Always buy the haystack never the needle.
As a general rule you should never be that concerned about buying an individual share, quite simply we don’t know what that single she is going to do for us or how it is going to perform.
Now If you multiply the purchase of that single share up to owning many individual shares then that is what a fund manager tries to do, the fund manager but has a portfolio of individual shares and and they hope that the performance of the shares they have purchased via the fund are going to outperform the markets generally.
As you would expect some of these fund managers do out perform the market on a fairly regular basis, however they do that without any consistency and they also charged for it. There is a fund charge.
If you want to buy a needle then allocate separate funds for it. You should take a small percentage of your overall Investment Portfolio and allocate some of that to a needle finding fund, this this is where you make your own investment decisions and choose what shares to buy. Your objective at each stage is to try and outperform the rest of your Investments, if you can do that with any consistency then of course you can be your own fund manager and start to make your own investment decisions.
Until you get to that point you should always buy the haystack and never the needle.
In order to select needle buy shares in companies that produce products and services you understand. An example of this would be to buy shares in Tesco’s if that is the supermarket where you prefer to shop. Perhaps you prefer to use a certain gym or use a certain make/ item of clothing, then of course you could buy shares in that company quite simply because you understand the company and its branding, you also understand its positioning.
Provided that company makes financial sense to invest in and it pays a regular dividend there is no reason why you shouldn’t use part of your money in order to buy shares in that company. by discussing these things with your friends and work colleagues you will also start to get an idea of the brands that they use and the products that they prefer to use these of course will give you an idea of the sort of companies that you can invest in.
That doesn’t mean you should invest in them directly but it will give you a starting point. but it doesn’t apply to products and services it can apply to everything in your life for example the car you drive or your electricity provider the choice is endless but what you are looking for for your needle finding pot is companies that just make sense, if you like the brand then others will also like the brand and that makes the business investable,
You can’t ever time the market but you can always time your investment in that we know full well that whatever the price is today that price will fluctuate. the idea is the wait until the time is right.
Beware of property funds unless the income from them, the yield is excellent and you understand what you are investing in.
Use an asset allocation tool and balance your portfolio at least annually. Remember doubling your money on a Small Part of your portfolio will have an impact on the rest of it.
For example investing in BRIC type funds or in gold and commodities for a small part of your portfolio makes perfect sense if the value of that part of your portfolio forced to nill it’s not a train smash but if it doubles then it will make sense for you.
If you are going to invest in individual shares which you should do just to keep some interest up then use platforms like Dodi or Freetrade. These are app based.
Take an interest in the markets, be aware of what is happening around you understand exactly what your investment returns are on cash and other Investments also focus on dividend income because once that is paid to you it is paid forever, further once it is paid it is yours to keep no one can take that away from you. a fall in the markets does not affect income that has already been paid.