How I started investing series?

Maybe just me but I found this interesting and I think there could be a good feature series on how people got into investing and I think it’s something that would be relatable for a lot of people.


That’s a great idea, to kick us off do you fancy sharing your story? :grin:


Eventually but not sure about kicking it off, it’s rather boring and has a lot of starts and stops to it.


Ladies first, so I’ll kick off, shall I? :grin:

I first invested in 2013 after I had paid off all my credit card debts and found that I had a pot of money earning very little interest in a cash ISA. The money wasn’t for immediate use, so I decided to invest it. I didn’t have a clue what to invest in so I just did a bit of reading up and opted for some global funds in a stocks & shares ISA. I started investing every month and also started a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension).

A couple of years later, I read that the fees for index tracker funds were cheaper so I switched over all the global funds into trackers, which still form the bulk of my investment portfolio. At this stage, I’d started getting more interested in investing, particularly earning dividend income.

I invested in some high yield shares (think SSE, CNA, BP, VOD) but found that it was a lot of work trying to do all the research for particular shares. I stopped buying individual shares and started to look at investment trusts for income as well as diversification. All dividend income is reinvested. My ultimate aim is for dividend income to cover my basic expenses.

My investment strategy is buy and hold, it’s quite rare for me to sell, so in the 5 years I’ve invested, I’ve probably made less than ten sales in total! I can honestly say that not all of my purchases have been a success and that there is still a hell of a lot for me to learn about investing.

What’s my long-term goal? Early retirement! :laughing:

I enjoy investing and also run a small ‘fun’ portfolio where I follow the ‘Dogs of the FTSE’ strategy.


Is it possible to earn that much in dividends without being a millionaire?

if you can average 5% in dividends £1 million invested would get you ~ £50K p.a., That’s more than I earn now

considering dividend tax rate is less than income tax, and you would still get your personal allowance + an extra dividend allowance, yeah you could easily cover all expenses with less unless you want to live a millionaire lifestyle

All the dividend stocks in my portfolio (by this I mean ones I bought for the dividend as opposed to ones I bought for capital growth) pay over 5% at the current share price and some are over 7%


I guess it depends on how much your ‘basic expenses’ are.

For me, I’m loosely thinking around £250 a month, which would cover my basics like council tax, electricity, gas, water, broadband.

A portfolio of around £100k yielding at least 3% (being conservative, as it could be more) could give you the above.


Thanks for sharing :+1:

Out of interest how did you decide which funds and trackers to go with?


As a complete novice, I was guided by only what I read in newspapers/news websites, so I went for ‘popular’ funds that were in Hargreaves Lansdown’s top 150 funds.

My switch to index trackers happened after I came across the Monevator website, with posts such as Why a total world equity index tracker is the only index fund you need - Monevator

The trackers I’ve gone for are predominantly Vanguard due to cost and diversification.


My dividend goal is similar.I figure if I can make enough in divis from insurance companies to cover my car insurance, and enough from energy companies to cover gas and electric etc. that’s a win.

I’m not quite there yet but It only takes a few grands worth of shares in each to do that. You can gradually work your way up to covering all your bills


Haha, what a great way of thinking! :grin:

I’m not there yet either, but continuing to invest new capital and reinvesting dividends, it’ll soon all add up.


It takes the sting out of paying for things when you know you’re gonna get a big chunk of it back :smiley:


Am I wrong to say your last month’s dividend yield was £537.71? :wink:


No, you’re not wrong :smiley:.

But that was a particularly high month, I don’t get that every month!

That also includes income from my ETFs and as I intend to draw down on this capital, I won’t be relying on this income, just the income from my shares and investment trusts.


I knew there was a perfect explanation. Good luck with your overarching target! :slight_smile:


Hi Weenie,

I really appreciate sharing your experience but I’m having trouble to understand how do you invest.
You’ve mentioned switching to index tracker

but then you are talking about investment trusts as main source

BTW i’m a total noob and everything is very overwhelming right now. I thought index tracker and investment trust are two different things.



Hi jarzombeg

No worries, I’ll try to clarify and yes, index trackers and investment trusts are different things! :smile:

I had all my money originally invested in numerous actively managed funds and then I switched to cheaper index trackers. These index trackers (funds and ETFs) form the main part of my portfolio, around 60%.

I decided a few years ago that I wanted a part of my portfolio to produce income via dividends. Started buying individual shares but the analysis/research took a lot of time and investment trusts offered more diversification so I have been investing new money mostly into investment trusts. These now make up around 30% of my portfolio.

The remaining 10% of my portfolio is mostly in safe premium bonds as I don’t really have any cash and since I’m not a spring chicken any more, I don’t want to risk being 100% in equities!

Hope that helps. Drop me a DM if you have further questions.


Thank you for your reply! I can’t wait to start to invest :smiley: