How old is too old to own shares?

by Tony Ryburn

First I would like to add my thanks to all of our customers who responded to our recent customer survey. We got a fantastic response which was very encouraging for us because it shows you are interested in Sharesight and keen to help us make it even better.

One interesting fact that emerged from our survey was that nearly 60% of our customers are over 55 and 25% are over 65. It’s interesting because it shows we older folk appreciate the benefits and advantages of using online services but it’s not surprising. After all investing in the share market is a long term project and for many of us it is not until the kids have grown up and the mortgage is paid off that we can really start building our portfolio.

Our oldest known customer is 93! I’d be interested to hear of anyone who can beat that. I’m not sure what his answer to my question above would be but it would be safe to say it would be more than 93!

The problem is that I have lost count of the number of times I have read articles from investment advisors and others advising that as we move through our retirement years we should reduce the proportion of our savings that we have invested in shares.

Their reasons for saying this have never made any sense to me. Are they saying that investing in the share market should be a long term proposition (agreed) and therefore, as life becomes less and less of a long term proposition, we should start selling up our shares?

There is no doubt that some older self-directed investors will eventually find that maintaining a share portfolio is too much of a chore but this does not have to mean selling up your portfolio. This is especially true if you are a Sharesight customer because you can share your portfolio with a professional advisor or family member who can then provide the level of assistance you require.

If you are intending to leave your shares to family members it makes sense for them to have the opportunity to become familiar with the portfolio ahead of time.