When it comes to investing your money, there is

So who better to help thanthose who have made spotting money-makingopportunities their full-time job?

Here,HOLLY THOMAS speaks to six of the Citys mostsuccessful investment gurus about their top tips onsmart investing and the pitfalls to avoid.

Expert advice: Who better to help you invest than those who have made spotting money-making opportunities their full-time job?

Info:Nick Train, 60, from London. Studied History at Oxford.

Been in the business:Almost 40 years. Manages (and co-manages) 17.9 billion of investors money.

Fund performance:1,000 invested in the LF Lindsell Train UK Equity five years ago would now be worth 1,913.

Tip for beginners:Look for companies making products that taste good.

Tip for existing investors:Never buy or sell for political reasons.

Nick Train, joint founder and portfolio manager at Lindsell Train, believes in looking for investments that are clear and simple.

He says: To the fullest extent you can, invest in things you understand and the simpler the better. Over-complicated ideas often fail. My strike rate with big, simple ideas has been much better than anything else.

And never buy or sell anything because of politics. Politics is the worst reason to do anything, he says.

His strategy has been to follow in the footsteps of legendary investor Warren Buffett, whose mantra was to buy good-quality companies and hold onto them for a long time.

So he always asks the same question: Will this product or service still be as beloved or as valuable for its owners in 20 years time?

His buy-and-hold approach has paid off handsomely for investors.

In the investment fund he runs, Lindsell Train, he has been a loyal shareholder in Unilever, the consumer giant that is home to Marmite, Dove Soap and Magnum ice cream, and Diageo, the global drinks company that owns Johnnie Walker whisky, Smirnoff vodka and Tanqueray gin.

He also holds financial companies such as Hargreaves Lansdown and the London Stock Exchange. Holdings further afield include World Wrestling Entertainment and PayPal.

Train says: Look for companies making products that taste good. The first pint of beer my father bought me was Youngs bitter. People love the taste and the share price has soared over the past 30 years.

Its been an incredible creator of wealth for long-term shareholders. Cadbury (owned by Mondelez) is another example. People will still be eating Cadbury whatever happens in the wider economy, he adds.

He is not afraid to put his money where his mouth is all of his personal wealth (property excluded) is invested in funds managed by Lindsell Train, the firm he set up with fellow investor Michael Lindsell.

Its morally right that we put our savings at risk along with our clients, he says.

Info:Terry Smith, 66. Lives in Mauritius and studied History at University College Cardiff and then attended The Management College in Henley.

Been in the business:45 years. Manages over 21 billion of investors money.

Fund performance:1,000 invested in the Fundsmith Equity fund would now be worth 2,638.

Tip for beginners:Dont invest in anything you dont understand.

Tip for existing investors:Focus on a small number of quality companies.

Terry Smith, chief executive and chief investment officer of Fundsmith Smith, runs the Fundsmith Equity fund and has an outstanding record. He buys and holds a small number of quality companies that can withstand the test of time.

Smith invests heavily in companies headquartered in the U.S., holding stakes in the countrys strongest brands including Facebook, Microsoft and PayPal.

He says: Focusing on a small number of quality companies is a good strategy for private investors, as it has proved pretty successful for us so far.

Indeed, the Fundsmith Equity fund is up over 300 pc since it launched in November 2010. The three elements of Fundsmiths investment strategy are integral to our success, he says.

These are buying good companies, trying not to overpay for them and then having the discipline to do nothing. Doing nothing, in investment terms, means sticking with stocks for the longer term rather than regularly buying and selling.

Smith warns against investing in something that you dont understand.

He says: The industry is rife with over-complexity designed to baffle even sophisticated investors. The problem is that while most people would agree that you shouldnt invest in things you dont understand, they are bad at defining what those limits are.

Do you understand how ETFs work? Absolute return funds? Artificial intelligence? Cryptocurrencies? If not, then why are you investing in them? Smith also puts his money where his mouth is, adding: When I launched Fundsmith over eight years ago, I committed to use it as my main investment and I have done just that.

Info:Richard Buxton, 55. Lives in London and studied English language and literature at Oxford University.

Been in the business:Over 30 years. Manages 1.95 billion of investors money.

Fund performance:Investing 1,000 in Merian UK Alpha five years ago would now be worth 1,229.

Tip for beginners:Avoid investing in companies just because you like them.

Tip for existing investors:Dont give up on the UK.

Richard Buxton, head of UK equities at Merian Global Investors Buxton, started at Barings, then Schroders, before moving to Old Mutual Global Investors, which after he led a management buy-out is now Merian Global Investors.

His advice is to avoid investing in companies just because you like them.

He says: If you favour a particular retailer, for example, that doesnt mean it is a good investment.

Another investing no-no is trying to time the markets.

That is one of the hardest parts of a fund managers job. So while it is important to monitor how your portfolio is doing, let the professionals worry about market movements.

Markets can be volatile, and you can get too involved with day-to-day movements and how funds perform, he says.

He adds that investors should pick decent funds and pay in a regular monthly sum as he does.

This will help you smooth out the highs and lows in share prices. When they go up, the value of your stocks rise and when they go down, your next contribution buys more.

Part of the secret to Buxtons success is investing in large companies that pay substantial dividends the portion of the companys profit that it gives to shareholders to say thank you for backing the business.

His favourites include Whitbread, Lloyds and Next, all of which have paid out favourable dividends over the years.

He says: Whitbread nurtured Costa Coffee brilliantly (before selling it to Coca-Cola in January) and Ive held it for 14 years. Lloyds is also in a very strong position now.

As a UK fund manager, Buxton is also naturally very positive about investing in Britain.

He says: Many investors might feel worried about investing in the UK. Indeed, there are a lot of people who have given up on investing in the UK including those overseas.

But the British economy is sound and once the uncertainty of Brexit is removed, the money will come back in droves.

There are some great opportunities in UK businesses. Its important to think long term and to be patient.

Info:Alex Ralph, 41, from London. Studied Economics at the LSE.

Been in the business:19 years. Manages 2.7 billion of investors money.

Fund performance:Investing 1,000 in Artemis High Income Fund five years ago would now be worth 1,209.

Tip for beginners:Build a diversified portfolio of investments.

Tip for existing investors:Cut your losses when you make a mistake.

Alex Ralph, fund manager at Artemis Investment Management, co-manages the Artemis Strategic Bond Fund and is manager of the Artemis High Income Fund.

Ralph, who has been running bond portfolios for 17 years, says it is really important to choose a good balance of investments.

Being diversified enables you to shield your savings against unexpected events. I always make sure we have a good mix of investments across a variety of sectors to reduce the risk of one area dominating performance.

Should any unexpected events occur, such as market shocks, she believes that an important thing for investors to remember is not to panic.

When the markets are in full fear and flight mode, its tempting to join in and sell your investments to get your money back even if its at a loss. In fact, the key is to do little or nothing, she says.

Ralph also stresses it is fine to make mistakes in the world of investing. She says: The key is to realise when you have invested in the wrong company and to cut your losses rather than holding on, hoping for a turnaround.

Ralph also invests her own money in her funds.

She says: At Artemis, all our fund managers must invest our own money in the funds we run. We call it eating our own cooking.

Info:Alastair Mundy, 52, from Essex. Studied Actuarial Science at City University, London.

Been in the business:31 years. Manages 4.4 billion of investors money.

Fund performance:1,000 invested in the Investec UK Special Situations fund five years ago would now be worth 1,222.

Tip for beginners:Make sure you can handle inevitable periods of under-performance when your investments are not making good money.

Tip for existing investors:Contrarian investing can take you to places from which other investors are running.

Alastair Mundy, fund manager at Investec Asset Management Mundy, is a well-known contrarian investor.

This means he spends his time looking for companies and industries that are out of favour, but have serious potential.

The idea is to snap up such companies at bargain prices so that if and when they do prosper, the returns are much more impressive.

Mundy, who manages the Temple Bar Investment Trust as well as Investec UK Special Situations and Investec Cautious Managed funds, says: Contrarian investing can take you to places from which other investors are running. This definitely doesnt guarantee profits by buying from the desperate sellers, but it certainly means that one is fishing in less competitive pools.

Often, investors sell stocks which are performing poorly because they do not wish to be associated with bad news or are embarrassed by their mistakes. This may mean they are irrationally running for cover just as the storm starts to ease off.

He warns that patience is vital, as investors must be willing to ride out the highs and lows.

Mundy, who invests his own money in his funds, maintains that there are plenty of red flags when it comes to choosing companies to back.

He says: Companies with excessive levels of debt, dubious accounting policies, management which is rather too keen on acquisitions, companies with uncertain medium-term futures or simply companies operating in hard-to-understand industries, should all be handled with great care.

Info:Audrey Ryan, 49. Lives in Edinburgh. Studied accounting at Napier University, is a qualified chartered accountant and has an MSc in Investment Analysis.

Been in the business:24 years. Manages 1.13 billion of investors money.

Fund performance:1,000 invested in the Kames Ethical Equity fund five years ago would now be worth 1,299.

Tip for beginners:Back companies dedicated to a sustainable future.

Tip for existing investors:Being a patient investor can reap rewards.

Audrey Ryan, fund manager at Kames Capital Ryan, runs a fund called Ethical Equity and believes that one of the best ways to grow your wealth is to back companies dedicated to a sustainable future. That means the pharmaceutical, defence and tobacco sectors are out.

She says: Sustainability is an important issue and one that many companies are taking very seriously.

One of the companies I invest in is Countryside Properties plc. A large part of its business is delivering private and affordable homes by partnering with local authorities and housing associations.

While margins are lower than for a traditional housebuilder, returns on capital are very attractive for the shareholder.

Ryan warns investors to remember that not all funds badged as ethical are run in the same way.

Its important to make sure you understand where your money is going and that youre happy with it.

One of the mistakes I have made in the past is reducing or selling quality stocks too early.

For example, I sold out of Rightmove in February 2018 partly because of the prospect of a more challenging backdrop for UK estate agents but the shares have performed well since then.

Investing has proven to be the best way to beat inflation and grow your wealth over the long-term, but how do you get started?

And if you do already invest but feel youve lost track of your goals or ended up with a jumble of investments, how can you improve things?

In this podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dive into how to be a smarter investor.

They bust the jargon and look at why people should invest, how to get started, what investments you can choose and how to find the right ones for you.

Press play above or listen (and please subscribe if you like the podcast) atApple PodcastsAcastSpotifyandAudioboomor visit ourThis is Money Podcast page.

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