New investor - general advice?

Hi all,

I’m relatively new to investing with stocks/shares but really enjoying using the app and filling up my watch lists!

I’m here for long term investments plus some smaller ones in a few companies I like the look of.

I’m assuming I should start in the ‘ISA’ part of the app, as I don’t have one anywhere else.

When it comes to the S&P 500 ETFs, probably one of my main to be on the portfolio - is there a preference between the iShares one or the Vanguard one? As I’m in the UK would the Vanguard be a good option - do either of them pay dividends?

I plan on adding small amounts of money over time, in the hope it beats the banks interest rates!

Are there any good websites you recommend for finding out company information e.g. dividends, etc?

I look forward to forcing myself to learn more about it.

Many thanks all. :+1:

Welcome to the forum! (You might have wanted to put this posting in the #trading212-invest category).

In my view IShares and Vanguard S&P 500 ETFs are very similar. I see no advantage of VUSA vs IUSA. They pay about the same dividend. Might be worth having both eventually. In a taxable account you want to have investments with varying degrees of capital gains so you have flexibility when it comes to choosing what to sell. I started with VUSA, but once the pregnant CG got large then I bought IUSA. If I needed to raise cash I would start by selling the IUSA. I have sometimes switched between the two to take advantage of my annual £12500 annual CG tax free allowance, eg realising a gain in VUSA and then switching the proceeds to IUSA.

Obviously this is not an issue in an ISA as capital gains tax does not arise. In an ISA you might want to consider an accumulating ETF for the S&P 500 such as iShares CSP1. This does slightly better as the dividends get reinvested continuously without you having to do so yourself. However, CSP1 has greater bid/ask spread, so if you are trading then VUSA may be better. But as a long term investor the spread will not matter.

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It can be more interesting/fun to hold a portfolio of 20-30 US companies, rather than just a tracker like VUSA, and if in a taxable account, you will pay less total dividend tax. People sometimes argue that it is next to impossible to outperform the market, so you may as well hold a tracker. But surely the same argument means it is also hard to underperform the market - provided you diversify over a range of stocks and sectors, and exercise discipline to keep your costs low.

A good place to compare ETFs is Company dividends can be found on Yahoo finance. Morningstar has great information and charts. Hargreaves Lansdown site provides lots of information about yields and top 10 holdings of funds. You need not have an account with HL to access this information. A nice tool for tracking your portfolio and obtaining real time price data is, particularly if you hold stocks on more than one platform. I enjoy using the Android apps for several of these.

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As someone new to investing, I would recommend you invest in no more than 5-6 different places to begin with. especially as you will only be putting in a little money over time as you see possible. you wont have enough capital to spread it all over meaningfully and you can see good returns even with so few positions.

at least 2 of these should be ETFs which have the “diversity” to keep your money relatively stable and following the market.

I hear lots of talk of having 20-30 companies, but in all honesty I find this too much of a spread and you really don’t need to have more than 10, if you even find enough good companies to reach this number.

highly successful long-term investors have made millions to billions despite holding no more than 5 shares. warren buffet has all his money in Berkshire Hathaway which does the diversification on his behalf, and charlie munger only holds shares in 4-6 companies (4 US listed as of 2019), both are worth billions.

arguably the best method to investing is to find just a few companies of value and invest in them after judging they are 1) under-priced and available at a discount and 2) going to be around for the next 10-20 years.


Wow, thankyou all so much for the replies. @Dao that sounds like a good idea and is pretty much exactly what I plan to do. A couple of ETFs and around 4 ot 5 companies I like the look of. It will be a bit of guess work but I’ll research to the best of my newbie knowledge. (Simply wall st app seems quite good)

I like the look of some home builders, healthcare and a investment company. We’re not talking huge amounts of money yet either so I will see how it goes. Thanks all!

From these two ETFs I have chosen VUSA just because had to take one, both are basically the same.

Another better investment?
Read two or three well recommended books before following anyone advises :wink:

Hi guys,

So I made a small start on Friday 21st Feb.

On Monday the 24th Feb, pretty much all tbe markets had crashed… sorry about that.

Timing isn’t one of my strong points!

I will be following the markets as Corona hits USA and UK and hopefully invest some more when the time is right? Thanks :slight_smile:

don’t try and time the markets. its the worst thing you can try to do as someone new to investing, even the professionals cant time the market correctly most of the time.

the market has already faced a large hit from coronavirus so its safer to slowly funnel money into your chosen shares now, as compare to waiting for another dip that may never come.

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