A Recap

First let me refer you to earliest posts in August 2018. You can be sure that most investment advisers will not mention deposits with the U.K. and U.S. Governments, as these pay no commissions. Also up and coming people in various media and sports are magnets for people offering dodgy investment opportunities. So the first place to stack up savings is National Savings in the U.K. or US Treasury in the U.S. These are safe, unlike banks where there are limits to deposit insurance.

Stocks and shares always expose you to risk, and it is best to get some cash behind you before trying your luck. Many advisers and stock tippers give themselves glowing reports – but think about it – if you were tipping two shares a week long term you would have been bound to mention the tech giants of today – even if you thought that they were overpriced at the time. My only subscription is to a little known service that meticulously analyses stock tips in the U.S., and most are proven to be rubbish. My own thoughts on equities which I own can be found on here, as long as I am still alive !

For people who like the idea of a bit of collective equity risk, it is worth looking at Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). These can be very low cost – Vanguard and Schwab are brands to look at in the U.S., and Vanguard are also in the U.K. I own a Schwab ETF in my U.K. tax free ISA account – the one that invests in companies with good dividend track records – and from memory the annual charge is 7 basis point – that’s 0.007%, and also another small independent one that uses IBMs Watson – Artificial Intelligence – for stock selection – but that’s just experimenting and the annual charge is about the same as a U.K. managed collective fund. It’s actually true that some hedge fund founders are billionaires, and the reason for this is that their charges are huge – 2% of your money every year plus 20% of your profits is the norm. Once they have their billion or near, do you seriously think they care about investors money ? They just employ very bright maths graduates to work out algorithms and the trading costs can be huge too (from your money in addition to the 2%) They are the brokers most favoured customers too, so the bright grads get all kinds of benefits from lead brokers. So I do not invest personally in hedge funds !

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