About – My Story

Here’s my store………

I grew up near Glasgow, but whilst my pals were obsessing about Celtic or Rangers, at 13 years old I became totally fascinated by the war of words employed in corporate takeover battles in the pages of the Glasgow Herald and The Scotsman, our local daily broadsheets.

The Executive team at WhichInvestmentTrust.com, Dice McCairn, CEO, Tracy our Accountant, Jacqueline head of marketing at a recent function.
The Executive team at WhichInvestmentTrust.com, Dice McCairn, CEO, Tracy our Accountant, Jacqueline head of marketing at a recent function.

My appetite became insatiable and I would sneak off to John Menzies at lunch time, to pour over the business pages of the FT, Times & Independent that my pocket money wouldn’t stretch to.

This sparked my lifelong interest/obsession with the stock market and investing.

I didn’t view this as a career though. I thought it more like a hobby like Celtic was for my pals. So I moved through a brief career in Social work and then the dance music industry, where I owned a record shop in Soho and record label for several years.

I am so amazing, I know it all…….

As a young man before the dot com boom, and having had an interest in investing for several years from age 13, I decided to put all that knowledge to good use and invest my savings in the stock market.

How did I do?…………..I made loads, everything I touched on the stock market turned to gold, how cool was I?……………I’ll answer that, I was amazing!

Then came the Dot com crash and I wasn’t amazing any more. I was more like the emperor with no clothes.

Humble Pie

 If at first you don’t succeed…….

“Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

“It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates

I didn’t give up – I kept investing, but I realised it wasn’t good enough just to have an encyclopaedic memory of the FTSE 250 (that’s the 250 biggest companies on the stock market), I tried to become smarter by studying investment theory, and reading books.

Warren Buffett, the famous value investor influenced by Ben Graham.
Warren Buffett, the famous value investor influenced by Ben Graham.

I learned that investing isn’t a craft like carpentry, it’s something you need to persevere at.

But – that doesn’t mean that it has to be too difficult.

There are tried and tested simple investment formulas, such as Warren Buffet’s Value investment style, that work very well.

I changed careers from the music industry to something financial, and got a job at a top 10 accountancy firm working in their financial services division, where I trained with the CII (Chartered Insurance Institute), this gave me the opportunity to study investment theories and be tested on my knowledge.

Enough about me………Time-value-of-money

I’d always been aware that most of my friends and family didn’t get investing, indeed they believed it to be beyond their ken. But as I grew in to my 30’s I could also see how this fear of the investment jungle was damaging people s long term futures.

My friends, honest.
My friends, honest.

I had friends who hadn’t started pensions yet, even when they were offered to them by their employers on amazing terms. They just didn’t think that a 30 year old needed to worry about that yet.

They didn’t understand the importance of time when saving for retirement. They’d never heard of the phrase that’s drummed in to everyone who studies investing ‘time value of money’.

I encountered a frustration when I discussed investing with people because although the concepts behind investing and saving are simple, the language I and much of the industry employed to communicate them, were an obstacle to peoples understanding and engagement.

Tell the world……….well no, just the UK, Eire & New Zealand*

This is the germ of a thought that sparked WhichInvestmentTrust.com. I thought if I could write a blog and challenge myself to explain investing concepts in away ordinary people could engage with and understand, I’d put an end to my frustration, but more importantly I might just begin to help people to help themselves.

When I started the website it was the only website I could find devoted only to investment trusts.

This shocked me because at the time it was a near £100 billion industry and, much more importantly, investment trusts perform better than the their open ended fund equivalent, according to independent research, most of the time.

So why do investment trusts not get the same press or amount of investors money? …………because they are companies themselves with restrictions on the sort of promotion they can do and more importantly, at the time (and until very recently), financial advisers were paid by commission. Investment trusts didn’t pay commission whilst the open ended fund alternative did. 

So, despite the fact they didn’t tend perform as well (there are exceptions, and there exceptionally good performing open ended funds), the open ended fund industry has grown to become over six time the size of the investment trust industry in the UK.

So this is how we’ve got here. If you’ve read this far I hope that you will join me for the rest of the journey.

*UK investment trusts are marketed in these three territories only.

Dice McCairn, Publisher & Editor, WhichInvestmentTrust.com
Dice McCairn, Publisher & Editor,
WhichInvestmentTrust.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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