Marianna's face and a stock market graph going up 
One year on, I am much closer to my goal of investing my way onto the property ladder

Millennial investor: the financial diary of a twenty-something's quest to invest her way on to the property ladder

When I started investing as a complete beginner三级成人视频 a year or so ago I had no idea whether I’d actually be any good. The coronavirus pandemic has definitely been a good test and I’d like to think that so far I’ve passed.

Stock markets crashed in March. While my chosen investments suf­fered too, they’ve now bounced back, returning a healthy 18pc since the start of the year. Global markets have recovered more slowly, gaining just 2pc.

But within that overall success there have been some big variations. The shining stars have been Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and the Positive Change fund, which have risen by 53pc and 44pc since the start of the year. Both are run by Baillie Gifford and aim to invest in innovative companies, many of which have been boosted by lockdown.

Next best was the JPMorgan China Growth & Income investment trust, which has returned 42pc. Another trust I own, Worldwide Healthcare, has risen by 10pc. The Threadneedle European Select fund and Schroder AsiaPacific investment trust have returned 8pc and 4pc this year. I also own one individual stock, Microsoft, which has grown my money by 15pc since the spring.

I’ve had one small casualty. The only passive fund I own, Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index三级成人视频, which tracks the performance of small companies globally, has fallen by 4pc so far this year.

三级成人视频But I’ve also had one big casualty: Henderson Smaller Companies investment trust. It specialises in small British firms, many of which have been badly hit by lockdown, and its share price has plunged 26pc.

The benchmark against which its performance is measured has fallen by 22pc. If the trust is losing more money than the sector, is that a sign I should ditch it?

Share price falls don’t necessarily signal a failing trust. As they are listed on the stock exchange, their prices are dictated by what investors are willing to pay三级成人视频. The actual value of the stocks that Henderson Smaller Companies holds has fallen by less than the sector, but because investors are worried about the future of small firms its share price has fallen further.

I decided to call the manager, Neil Hermon, to find out whether he was still committed to the same strategy that had attracted me in the first place: carefully checking that companies have plenty of cash, show potential to grow by more than rivals and are not overpriced.

Our conversation reassured me. He seemed confident that his picks were sound. Of course I should take his words with a pinch of salt – which manager wouldn’t say that about their own fund – but, looking at the portfolio, the signs are good. It holds plenty of software companies, which should thrive as our lives move online, and few high street retailers, which may struggle to survive the pandemic.

三级成人视频Not everyone is in the lucky position to be able to grill their fund manager personally. The next best thing is to read what they say in articles and annual reports and see if they are sticking to their guns or have given up on their strategy. 

My hopes for smaller companies were boosted by economic figures this week. Although Britain is now officially in recession, if you look more closely most of the damage was done in April and May. By June the economy was already growing again and that was before pubs reopened.

Although small companies often do worse in a recession, they also tend to do better in a recovery. So I will leave my money in Mr Hermon’s hands. Whether I give him any more is up for debate as other funds in this area have done much better三级成人视频. I want to use my investments to buy a house in 10 years and any losses will mean extra work to get me to my target.

Did I make the right decision? Let me know any thoughts or questions by emailing marianna.hunt@telegraph.co.uk