So, I decided to set up a fun share portfolio. I’d read Weenie’s recommendation a while back of Freetrade, a start-up company which offers free share dealing. With some form of lockdown likely to last a good while, I thought this was a good a time as any to explore the stockmarket directly. Plus, Freetrade offer a free share worth £3-£200 when you open an account with them (ooh)!
So while awaiting my free share, I made sure I set up some rules for myself!
1. Invest a max of £100 pcm (don’t have to actually invest monthly)
2. Don’t invest blind (do at least a little research; I should be able to explain why I bought it)
3. Buy shares of individual companies, not ETFs – already got indices covered!
Needless to say, none of this constitutes a financial recommendation or advice. I am clearly no expert, and if you are only fuzzily familiar with what the stock market actually is, this is a pretty good primer. I admit my free time’s pretty tight at the moment, so my research behind the company is not the most thorough, which is why it’s good that the stakes are low! I can deal with losing £100. Yet this mini portfolio still has the capacity over time to grow.
So, given my general philosophy toward passive tracking of the stock market and having my fingers burnt earlier in life, you may ask why I’m even attempting to stock pick! Here’s my why.
1. Divert tinkering fingers from my main FI stash
2. Improve my understanding of shares, the stock market, and my comfort with (a little) risk
3. Have fun with it!
4. See if my holdings grow
Yes, during these restless times economically, #1 is a biggie. For me anyway. In meditation, it is called the monkey mind. Being overly occupied with how much your index funds are falling, part recovering and falling etc. and brain being on ‘do’ mode. You get the picture!
So, I stuck £100 in my shiny new Freetrade account and awaited my free share (that monkey mind again!), which arrived 2 days ago…
Wellll, what I lacked in winnings I won on ethical high ground..?! It seems they favour giving away ETF shares? Anyway, the share gave me food for thought, as there seems to have been a sharpened focus on renewable energy especially since the Coronavirus outbreak reached west. So perhaps another goal is to buy into initiatives we value.
Over the last week, I invested in a tiny, tiny fraction in 2 other companies, so I am now the proud owner of a budding mini share portfolio! Does this class as a Lockdown Misadventure?! 😀 I invested as follows:
- B&M Retail Value (15 shares) £48.60
- GlaxoSmithKline (3 shares) £50.43
- iShares Global Clean Energy (1 free share worth £4.78)
So that’s this month done for me! I feel I must remind readers again that my choices are pretty speculative and not based on any special insight. 🙂
And how have I found the Freetrade app so far?
On the plus side, simple and easy to use, and of course, trades are free and an ISA is £3 pm. If you want Vanguard funds, many are covered here, e.g. FTSE All World, S&P 500. They will also be offering fractional shares of US stocks later this year, which you can read about here. This is good if you’d like to invest in the likes of Alphabet (Google) or Amazon, which are currently beyond my portfolio capacity at $1271.17 and $2399.34 respectively per share as I write!
On the minus side, I was surprised that the selection of shares is not as wide as I thought it’d be (though they say they are adding all the time). I looked for a few stocks I couldn’t find. It’s also only useful for UK and US shares. Then again, it IS free. I haven’t compared it with other similar services, but for my mini share portfolio, so far I’m pretty happy with it. You can contact me if you’d like a referral link so we both get a free share. Or Weenie over at Quietly Saving by clicking her link. 🙂
So my monthly updates will now include a few words about how I’m getting on with this if you’re interested to follow. The firelite total stock experiment (ftse 100pm), so to speak! A very small bells and whistles bit toward my diversifying FI stash.
Thanks for reading. If you have a similar portfolio, I’d love to hear your experiences. If you use a different free or very low cost share dealing app that you think is better, I’d like to hear about that too. Or perhaps you think this is a bad idea during these turbulent times? Will I be able to stick to my rules?