Investing for mavericks is less traditional than other forms of investing. It is fun and it doesn’t have to be risky. To invest like a maverick you must remember its three rules:
You make money when you buy.
You have to be an expert in the niche or work with an expert.
You must be connected in the niche.
Investing for mavericks is not everybody’s cup of tea but it is certainly my brandy shot.
You see, I like my investing just as I like my life: unique, interesting, full of adventure and discovery, and somewhat off the beaten track. Yes, I could put my money in index funds, digital wealth managers and select stocks and shares. To a degree I have done.
Still, where is the fun in that? Where is the adventure and the profound satisfaction of success?
Couple of years ago, I got interested in what I call investing for mavericks. I told you about fun ways to spice up your portfolio and that this can be very profitable: some classic cars can return up to 500% over a decade.
Do you know what? A month ago, we were offered for the MOT and car service garage eight times what we paid for it. No bad (but we are not selling because the garage is not a gig, it is an opportunity).
Since I live what I preach, I also bought a half share of a rally car.
Investing for Mavericks: Meet Fordy
Are you wondering what I’m doing sitting in this very snazzy rally car?
Well, meet Fordy. Fordy, as I affectionately call it, is in fact a Ford Escort MK 1 classic rally car with Pinto 2 litre engine.
It is not that I know very well what this means, right. And so that you don’t get overly excited no I have not taken to rallying cars.
This my friends, is my latest investment. You see, I told you about spicing up your portfolios with non-traditional investments. As non-traditional investments go rally cars now are a very good one.
“But Maria, we get this ‘investing for mavericks’ stuff. But isn’t this very risky?”- you may wish to ask.
Yes, it can be risky. Still you can minimise the risk if you remember the one rule for success in this kind of investment, namely, that you make money when you buy not when you sell. Also, when you buy you either need to know the trade you are buying into well; or you should be in partnership with somebody whom you can trust with your life who know the trade inside out.
We could buy Fordy because we are already in the motor car business and are in the productive partnership with somebody who knows about cars and more importantly knows a good rally car when he sees one. What we do is that our partner spots great deals and we buy a share into it.
Fordy is half ours. We are hoping to double our investment in the car. Even if we don’t achieve this kind of return we know that we will always recover our investment and make a modest profit.
Three rules of investing for mavericks:
#1. You make money when you buy not when you sell: This kind of investing is (potentially) very profitable under two conditions: you either find a great deal or you find a classic car and keep it for a long time.
#2. You must know what you invest in: it won’t even occur to me to buy a rally car without consulting with, getting into partnership with, somebody who knows a lot about rally cars.
#3. Make sure you are well connected in the niche: we bought this car at a very good price. Still if we don’t have solid connections in the rally car communities we don’t stand a very good chance of saying it. I very much doubt that this car will sell on eBay.
This is it and we’ll see how this one goes; I’ll keep you posted.
For now, I’ll sit here in Fordy and who knows, I may even take it for a spin.
I didn’t take Fordy for a spin because being a rally car it has no hand brake (it is illegal on the road).
It was such a pain getting out of it, though. I regret I asked John to stop the camera – the ‘getting out of a rally car’ part of the video would have become an instant comic success of innuendo and antics.
Editor’s note: Tonight I give you an article on dividend growth investing. Dividend growth investing is the kind of investing I’m yet to learn more about and experiment with. This is why, this post is written by Lewys Thomas who by day is studying for his university degree and by night blogs about dividend investing on his blog FrugalStudent.co.uk. Hope you find this blog post helpful.
Interest rates are rock bottom – The Bank of England cut them another 0.25% because of the uncertainty around Brexit. Banks are slashing the interest rates they are paying customers with the popular Club Lloyds account and Santander 123 account reducing the interest they pay.
Today you have a few choices:
Leave your money in your account and watch it get eroded by inflation; or
Give peer-to-peer lending a try.
With peer to peer lending you could get anything between 2.8 – 7% a year in interest on your money. My problem with peer-to-peer lending was that I was investing in smaller, very risky companies. Sure, RateSetter and Zopa offer fixed rates backed up by solid ‘safeguard funds’ that protect you from bad debts but locking up for 4.2% for 5 years or earning just 2.8%-3.9% for 1years didn’t really appeal to me.
I’m not knocking Peer to Peer lending – it is a good way for people to make a modest return on their money. If you’re interested you can explore the main options below. Just remember that peer-to-peer lending isn’t covered by the FSCS and there’s no ISA option at the time of writing.
Right, since peer-to-peer lending didn’t appeal to me, so what did I do with my cash?
There’s another option that is less well known and needs a higher level of knowledge and understanding; it can also bring decent return.
I present to you
Dividend growth investing
Now, many people share a certain perception of the stock market. They imagine a floor full of screaming traders and the possibility of huge gains and even larger losses. This is the world of complex charts and big earners, right?
Guess what? This is not how it works, really. There are no longer over-excited traders, not that we can see anyway. In fact, today investing in the stock market is relatively silent and solitary activity: it is between you and the internet platform you use to buy and sell shares.
Buying shares, and making profit from it, is always about buying a small part of a very high quality company. There are two main ways to make profit known as value investing and dividend growth investing. In the former case you make money only from the increase in the value of the company, in the latter you make money also through the share of the profit that this company awards its shareholders, or dividend.
These payments, or dividends, are the seeds of dividend growth investing.
Now some of you may be asking ‘What’s a dividend?’
Simply put a dividend is a company’s way of rewarding you for owning their shares.
For example, I own shares in McDonald’s. For every share, I own they pay me close to £4 (depending on currency exchange) dividend. So owning 10 shares would pay a yearly dividend of around £40.
How do you know what to expect? You can check the percent of ‘interest’ a company pays by taking a look at its Dividend Yield. For example, investing £100 (less fees) into a stock that has a 3% dividend yield, means you’ll receive £3 a year in dividends.
The formula for dividend yield is:
Dividend per share/Price per share
Let’s take a look at a real life example!
By going over to Hargreaves Lansdown’s website and searching for ‘Lloyds Banking Group’ in the top right search bar we get the information below:
Highlighted in red here is Lloyds Banking Group’s dividend yield. A 3.45% yield means that £100 invested in Lloyds would pay you £3.45 yearly.
Not that complicated right?
Ok, so now that we understand what dividends are we need to go a step further to understand what dividend growth investing is.
Quite simply, dividend growth investing is investing in dividend paying stocks for a return. I’m a Dividend Growth Investor which means that I buy dividend paying stock in companies that have very long history of increasing their dividend payments. This tells me that pay-out is relatively reliable. Not only that, but as these companies consistently raise their dividend I can expect that my pay-out will rise too!
Look, for example, at Johnson and Johnson’s dividend history.
We can see clearly that Johnson and Johnson has increased its dividend payment, for the last 22 years; were we to take this further back in history, we’ll see that Johnson and Johnson has in fact grown its dividend for the past 54 years! Imagine the power of those increases and what will happen if you reinvest the dividend over just 30 years.
Now, I know that Maria has written an excellent article on ‘the myth’ of compound interest but I do want to show the other side of the coin on this issue. Maria is right – compound interest is somewhat overrated. People usually get the maths wrong and overestimate their future returns.
Nevertheless, compound interest remains a powerful tool if time is on your side and you combine compound interest with yearly increases in this ‘interest’ through dividend increases. Here’s how compound interest works with dividend growth stocks.
It is also worth remembering that you can get up to £5,000 worth of dividends TAX FREE and that you can invest in dividend stocks through an ISA which means you are not going to pay tax on your dividends and on capital gains.
My investing style goes beyond dividend growth investing but I’m trying to keep things simple here. The important point is that my net-worth has gone from zero to over £13,000 invested in the market. I also have a steady, although still small, stream of dividend income.
Dividend growth investing isn’t going to make you rich overnight. It takes patience and perseverance. But a 3% return from dividend payments sounds a lot better than most bank accounts offer right now – and 3.3% the next year sounds even better. Re-invest your dividend payments for long enough and compound interest will start working its magic.
Have you fallen in love with dividend growth investing yet?
By popular demand, I’ve decided to publish a number of blog posts on investing for beginners. Yes, from anyone else this may be a tad patronising. Not me.
I think I could get this one right. Do you know why?
Because until about four years ago I was an investing virgin, so to speak. Yes, I had been paying into a pension but this didn’t really require even basic knowledge: It was a no brainer. My employer used to have one of the best and best run pension schemes in the country so joining was a sign of sanity rather than financial savvy. Yes, we do have a house that has increased in price nearly fivefold in 20 years but this wasn’t down to me either. John had already put an offer on the house when we got serious and the British government didn’t build enough housing.
You see, investment virgin, I tell you. Just like a very sizable proportion of the British population; particularly women. We women, you see, are good at paying off debt, frugality and saving but when it comes to investing we tend to chicken out; or leave it to our men folk who…Okay. I’m not even going to get there.
Four years ago investing wasn’t even in my vocabulary. This is what happens when you grow up in a country where you saved for specific reason and the only source of income was labour. Oh, and connection but this is a different matter.
Then four years ago I decided that investing is something I should learn and start doing. I started dabbling and opened an account with Nutmeg. I started reading and researching.
This is how I know about investing for beginners: I had to learn a lot to become a beginner. Last year, my overall return on investment was 22.6%. It may be beginners luck. I prefer to think that I have learned something; and Fortune smiled on me.
I learned quite a bit about investing and would like to help you start learning as well. Today, I’ll tell you about the five ways to make your money work for you. Knowing about these is, I believe, the corner stone of all investing for beginners.
Investing in financial instruments
Investing in luxury goods
Investing directly in business
Investing in starting a business
Investing in developing your competencies.
(I’m not including investing in property today. This is a specialised kind of investing that is very capital intensive and probably a stage after investing for beginners. If you still would like to check out property investing have a look at the House Crowd and what they do.)
#1. Investing for beginners: investing in financial instruments
Since this is for real beginners, I’m not going to make it more complicated than it has to be. You’ll have to remember, however, that investing in financial instruments is very diverse and complex affair; some would say that this is a minefield for the beginner.
For now, you need to be aware that these instruments include investing in: bonds (bonds are the way of governments (and others) to borrow money from us; options, futures etc. (sorry, not even going to go there – these are fairly speculative, you really need to know what you are doing and even then…); mutual funds (these are investment strategies that allow you to pull your funds together with other investors and purchase a basket of stocks, shares, bonds and other investment instruments); and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) (this are basket investment instruments).
One investment instrument possibility that is exceedingly popular (and underpins many of the more complex investment vehicles mentioned above) is investing in stocks and shares.
Trading stocks and shares in on any investing for beginners list while many people are not entirely clear about what this means. When you buy stocks and shares, in effect you buy a (small) part of a company. There are three main ways in which you make money from stocks and shares:
Speculation. This is when the price of a particular share is going up because many people are buying it. Conversely, the price goes down when many people are selling their shares. Buying and selling in this case is subject to rumour, misinterpretation of information, emotion etc. Speculative volatility doesn’t have much to do with the value of the company. A tweet by a celebrity can have a large albeit temporary effect.
Company value. This is when the price of the shares is directly linked to the increase or decrease of the value of the company.
Dividends. This is a sum of money paid by companies (usually once a year) to their shareholder from the company’s profits.
Why am I telling you this?
Because you can do very little about speculative fluctuation except not fall prey to them. Don’t agonise over how your shares are doing and don’t check them every fifteen minutes – this will be a monumental waste of time and opportunity.
The other two, have given rise to two very different types of investing: ‘value investing’ and ‘dividend investing’.
When doing the former you look for companies that are undervalued for some reason with the expectation that their value will increase. My Rule Breakers portfolio is an example of that: I’ve bought companies that are either fairly new or they have had a mishap that is being remedied. And yes, my portfolio is doing well.
Dividend investing is about buying stocks and shares in companies that pay generous dividends. I have a guest post for you on dividend investing that you could read tomorrow: I’m still learning about this one myself and have not experimented with it.
Last but not least, robo-investors ought to be mentioned here. I’ll be writing more about these as well. You know that I have been investing with Nutmeg rather seriously (and persistently) and now I’m starting an experiment with Scalable Capital.
#2. Investing for beginners: investing in luxury goods
This is about investing in things like art, wine, jewellery and vintage cars. In principle, investing in the ‘finer things in life’, particularly investing in wine, is fun. In practice, it needs a lot of specialised knowledge because every time you buy a piece of art you are betting that its value will increase. Only people who understand art have the eye.
You want my advice on this one? Stay out if you don’t have the eye for, and encyclopaedic knowledge about, a particular class of objects; thought this investing can surely spice up your portfolio.
#3. Investing for beginners: investing directly in businesses
This is the investing I’m really keen on and with, what I believe are, rather good reasons.
You see, risk is the bane of any investing and the biggest reason why people don’t do it. What is not very well understood by most every-day investors is that our perception of risk is correlated with our level of control. Simply put, this means that the less control we have over something, the higher risk we perceive it to be.
Don’t believe me? Let me ask you: would you be worried about nuclear war if you controlled the switch? No you wouldn’t.
It is the same with investing. We worry about losing our money on stock market because we have very little control over what is happening. Frankly, it many cases we have imperfect information as well never mind how hard we try to keep abreast.
When you invest in local businesses directly the risk-control seesaw swings.
This is usually the big, scary one that hides in the cupboard and every time it tries to come out you kick the door shut.
Yes, I get it. It is scary to start a business and branch out on your own. You’ll have complete control over how the business develops but the flip side to that is there is no one to blame for anything.
At the same time, investing in starting a business is one of the most satisfying and profitable investments you’ll ever make. Take my case, for instance. When I started dabbling in online publishing I forced myself to see it as a hobby; this way it was less pressure. Now my websites are a very neat side hustle; I have no doubt that were I to take the plunge and focus on these full time they will become a nice, proper online business. What started as a pleasurable way to spend 10-15 hours a week (writing and talking to you) may turn out to be my ticket to fulfilment and location independence.
Acting on ideas is much harder. But it can be learned.
Starting a business, including an online business, is not all flowers. It is still so much worth it!
#5. Investing for beginners: invest in yourself
Finally, a way to make your money work for you is through you. What I mean is that it is always worth investing in yourself, in gaining new and varied competencies.
These can range from cooking and baking to coding and public speaking. Investing in yourself can be spending money to develop a healthy habit; or get rid of a very unhealthy one.
Do you know that the £250 I spent in 2006 on a stop smoking workshop is one of the better investments I’ve made? To start with, I have not smoked for over ten year. Let’s, for simplicity sake, say 10. Are you surprised that by investing £250 for the workshop I’ve saved over £20,000? I am. And my lungs have recovered so my health has benefited. You see now why this is a cracking investment.
Remember also that education always pays off. And I’m talking about education, not degrees.
These are the five ways to make your money work for you that every manual about investing for beginners should include.
I know this is too much to take if you are just starting out. If you think this will help bookmark this post and see it as the skeleton on which we’ll be putting more muscle. Eventually we’ll get to the skin and even make up; have some faith.
Have you started to invest? What have you invested in? (Please don’t be shy and share; we can all learn from each other.)
Most investors will be able to pinpoint a stock where they wished they had got involved earlier in before the price went skyward, but the key to making money out financial markets is often about foresight rather than hindsight.
When you visit Money Morning on a regular basis, you will be able to keep track on the progress of all of your stocks and check the progress of your portfolio. What would definitely help push the numbers firmly into the black is when you manage to identify some stocks to buy, before they break out of the gate.
Tapping into the momentum
Potential breakout stocks are understandably always going to be on the radar for many traders and the key to making money out of these plays, is to try and acquire the stock at a price where the real momentum is just starting to kick in.
The problem for everyone wanting to find these opportunities, is how to identify them.
Momentum stocks have the potential to earn you some decent profits, provided you are able to demonstrate good timing with your stock purchases, and one way of identifying and then tapping into this momentum, is to use filters to see which stocks are showing the classic signs of promise.
One example of how you might do this, would be to use some trading software to filter out stocks which are approaching their thirty or sixty day high or low. What you potentially get when you use filters in this way and using other similar criteria, is a list of stocks that may be gathering momentum in their price, but have yet to hit a point where the price has peaked.
You will almost certainly need to play around with these filters in order to identify the sort of search criteria that is most successful, but once you have found a way of short-listing potential stocks to trade that are gathering momentum, you can then save this criteria as a custom filter, allowing you to pull up a list of potential trades whenever you want to.
Finding a pattern
You could argue that successfully identifying breakout stocks is a strategy that requires an equal application of skill and technical analysis, as it is a potential way of making money that is both an art and a science.
One of the favored ways of approaching this task for some traders, is to try and see a distinct pattern that will give you a big clue as to what the stock is about to do next.
One aspect of the stock price history to look at is to see if you can spot a strong inside day pattern. This is a relatively simple pattern where the stock has three consecutive days where there is a progression and the price is inside of the previous day.
This sort of mini-triangle pattern when you see it on a chart, tends to occur more frequently at the end of a stronger trend phase for the stock. This could be the point where the price is taking a bit of a pause before pushing on again, and therefore offers an excellent entry point if you spot this pattern and get your timing right.
There is always the potential for a single pattern to throw the odd curve-ball and fool you into thinking that there is something positive there, when perhaps this isn’t the case.
It is for this reason that some of the best setups can often turn out to be combination patterns.
What this simply means, is a scenario where two particular patterns occur at the same time, potentially giving you an extra little safeguard that what you are looking at is right. When two patterns align it should increase the level of probability of trades working out right for you.
Some traders like to try and find a 52-week high and ascending triangle pattern, which will give you a good level of data to make it more possible to spot a strong up trend and to also see where the potential buy breakout threshold might be.
Improving your odds
There is obviously no guaranteed system or strategy that will only find you winners every time, or we would all be doing the same thing, but if you can find ways of increasing the probability odds, you are also improving your odds of making a profit on your chosen stock.
There is often a strong correlation between how the stock market is performing in general and individual stocks, giving you an indication of potential momentum.
If you can find a way of identifying stocks on an upward curve and get in while they are still heading upwards, that would certainly be a solid trading strategy.
Editor’s note: This post was contributed by Louis Rowley who takes an interest in investments, trading stocks and shares as well as investing in real estate to secure his future. He writes for finance / investment blogs when an idea for an article pops into his head.
Editor’s note: I don’t need to convince you that our world is rapidly transforming. These changes include personal finance in general and investing in particular. Today, I offer you a post on the ways in which technology has democratized investing and made it easier for beginners written by Kayla. She is a colleague personal blogger with passion for all things money.
It’s no secret that technology is ever changing, offering us more goods and services to make our lives easier every day. The same can be said for update to financial technology. Technology has made it easier than ever for us to manage our finances through the use of online banking, budgeting apps, and more.
Technology changes impact the investing world as well. Here are some ways technology has made investing easier than ever, especially for beginners.
The changes that technology has brought to the computer industry in the last twenty years or so have been phenomenal. We have gone from large, bulky monitors and towers to thin flat screens and laptops that can hold massive amounts of information and can be accessed faster than ever before. Laser thin tablets, smartphones and other devices are affordable to almost everyone these days, allowing anyone who has one to seek out investment opportunities from almost any location. For the beginner investor, this can be a very valuable research tool, allowing them to find information and advice on everything from real estate, to stocks, to precious metals, and more.
The rise of the internet has brought with it the ability to track your investment portfolio without having to contact a financial advisor for every little thing or leaf through massive reports as in years past. The ease of having your portfolio literally at your fingertips at any given time is an enticement to beginning investors because it helps to uncomplicate the process of investing and provides more accurate and up to date data.
Furthermore, as a beginning investor, you can find social investing sites where other people will provide advice and information on what has and hasn’t worked for them, and explanations of some of the more complicated aspects of different types of investments. Just be careful because not all friendly advice is actually helpful.
Beginning investors can now research the internet for the types of investment opportunities that appeal the most to them. In addition, as a new investor, you might not have a lot of money to get started investing. You can find sites, such as Acorns, that can help you get started investing with minimal amounts of money and risk.
Less Need for a Financial Advisor
I’m not saying the beginner investor, or even a seasoned investor for that matter, should completely do away with their financial advisor. However, with the tools technology has provided, the beginner investor has information available they would previously have needed to go to a financial advisor to get.
That said, as a new investor, a financial advisor can offer professional advice based on a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as financial planning advice tailored to your specific needs.
With technology’s constant changes and upgrades, it should continue to get easier to manage your investments in the years to come.
Did you think of other ways technology has made investing easier for beginners?
“You are doing what? The world economy just became so much more volatile and you are selling your apartment.”
My friend’s face was a picture. We were spending a perfect summer afternoon in Sofia, drinking chilled white wine and catching up when I mentioned that my main mission in Sofia is to arrange the sale of the apartment.
My friend was right about the new infusion of volatility in the world economy. She was also right that in a world where money has left the economy, putting it in ‘brick and mortar’ – or gold, for that matter – makes sense.
You know that I’m a firm believer in tracking my net worth. This is not enough to make your money work for you; for that you have to know the structure and the ways for restructuring net worth.
This is what the structure of our net worth was like in summer 2013:
About half of our net wealth was in non-income generating property (houses, apartments and land) and possessions.
Another 45% of our wealth was in pension funds.
We had very few investments.
We had low level of liquidity (not much cash available for opportunities).
Over the last three years, I’ve embarked on a restructuring net worth mission. This unfolded in three major ways:
Dealing with the non-income generating properties; and
Increasing and diversifying our investments; and
Building capital available for investments.
To this effect I’ve:
Sold an inherited property;
Sold the land in Bulgaria;
Invested in internet businesses;
Invested in stocks and shares ISA;
Built a stocks and shares self-managed portfolio;
Invested in a local business;
Bought 50% share of a car testing and repair garage;
Built a substantial cash (capital) for investing.
One ‘stone in my shoe’ – or to put it differently, a stumbling block to my restructuring net worth mission – was our apartment in Sofia.
We bought it in 1997 for approximately £20,000.
My niece lived there while studying at university.
My sister lived there when she moved to live in Sofia.
We used it as a base to see family.
For me, this apartment was the tangible connection with the country where I was born and grew up.
Still, for the last three years it has been a bother. My family don’t need it any longer. I tried to rent it out and this is hard from the other side of the continent: it was rented for eight months out thirty six.
All I’ve done is pay its bills.
So, you see, it was time to go.
The sale in under way – this what I was sorting out over the ten days I spent in Sofia. Last Wednesday, John and I left our apartment in Sofia for the last time.
Am I sad?
You bet! With this sale, the last link to my birthplace has been severed.
I’m I sorry?
Not at all.
You see in times of uncertainty one can either sit and do nothing or continue on the course that has been charted.
In a time of volatility one should find ways to profit from it; and keeping cash in ‘brick and mortar’ is probably not the way to do it.
So, the apartment is being sold. We’ll get approximately £70,000 for it which is not a shabby return in anybody’s book.
I’d appreciate your advice on something.
All this money is in a euro account in a bank in Bulgaria. Do you think we should move it to the UK (and change it to GBP) and when?
I believe it’s wrong to live with the worry about the next debt payment, about losing your house, your job or whether you’d have dignity in old age. So I’ve dedicated myself to teaching people in financial trouble how to build sustainable wealth.