The first thing to say is I am no financial expert - I’m just an ordinary Joe, a self-taught private investor. I have been investing since the late 1980s during which time I have made many mistakes.

If I can help others to avoid making some of the same mistakes, then doing this blog will be worthwhile. I do not pretend to know everything about investing but I feel I now know enough to achieve a reasonable level of return from my investing that is OK for me.

As I am now retired from full time employment, I have more time to spend with family and friends, to write articles for the blog.

This is my personal blog about investing. In the earlier years, I was mainly targeting growth however, in more recent times since retiring, the focus has naturally moved more towards capital preservation and total return. I have held a mixture of individual shares and investment trusts but my strategy has evolved and changed as I tried to avoid fossil fuels and embracing more climate-friendly investments (see green tab).

Climate Change

This subject is a concern for many people around the world. In 2022, I was becoming increasingly aware of the growing risks to the financial system posed by the climate crisis and started to de-risk my portfolio. Unfortunately, due to a lack of meaningful action on climate by the G20 and other influential institutions, these risks have continued to increase and by the following year I came to the conclusion that it was probably a good idea to move away from the investment markets and settle for the safe haven of the cash deposit account. Here's a link to the relevant post...

Some Favourites...

Playlist...'Chasing Cars' Snow Patrol, 'Viva la Vida' Coldplay, '500 Miles' Proclaimers, 'Losing My Religion' REM, 'You Really Got Me' Kinks, 'Only the Lonely' Big O, 'Running Up That Hill'  Kate Bush, 'Hello' Adele, 'Sweet Caroline' Neil Diamond, 'Over the Rainbow' Eva Cassidy, 'Hey Jude' and 'She Loves You' Beatles, 'American Pie' Don McLean and 'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen.

Books... 'Catcher in the Rye' Salinger, 'Grapes of Wrath' Steinbeck, 'Lord of the Flies' Golding, Dickens 'Great Expectations', 'Fear Index' Harris, 'Birdsong' Faulks, 'Calum's Road' Hutchinson, 'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' Honeyman.

Films... The Great Escape, Schindler's List, Python's Life of Brian, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Revenant, LA Confidential, Rainman, The Godfather, Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music, The Usual Suspects, Silence of the Lambs, Singin in the Rain, Cabaret, Dirty Harry, Gladiator, Unforgiven, Butch Cassidy..., Dances with Wolves, Goodfellas.

Football Team... Everton (since 1966)

Food... Veggie since 1984. Nothing too fancy or pretentious. A nice curry with naan bread, dahl, samosas, chutneys etc., jacket potatoes with butter and grated cheese, simple roasted veg  (parsnips, beetroot, garlic, onions etc.), chip butties with brown sauce!

Finally, this blog is very much intended as a personal record of my investing journey and should not be regarded as financial advice. Please do your own research into any area of investing you may find of interest. If you are unsure about any aspect of investing, you should consult a suitably qualified financial adviser. For full disclaimer see here

For the time being, I am unable to accept guest posts.

To follow on Twitter:  @ diy_investor_uk


  1. I'm the author of Millionaire Teacher (Wiley 2011). The U.S. publisher has asked me to produce a second edition. It's about investing in index funds and ETFs. I'm looking to profile a British based investor who has built a portfolio of index funds or ETFs. It would just be 4-12 sentences, introducing a real person who invests this way, before I get into the nitty gritty of how to build a portfolio of index funds or ETFs in the UK. This just makes the book more readable. Would you mind if I profiled you? Here's a link to the book, on Amazon UK. Thanks! Andrew Hallam


    1. Andrew,

      Yes, by all means you can use me as an example in your new book. Good luck with it!

  2. Hi John - I would be interested in a post giving your thoughts on investing a large lump sum e.g. an inheritance. Cheers, Michael (Dorset UK)

    1. Thanks for the suggestion Michael, I will certainly add it to my list!

  3. Hi John. Just wanted to say that I have read all three of your books DIY income and pension books and they have helped tremendously to understand the tons of investment options available. The absolute key thing was you describing the pros and cons and the associated charges AND the long term effects of each option, which is the bit that people like me ( even though I'm a software developer in my thirties) find difficult to understand . Your books have potentially helped shape my and ( many others') financial future. Thank you for spending your time creating this content. H

    1. Much appreciated H.

      Good luck with your DIY investing...I hope the current market turmoil resulting from Covid-19 does not upset your plans!