Managing Your Money 

Beginner seeks "right investment system"

Reader Portfolio

Marj, 33


Individual savings account


Supplement pension and pay for big life events

<p>Individual savings account</p>

Marj is 33 and has been investing for two-and-a-half years, but is still grappling with trying to find the right system of investment. She says: "My approach up to now has been fairly scattergun. I tend to either ignore or defer key decisions, or I invest on a whim.

"The more I read, the more I think that investing in low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and trackers is the way to go, in order to keep fees down, gain diversification and to achieve a portfolio that doesn't require too much monitoring.

"However, as the bulk of my investing will be as a regular saver, investment trusts might be a better route for me than ETFs.

Marj saves £200 a month into her individual savings account (Isa) and then invests that sum on a quarterly basis. She aims to supplement her company pension scheme and retire at age 63, plus access the Isa for any big life events such as a house purchase, wedding or redundancy.

She has accumulated a portfolio of 12 holdings, worth just over £20,000.

"I recently added Scottish Mortgage (SMT) and the iShares Japan GBP-hedged ETF (IJPH), and topped up the iShares MSCI Europe Ex-UK ETF (IEUX) that I was already invested in. In addition, I'm invested in an iShares FTSE 100 ETF (CUKX) and the HSBC FTSE 250 ETF (HMCX). All of these are relatively small amounts of £1,000 to £2,000," she says.

"A few months ago I sold off Air Partner (AIP) when things looked a bit shaky, although I still made a modest profit. I also sold off the purchase cost of my investment in Trifast (TRI) and have left the remainder - albeit a small sum - to run on for further profit.

"Part of my rationale for playing around like this with relatively small sums is to get a feel for the emotional side of investing, practising the discipline of cashing out when a share shows a decent percentage gain and not being greedy."

To continue reading, register today

to enjoy limited access to the following:

  • Daily trading news
  • Funds coverage
  • Features on big investment themes
  • Comprehensive companies coverage
  • Economic analysis
Subscribe to Investors Chronicle

Subscribe today

Full access for just £3.37 a week:

• Tips and recommendations - to beat the market 
• Portfolio clinic & Mr Bearbull - build a well-planned portfolio 
• Expert tools - track and manage investments effortlessly
• Plus free delivery to your home or office

Subscribe Now