How I got into stocks and shares investing

Written by Rebecca O'Connor on 15th March 2017

This post is an extract from the newly published Good Guide to Stocks and Shares ISAs


I started investing in stocks and shares through an ISA about 18 months ago.

I was motivated by the poor returns on cash ISAs; the desire to complement my pension savings with long-term ISA investments; the desire to put my money where my mouth is (ie. in companies with a focus on sustainability) and because I just finally felt ready.

I was 34 and I had about £100 to £150 a month spare to invest. I chose a platform and set up a direct debit for £100 to invest in the WHEB Sustainability fund. It is the only fund I invest my ISA money into at the moment because it ticks all of my boxes: it is a B Corp, meaning it meets reasonably strict criteria on its impact, and it has performed well since launch.

The FTSE 100 has returned 23 per cent over the same five-year period, so WHEB is doing well so far.

The performance of the WHEB Sustainability fund

The fund invests in sustainable transport, health and energy efficiency, with companies such as Canadian Solar, Johnson Matthey and Kingspan.

I opened my ISA not with any particular purpose in mind – but it is for the long term and I hope will complement my pension savings. I am not using it for the kids – we save into their Junior ISAs too.

I find it quite hard to work out how much to invest in all of the different ISAs available and it isn’t easy choosing a fund when you don’t really know what differentiates them. There are literally thousands and they can all sound a bit samey.

So for me, investing in line with my values actually makes it easier to choose where to put my cash, as well as motivating me.