I didn’t know what I didn’t know & what I did about that

The fastest way to work out what it is that I don’t know is to forge ahead with a plan until I hit the first hurdle of whatever missing information is required to proceed.

The alternative is to waste a lot of time guessing what it is that I’ll need to know to complete a project, but currently don’t.

Sometimes this isn’t an issue. I don’t need to attempt to book a holiday in order to know there’s no point until I know what dates I can take off work and where it is I want to go. OBVIOUSLY.

But sometimes, it’s not until I get going that I discover what it is I’ll need to find out. That’s what happened this week when I tried to invest £1,500.

Sunday last I was getting a lift through the West of Ireland from Galway to Knock airport in Mayo. The person driving started chatting to me about Counting Zeros and one topic led to another until I mentioned this week’s assignment, to which my driver asked whether I’d heard of Kickstarters? I hadn’t! But I already had a strong notion that the investment I would make this week would be in Seedrs and after a little digging when I got back home, I discovered that they’re one and the same; the latter the UK outpost.

Kickstarts/Seedrs is a clever way of allowing mere mortals to become angel investors in start-up businesses. I’ve come to understand through my homework assignments so far this year, that stock (certain types) and start-up’s are the two highest risk/greatest potential investment options. If anyone out there wants to re-educate me, please do.

I’m not sure I’m allowed to play the stockmarket*, so I’d decided to place my £1,500 with a start-up or to be more precise, across a portfolio of them, which is exactly what Seedrs allows us to do.

Signing up to Seedrs was a breeze, all I had to do was enter basic personal information and then pass a 7 question test — one designed to double check that I properly understood that most start-up’s fail and when they do investors lose their money and other reality-checks about how the whole angel investment thing works.

But it was only when I’d created a log-in, got the authentication email, passed the test and started to browse the start-up’s  seeking investment that I understood what it is that I do not know.

I do not know how much money I could stand to gain from any investment I might make or whether this is even know-able?

I don’t know what some of the terms mean —  if one is offering 30% equity and another 5% I think I know what that means for them, but what it does it mean for me? And finally, I have to say I wasn’t overly excited with the 20-30 start-up’s on offer … which made me stop and twitch. By what criteria should I make my selection? Should I choose the music app idea over the financial services one because other investors seemed excited about the app? I know almost nothing about most of the industries represented. As a consumer, there’s a few of them that I’d personally like to see take off, but mostly I could care less about what I was flicking through. How much should that influence my decision, if at all?

So until I research some of these questions, I’ve chickened out of throwing my £1,500 down on the table. I’ve created my account and entered the amount I plan to transfer from my bank account but I have yet to do that. I have time to sleep on it.

If you can’t help me with advice, you can help me by following my blog 🙂 …. just enter your email address at the upper right hand corner of the site. Muchas Gracias, Merci Beaucoup, Go Raibth Maith Agat.

For the difference between savings and investments, here’s a good summary. In a nutshell, savings need to be liquid — so that we can access our money when we need it. Investments tie up money for longer in the hope that the money will grow. The most important thing to remember about investments is that the money can be lost, so it’s smart to spread the risk by relying on a mix of products — some of which should be relatively boring and safe. On top of this, it’s insane to invest all the money you have (unless you really can afford to lose it all). Seedrs, for example, asks users to pledge that the minimum of £1,000 required to become a Seedrs investor is no more than 20% of the total amount of money available to you.

*As far as I understand BIF company policy I am not allowed to invest in any stocks belonging to clients we serve. And we serve a very long list of clients, so perhaps it’s best not to mess around with individual stocks. That’s been my thinking to date.

8 thoughts on “I didn’t know what I didn’t know & what I did about that

    1. Thank you very much, Frank! I’m shall blog my apology and now that you’ve re-directed me I’ve just made my 1st backing to Kickstarter – I loved it!

    2. Seedrs and Kickstarter are very different platforms, indeed. Kickstarter allows people to donate to fun, creative projects they think are worthwhile. While Seedrs allows people to invest in startups in exchange for equity in the businesses they choose to invest in.

      In the interest of full disclosure, I work for Seedrs and am more than happy to have a chat about your experience and talk through some of our thinking about startup investing.

      But, you were right to sleep on it – investment is serious and startup investing is a high risk asset class. Don’t invest anywhere unless you’re certain it’s the right decision for you.

      Best of luck and do let me know if I can be of any further help.

      1. Thank you so much. Yes, as you were leaving your comment, I was trying to right my wrong with this morning’s post. I do remain unsure about how to proceed with Seedrs and would find a chat invaluable in working out how to proceed. Could I email you/call you with some of my questions? thanks!

      2. Absolutely!

        My contact info is below – so please feel free to get in touch however you prefer. Or, pass along your info if that works best.

        Speak soon! Alysia

        *Alysia Wanczyk *

        Marketing Director, Seedrs Limited Alysia.Wanczyk@Seedrs.com Tel. +44 (0)20 8638 0653 Twitter: @justmeleesh LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/alysiawanczyk

        *Seedrs Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.*

        Seedrs Limited is a limited company, registered in England and Wales (No. 06848016), with registered office at 2 Chapel Place, Rivington Street, London EC2A 3DQ. This message and any attachments are confidential, and may be protected by legal privilege. If this has been sent to you in error please contact the sender as soon as possible.

        Seedrs does not provide legal, financial or tax advice of any kind, and nothing in this e-mail constitutes such advice. If you have any questions with respect to legal, financial or tax matters relevant to your interactions with Seedrs, you should consult a professional adviser.

      3. Brilliant, thanks. The day job oppresses for a few days, but let me put down my main questions and circle back. Again, thanks!

    1. Ah, the call to solve the very problem you find in the world — a very wise suggestion! Though another follower who commented as well has pointed out to me that Kickstarter and Seedrs are NOT the same and I’ve just checked out Kickstarter which I loved! I need now to blog my retraction/apology. Thanks for commenting

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s