How I started investing, I sold all my securities, and now I want to save up for retirement.

You don’t need millions to start investing, and you can master the basics of financial literacy even at 50. The experience of Andrey Sergeev from Gatchina confirms this. First, he learned to save money and go to the store with a list, then he began to buy shares with the free 2,000 rubles. So he managed to save up the amount, which became a saving reserve when Andrei’s family urgently needed money. And although the assets had to be sold, he is not upset: he is preparing to invest further and is trying to work out his own strategy in order to save up for retirement.

It seems that in the USSR there was no concept of financial literacy at all. And my parents treated money like everyone else then: earned — spent. I grew up the same: at first I spent a few days salary right and left, and then I was stranded until the next month. He worked as an accountant, an auditor in a tax office, a watchman, a civil defense teacher — he never sat idle, but he never even got a deposit in a bank.

Only closer to 50 years old, I finally realized that the money earned should be treated more rationally. He began to keep records of income and expenses, then he began to save. I only went to the store with a list so as not to buy too much. I knew that otherwise I would bring home a cake for tea or another T-shirt — I could not resist.

My emotionality came back to haunt me in 2014, when I invested $ 2,200 in Forex — I thought I could make money quickly and easily. I entered into an agreement with a well-known forex company on auto-follow-up terms, and my account was attached to the trading account of a trader somewhere in the Far East. Depending on his operations, my investments were supposed to rise or fall, but in reality they only fell. I quickly realized my mistake and tried to terminate the contract. But the company was dragging on time, persuading: «It is better to take out a loan and invest again.» As a result, the money was returned to me, but I lost 6 thousand rubles. The most offensive thing was that it was someone else’s money: I took out a loan to pay off another, and after paying off the debt, I still had a free amount.

This is how I learned two things. First, you cannot use credit money in the stock or foreign exchange market. Second, you need to control emotions, no matter what you wanted to buy — a chocolate bar in a store or a stock on the stock exchange.

Around the same time, I realized that if I wanted to become an investor, I had to understand the topic well. It’s like with a profession: you can’t just become an accountant — you first have to study in order to master the theory.

I started attending webinars and online trainings for financial consultants, following bloggers, watching films on the topic: Boiler Room, both parts of Wall Street and The Pursuit of Happyness — the latter helped a lot in terms of motivation. I read a lot: “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George Clayson and “Investing is Easy” by Vladimir Savenok. From these books, I learned that you need to set aside 10% of your income, and generally learned the basics of financial literacy.

In July 2020, I decided that I had enough knowledge to start investing: I was just watching another video on YouTube and realized that I could already explain it to others. So I went from theory to practice.

But it turned out that in reality everything is not so simple. There were no problems with choosing a broker: in a few hours I opened a brokerage account and IIS in Sberbank (later I moved to VTB — he has investment consultants right in our city). But with assets it was more difficult. What to buy? Invest in stocks or bonds? If in stocks, which companies?

In addition, I could not invest a large amount — I started with only 2 thousand rubles a month. Therefore, I began to buy well-known but inexpensive securities into a brokerage account: Sberbank, Alrosa, Segezha Group, MMK, Mechel, Rusal, VTB, Rostelecom, Sovcomflot. I chose them randomly, without any strategy and analysis, along the way trying to figure everything out on my own. But lucky. A couple of months ago, when I finally decided to abandon the shares, I managed to sell them at a profit: by that time, Alrosa shares had grown by 50%, Sberbank — by 30%.

On IIS, I immediately decided to buy ETFs, which I learned about three years ago. I liked the idea of funds: shares of many companies are collected in one share, and this allows you to buy them all, even with a small amount, like mine. I bought and sold, probably, all the funds that are in the FinEx line. But these were not speculations, but an attempt to develop their own strategy. I looked at what funds I can afford for those 2-3 thousand rubles that I have. Tried gold first

In total, I invested in IIS through ETF about 20 thousand rubles, I managed to save another 12 thousand rubles using shares in a regular brokerage account. The yield was about 20%. Recently, I was even able to increase the amount I spent on investments up to 5 thousand rubles.

This reserve helped a lot when money was urgently needed — the mother-in-law became seriously ill. I had to sell ETF and close IIS, sell almost all shares from a brokerage account. But I’m not upset — this is a temporary measure. In a couple of months I am going to reopen IIS, but for now I continue to study. I use this time to tighten up the theory and find my strategy for the long term. Still, I plan to invest 10 years, or even more, and temporary difficulties should not prevent this.

Childhood memories are very motivating: back in Soviet times, I was impressed by foreign tourists. I kept thinking: why can they afford to travel and, judging by their appearance, live well, while our Soviet pensioners — on the contrary? And now I understand that you cannot hope for a state pension.

I regret that I thought about it late, I missed a lot of time: I would have been sitting on a small island now, and not as a guard at the checkpoint two days later. And yet I will continue to invest to secure a decent retirement for myself. My wife supports me in this. Sometimes, of course, she says something like “playing with your stock market, why do you need it,” but still opened a brokerage account — we will invest together.

Recently, our hero bought only two ETFs for stocks — FXDE and FXCN. But such investments can hardly be called a full-fledged portfolio. A portfolio is a set of assets that an investor forms to achieve a specific financial goal.

That is, it is collected taking into account the purpose, term, risk and age of the investor. Therefore, it would be helpful to start with a goal.

For example, a portfolio «For a rainy day» is selected with the expectation that in the foreseeable future a significant part of it should be sold, and the money will be used for unforeseen expenses. This means that the portfolio should be less risky than the one that is formed in order to preserve and increase capital in the long term. This is because a «rainy day» can come unexpectedly, which means that money may be needed at any time. Therefore, when choosing tools, you need to start from the goal. The term is also important — if the term is 1 year, then this is a short-term portfolio, and it will be more conservative than a portfolio with a term of 10 years. In such a short period, it is worth considering portfolios consisting primarily of money market funds, possibly bond funds. Alas, if the horizon is very short, holding stocks in a portfolio is risky.

In addition, it is important to decide on the currency: the dollar portfolio will be collected from funds that in rubles will depend on the exchange rate, and the ruble portfolio — mainly from funds that are not affected by the exchange rate.

In a hero portfolio that consists of two stock ETFs, it is useful to add funds for other asset classes — bonds, gold, money market instruments — for better diversification and risk reduction.

For example, here is how a ruble portfolio with the goal of “For a rainy day” might look like for an investor aged 55 with a moderate level of risk and an investment horizon of 3 years (medium-term portfolio):

The portfolio was compiled using the free

The portfolio is in rubles, since when the goal is achieved, rubles will be needed. In this case, an unfavorable change in the exchange rate is an additional risk that can be avoided using instruments that do not depend on the exchange rate.

The portfolio includes 4 asset classes — stocks, bonds, gold and money market instruments. Such a portfolio will be diversified by asset class and by country, because FXRW is a fund that contains stocks from 7 different countries, including shares of Chinese and German companies. This is a significant degree of diversification.

Gold will make the portfolio more resilient to stock drawdowns, while Eurobonds and the money market fund will reduce overall investment risk. Thus, most of the portfolio is made up of fairly conservative instruments — this is important for savings for a rainy day. In general, the portfolio is balanced and capable of solving the investor’s tasks without exposing him to additional risk.

The information in the text does not constitute an individual investment recommendation. An investor should build a portfolio based on their own goals, timing, risk attitude and age.

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