Investing in shares can be a rewarding hobby, but for a novice investor getting started might seem daunting.
I’m in Wilmslow in Cheshire to meet four friends - all keen investors. And they meet here are the Unicorn pub once a month to share investment ideas. Let’s go and meet them.
Christine: “When we started in 1996 it was an absolutely fantastic time to start buying and being interested in shares because the market was just romping up. I remember thinking at the time the market is a money-making machine, why did I not know about this before? Why has it taken me so long to discover it?”
Emma-Lou: “Going back 23 years, if I can ask you, what would you tell yourself 23 years ago that you know now that you wish you’d known then about investing in shares?”
Christine: “To start with I would have been cautious. The more you know about the market, the more that alters your attitude to risk because when you’re familiar with something you don’t feel that it’s as risky as you might have when you first started.”
Glynn: “Once you get into a club and you get pooling of ideas, it broadens your horizons and you start to learn. I think learning is the big plus of the whole thing”
Andrew: “My advice to say to my grandchildren would be to start early. To me that’s what I regret - that I didn’t really start any serious investing until probably in my mid to late thirties. Compounding, as I think Einstein said, is the eighth wonder of the world.”
Christine: “Women are much more likely to hold on to investments to keep them longer to research them quite carefully, be very careful about what they buy in the first place but hold on to them rather than doing too much buying and selling and that strikes me as being quite a good idea because you also hear that time in the market is better than timing the market, because timing the market is really difficult, almost impossible really.”
Glynn: “Yes I mean very often we’re looking perhaps we’ve got several investment proposals and we haven’t sufficient cash to fund them all so we’ll then look hard at the portfolio and say is there anything there that’s underperforming.”
Christine: “What we also do though is quite often add more money to existing holdings if they’re doing well and that’s related to the tip that you hear quite often of running your winners and cutting your losses. If you find that you have a winner, why not put more money into it and just watch it.”
John: “We also have a watch list and because we are a bit guilty of having shares on the watch list and we just watch them go up.”
All: “We do, yes.”
John: “But it does help sometimes, we know somebody’s come up with a suggestion we’re not quite sure so we leave it on for a couple of months, see how it goes and then make a decision later on.”
Christine: “We did that with Fever-Tree actually, we had it on the watch list for about four months and during that time it made seven hundred and seventy pounds or it would have if we’d bought it and we sold it thinking that it had gone up too much and it was too risky, that’s why we sold it and it just continued going up. We’ve seen two really serious bear markets and we have survived both of them.”
Emma-Lou: “So plenty of investment successes to toast as well.”
All: “Yes absolutely, Cheers to that!”
So as we’ve seen, getting together with like-minded friends to share ideas can make you a better investor. Good food and good company add to the magic - with or without the unicorn.