My own personal experience over the last year is mixed.
I started out investing in ETFs, but didn’t like the two layers of separation of ownership and the lack of control around investment choices and fees.
So I decided to pick my own stock, 33 shares I built up over 6 months, mix of UK and US. I managed to claw back earlier losses and I noticed that my portfolio had less severe swings than the markets, e.g. ftse100 gained 1%, my portfolio gained 0.8%; FTSE dropped 1.5% my portfolio gained 0.5%.
But it has become a headache looking after each one, some shares dropped 13% whilst others soared, do I sell, do I reinvest because I think they are undervalued?
Then the biggest problem. With a FTSE 100 (or S&P500) etf I can take advantage of monthly averaging just with buy a few more shares, this gives me a fractional increase in every share. BUT with my individual shares portfolio I can no longer do this.
My problem is now: I have £200 a month to invest, my portfolio drops a few % … but which shares do I put my £200 into? If I put it into MasterCard, well actually that blows my whole £200 (and some) for that month so no other share is going to benefit from averaging that month.
But if I use an ETF I can put the £200 into that and every shares gets a little top up.
Now with the advent of fractional shares this goes away, and if the autopilot comes along soon then happy days.
So personally, I just can’t work out what to do right now