Fernando Heredia from Spain was the runner-up of the first Swarmsurge Investment Competition. Here is an interview with him about investing and his approach:
How did you get interested in investing?
Finance has always attracted me as fun and comfortable way to make more of my sadly scarce savings. Maybe I was prone to like finance. My grandfather was a banker and some relatives made also some investments in the stock market when I was a kid. However, having that background and interest in finance does not mean to be good at it... This contest might have been an exception ;)
What is your usual investment time horizon?
My usual investment horizon is over one year. Nonetheless I made some exceptions when I apply a stop-loss or when a stock rockets.
What is your investment methodology?
I normally read big investment banks recommendations and I contrast it with my knowledge on the industry or the country. If I do not know much on an sector or have doubts on a country I do not invest. Likewise, I am reluctant to invest in stocks. I prefer to invest in mutual funds. A company is like a family. If you do not really know what is happening inside it is better not to get in. Although mutual funds normally have lower returns than a stocks (but less exposure to risk) I prefer to be sure than a single company is not going to screw my investment.
Which markets do you prefer: stocks, bonds or foreign exchange?
As I said above, I prefer mutual funds investing in stocks. I do not see bonds profitable in the western world nowadays, except for companies' bonds. Foreign Exchange is fun, though as far as I am concerned my benefits have normally been meager.
Do you have any suggestions or tips for other investors?
Know thyself. Study first where you are going to invest. Talk to people or friends that know about finance to contrast opinions. Make sure you are not going to need the money in the time span you want to invest. Be brave but not crazy and go for it.