Holly's Blog: Happy New Year amigos!


Happy New Year!

Welcome back amigos! And so as we are all full of hope, guzzling kale juice, shunning booze (dry Jan = dry white wine?), embracing yoga and weening ourselves off Amazon, this also tends to be a time when we feel skint but resolved to ‘do better’. How can we do better with our savings and investments this year?

Here are some New Year ideas for investors, fresh from logging in to my 28 test accounts yesterday and having a snoop around what’s what. These ideas might suit you, your relatives or friends, so feel free to share!


Not yet invested?

There is more help than ever to get started and it need not be as hard as people make out. Key rules? Don’t be greedy. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. I think peer-to-peer, weird timber schemes and odd property ‘guaranteed 8%!’ things are best given a wide berth. Don’t believe the hype of any ‘star manager’, don’t read the press’s Top Investment Tips for 2020, don’t buy Uruguayan mining stocks, crypto or fiddle with currencies. Be boring. Save your high-risk strategies for Tinder or the ski slopes.

Micro savings’ – look at Moneybox. Tiddly bits here and there, rounding up your card expenditure and drip-feeding pounds into an ISA with a simple swipe. Nice. Easy.

Do it for me’ – look at Nutmeg. Pick your risk profile between 1 and 10 with help from an online questionnaire. (10 BTW does not mean that you are being a reckless prat. It could make sense if you are saving for 7 years or more. It describes a bumpy journey that’s all.) Also have a look at Wealthify or True Potential which has improved.

Vanilla please’ – look at Aviva. Big. Yellow. Pedestrian. Fine. Good for those who are already wetting themselves about investing, without the additional ‘excitement’ of a new brand or funky start-up to worry about.


I sort of know what I’m doing

Ploughing through the test accounts yesterday, my unofficial award for most improved goes to Bestinvest and notably The Share Centre. Although The Share Centre’s slightly complex (arguably fair,but complex) charging structure annoys me, the layout of info and research on the site for both funds and shares is really good. Well worth a look. Hargreaves Lansdown does remain dependably good, but the charges are higher than competitors and AJ Bell Youinvest is a really solid, growing and cheaper alternative outfit to look at.


I am a Market Maven- “step aside George ‘Beginner’ Soros!”

And here’s a wee thought for you Confident Colonels out there. A few New Year Teasers.

Do you still pick funds by sifting through Best Buys lists, finding a sector and then picking the top three performers over the last 3-5 years? C’mon, be honest!! That’s like buying flares in 1979 and thinking you’re guaranteed to look awesome.

As ‘growth’ potentially shifts to ‘value’ (maybe this year, maybe the next…but it will happen) will this approach see you with all your eggs in one style basket? Did you angrily sell Woodford and pile into Tezza Smith or Lindsell Train??? I do think we’ll see more headlines this year about ‘star managers’ having moments out of the sun…..

What % of your funds are in the big US tech stocks? Again – how diversified are you?

Are you paying too much? Vanguard’s launch of Lidl-priced pensions for Waitrose-shopping Mavens this year will be interesting to observe…more on passive versus active another time. Fixed fees are offered by Interactive Investor and The Share Centre. Use our simple charges calculator to look at the potential savings, customised for your portfolio, and then compute value.


Please help us!?

We are in the middle of our annual deep dive into platforms and investment providers. Ready to announce our 2020 Best Buys in a dizzying frenzy of excitement in February. If you can be bothered to leave a review, it is entirely true that your vote counts. It helps us to make sure our experiences are not just one-offs. It removes bias. And it helps us to use real, fee-paying customer experience to call out excellence and make for a better experience all round. Please help!

Finally, we are within a few sign-ups of having 10,000 readers of this blog. If there’s someone you know who might enjoy this, please forward it to them.


Have a lovely weekend everyone. A last lie-in before we spiral into the dizzying depression of Week One Back At Werk!! AAAAAAAGHHHHHH


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