How I got started with investing: Banita Shah

“I received a small inheritance from my grandfather and it seemed a lot just to leave it there in a savings account. I knew that I might eventually want to buy a house with it, but had no immediate plans so reckoned I could take risk. I had a friend who worked at a brokerage group so I put the money with them and bought and sold a few FTSE 100 stocks. That proved to be quite time-consuming and I got really burnt on one particular stock. All the brokers were saying ‘this is really great’ and it wasn’t!

"It was an important lesson, but it didn’t put me off investing – I had made quite good returns on some of my other holdings. It did make me a bit more cautious and I decided to stick to funds from then onwards.

“I did buy a house in the end and used a lot of my savings for that. However, I’ve now started to build my investments back up again now. I’ve got a young daughter and I’m hoping we might be able to send her to private school when she’s older. I’m not going to get there with a savings account, but hopefully a stock market investment will give me better returns.”

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How risky is the stock market?

How much could I lose? Isn't it just for people who like a bet? We tend to really overestimate the risk of investing, especially over the longer term. We go through the facts for a 'spicy' portfolio over a 12 month period - the most you could have lost compared to how fast your cash is losing value (damn inflation). With a picture, promise.

How risky is the stock market?

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