We are halfway through Team Minted’s share-picking competition and the value of my investment experience is becoming clear. Twenty plus years of financial journalism and I'm second to last on the results table. Worse, I am 6.5% down. So of my initial stake of £3.00 (one pound per share, come on it’s just for fun!) I will only get back £2.80.
My only consolation is that Darling Son is bottom of the table with minus 7.5%. And he chose perennial winner Apple, a slam-dunk in the run-up to Christmas, surely? Although this is not his worst performer. That honour goes to Tesla, the American electric car firm, whose chief, Elon Musk, has a private life the equal of any Kardashian’s. Perhaps that’s the problem.
I thought I would be playing it safe in the wake of Brexit with old stalwarts like drug company Glaxo and Marmite-manufacturer Unilever. I was wrong. As was the rest of the investing world. It seems we kicked off the competition in a short-term stock market high. The FTSE 100 index (the barometer for shares) was hovering just over the sunny 7,000 level when we started in late October. Since then it’s gone in one direction – downwards.
In fact, only three out of the family’s 12 picks have gone up. Two of those are in Mr Minted’s first-placed portfolio: Lloyds Bank and Majestic Wine. This might tell us something about the state of the British economy ie everyone is borrowing and drinking a lot. And, if they’ve got money, they’re getting the hell out of here. Easyjet, chosen by Dear Daughter, is the only other riser.
It’s hard to enthuse the children about shares when their value is going the wrong way. I suppose it’s demonstrating that investments can go down as well as up. We’ve got a few weeks yet until the competition ends and who knows what could happen? It’s only a paper loss until you have to sell and that’s another important lesson: investing for the long term gives you more chance of making money.
Check out our guide to investing for children here. All share prices courtesy of Hargreaves Lansdown.