Investing in uncertain times with Nick Hedley

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When days are dark, friends are few. But for some EasyVSTRs who invest for the long term during times of uncertainty, it's a matter of holding on for dear life (HODL) ✊ to buy the dip for long term gains 📈


"Find ETFs and stocks that you think have good long-term prospects and don't give in to the temptation to sell them when markets are tough," says Nick Hedley.

Nick Hedley is a Financial Mail journalist who studied economics. With years of investing experience, he has been one EasyVSTRs who has been keeping an eye on trends, which at times help him build his portfolio. Focused more on exchange-traded funds (ETFs), for Nick, the Satrix Nasdaq 100 ETF (STXNDQ) is a good option for US tech exposure, as is the Sygnia Itrix 4th Industrial Rev Global Equity ETF (SYG4IR).

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"I also like the Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT) as it provides good exposure to a structural trend that's underway in the global economy - green energy storage," he adds.

If you are wondering what some of the main focus areas in his ETF stock picks are, these included the fees and stocks in the ETF. To mitigate risk, less concentration is the way. "Too much concentration of risk is another important consideration. If one stock accounts for a big portion of an ETF, that's not ideal."

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Spreading his risks between ETFs and stocks, Nick also says he is holding on to his investment in MTN. "I see this as a good bet on Africa's middle class," he says.

"South Africa's abnormally low savings rate has always been a concern, which is why it's encouraging that more people are starting to invest."

For new investors who are still thinking of ways to get started, Nick says: "Try to be consistent about putting money into your EasyEquity account. If you can top it up every month, that's great. Use ETFs to build your portfolio. Find ETFs and stocks that you think have good long-term prospects and don't give in to the temptation to sell them in tough markets. Hold them for as long as possible.

“Finally, try to align your investments with underlying trends - technology, green energy and healthcare are the sectors that have the best long-term prospects."

It may not have been possible to be an investor 10 years ago, especially for an ordinary citizen with an average to low income. But "EasyEquities has played an important role in democratising access to the stock market," says Nick. "It's possible with a simple start."

Some of Nick's tips are:

  • If you're just starting out, put some money into one or two exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This gives you immediate and cheap exposure to a whole basket of stocks, which means more diversification and less risk. Keep adding to these ETFs every month.
  • Make the most of your Tax-Free Savings Account - fill this up before using other accounts.
    Once you have a decent amount in these ETFs, start adding some side bets (individual stocks) if you feel confident enough. There are plenty of free investment newsletters out there and valuable tips on social media to help get you started.
  • Don't trade too often. Buy good quality companies that have bright futures, and hold those shares for as long as you possibly can.
  • Be patient, and don't check your portfolio too often.

To invest for his future, Nick has also expanded his investment journey to include a retirement annuity.

Read more on investing for your future here or below

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