Firstly, thank you for your kind comments on my last post. It's something I wrote more than 6 months ago, but felt embarrassed to publish. However, admitting mistakes to ourselves is an important part of growing as a person, and as I feel more accepting of myself now, so I thought I'd publish it.
Moving on, I've decided that I'm taking a fresh approach to my finances. As anyone who's been reading lately will know, since the beginning of the year I've been determined to get my finances in order in an attempt to bring us more financial security and generally be more mindful about them. Don't get me wrong, we're not that financially insecure as it is, but as another blogger mentioned in a post recently and as I've found out this year due to unforeseen events, life is very fragile and the more we can do to shore ourselves up against the difficult times the better. Besides, who knows what is going to happen in the next couple of years both politically and economically.
As I've already mentioned, the measures I've taken so far this year include setting up a direct debit and new savings account with better interest rate to save on a regular basis, taking out life insurance cover to ensure my loved ones would be taken care of if anything happened to me, moved and closed some small investments that have not and are not likely to actualise any benefits any time soon, and finally, I have also made moves to reinvest any share dividends in more shares, rather than taking the (small amounts) dividend money and spending it or saving it where it gains no interest.
It is the subject of interest that has made me consider a new approach and venture in terms of investing. Money in the bank is just not earning any interest at the moment. It is depressing. The bank with whom I've banked for the past 25 years is constantly cutting interest rates for savers and frankly I'm getting fed up of entrusting any savings to them.
In the past I've been very conservative and played way too safe, but I've decided that I'm going to take a fresh approach and start investing differently for a while and see what happens. I've been thinking about it for a while and have been encouraged by recent reading material to take a few small risks and see where it takes me.
I read a quote the other day, which said there are three types of people, those that make things happen, those that watch things happening and those that let things happen to them. I'm trying to be one of the former and aiming not to be so much of the latter in the future.
My new approach involves making a small investment in some stocks and shares. Now before anyone starts worrying that I might be throwing my money away on some risky venture. I'm really not. I've owned shares in a couple of companies for over 20 years now and I'm pleased and fortunate to say that they have gained in value quite considerably over that time. Not by any skill on my part I might add.
Some were an inheritance from an Auntie and Uncle who died and were accumulated through my Auntie's employment at a Blue chip company for many years. I don't have a huge shareholding, but I hung onto them and they are really worth a reasonable sum now as they are a FTSE 100 company. I enjoy watching their progress, and they do sometimes go down as well as up, so I am familiar with the vagaries of the stock market to some extent.
Others were also an inheritance, but were the result of a windfall from the privatisation of many of the building societies in the 1980's. They are worth substantially less, but their progress is interesting to watch all the same.
So what am I planning to do? I'm going to take a sum of money (not a huge sum might I add) and invest it in more stocks and shares using an online stock broking company that offers a share dealing service. I could invest in one of their funds that choses my stock for me, but I'm not, I'm going to choose my own investments and build my own share portfolio, made up of companies whose shares I want to buy and who I think might have room for growth in the future.
As everyone will tell you, share dealing is a risky business, as they can go up and down, and I'm certainly not encouraging anyone to follow me. I'm not, however, in it for short term gain, flipping shares to make a quick profit, I'm in it for the long term and I don't intend to jump in and out. I'm quite excited by the prospect. I enjoy following my current shares in the financial press, so this will give me a few more to follow in the future.
I've already opened an account, which cost just £1 to do and as soon as I can arrange to transfer some monies into it I can begin to invest. I've scoured the UK share index on the London Stock Exchange website and found a dozen companies that I am considering investing in and after a bit more research I'll be ready to go. Wish me luck!