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Please note that tax, investment, pension and ISA rules can change and the information and any views contained in this article may now be inaccurate.

We round up the education series to date with links to all the articles

Our first-time investor series is nearing its conclusion. Having covered the basics of how to start investing through funds and then moving on to individual stocks, we will round off the series in 2021 with an in-depth look at how to analyse a company’s accounts.

Below is a reminder to readers of the wealth of topics already covered. Links are included should you want to go back to any articles you may have missed or want to share them with friends and family who plan to take the plunge with investing. All the articles are free to read.

Getting started with investing

What to think about and how to do it. The difference between saving in a cash account and investing and the benefits of compounding.

The difference in risk between cash, bonds and shares

Understanding how you might be able to hit certain investment goals.

Opening an investment account and making your first transaction

Getting started with investing is a lot easier  than you might think.

How much do charges affect your returns?

We run through some examples.

How much should you invest?

We also look at the difference between lump sum and regular investing.

Which account should I use: an ISA, SIPP or dealing account?

We explain the difference between the three main accounts.

Everything you need to know about investment funds

Funds, investment trusts and ETFs are the best places to start if you’re new to investing.

What are stocks and shares?

We discuss the case for buying equities and some of the risks involved.

Everything you need to know about bonds

We look at the world of fixed income and its pros and cons for investors.

How and why you might invest in property

The pros and cons of the asset class and the different ways of getting exposure.

Most commodities and all cryptocurrencies do not suit new investors

Why they should only be considered once you’ve built a core portfolio of funds that invest in stocks and bonds, and you have money you can afford to lose.

Everything you need to know about picking ETFs

How ETFs work, the costs, choices and popular products among retail investors.

How to choose the right investment fund for you

They are like a box of chocolates, full of different things that can leave a nice taste.

The beginner’s guide to picking investment trusts

How to compare trusts and why they have advantages over investment funds.

Understanding bonds and how to invest in them

Adding bonds to an investment portfolio increases diversification and provides more secure sources of income.

How to build your first investment portfolio

Portfolios should be thought as a team, where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

How to maintain a portfolio

Keeping your investments well balanced is easier than it sounds if you follow some basic principles.

What are shares and how do you make money from them?

Back to the basics of what share ownership really means.

Why do companies join the stock market and which ones can I invest in?

We examine the ‘menu’ of shares from which an investor can choose

Creating a strategy for a beginner stock investor

Getting to grips with investment strategy basics

Great places to find investment ideas and do research

Where you should look for information to support investment decisions

Does broker research add value and how can I access it?

We look at the various ways of accessing company reports and debate their value

Finding out what’s moving up and down in the markets

Where to see movements in stocks, commodity prices, currencies and bonds

How the stock market works

How the stock market brings buyers and sellers together

How do I buy a share?

The mechanics of making a stock transaction

What moves a share price

Forecast-beating results, game-changing contract wins and takeovers are just some potential catalysts

Important signals: why smart investors study director deals

Actions by people at the top can tell you how they view a company’s prospects

How companies raise cash and what it means for investors

The ways in which listed firms fund their growth

Explaining stock options and warrants and why they are important

These instruments can have an impact on ordinary shares

Six simple rules for successful investing

How to rein in your emotions and avoid classic mistakes

What the price-to-earnings ratio means

The most commonly used way to value a company’s shares

Using the PEG ratio to find growth at a reasonable price

This metric helps you to identify the trajectory of earnings

Price to book can be a good way to value banks and housebuilders

The valuation metric often used by companies seeking M&A opportunities

How to calculate enterprise value and when to use it

It is particularly important in takeover situations

Using return on capital employed to identify quality stocks

How to calculate the metric and what it means

Cash flow is a figure that can’t be fudged

Why it’s important to focus on cash

How much debt should a business have?

When comparing companies it’s important to understand how they are financed

The importance of company management when stock picking

Judging a company’s management requires a different skill-set

You should always study a company’s shareholder base

It is worth finding out about the big investors in any of your holdings

Engaging with companies via AGMs, investor events and more

There are numerous events that enable shareholders to hold firms to account

How to navigate an annual report (and why it is full of great information)

Investors should consider these publications as essential reading


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