonds, property) to create assets that will give an income in the future.  This money must never be spent.

POT 2.  SAVE TO SPEND  10%

The next ten percent of your income you put aside as long term savings.  This is money you will spend for things like holidays, children’s education, deposit on a house, weddings etc.

POT 3.  EDUCATION  10%

This is the money you invest in yourself to learn, develop and grow  – your personal education.

POT 4.  PLAY POT  10%

The next ten percent is about you enjoying your money.  It is only to be spent on what brings you joy and happiness!  This could be treats of coffee and cakes, creative pursuits, meals out, music, massages, dance classes, art materials.  Anything for you that makes you feel wealthy, pampered for and cared for by your money.  For me this was the hardest pot to get in the habit of spending.  And you must spend it!

POT 5.  NECESSITIES  55%

Fifty five percent of your income is about your day to day spending for your survival.  This will cover your mortgage/rent, bills, food, transport, insurance etc.  This may sound impossible, especially in London! And you will be surprised by looking carefully and tracking closely what you spend your money how can make some adjustments to reduce your outgoings.  It may take some time and this is is fine. Learning how to live on less than you earn is an essential wealth habit to reach financial freedom.

POT 6.  CONTRIBTUONS POT  5%

The last pot is for the charitable contributions you want to make.  Your giving pot can also be the time you give to organisations that are making a difference in the world.

SO HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY SORT YOUR MONEY INTO POTS?

Some people and younger people may wish to have real pots they can fill.  If you have a bank account and a current account, into which you are paid, you can then set up monthly payments for your investing and saving pots into another account – current or savings.  As this is money you are not going to spend you want it out of your account.  Opening another of either of these accounts can be done online and is super simple.

If you have started investing the amount your are paying into your investing pot can be paid directly into your account with your online broker.  You then have your education, necessities and contributions pots in one account to be spent that month, or used in following months.

There are now a number of budgeting apps to help with managing your money from your phone.

Disclaimer:  Simple Successful Stocks are not financial advisors and the content of this article is for financial education only.  Please read our disclaimer here.

Investing and the Magic of Compounding

Simple Successful Stocks The magic of compounding

Compounding is the most important thing to understand to have your money working for you, rather than be a wage slave.

Compounding is where the money you make then makes more money, and that money then makes more money i.e. money for nothing!  This does not sound exciting and yet it is a force that over time that can create the most magical wealth. If only we were taught this at school!  Einstein described compounding as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’, and he was right!  When we have compounding working for us (by investing) it is a force that can create the most incredible wealth.  It is an asset. When it is working against us (the interest on consumer debt) compounding drains wealth away from us and is a liability.

Check it out with this natty little compound interest calculator

TAKE 1

Choose your currency

Pop in £1000 as an initial lump sum

Put £0 for the amount you will add every year

Choose 20 years as a time frame

Choose an interest rate of 6% (the average rate of return from investing in the stock market is 6-8%)

Your interest is paid 1 times a year

At the end of that time you have done nothing and your £1000 is now £3207!

TAKE 2

Increase the time frame to 40 years. This gives you nice tidy sum of £10,285!

TAKE 3

You are now going to add £1200 a year to the pot. Everything else stays the same.  After 20 years you have £49,998!  After 40 years you have £207,142!!  This is a profit of £158,000!!!

(the total amount minus the money you put in over 40 years)

THIS is power of compounding and why you want it working for you!

Disclaimer:  Simple Successful Stocks are not financial advisors and the content of this article is for financial education only.  Please read our disclaimer here.