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Nicola tell us how she used investing to help her buy her first flat, and how she got started […]

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Whilst I was at university, I always took an active interest in personal finance and investing, but it wasn’t really until I started working I had the disposable income to act on it.

I started working at Janus Henderson in 2011 and my role at that time was to market to retail investors. So people like me who were at the start of their investment journey and really wants to get on the ladder to sort of say, OK, what should I do next?

When I first started or before I started, actually, I always thought you probably needed a lot of money to be able to invest. It was for people with a lot of disposable income or a lump sum. And actually it’s not. So, you know, 30 quid that I spent a night out could easily be put towards sort of investing in funds or trusts and that’s why I started to do.

When I started working at Janus Henderson it was part of everyday conversation. So it was ingrained in what we do. And we were you know, we got all the press that would come through and all the trades. And it was just everything that we talked about. It was like, OK, you’ve got the tools to be able to start doing this now.

I was very fortunate to start my professional career, as well as my investment career at Janus Henderson, because I was able to see actually the amount of infrastructure that goes around the, you know, these managers that managing money on behalf of people like me. Actually for investment trusts specifically, they have boards of directors that are there to sort of make sure that the manager is protecting and maintaining that capital and trying to grow that capital on behalf of clients. I mean, that was the biggest thing I saw was actually how much goes into it, how much research goes into that management.

My research process was primarily driven by content consumption to start. Not only around the funds and trusts, but also around the platform side. So I needed to, you know, research companies like Hargreaves Lansdown or AJ Bell and make a decision as to which platform I wanted to use. I actually went with Hargreaves. But you need to make sure that you research the fees and the trusts and the funds that are available on those platforms before making a decision. And then you move on to the investment side.

The biggest reservation I had when I started investing was, OK, well, I’ll lose money on this. Am I going to lose out? And again, actually, if you do your research and you educate yourself and you’re comfortable with the decisions that you’re making, actually you’ve got to have that foresight to remember that that’s actually a long term decision. So I’m thinking three to five years here and you sort of get worried in the short term that you think, is this the right thing to be doing now? Do I need to do it now? But actually maintaining that foresight and thinking, yeah, this is the right decisions is something that was a big hurdle at the start.

I started investing over saving my money largely because I knew I needed to do something. I was never just going to get handed a house. I’m one of six and whilst that’s great growing up, I was never going to get, you know, a big sum of money from my parents to help me. And so I needed to put what I had to work. I’m third in line and the i’m the first to buy a house, something that I’m very proud of particularly when I see all my friends, you know, buying houses with help from their parents, and that’s great, but I’m particularly proud of myself that I’ve been able to do this on my own. And that’s primarily due to me investing and put my money to work and then saving, which tends to give consistency.

My next investment goal is to actually replenish the savings that I have depleted for my flat. It’s quite a disconcerting feeling to think that everything has gone. So that’s my primary aim, is to sort of build that back up. And then hopefully one day I’ll have, you know, get married and have kids and I’ll be able to contribute towards that as well.

The biggest piece of advice I would give to somebody who is at the start of their investment journey is actually just to start it. So take advantage of the amount of information that’s out there, consuming as much as you can read, whatever you can in whatever format that you want. There’s so much out there and actually just get on and do it.