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I’d drip-feed £350 monthly into a Stocks and Shares ISA to aim for a million

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Becoming a Stocks and Shares ISA millionaire is often seen as a farfetched dream. Yet, despite popular belief, it’s far more obtainable than many think. Even when starting with just £3,000 in the bank, consistently investing a small amount each month is enough to build a seven-figure retirement nest egg.

How? Let me explain.

Building a £1m Stocks and Shares ISA

Historically, the stock market has generated an average return of around 10% a year. And thanks to the invention of low-cost index funds, replicating this performance is pretty straightforward. But investors with higher risk tolerance and time to research, picking individual stocks may be a more attractive avenue to explore.

Why? Because it opens the door to higher returns. And when it comes to investing, even a few percentage point differences can have an enormous impact. I’ll demonstrate.

Let’s say I’m building a portfolio from scratch with £3,000 to get the ball rolling and will drip-feed an extra £350 each month from my salary into my Stocks and Shares ISA. At a 10% annualised rate of return, my portfolio would pass the £1m threshold within 32 years.

Now let’s say I chose to pick individual stocks rather than buying an index fund and secured a 13% annualised return. In this scenario, reaching millionaire status would only take just over 26 years. And if I were patient enough to wait 32 years, I’d actually have a £2.2m portfolio.

Waiting two and a half decades doesn’t sound particularly fun. But I could accelerate the compounding process even further by increasing my monthly contributions.

Having said that, the golden rule of investing is to only buy shares with money I don’t need for at least the next five years. As we’ve seen this year, the stock market can be quite volatile. And while price corrections and crashes are relatively uncommon, they throw a massive spanner in the works.

In the first half of the year, the FTSE 250 index collapsed by more than 20%. Suppose a similar event occurs in the future, which I think is more than likely. In that case, my portfolio could be exposed to the same or even greater level of volatility, especially if I’m picking individual stocks.

These periods of sharp price drops are gut-wrenching. After all, no one likes watching their money disappear. Sadly, this risk factor comes with the territory of investing. Yet, in the long term, high-quality businesses can usually weather the storm and eventually recover before reaching new highs. The question is, how do I identify these opportunities for my Stocks and Shares ISA?

Find the best UK shares to buy and hold

Something that’s often forgotten is that when buying shares, I’m actually buying a stake in a business. If the company performs well, profits improve, making my investment more valuable. And while stock prices are chaotically unpredictable in the short term, over the long term, they always eventually line up to reflect the underlying value of the business.

So picking the best UK shares to buy for my Stocks and Shares ISA boils down to picking the best businesses. And, in my experience, those are the ones with strong balance sheets, proven business models, wise leadership, and a vast collection of competitive advantages that make them stand out from the crowd.

The post I’d drip-feed £350 monthly into a Stocks and Shares ISA to aim for a million appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.