How I invest: the ‘millennial money therapist’ helping younger people
It is always pleasing to come across young people interested in the world of investing. Building up a healthy savings habit early in life can reap significant benefits later on, and having the right attitude from the start can make a big difference between knowing you need to save and actually doing it.
Josette, a 25-year-old from Kent, is intent on building up her wealth and helping others in the process.
She’s called a ‘millennial money therapist’ by her friends after empowering them with financial wisdom. ‘There is a huge push for younger people to start talking more about their finances and most of my friends don’t feel confident about saving, let alone investing – but there is a definitely a shift in the way people are thinking,’ she says.
Her money-making journey began aged three when she charged family members 5p each to watch a magic show. On her eighteenth birthday, Josette’s parents helped her to open an ISA with a £5,000 gift that was put into an investment fund. She took the next step at age 21 by buying her first share, which was fashion group Burberry (BRBY).
‘I was talking to a friend who’d been investing for a while and he suggested that I invest a small amount into a company which I would actually like to follow. That helped me learn the ropes and start to become familiar with the jargon that comes with investing,’ says Josette. ‘It was only an £80 investment but I ended up making a £28 profit when I sold.’
A MONEY MAESTRO
The money maestro has slowly built up knowledge about investing and personal finance through her job for a financial services company.
She admits to being a big spender but is rigorous about putting a certain amount of cash each month into her investment accounts, spread across a Stocks and Shares ISA, a Lifetime ISA and a SIPP (self-invested personal pension).
The latter two both hold investments in Fundsmith Equity (B41YBW7) which is Josette’s best performing holding. ‘This was my original SIPP investment which I’ve contributed to each month. I was looking for a stable core investment to build my portfolio around; so far it has been terrific,’ she says.
FOCUS ON SUSTAINABILITY
Having grown up on a farm and more recently moved to the bright lights of London, Josette explains that she has started to align her investments with her personal beliefs.
She is investing in more sustainable and ethical investments such as Stewart Investors Worldwide Sustainability Fund (B7W3061), which is her second best portfolio performer.
This investment fund invests in companies which should benefit from, or contribute to, the sustainable development of the countries in which they operate. Names in its portfolio include consumer goods giant Unilever (ULVR) and US healthcare IT company Cerner.
More recently she added money to Lyxor Global Gender Equality ETF (GEND), an exchange-traded fund which tracks an index of 150 companies around the world that score highly for gender equality. The index includes beauty company Avon Products, chocolate maker Hershey and Spanish utility group Iberdrola.
Once a month Josette and her friends plan a themed evening where one of them educates the others about a certain topic, typically linked to their jobs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, her turn was about how ISAs and SIPPs worked.
‘We like to share information about something we feel is important. One of my friends is training to be a doctor so they taught us a few useful medical things. Another is an office manager who gave us a lesson on first aid. And I talked to them about saving and investing as they all said they lacked confidence and knowledge about this subject matter.’
FIGHTING AGAINST A KNOWLEDGE BLOCK
Josette says she is the only person in her social group who has started to invest, although there is interest among her friends despite them being nervous. They’re taking one step at a time by opening cash savings accounts.
‘In my social circle there is absolutely a knowledge block about investing. My friends can handle the pressure of hospital wards as junior doctors and teach a classroom of five-year-olds, but as soon as you mention investing and pensions they shrink back into their seats,’ she reveals.
‘Unless they learn about it, investing is definitely something they’d either leave to their dads or other halves – I even manage my boyfriend’s Lifetime ISA and Stocks and Shares ISA.’
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