Too old to start investing?

Greetings all,
Am I to old (53 on June 15) to start investing in stocks and shares? Like here on Freetrade.

Regards,
Mark.

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Hi Mark,

Well i would say certainly not! What matters is how averse to risk you are, which isn’t necessarily related to your age - although it can be. This is different for everyone, and maybe taking the finnametrica risk test, or speaking to a financial adviser, could help give you an idea of your risk tolerance and therefore how suited you are to be investing in stocks.

Remember, even the most risk averse out there should own at least some stocks. Bonds are considered the go-to less risk alternative but a ~10% stock & 90% bond portfolio (the ‘minimum variance portfolio’) is actually considered less risky than a 100% bond portfolio because of the effects of diversification.

They say owning your age in bonds is a good place to start, so that’d be 50% bonds, 50 % stocks for you, but please do your research and seek professional advice before you’re happy that’s for you!

Anyway, welcome to freetrade, happy investing! And happy birthday (soon!) :slight_smile:

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You should consider investing through a SIPP which freetrade does not yet offer.

Well, I’m 58, so if you consider yourself too old what does that make me? :rofl: :older_man:
I’m just happy to learn a new skill and have a bit of fun. My investments are small so I won’t lose much and I won’t gain much either. But I’m increasing my knowledge and this forum is a great place to start.
Just have fun and when the fun stops, stop. (as Ray Winstone would say)

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You are not too old. But your level of risk will be different than if you were in your twenties. Consider a higher proportion of bonds and look at safer dividend stocks and etfs. In the next 10-15 years you can build a nice income portfolio to complement your pension

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You’re never too old to start, but you might be too old to achieve your investment goals, depending on whatever they may be.

One goal might be “the gains on my investment exceed the amount I invested”. For someone investing the some amount every month, that happens after about 17 years, assuming an average 7% return. 17 years from know you’re likely to still be alive, so this is an achievable goal!

Want to become a millionaire investor in the stock market? At the same average 7%, and putting in £1,000 every month, it takes about 28 years to hit £1m. You also stand a good chance of being alive 28 years from now, but will you still need and fully enjoy the money at that age? I don’t know.

Now, the person who started investing their £1,000 at age 25 and is now that millionaire would have invested a total of £336,000. If you start with that much money at your age, and invest no further money, and if you also manage an average 7% return, you’ll hit £1m in about 15 years, at age 68, right around retirement age. And you’ll have breached the first goal of “more gains than invested” after just 9 years.

So, depending on how much you have to put in now, what your goals are, and how the stock market does over the next few decades (7% average returns are not guaranteed and might not happen), you might yet be young enough! :money_mouth_face:

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The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

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Thank you a most excellent read.

I assume it’s easy choose between bonds and divided stocks? Still got few things to learn on here.

Freetrade doesn’t let you buy bonds directly, but you can buy an ETF that is a collection of bonds.

To have, say, a 40/60 split of bonds to equities, you just need to spend 40% of your investment money on the bond ETF, and 60% on something else (eg. an equity ETF). That’s a calculation you have to work out for yourself.

So when I first allocate money to Freetrade that’s when I can decide on what split I want.

What an excellent community you all are here.

Mark.

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What you’ll do is send money to your Freetrade account. Then you look at what Freetrade has to buy, and you buy what is suitable to meet your investment goals.

Think of it like buying a gift card at a retailer. Some of your money goes in, then you can spend it by buying whatever the retailer has for sale. You don’t have to spend it all in one go.

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Cheers, you’ve explained things in simple fashion for me.

Look at diverse stocks with reliable dividends, remember US dividends are taxed at source. Freetrade also has dividend ETFs (US and UK stocks) and bond ETFs (government and corporate bonds) that pay monthly.

You can also try the ETF strategy builder on https://www.justetf.com/uk/etf-strategy-builder.html

You will probably have to change the ETF’s for those offered on Freetrade though.

I thought i was a bit too old at 35 :wink:

It makes me wish that something like Freetrade was available when i was 20something :slight_smile: