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My share investing journey during the pandemic

I tend to concentrate my investing in a few shares and mostly diversify if I see opportunities in sectors which I am not currently in. During the coronavirus pandemic, it was hard to stay focussed as there were value opportunities everywhere. Below I’ll detail some of the shares I recently bought and sold.

Mining share investing

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) has long been a cornerstone of my portfolio. I bought into the company at a very low price compared to today. During the pandemic, I purchased more Fortescue shares at a price of $8.80 per share. At the close of business last week I had made around 64%. 

Fortescue is a local company for me. I like the “can-do” attitude, the use of local supply chains, and the year-on-year performance increases. Most of all, I really like the dividend.

I owned Bellevue Gold Ltd (ASX: BGL) before the pandemic, sold it to take profits, and then I have recently bought back in. Knowing what I know now, I would not have sold when I did. However, in March the whole world looked a lot more bleak and uncertain than it does now. 

In my view, Bellevue is a great opportunity for growth. It is developing a high-grade, high-ounce ore body. It has pre-existing infrastructure to reduce the costs of ramp-up. And it is employing many of the professionals who have done similar during the last decade with Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST).

Financial sector

I sold Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) for a significant loss during the lockdown period. My initial position was part of a turnaround strategy which I expected to be executed by September or so of this year. The share price had dropped due to the money laundering scandal.

However, once the pandemic hit, the situation changed immediately. It became clear that holding the Westpac shares was a lost opportunity for me. I am sure the Westpac share price will lift significantly. However, for me, there are more profitable ways to put capital to work in the short term.

Recently I also started a position in Sezzle Inc (ASX: SZL). I had long favoured Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) as a likely challenger to Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT). Yet I decided Sezzle already had a good head-start among the Gen Z demographic in the $5 trillion US retail market. Sezzle is up around 20% for me so far. 

Foolish takeaway

As somebody approaching retirement years, yet, with no intention to ever retire, I use a higher-risk strategy than most.

My foundation is in solid income-producing shares, preferably those that will also increase in value. This is backed with a significant share investment in growth companies at a good price. Lastly, I work a lot on finding and exploiting share market events.

Most times, it has gone well. Sometimes it goes badly. When it goes badly there is no point in wasting time with regrets. Just pick yourself up, learn from the mistake, and put your capital back to work. 

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Daryl Mather owns shares of Bellevue Gold Ltd, Fortescue Metals Group Limited, and Sezzle Inc. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and ZIPCOLTD FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Sezzle Inc. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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