Welcome to my profile page.
My name is Steven Dotsch, I am 52, married with two teenage sons and was born in Amsterdam.
From a very young age, I learned the value of money and saving. In fact, I started saving money when I was only five and started to invest in Dutch shares when I was fourteen.
Since then, I have invested in different types of companies, both in The Netherlands, as well as in the United Kingdom, including in:
- large-cap companies
- mid-cap companies
- small cap companies
- tiny-cap companies
- growth companies
- dividend companies
- unlisted companies
Following university, in Amsterdam, I pursued a career in merchant banking in The Netherlands, and, since 1989 I have been living and working in London. Click here for my LinkedIn profile.
I left the City in 1998. Since then, I have been involved with a number of internet and mobile telecoms ventures, including Ukonlineinvesting.com -a now defunct website which was aimed at longer term investors interested in making better informed investment decisions.
Early 2011, I launched Dividend Income Investor.com a subscription-only website dedicated to sound stock selection and the ability to recognise value using dividend yields in order to identify undervalued and overvalued dividend paying companies.
I don't live forever . . .
Over the years, I haven’t been terribly impressed or satisfied with the advice received from independent financial advisors nor with the returns from the funds they suggested or, more generally, in the returns of several private pensions I am a member of.
I have now taken most of my own and my family’s share portfolios and pensions ‘private’. I have become my own unpaid 'investment manager'. I am an avid reader of investment related books and journals honing my finance and investment skills further.
I am all for a "trans-generational" investment approach
I developed my own trans-generational savings and investment plan and I have become the first early retirement investor.
Since I have taken the reins of our own early retirement plans, I believe my wife and I are well on our way to retire rich and perhaps even early. Though as I only started to implement my own plans less than 10 years ago, it may well take a bit longer than if I had started much, much earlier.
Luckily my boys have still 50 years or so to go before the current official State Pension Age. So I am not worried at all that they will be able to retire, if they wish, much earlier and richer than I will.
So, what is my investment strategy than?
I am reluctant to give specific financial or investment advice, in fact I am not allowed to do so, but I am happy to tell you the type of investment ‘strategies’ I use.
Of course to put all this in some perspective you also have to know what kind of emotional or behavioural stance I take in all this.
Controlling risk, if possible
I do not believe that using a ‘risk-free’ approach of putting all my surplus money into a savings account will secure me a comfortable retirement.
I for one, have never come across a savings account millionaire.
I believe that in order to secure a comfortable retirement for my wife and I, I will need to take some ‘risk’. As my kids have 30 or 40 years to go before early retirement, I believe they can afford to consider a much higher ‘risk'.
No exotic trading strategies, at least not anymore for me
I do not regard the stockmarket as some kind of cash machine that allows me to create automatic long-term wealth.
While for some people it may work –I rather like to sleep easy overnight-
I am not particularly interested in spread betting, CFD trading and other similar options - all, in my view, higher risk trading strategies. I am an investor not a day trader.
Experience has taught me that I have more success as a longer-term investor in stock and shares, than as a short-term trader of assets in general, including foreign currencies, commodities and the like. However,
I am unlikely to buy and hold shares forever.
The market is always right . . . Not
In terms of market cycles, I never believe that there are ‘special times’.
I realise that all times are different. Of course, history may repeat itself in some form or other, but in most cases the trigger and/or the outcome is likely to be somewhat different.
I am a firm believer in long-term trends and cycles. Not only economic or financial but also demographic.
Cash-rich, asset-poor, or vice versa -it all depends
I do not mind periods when I am fully or partially invested in cash or cash equivalent, commercial property, gold or other commodities, or solely invested in stocks and shares.
I believe each market has its ‘time’ at some stage. I also realise that being in any market at the wrong time can be lethal and I try to act accordingly. I try to rotate types of investments, sectors and geographies.
All types of assets can and will go up, but also down!
I also realise that prices of any asset can go ‘up’, but are also likely to go ‘down’, and that I can lose a lot of money.
Personally, I like the prices of assets such as shares to be ‘down’, in particular when dividend yields are high and I am cash rich. I am in favour of the ‘Buy One Get One Free’ philosophy, so that I can increase my share holdings at relative low share prices.
Only interested in real value, i.e. dirt cheap assets
I do not like buying shares (or any other asset) when real value is hard to find and when dividend yields are low. Currently, I am far less concerned about the market value of my portfolio than I am about the future and security of my various income streams.
Of course all in a tax-free environment
Where possible, I concentrate our portfolios in a tax-free environment such as a stock and shares Individual Savings Account (ISA) and Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP).
At the end, we just get paid, right!
I see investing in stocks and shares very much as a way of other people paying me a relatively secure future cash stream. I primarily invest in stocks and shares to generate an income, preferably a high and increasing one, rather than securing a capital gain.
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