Investor Views: "I Made 500% in Fashion Shares"

Private investor Syed Rizvi has built up an extensive investment and property portfolio, despite not yet hitting his 30th birthday

Emma Simon 8 November, 2017 | 8:05AM

Private investor Syed RizviSyed Rizvi may only be in his late 20s, but he has already build up a substantial property portfolio and invests in a range of shares and funds.

Rizvi has proved himself a savvy property speculator, buying his first house at the age of 19.

“I couldn’t initially afford to get on the property ladder in London. Instead, I bought North of the capital – buying what I could afford, renting it out, and then gradually moving South with later purchases.

“Most people think that the best returns are from the London market. But I’ve seen good yields and a good return on my money from buying property in Northampton and Milton Keynes.” 

As he started to generate an income stream Rizvi then looked to invest this money. “Like most people I started with blue chip shares. But then I started to find more growth opportunity in smaller cap companies,” he explains. “I now have a portfolio of around 40 to 50 shares, which is balanced between shares that are good dividend payers and higher growth stocks.”

Like most investors, Rizvi is in it for the long term, building up a portfolio which will serve has his retirement plan. But the dividend stream has provided flexibility – and he has chosen to take the income when needed.

Blue Chip Stock Picks

Rizvi’s FTSE 100 holdings include Tesco (TSCO), BP (BP.), British Land (BLND), and Sainsburys (SBRY). 

He says: “Growth has been steady but not spectacular. Some of these companies have had difficulties in recent years, but I’ve bought in after bad news”

Tesco shares fell significantly during 2014, after profits at the supermarket fell, in the wake of competition from discount retailers Lidl and Aldi. It was also hit with an accounting scandal.

The equity has a two-star rating from Morningstar analysts meaning it is currently trading above its fair-value estimate of 144p per share. Morningstar analysts are taking a “cautious stance on the company's turnaround prospects”. 

Analyst Philip Gorham points out that Tesco still faces difficult trading conditions, adding that’s its international business is still not sufficiently large to offset the tough UK market.

Rizvi says it has been a similar picture with BP. Share prices plunged in 2010, following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, in the Gulf of Mexico. The share price has been volatile, but it has climbed over the last two years.  

Rizvi says: “I certainly believe in Warren Buffett’s maxim ‘be greedy while others are fearful’. So I have tried to buy into shares when everyone else is selling out. This seems to have worked with BP and Tesco, and I also bought some Volkswagen (VOW3) shares last year, after they plunged as a result of the emissions crisis.”

Smaller Stocks Make Bigger Gains

When it comes to smaller company shares Rizvi has made a fantastic return on his investment in (BOO), the online fashion retailer.

He says: “I bought this company when it was trading at around 30p per share. Then shares rocketed during 2016 and 2017.” 

Today the company’s trading at 204p per share. Not all his smaller company investments have performed as well though. Rizvi says: “I’ve invested in quite a few smaller oil and mining companies and not all of these have worked out. Fortunately, I’ve not invested huge amounts in these companies.” 

Rizvi uses a couple of different online brokers, including AJ Bell and Hargreaves Lansdown. “I think AJ Bell offers value for money, but when you are starting out there is additional support on HL,” he says.

“I’ve always been interested in investing and looking towards the future. I don’t have children yet, but if I do in future, I’d like to have the financially flexibility to spend time with them, and not be at work all the time. I’m always looking for investment opportunities that would give me this kind of financial freedom.”

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
Boohoo Group PLC180.10 GBX-3.09-
BP PLC511.70 GBX-0.60
British Land Co PLC551.80 GBX-1.11-
Tesco PLC197.40 GBX-0.83
Volkswagen AG143.36 EUR-0.08

About Author

Emma Simon

Emma Simon  is a financial journalist, specialising in investment and consumer issues, writing for