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How will the celebrity investors measure up?

Written by Tom Stevenson, Fidelity Personal Investing.

It’s been fascinating watching the progress of our three guest investors in the stock-picking game launched earlier in the summer by Fidelity Personal Investing and Richard Farleigh, Jo Fairley and Sarah Willingham have bravely allowed me to cast a critical eye over their selections.

It’s not been an easy time to be picking shares, with trade tensions and other political worries casting a shadow over markets. All three of our celebrity investors are underwater as the game draws to a close.

The big lesson that I’ve taken from their performance so far has been the importance of diversification. If you invest in a fund, a spread of investments comes with the package. Buying individual shares means you have to create this safety cushion yourself. Of course this game only shows a short-term snapshot of investing, but when you’re investing for real you should take a long-term view.

Please remember that the value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up so you may get back less than you invest.

Jo Fairley takes the lead

Jo Fairley, who is leading the trio into the final straight, has also been a beneficiary of diversification. Her poorest pick - Telecom Plus - has been offset by the strong performance of market research group YouGov.


Sarah Willingham

Sarah Willingham’s portfolio is the best example of how spreading your eggs around a variety of baskets can be helpful. Sarah made a couple of bad picks in First Derivatives and Glencore, both of which have fallen over the summer. But she offset those declines with a pair of excellent selections - London Stock Exchange, which has benefited from its takeover of data group Refinitiv, and Just Eat, which has been bid for.

Richard Farleigh

Richard Farleigh had the most focused portfolio, with a heavy technology weighting, and that has left him trailing his rivals.


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Important Information

The value of investments and the income from them can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest. Reference to specific securities should not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell these securities and is included for illustration only. Share performance correct at time of writing article. Direct shareholdings should form part of a well-diversified portfolio. This is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you’re unsure about the suitability of an investment, speak to an authorised financial adviser.