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“My very best source of information”

Written on: 29/09/2013

I have been a successful investor in funds for over 30 years and have never taken professional financial advice but have always made my own fund choices and my own fund switching decisions. Initially I used the fund performance tables in Money Observer to guide me, adding further sources of information as they have become available over the years. I never invest in any fund without checking its recent performance using one of the free graphical tools now available online. Generally, I find that the three month timescale is the most helpful. I keep dealing costs to a minimum by investing through a leading funds supermarket which makes no initial charges on any fund and only charges a standard 0.25% for switching between funds

Of all the sources of information I use nowadays Saltydog is by far the best. The price of £25 a month may seem steep but one can recover this from the short term profits arising from a single trade depending on how much money one has invested. I don't slavishly follow the model portfolio published by Saltydog as I am comfortable with taking rather more risk while protecting myself with a notional -5% stop-loss limit. My experience has been that market trends go on for months, sometimes years. Only once in the past 30 years have I lost a serious amount of money which was in the 1987 stockmarket crash when 35% of my invested savings went to money heaven in a week, but this was only the profit I had made in the previous nine months.

Something I particularly like about Saltydog is that it provides so much detail like printing fund names in italics if they are unit trusts and where a bid/offer spread might apply. Generally, I stick to investing in single priced OEICs.

At the age of 83 my long-term view is the end of next week. Over the past 30 years actively investing in funds has been a most interesting hobby and the profits from this activity has given me a standard of living I could not otherwise have dreamed of. A leading independent financial adviser told me recently that he could not possibly beat the results that I achieve by managing my own fund choices while guided by Saltydog.

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