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Investor Views: "It’s Never Too Late to Start Investing"

New investor Judith Pipe may be a grandmother, but this has not stopped her getting the grips with the stock market

Emma Simon 1 March, 2017 | 4:48PM

Judith Pipe is a retired English teacher who by her own admission has “never been interested in investing before”. This changed when she started looking into Junior ISA options for her grandchildren.

She explains: “I have my teachers’ pension, but I never had to make any decisions about where this money was invested. It was all sorted out for me.”

Pipe, who lives in Northamptonshire, says she has always had other financial priorities, such as paying off her mortgage.

“My husband and I had a few investments over the years: we had an endowment mortgage a while, and a couple of other insurance bonds. But I did not make many active decisions towards them,” she said. “We didn’t seem to get particularly spectacular returns, so I wasn’t all that interested. There always seem to be others demands on my time.”

But this has changed over the past decade, thanks to her grandchildren.

“I retired in my early 60s, so I had a bit more time on my hands,” she explained. “But the real change was becoming a grandmother.”

Pipe wanted to start building a nest egg for her granddaughter, with a view to helping towards future university costs or a deposit on her first home. “You realise how tough it’s going to be for them,” she said. “I wanted to try and make a difference.”

Cash Rates Did Not Pay Enough

Initially she started paying into a cash savings account, but decided after a couple of years to look at investments instead, particularly as the interest paid on this account had been reduced. “Every year we seemed to get less. And by this time my son had had another child and my daughter was expecting. I wanted to make sure my money was earning a decent return,” she said.

Pipe found investing bewildering to start with, but after talking through the options with her son, who works for a bank, she opted for a Jump savings plan, which invests into the Witan Investment Trust (WTAN).

Morningstar fund analysts agree this Silver Rated trust has been a strong performer. It has a four star rating, showing it has performed well in recent years, compared to peers.

David Holder, an analyst at Morningstar says: “Witan Investment Trust is a very solid choice for investors seeking core global equity exposure. The process of transition from largely passive to active management has been successfully implemented, and the resultant strategy is now established and executed to good effect for investors.”

This trust adopts an multi-manager approach, which is overseen by the director and chief executive Andrew Bell. Holder adds: “Each underlying manager must be able to add value to the portfolio through stock-picking and adherence to their investment style.” Bell himself can invest up to 10% of the trust’s assets. Holder adds that the trust is “competitively-priced” particularly in relation to open-ended fund-of-funds.

A Global Approach to JISA Investing

Alongside her son, Pipe picked out four more funds for her grandchildren; Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders, Lindsell Train UK Equity, Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth and JP Morgan Emerging Markets, which they invest in via the Hargreaves Lansdown platform.

Her son and his wife make regular contributions into this Junior ISA, but Pipe adds lump sums at Christmas and on her grandchildren’s birthdays.

These funds all have positive performance records. The Stewart Investors Asia Pacific Leaders fund is Bronze rated, and has a five-star performance rating. Despite manager changes in recent years Morningstar continues to view this fund positively, and analysts say it is confident in its thorough investment process.

The JP Morgan Emerging Markets fund also has a Bronze rating from Morningstar analysts, who describe it as a “solid fund backed by considerable investment resources.” Meanwhile, the Lindsell Train UK has a five-star performance rating, and the Marlborough fund has a four-star performance rating.

“We’ve only been putting money in for a few years,” says Pipe. “These are obviously in higher risk areas so I’ve told my son not to check the balances too regularly. Hopefully if we all keep investing for 10 or 20 years they will be sitting on a reasonable nest-egg. I’ve quite enjoyed the process.

“I wish I’d learned more about investing when I was younger. But at my age, I’d rather keep my savings safe, where I can access them if I need to.”

In her own portfolio, Pipe has some Premium Bonds, plus other NS&I products, including their recent Pensioner Bonds.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

Securities Mentioned in Article
Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar
Rating
CF Lindsell Train UK Equity Acc388.90 GBP0.66
JPM Emerging Markets A Acc2.32 GBP1.69
Marlborough UK Micro Cap Growth A Acc709.31 GBP0.50
Stewart Inv Asia Pac Ldrs A Acc GBP641.14 GBP1.11
Witan Ord1,062.00 GBX0.00
About Author Emma Simon

Emma Simon  is a financial journalist, specialising in investment and consumer issues, writing for Morningstar.co.uk