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Tim Coburn

Investing

There is no mystery.

It just takes a bit of working out.

When I Turned 50

My pension savings didn’t look that bad. But I was shocked how little it would grow if I left it alone.

At the time, some big technology companies were often in the news. Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google etc were not only changing our lives but making headlines with their global expansion, sales growth and share price performance.

It made me think about investing in companies leading the world’s digital transformation.

I started a new personal pension that allowed me to invest in companies like these. I did lots of reading. There’s loads of free information on the internet. I experimented. I learned a lot and the interest I earned gradually improved. I decided to only invest in US companies (now with a few exceptions) and I wondered if I would ever ‘beat the market’.

Financial Advisers are too Cautious

There are many reasons why they are conservative in their advice. Here are four:

1. They are not managing their own money – they need to make an assured profit for their firm by managing ours. 2. They have investment products to sell and these rarely include buying shares in companies selected for their growth potential. 3. As fewer than 5% of fund managers beat the market, they think it’s impossible to earn more than 10% interest per year. 4. Regulatory obligations requiring them to explain the risks, make it sound scary. 

Their advice will probably lead to an investment tracker fund, from which they also take their fees.

There is an Alternative

The alternative that appealed to me was to invest in companies leading the world’s digital transformation. I look for market leaders with long term potential and visionary leadership. I buy shares and hold on for the long term. I do not do short-term ‘day trading’.

There are substantial risks. Share prices go up and down regularly and often for reasons nothing to do with company performance. The fluctuations are nerve-wracking. For this reason, knowing why you believe a company has long term potential really matters.

Understanding is the antidote to fear.

I Started Cautiously

10 years ago, I started cautiously. – and I’m still cautious! Today, I’m invested in 25 to 30 companies. Some are household names, like Amazon, Google, Etsy and Peleton. Others are less well-known but lead the world in their field, like Teladoc (telemedicine), The Trade Desk (digital advertising) and Crowdstrike (cybersecurity). 

Thankfully, my investment is doing better than the market average.

The companies I invest in are listed below.

COMPANIES I INVEST IN

The ‘Really Big’ are truly massive, well-established global companies, relatively stable but still with great growth potential. The ‘Big’ are also global with great growth opportunities, and may have strong rivals. The ‘Growing’ companies have a unique product that could have global appeal but they are still in their early years and growth can be more volatile.

Financial Freedom

Of course, money isn’t everything. It never will be. Happiness and fulfilment come from many places and pastimes, as it does in my own life.

We all have things for which a little extra cash makes a big difference. Supporting our families, decorating our homes, taking a holiday of a lifetime, giving to causes we support and yes, getting a new bike! 

Investing may sound complicated and risky, but it’s not a mystery.

It can be learned and I have found it easier than I thought it would be.

As it’s hard to find independent advice, I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned.

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