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Investing in my 20s – how I invested £50 a month while completing my apprenticeship

HL client Anna, shares her story into investing and how investing a small amount regularly can make a big difference.

Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

This article is more than 6 months old

It was correct at the time of publishing. Our views and any references to tax, investment and pension rules may have changed since then.

We recently spoke to Anna, 22, from Hertfordshire, who opened a Stocks and Shares ISA with us almost two years ago after deciding she wanted to do more with her savings. Although she previously thought she didn’t earn enough to be investing, she quickly found that just a small amount a month made a big difference.

Anna’s story shows how investing regularly can make a big difference, but it shouldn’t be used as personal advice. Investments rise as well as fall in value, so you could get back less than you invest. It’s important that you understand whether it’s right for you. If you’re not sure, ask us about financial advice.

A photo of HL client Anna

What did you think about investing before deciding to invest yourself?

“The main thing for me is that I thought you had to earn loads of money to even start, so I hadn’t even thought about it while on an apprentice wage. When I knew I wanted to save some money I opened a Cash ISA, like a lot of my friends, thinking it would be the only option.

I also thought you had to know a lot about investing and that it would be extremely risky. I imagined trading shares to be men in suits in the city making deals over the phone and having to check every 15 minutes at all hours.”

Why did you start investing?

“I had my Cash ISA with a well-known bank that I’d been saving small amounts into when I could, but seeing the tiny amounts of interest accumulating in there was quite disheartening. I wondered if there was any way I could make more money, even on a low salary.

A family member had recently started investing and told me I should look into it. At first I thought it was ridiculous because I had no idea about trading and didn’t have much money. But I decided to research it anyway.

I came across HL’s website and I recognised the name and was shocked to find you only needed a £100 lump sum to put into a Stocks and Shares ISA, or just £25 monthly direct debit.”

How did you find investing to begin with?

“I found buying shares a bit complicated but started reading about investing in funds and realised you could invest just a small amount of money and leave it to potentially grow. I didn’t realise that you could invest without buying individual shares which made it seem much more accessible and easier.

Although I had very limited knowledge about stocks and shares, the fund ideas provided by HL and a bit of my own research covered everything I needed to know to feel comfortable to switch my savings into my Stocks and Shares ISA.”

What do you invest in and how?

“I started off with one fund that I’d researched and saw on the Wealth Shortlist and then a family member recommended two more funds, which happened to be on the list too.

As I grew more confident and knowledgeable about investing, I decided to buy my first share. I didn’t understand some of the terminology at first, but I was able to speak to someone at HL on the Helpdesk who talked me through it.

I then downloaded the app and find it really useful to check on my investments when I need to.”

Now you’ve been investing for nearly two years, how do you see it compared to when you started?

“I see it as great for long-term savings and it has done way more for me than putting my money only in cash. I feel more in control of my own money and my future savings. It’s not as inaccessible as I thought, and I try and recommend it to a lot of my friends who had similar preconceptions as me.”

What are your top tips for people in your position who might want to invest?

“Even a little bit every month makes a difference. If you don’t have lots of money, you’d be surprised how quickly something like £25 or £50 a month makes.

If you’re unsure, start off with funds. You can see what type of thing you’re investing in, but you don’t need to do any of the hard work.

I also found it quite useful to keep updated with what’s going on in the investment world by signing up to HL’s insight emails. They give you ideas too and explain investing in companies in a not too complicated way.

It might seem daunting, but you don’t have to know as much as you think you do, and you’ll learn a lot quickly on the way.”

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What are your next steps?

“Now that I’m finishing my apprenticeship, I’m looking at opening a Lifetime ISA so I can save up for my first home.”

Feeling inspired?

Feeling inspired to start investing? We offer lots of different accounts suited to different people, including the Stocks and Shares ISA Anna began investing with. To find out what account could be right for you, visit our compare accounts page.

Compare accounts

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Important notes

This article isn’t personal advice. If you’re not sure whether an investment is right for you please seek advice. If you choose to invest the value of your investment will rise and fall, so you could get back less than you put in.

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