Take Control of your Finances

Becoming a DIY Investor

Faced with high professional fees or precluded from financial advice, more and more people are taking personal control of their finances.

Whether looking to clear debt, save for a rainy day, invest for children, build a pension pot or generate income in retirement DIY Investor is here to help you every step of the way.

The site delivers information to experienced investors and education to those new to savings and investment; it unites a community of self-directed investors to consider challenges, share experiences and make informed investment decisions.

Learn to establish your financial goals, understand your attitude to risk and build a personal investment plan, then use technology to research, trade and monitor your investments.

Take Control of Your Finances

 

DIY InvestingPersonal Finance 101Why be a DIY Investor?Getting StartedBe Tax SmartMaking it PersonalBuild a Balanced PortfolioInvesting for ChildrenCompound Interest in ActionIn Praise of RDR

Nobody Cares More About Your Money Than You

 

Whether budgeting for a trip of a lifetime, helping children get on the property ladder or planning for retirement, we all have financial goals, and an ever increasing number of people are taking personal control of their finances with technology as the enabler.

DIY Investor seeks to debunk the mystique that has traditionally shrouded the financial services sector and demonstrate that it is not difficult to get to grips with the basic principles of investing and investment products; online platforms now deliver access to market data, planning tools and trading technology that were once the preserve of the professional.

Undoubtedly the first step is the hardest, but it will not take long to get to grips with core concepts and begin to grow in confidence as a DIY investor; this site will continue to deliver content from industry commentators and market participants, as well as practical experience from DIY investors, to help you on your journey.

Once you take the plunge you’ll realise that much of an IFA’s work was formulaic and simple to replicate – set your financial objectives, understand your attitude to risk and construct a personal financial plan; then build a diverse portfolio of investments that are in line with your risk tolerance whilst delivering the desired end result.

A recurring sentiment on bulletin boards is the sense of empowerment and liberation that comes with DIY investing and the platforms available now ensure that you can track your investments 24/7/365.

Because nobody cares more about your money than you do.

Personal Finance 101

 

Mr Micawber’s oft quoted recipe for happiness from David Copperfield is not a bad foundation for the DIY investor:

‘Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.’

Here we look at some of the basics you should consider before you start to build an investment portfolio.

Old Wilkins clearly knew a thing about budgeting and a very good place to start a journey towards financial freedom is by setting a budget – spend less than you earn and save or invest the difference.

 

mr micawber

 

 

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Why be a DIY Investor?

 

Whether budgeting for a trip of a lifetime, helping children get on the property ladder or planning for retirement, we all have financial milestones and objectives, and faced with the high cost of professional advice, an increasing number of people are deciding to take personal control of their finances; technology is the enabler.

There is no doubt that the financial services sector, and in particular the City, have revelled in being impenetrable to the man on the street – with enlightenment and guidance come fat fees – but having scraped away much of its pomp and jargon, it is not difficult to get to grips with the basic principles of investing and investment products; online platforms now serve up market data, planning tools and trading technology that were once the preserve of the professional.

diy1(1)

 

 

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Getting Started

 

Once you have decided that you are ready to take control of your finances you may feel a mixture of euphoria and trepidation; it’s a momentous decision and one that comes with not little responsibility – after all, if it were to go wrong, you are the investment manager!

Whilst every investor may differ slightly in terms of their personal circumstances, risk appetite and desired outcome, there are some fundamental considerations that should underpin any DIY investment strategy.

 

Building Blob

 

 

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Be Tax Smart

 

The ‘Starbucks effect’ can cause the most mild mannered tax payer to mutter disapprovingly as international companies shuffle money around the world in search of optimum tax efficiency.

The distinction between tax avoidance and tax evasion is well made and the reason a household name such as Google employs legions of tax accountants is simple – it saves them a fortune.

Whilst an adviser may not be able to totally relieve you of any tax burden, there is every chance that by ensuring that you pay no more tax than you need to, you could save thousands of pounds a year.

 

Tax

 

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Making it Personal

 

When you join DIY Investor we ask you about your financial objectives and we also invite you to answer a series of questions to indicate your attitude to risk; we do so because we believe that crowds make good decisions and that by bringing together people in similar circumstances it is possible for them to make informed investment decisions and achieve improved outcomes.

Before getting to grips with the plethora of products that are available, the DIY investor should spend a little ‘me’ time – decide why you are investing in the first place, what your objectives are and what time horizons you have; work out what type of investor you are and what your stated appetite to risk feels like in reality – we would all like stellar returns with no risk, but if your investments keep you up at night you have gone out of your comfort zone.

DIY Investor delivers information to experienced investors and it also delivers education to those new to savings and investment.

 

diy

 

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Build a Balanced Portfolio

 

Those seeking a better rate of return and to take more control of their financial future, could consider building their own investment portfolio.

Many options exist in terms of ways to invest and account types, and these will be explored elsewhere on this site, but the key to a successful (profitable) strategy is the establishment of a balanced investment portfolio.

However daunting it may sound, an investment portfolio is simply where you keep your money. If all your money is held as cash in your bank account, that’s your portfolio.

But it’s not a smart investment portfolio and this site is designed to demystify investing and set you on your way to becoming a DIY investor.

 

DIY

 

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Investing for Children

 

Those born between 1980 and 2000 are the first generation to reach adulthood in the new millennium and are generally portrayed as taking their financial future seriously despite facing considerable challenges.

Average student debt now tops £40,000, wages have been squeezed, rents are high and property ownership a pipe dream for most.

It is accepted that earlier and longer is rarely the wrong strategy when it comes to retirement planning, it is difficult for the millennials to look so far ahead and as a result, a survey bleakly described them as ‘Generation Lost’.

With the average starting salary for a graduate in the UK at £28,000 any accusations of profligacy can be dismissed – the cost of everyday living now means that this is a generation with very little disposable income and it is now more important than ever that parents give their children a financial head start.

DIY Investor looks at some of the options exist for those saving for children, primarily based around how much control the parent wishes to have over the investment and at what age they would like the resulting cash to be made available.

boys 3

 

 

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Compound Interest in Action

 

How different could things have been if only we’d known about the power of compound interest; if only we’d known then that the most important factor in a successful investment strategy was its duration, then we’d have done things differently wouldn’t we?

Compound interest is the multiplier effect of interest being earned on interest, over time; the higher the interest rate and the longer the period of saving or investment the greater the end result.

And however tough we thought we had it, spare a thought for those recent graduates, trying to make their way in the world with the burden of student debt, astronomically high accommodation costs and constantly reminded that they will be facing abject poverty when they retire.

It’s tough, but whether you are planning for your own financial future or looking to give a loved one a head start, compound interest comes as close as is possible to ‘money for nothing’

 

Index investing

 

 

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In Praise of RDR

 

In December 2012 the Financial Services Authority (FSA), the City regulator, introduced a package of important reforms which affected everyone saving for a pension or investing in an ISA.

Following a spate of difficulties and miss-selling scandals, the financial services sector changed forever following the introduction of a package of important financial reforms known as the ‘retail distribution review’, or RDR.

 

  • RDR turned the economics of the financial services industry on its head
  • professionalised the provision of financial advice
  • put the consumer in charge of how your money is spent.

Previously, advisers have taken unseen commissions for recommending certain financial products to their clients; the ‘free’ advice that was being dispensed was nothing of the sort, and neither did the rate of commission bear any resemblance to the suitability or the performance of the products that were being recommended.

 

fees

 

 

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Strawberry 220 x 75 2

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Ten Golden Rules of Equity Investing

Ten Golden Rules of Equity Investing

Ten Golden Rules of Equity Investing

Ten Golden Rules of Equity Investing

Ten Golden Rules of Equity Investing

Ten Golden Rules of Equity Investing

Ten Golden Rules of Equity Investing

10 Golden Rules of Equity Investing

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Healthcare Transformation Creates New Opportunities

Daniel Mahoney PhD, Fund Manager Polar Capital Healthcare Team

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Finding income that’s not scary and ugly

Lawrie Chandler looks at options for those seeking income from high quality sources

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An Introduction to Socially Responsible Investing with ETFs

Dominique Riedl of justETF shows how your portfolio can benefit the environment and society

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UK Election 2017 – risks and opportunities

Janus Henderson investment experts look at the impact on their asset classes

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Saving up and drawing down; should you cash in a DB pension?

With transfer values at record levels what should you consider before leaving a final salary scheme?

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Jun

Investment styles – is there a catalyst for change?

Liz Rees of Willis Owen looks at the different investment styles adopted by funds and what may

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4th


Jun

June Market: The UK Stock Market Almanac 2017

Seasonality effects and anomolies that are seen in June

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26th


May

Moore on Personal Finance: Ahead of the General Election

Francis Moore looks at the 'dementia tax', active vs passive investing and strolls down memory lane

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13th


May

Simple DIY Investing with Vanguard LifeStrategy Funds

A Low-cost, Flexible Investment Strategy for Life just got cheaper

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3rd


May

Compound Interest 101 – the gift that keeps on giving

Muckler makes no apology for taking another look at compound interest - the ‘eighth wonder of the

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2nd


May

BOMAD now ninth biggest mortgage lender

Millennials increasingly depend upon parental contributions to get on the housing ladder

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30th


Apr

School of hard knocks

Muckler reports a savage financial blow as interest on student loans hits eye-watering 6.1%

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27th


Apr

Getting Started as a DIY Investor

You've decided to become a DIY investor - here are some basics

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23rd


Apr

Another Political Surprise or Predictable Political Manoeuvring?

Muckler asks what a General Election will mean for investors?

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16th


Apr

Building a Balanced Portfolio

DIY Investor looks at the key things to consider when constructing your investment portfolio.

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12th


Apr

THE SECRET OF SUCCESSFUL TREND INVESTING

Douglas Chadwick of Saltydog Investor explains the theory and benefits of momentum trading

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12th


Apr

High Five: Simple Rules for Successful Investing

FT journalist David Stevenson shares his five rules for successful investing

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10th


Apr

Brexit – Deal or no Deal?

Paul O’Connor of Henderson Global Investors examines the implications of the UK triggering

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5th


Apr

Use it or Lose it: Find the right ISA as the deadline approaches

DIY Investor’s at-a-glance guide to the now seven different ISA account types and what they may

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4th


Apr

The Lady’s not for Investing: Survey reveals 56% of women are failing to save for retirement

A recent YouGov survey reveals women miss out on long term investment growth potential due to lack

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27th


Mar

Europe in a world of ‘alternative facts’

Henderson's Tim Stevenson says Europe is in the eye of a very unfamiliar storm

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26th


Mar

How Much Risk can you Tolerate and how Does that Affect Your Investment Portfolio?

Muckler looks at why understanding your appetite to risk is so important and how to manage it

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26th


Mar

What Millennials can learn from Generation X

Older generations outflank millennials when it comes to wealth, investment and risk

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22nd


Mar

Forget what could go wrong for Europe. What could go right?

Stephen Macklow-Smith, Portfolio Manager for the J.P. Morgan European Investment Trusts, argues

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19th


Mar

The Big Picture: Macro views from investment companies

QuotedData delivers insights on markets and economics from around the world of investment trusts

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19th


Mar

Inequality and taking financial control

New survey shows that pensioners' income now outstrips that of those of working age

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3rd


Mar

Hey, big spender: the fiscal story behind the political noise

Chris Forgan of Henderson Global Investors assesses what President Trump could mean for markets

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24th


Jan

Economic and Political Implications of a Hard Brexit

Ryan Boothroyd and Mitul Patel consider the effects of PM Theresa May's announcement

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16th


Jan

How Can Investors Prepare for an Increasingly Unpredictable Landscape in 2017?

Angus Campbell of Stature PR makes the case for the defence

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8th


Jan

2016 – a Bumper Year for the Dividend Investor

Mark Riding of DividendMax explains where the smart money was

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23rd


Dec

The Trump Effect – what can we Expect from the ‘Hair Apparent’?

Mike Franklin of Beaufort Securites mulls over US foreign and domestic policy and considers the

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19th


Dec

Shaken and Stirred: 2016 was tricky for Bonds and Equities

Beaufort's Mike Franklin asks will the ‘Trump Effect’ create a Casino Royale in 2017?

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1st


Dec

The Quest for Income: Market Place Lending Comes of Age

The launch of the Innovative Finance ISA has taken P2P lending into the mainstream

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23rd


Nov

JAM Today as Chancellor Ditches Pledge to Balance the Books by 2020

Hammond readies economy for Brexit and helps those Just About Managing

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22nd


Nov

Micro-investing: Just Don’t do Nothing

DIY Investor looks at the way wealth mangers are trying to engage millennials

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22nd


Oct

Half of Savers Getting Poorer Following Inflation Hike

Just 266 out of 644 savings accounts match or beat inflation

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4th


Oct

£50,000 of Debt at 18x Base Rate – Loan Sharks? No, Student Finance

Muckler looks at the double whammy of increasing tuition fees and punitive interest rates

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3rd


Oct

INVESTING FOR CHILDREN – SPECULATE TO ACCUMULATE?

DIY Investor and guest columnist Dianne P with a very personal approach to saving for children -

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29th


Sep

Digging Deeper – Berkeley Energia

DIY Investor Takes a Close Look at the AIM-listed Uranium Miner to see what's attracting the

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26th


Sep

BATS CHALLENGES FTSE100 MONOPOLY & REDEFINES THE MARKET

Bats indices to revolutionise investors’ view of the market, improve transparency and drive down

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12th


Sep

Searching for Yield? You Need to Look Hard to Find it.

Angus Campbell looks at some possible sources of income

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9th


Sep

ETFs Versus Old-fashioned Tracker Funds

Which of the two types of passive investing vehicle is right for you? asks Dominique Riedl, CEO and

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3rd


Sep

11 Steps to Stock Market Success

From the late Jim Slater, creator of Company REFS

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1st


Sep

Well on Track – DIY Investors ‘Flock’ to Passive Investments

Hargreaves Lansdown sees the number of its clients investing in trackers double

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1st


Sep

Boxing Clever – App Introduces Millennials to Savings and Investment

Moneybox launches smartphone app to allow users to invest 'change'

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31st


Aug

BOMAD to Lend to Other People’s Children?

No joy with the Bank of Mum and Dad? try asking someone else's parents to help you buy your first

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26th


Aug

Savers hit as Nat West Scoops Prize for Most Mingy Cash ISA

A perfect storm of falling rates and rising inflation means that savers are in for a torrid time

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21st


Aug

The Not Much Help to Buyers ISA

500,000 first-time buyers told they cannot use savings as deposit on homes

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20th


Aug

Are property funds still worth considering?

Willis Owen Research Analyst Fiona Liu looks at property funds post-Brexit

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19th


Aug

New Robo-adviser Munnypot ‘Like Nothing Else on the Market’

WhatsApp-style Adviser Seeks to Address 'Sky-High-Fees'

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4th


Aug

Bank of England Seeks to Calm Brexit Jitters

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2nd


Aug

Bargain Hunter, Part of the Herd or Lone Star; what is the Best Investment Strategy?

Muckler explains why building a portfolio is like picking a fantasy XV

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28th


Jul

Brexit and the DIY Investor; it’s all About Control

Muckler looks at the challenges facing investors in times of uncertainty

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25th


Jun

Selftrade: ETFs ‘Best’ for Investors

Online broker cuts commission and introduces comparison tool

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15th


Jun

Not Shaken, Not Stirred: Woodford Pledges to Keep Calm and Carry on – in or out

It will be business as usual in Oxford as he won’t be changing a single constituent of his

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14th


Jun

Bats to the Future – ‘BUK100’ launches to Rival FTSE Dominance

Bats Europe seeks to break FTSE 'monopoly' in the UK and deliver improved service and keener prices

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8th


Jun

Campaign to get Sisters Doing it for Themselves

A campaign has been launched to encourage British women to engage with savings and investment after

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23rd


May

Eyes Wide Shut? – Muckler Urges Caution for P2P Investors Seeking Income

‘Investors face potential losses when the loans they have bought are down-valued’ - sound

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18th


May

Are Banks and Investment Houses Facing Extinction?

As the world economy edges towards low inflation and low growth, Mark Pearson looks at the forces

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16th


May

Who Do You Trust?

Uncertainty about levels of state support and mistrust of institutions fuel financial self-reliance

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5th


May

Bank of Mum and Dad to Review Lending policy?

Contributions to fund house purchase now 50% of total wealth and unsustainable

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3rd


May

The New Rule of Financial Self Reliance

Europeans are revolting - Muckler suggests it is time to take personal control of your finances

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31st


Mar

Sell in May; Seasonality Effects and Anomalies

The UK Stock Market Almanac 2016 delivers some gems to give you a trading edge

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26th


Mar

A Pension, an ISA or a LISA?

With the launch of the Lifetime ISA, young savers now have another option for retirement planning

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14th


Mar

Cutting the Cost of Advice

FCA seeks to encourage universal access to affordable financial advice

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3rd


Mar

The UK Stock Market Almanac 2016

Seasonality effects and anomalies in the UK stock market

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2nd


Mar

Investing for Children – As ‘Generation Y’ Fronts up to Tough Times

Those born between 1980 and 2000 are the first generation to reach adulthood in the new millennium

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2nd


Mar

Making it Personal

Why the DIY investor should take some 'me' time to set their objectives and individual style

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2nd


Mar

From Cradle to Later Life, SIPPs Offer a Lifetime Solution

EPM's Francis Moore looks at the new pension regime and explains why you may consider a SIPP

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2nd


Mar

Be Tax Smart

Death and taxes may be unavoidable, but don't pay more than you need to

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2nd


Mar

Personal Finance 101

Basics to consider before building an investment portfolio

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2nd


Mar

Why Become a DIY Investor?

Why more and more people are taking personal control of their finances

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1st


Mar

Junior ISA Offers Tax Efficiency to the Bank of Mum and Dad

How can you give your child a financial headstart?

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1st


Mar

Make your Portfolio Tax Efficient

Make sure your portfolio is as efficient as possible by making best use of all available allowances.

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1st


Mar

Going Global in the Hunt for Sustainable Dividends

Good quality companies can now be found paying dividends in a range of sectors around the world.

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1st


Mar

S=P(1+ j/n)nt….But No Chicks for Free!

Compound interest - Einstein's 'eighth wonder of the world'

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1st


Mar

Six of the best: potential pitfalls that can whack the unwary DIY investor

Why the British Army's 'Rule of the Seven Ps' could help you be a better investor.

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1st


Mar

Generating an Income from Investments

With interest rates on savings near zero, how can you find income generating investments?

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17th


Feb

High Five: Index Investing for the DIY Investor

Why low cost, passive investing could be the ideal solution for the time poor DIY Investor.

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10th


Feb

Now is the Time to Become a D.I.Y. Momentum Investor

How Saltydog's fund analysis helps momentum investors

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5th


Nov

Retirement Realities: What Lies Beneath the Income Gap?

A recent survey has revealed the gap between expectations and reality in retirement.

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4th


Nov

Seeking Income in a Low Interest Rate Environment

Some lateral thought in the pursuit of reliable income.

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1st


Nov

Does Wheatley’s Removal from FCA Signal a new era in Investment?

City Grump contends that 'different leadership' can be the catalyst to take British companies

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27th


Oct

Neutralising the Market….Safely

Dr Fred Piard - ‘The Lazy Fundamental Analyst’ - introduces his market neutral portfolio

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26th


Oct

Investment Strategy: Diversification, Selectivity and Dynamism

'Extraordinary times' in financial markets - Yoram Lustig, The Investment Assets Handbook.

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26th


Oct

Classic Investment Mistakes and how to Avoid Them – Part 3

Not selling poorly performing stocks, and mixing investment strategies

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25th


Oct

Classic Investment Mistakes and how to Avoid Them – Part 2

Trying to time markets and failing to take profits

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25th


Oct

Classic Investment Mistakes and how to Avoid Them – Part 1

Looking at the investment chain and where things can go wrong

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20th


Oct

THE POWER OF THE CROWD

How sentiment analysis helps investors sift through information overload

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20th


Oct

The Road to Becoming a D.I.Y. Investor is Paved with Good Intentions

How Saltydog's fund performance analysis helps you make smart investment decisions

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15th


Oct

It’s all a Matter of Trust

How well managed investment companies can deliver the right balance of income and growth.

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6th


Oct

ETF Portfolio Investing Made Simple

Dominique Riedl of justETF, explains why he thinks ETFs are the right choice for DIY investors

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27th


Oct

Enjoy Flexible Income in Retirement – But Don’t Lose Focus on the Taxman

Those taking advantage of pension reform are urged to be wary of the taxman

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22nd


Feb

In Praise of the Retail Distribution Review

The Financial Services Authority changed the financial services landscape forever with RDR

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