“I lost a quarter of my money, but I still want to be a full-time investor”

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“I have almost 50% of my portfolio in cash, which is very unusual,” he said. “The last time I held out this much was in March 2020. But I’ve become a lot more cautious.”

Mr Laurila, whose seven-figure portfolio is down 6% this year, quit his IT job in 2011 to become a professional investor. His experience in technology has not been wasted: he has developed his own algorithm to help him identify the stocks in which he wishes to invest. But he said this technical approach was not enough to deal with the current volatility.

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“The economic environment has changed dramatically, so I had to adapt my strategy,” Laurila said. “Last year, my portfolio was mainly invested in financial services. But this year, we have very high inflation: the last time it reached this level was in the 1970s, when stocks that Doing well were commodities, real estate and other cheap value stocks.I started buying more defensive investments such as AstraZeneca and Sanofi healthcare stocks.

This strategy has saved Laurila from the worst market downturns so far. While global stocks have fallen 11% since the start of the year, his portfolio is down just 6%.

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Rosemary Mortimer, 78, from London, said she also had more cash in her wallet than ever before. Ms Mortimer, who is retired but now monitors her investments daily and trades weekly, said she has two-thirds of her portfolio in cash.

“I sold everything at the end of last year,” she said. “My portfolio was all about growth in themes like technology, but I didn’t think that style could continue to deliver this year. I started buying into the market in January, but focused on “value” areas such as energy and mining.

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“Growth” investors have been hit hard by rising interest rates. This is because as rates rise, government bond yields rise, affecting the relative attractiveness of future equity earnings. Investors are beginning to prefer companies that make money today to those that promise profits tomorrow.

But Jay Edward Smith, a 33-year-old full-time investor from Basingstoke, Hampshire, said he was not deviating from his growth investing style.

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