Investing is about lifestyle
Don't be fearful of investing - it can turn dreams into reality
"I've just sold my AstraZeneca shares." Those were the first words my wife uttered at the breakfast table. This is not a conversation we would have had a few years previously. With a background in nursing, as a sister-in-charge of an intensive care unit and then working for a hospice at home charity, you would have been hard pushed to find someone with less interest in the world of finance. About four years ago that all changed.
My wife knew I ran regular investment seminars and eventually curiosity got the better of her. That was a turning point. Not only did she learn about the principles of investing, more importantly she discovered these skills were well within her capabilities. Within a matter of days she had closed all her savings accounts and opened a share dealing account. As she noted at the time, "Why should I accept pathetically low interest rates when I can earn far superior returns investing in shares!" She has never looked back.
The really important point to appreciate about investing is that, bizarre as it might sound, investing isn't all about money - it's also about lifestyle. It can turn dreams into reality; whether it be a luxury holiday, an idyllic country cottage or something more modest such as a day being pampered at a spa, investing can make it happen. Many people are fearful of parting with their money, but you should embrace the opportunities investing offers; not shy away from them.
And so we return to the breakfast table. "Why are you selling?" I asked. "It was a rule you taught me on the course - sell on the rumour. Well, there's a rumour Pfizer wants to buy AstraZeneca. Not surprisingly, the share price has gone up in anticipation of an attractive bid. The only way the share price can now move is down if the deal should fall through, so I've sold my shares." No numbers, no intricate charts - all it took to make the decision was some simple logic.
Within a couple of days, Pfizer called off the bid and, just as predicted, the share price crashed. And now comes the lifestyle bit - my wife's next statement. "Do you know what I'd like to do with the proceeds? I'd like us to take my mum somewhere lovely on holiday." That's the real attraction of investing.
Don't be frightened of investing - take time out to learn a few key principles. Investing can open the doors to the lifestyle you've always dreamed about. The really good news is the skills you need to be a successful investor are well within your grasp. As I often say to delegates, "You don't need to be a world-class chef to prepare a great meal - you just need to be good at the basics."