Freetrade diary #2 – February

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Previous article – 6 U.K shareholder perks you may not be aware of

Freetrade referral link – sign up and earn yourself a free share worth up to £200

Disclaimer – None of what I write constitutes as advice but merely serves as a record of what I have decided to invest in personally. You should always do your own research before investing in any financial product or vehicle.

Disclaimer 2 – I am not, nor do I purport to be, a super duper stock picking whizz kid. There will not be deep analysis in this post, it’s just merely a summary of my thoughts around my decision to buy the certain stocks that I have bought. 

Well that was an interesting final week of February.

The Coronavirus has been in the news now for well over 2 months now but the stock markets across the globe have largely turned a blond eye to any significant reactions.

This week, however, it would appear the markets have, at last, woken up, opened their morning newspapers and reacted as everyone assumed they would a number of weeks ago.

Performance wise, it was shaping up to be a decent month; I purchased holdings in both Pets at Home (PETS) and Biffa (BIFF) which shot up almost as soon as I bought them (my rational for these purchases are below*).

But since then it’s been a lot like I’m sure many of you have experienced: red, red and more red.

Nay bother, we keep ticking along and averaging down. If we believed in these investments before all this for the long term, a global tickly cough (hmm) isn’t going to dissuade me from my original plans.

I received my two free shares from two kind readers signing up and depositing money. These were Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA) and JPM European Small Companies.


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I’ve decided to keep these as a free share index fund of my own.

One final thing I want to mention before my purchase rationale, is still the unreliability of Freetrade that will continue to prevent me from moving my main investment portfolio to them.

Twice this month, on the 10th and 11th I have had share orders fail due to ‘technical issues with one of our partners’. This has happened a number of times previously too and provides a little uncertainty with an otherwise fantastic app (more detailed analytics would be amazing though pleaaaseeee).

* Pets at Home (PETS)

Pets at Home have been one of the few outstanding performers of retail (albeit fringe retail really) during the death of the high-street years.

PETS have no only weathered the online storm of retail, they’ve thrived as the U.K’s leading pet care go-to.

With expansions into grooming services (The Groom Room) and vetinary practices (Vets4Pets) and partnerships with charities such as Cats Protection, PETS are giving people a reason to visit their stores whether they need puppy poop bags or not.

Recent past results have seen them post record trading days both on and offline, while customer sales, pre-tax profit and cashflow all saw a healthy increase in 2019. Hopefully this puts them in a good position to continue to excel in 2020.


*Biffa (BIFF)

The U.K’s leading waste management company, Biffa operate a number of services in waste treatment and collection, landfill operations and recycling sector.

They manage both corporate bin collections and council collections making them well spread in both private and public sectors.

Good subscription based revenue model for consistent income.

Proof is in the pudding with an average of 8.5% revenue growth over the last five years, alongside recent investments in a food-grade recycling plant. Recycling levels have seemed to stagnate recently, but Biffa’s reputation and size puts them in a good position to capitalise on a world increasingly aware of how we treat and dispose of our waste.


Finally, Freetrade are now offering FREE instant trades. I have no idea how they’re making money – hence my hesitance to move my main investment portfolio over – but this is big news and disrupts the retail investment space even further. Interesting times ahead!

2 thoughts on “Freetrade diary #2 – February

  1. The failed orders due to ‘partners’ shouldn’t happen now that everyone has been migrated onto Freetrade’s own dedicated platform.

    I love how all instant trades are now free and imagine that the proposed Alpha/premium account will include things like stop/loss orders and other more advanced investing tools, which the more serious investors have been asking for.

    At some point, they will introduce SIPPs so that will be another earner, as is their ISA.


    1. That’s good then, I have had it a number of times and although it’s never been for big amounts I can imagine it being quite frustrating if you’re someone who uses Freetrade as their main account.

      It’s certainly an interesting time for Freetrade and very exciting to watch and be part of the process as a fairly early customer. Once they start getting even bigger I wonder how much market share they’ll take from the likes of HL and AJ Bell etc.

      Liked by 1 person

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