I sold all my free shares.

Previous article – When do you allow yourself to be tempted?

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I’d said I’d never do it and keep them just for the sake of it – but I did it.

I made a small amount of money from the relatively few that I had. This has now gone back into my long-term shares, specifically Unilever as it had dipped below £41 from a high earlier this year of about £43.50.

One of the other reasons I wanted rid of the shares was also just to de-clutter my portfolio page.

Freetrade are still yet to implement a ‘pie-like’ feature that Trading 212 offer. If they had one I’d probably compartmentalise these into their own pie, keep the rest in another as part of my third house deposit pot, and keep Disney on its own as it’s one I intend to keep for multi-decades alongside my funds.

So let’s take a look at how the free shares performed over the time I owned them:

All shares sold on 13 August 2021

Share namePrice at time receivedDate receivedPrice at time soldPercentage +/-
Standard Life (£SLA)£3.177 February 2020£2.87-9.46%
European Small Companies (£JESC)£3.987 February 2020£5.31+33.41%
American Investment (£JAM)£4.1711 March 2020£6.85+64.26%
Scottish American (£SAIN)£3.421 April 2020£5.20+52.04%
Indian Investment (£JII)£4.6615 April 2020£7.84+68.24%
MoneySuper (£MONY)£3.1022 April 2020£2.52-18.70%
Edinburgh Investment (EDIN)£4.3713 May 2020£6.14+40.50%
Team17£7.9216 Dec 2020£7.81-1.38%
Avast£5.3413 Jan 2021£5.91+10.67

That’s an average return of 26.62%. That’s not bad for just over a year from receiving the first one just before the pandemic hit.

“But AMM, that’s only 20 odd quid in profit!”

Firstly it’s technically 50+ quid in profit because I never bought the shares in the first place, but also, I left them as free shares and never added any ‘real’ money to the individual holdings anyway.

So I suppose this could serve as a wider teaching point on investments, especially when we’re only a few years in.

If you’ve only just started investing, but your time horizon is 10/20/30+ years, there is no real point looking at the value of your portfolio.

I suppose it could be fun and a good way to learn and adjust to how the markets fluctuate, but if you’re not going to be needing that money in many decades, it’s much more important to focus your energy on how much you’re contributing and trying to earn more in order to contribute more.

The true teller is also more to do with the percentage than the actual monetary increase or decrease.

A 10% increase on a portfolio is still a 10% increase whether it’s on a portfolio of £1,000 or £10,000. Yes the actual monetary gains will be greater by virtue of their being more money invested, but we’re playing the long game.

Comparing your portfolio to someone who is able to invest a lot more doesn’t help and will just serve to go against the emotional side of investing, and sometimes this can be half the battle.

I try to only look at my portfolio once a month, and that’s only to update the spreadsheet.

However, if you’re ok with the emotional side of investing, and can handle dips in your portfolio, taking a regular peak at the start of your journey can be quite a good teaching tool to understand how the markets work and get used to seeing the value fall and rise.

It’s a long journey. As always you have to be prepared to wait it out.

2 thoughts on “I sold all my free shares.

  1. Good on you for pulling the trigger on your free shares – I occasionally sell the odd one but happy to leave them clogging up my portfolio for now. I know that at some point I will need to do a real simplification exercise but I’m not ready to do that just yet! Some excellent returns on some of those ones you had!


    1. Crazy isn’t it?! Just show how bloated the last year in the markets have become since the initial knee-jerk slip-up back in March/April.
      You seem to have a lot more than me, so your free share portfolio is a lot more fun to keep hold of haha.

      Liked by 1 person

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