I’ve always thought of myself as someone that can spot trends, and as such have long been keen to try investing.
The only reason I didn’t before was a lack of capital. When you get charged like £12 to buy shares, then you cannot really be investing £100.
My Easynet redundancy money had been sitting in my account, and I had managed not to spend it during my subsequent period of unemployment. We are only talking 4 figures – nothing crazy – though that is a lot to me. My, erm, life savings.
And then last January, I read in The Economist about a chip-maker called Infineon Technologies, that was trying to develop the next generation of computer chips, hoping to re-establish or even better Moore’s Law. They were £16 a share back then but I was unemployed, and didn’t dare.
In September, I bought some at £21 a share. They quickly went up to £23 a share, so I bought more – I put most of my savings in them. They then rose to £25.50 quickly – easy money I thought, though they were volatile, and I could easily gain £300 one day, lose £300 the next.
Alas over Christmas, they went down substantially – though I was still breaking even. Then in January they rallied, back up to £25.50 on my birthday – I thought about selling and taking the profit, it was around £600 – I knew how volatile they had become.
And then they plummeted. From 10% gain to 10% loss in a few weeks. Fuckity – and I couldn’t even blame Brexit.
I had bought some shares in another company, Valeo, that produce parts for self-driving cars. Their share price also plummeted to around 12% down at the same time.
This is despite both companies delivering healthy revenues and really good profits. From looking into it further, it is the weakness of the dollar that is causing the problem with their respective share prices (they are both European companies that export lots). How was I to know? Clearly professional investors didn’t know either, otherwise they wouldn’t have sold when their profits were announced.
I have concluded that I have bought at the peak of the market. Half of me wants to get out before I lose more, but the other half wants to stick, because I do believe in the company’s potential – Infineon at least.
It is a lesson learnt. But not at all off-putting – I have considered buying shares in both Norweigan and Nvidia earlier this year (not enough money), which have respectively jumped 40% and 20% since I considered them. I have also considered buying shared in Facebook and Tencent which have remained broadly flat since I considered. So I am not overly dumb – just not in control of all the information.
I’ve also got quite into crowd-funded investments, but just doing small £100 investments.
So far I have invested in a company called Movem, which are a passporting system for renting – something I’ve long wished for, a Chinese food delivery company called Zing Zing – and the company I work for, Lovespace.
This weekend, I’m considering investing in The Five Points Brewery Company, who seem increasingly on-point and there is definitely money in good beer, and Own The Look, who are apparently the next ASOS but their clothes seem too expensive to me and occasionally a bit out-there – certain for mass-consumption, but what do I know, I’m a man. Any women reading want to tell me what they think, I’d be grateful.
What would Donald Trump do?
Anyway, I’m enjoying it, despite losing – it isn’t money I cannot afford to lose, and even if you had invested in the stock market at previous peaks, you still would make more money than any other common investment.