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Welcome to the Intermediate Level Course. At this level, I'll assume that you've mastered the basic principles of investing.


These articles will explore interesting asset classes such as property and emerging market equities. We'll also be thinking about about how simple tweaks can be made to a portfolio to slash costs.

It's about optimising what you own, and how you own it, to squeeze better value from your assets. 


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Completed this course?


Graduate to advanced level

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Investment platform (Funds)


I personally use Vanguard Investor as my vehicle to make long term investments into index funds. I love:


  • Its low annual platform fee of 0.15% of assets
  • Nil trading fees when buying Vanguard funds.
  • The lowest fund management charges in the industry

Investment platform (Everything else)


I personally chose Cavenish Online when selecting my stockbroker. Cavendish Online doesn't actually provide brokerage services. It acts as an agent to provide discounted fees for a Fidelity account. I picked for:


  • The competitive 0.25% annual platform fee
  • Reasonable trading fees of £10
  • Reputable FundsNetwork platform

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Financial information

I use Google Finance to look-up the price of companies or the unit price of funds. Google Finance also has a useful charting tool which I used to review broad movements in equity indexes.


Investing Books

For beginners, I recommend reading 'How to Read the Financial Pages' by Michael Brett. This title opens up the jargon and terms used casually by stock market veterans. 

Wealth Management

I use Money Dashboard to keep ontop of my portfolio. Money Dashboard automatically updates with your latest balance information by synchronising with hundreds of banks.  Without this tool, it would be quite a painful exercise to measure my net worth on a regular basis.


Protection

I use ZoneAlarm Free Antivirus & Firewall to keep my computer secure from viruses whilst managing my affairs. Fraud and theft is, after all, simply another investment risk we need to manage!