Get on board, the journey to long term investing, for me, begins here…
Or maybe I should say that it begun in December 2014, when after much research and deep thought I decided to take the plunge and bought my first batch of stocks…
My savings are “a family history”, most of them have been passed down from my grandmother to my mum and now, due to some unlucky turn of events, to me.
There is a lot of literature on the “stress” of having to manage something that was hardly earned by some ancestor, and I have to say that it took a good 2 years before setting the bar straight.The capital is not a huge amount, they will not allow me to retire immediately and live off the gains, but surely can help my future family (oh yes I would like to have one someday!) to live a better life. Of course my life changed too, I had to stop living on planes (I work in exports) and being more “on the ground”, I had to reduce the amount of video games and increase the amount of economics/investments related readings, but life is about changing, so all in all, despite some hard times, now things are flowing the right way.
On the lucky sides there is the fact that I am an Economics major (and also a Japanese major) and I am not totally at loss with managing finances and investments so it didn’t take long to figure out that the banks where the money was invested had to be dropped immediately. Hidden charges, little knowledge of the tools that are more convenient to the client, arrogant attitude when confronted with the “… sorry, how is this investment good for ME?” question. Unfortunately money management is Pizzaland (as I call Italy) is still pretty much ruled by sharks who feed off the fact that people know really little about the financial world.
It took a while, Italy is not an “easy” country when you want to get out of certain systems, but finally (as I wrote before) on December 17th 2014 I had a broker account online and some initial research to start investing following the “dividend oriented”, or “long haul” as I call it, way.
Compared to other long term investors I am not keeping track of the savings that I manage to make every month, mostly because I had to renovate the house of my mother and me and my partner are spending a lot in items and other things that are quite hard to account for, generally speaking I try to save at least 50% of my actual wage, sometimes I manage to do better, sometimes not. Will most certainly start a precise calculation when all the capital is deployed and savings will become my spare capital to invest then (together with Dividends).
Initially I have decided to pace the rhythm of investments, I am not a huge fan of the “all in approach” and I knew that entering at the end of December meant entering in a very high market. Of course I am accepting a higher rate of commissions (hence a lower initial return), but I also keep the possibility of deploying the whole capital in 1 year
Only positive side was that I was entering at a very high exchange rate with the GBP and USD, meaning that the probable slowdown of the markets, and the very likely set of mistakes that I was going to make would be partly offset by the drop of the Euro.
With this frame of mind I checked in, got my usual aisle seat and prepared for my long haul investment trip….