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Manolis & his path to frugality

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The whole pandemic situation has certainly changed the way we live. Perhaps no where is that more true than in finance. Many of us had to learn how to operate on a budget the hard way. But as they say, there’s always a silver lining. In this case that happened to be the very valuable knowledge of how to be smart with your money. In these hard times, people rethought their financial habits and modified their spending. 

Orca, as an investing app, cares about the way people can increase their capital, and to make that a reality we provide you with a number of helpful investing tools

All of this has led us to the idea of sharing the personal stories of Orca’s frugal-minded investors. They will share what brought them to the point where they decided they need to start investing and why they continued to do so with Orca. Meet Manolis, our first frugal-minded investor!

1. Introduce yourself 

I am Manolis and I work as a design engineer. I started investing late last year.

2. How old are you? And how long have you been frugal-minded?

I am 37 years old. While I have been trying to save money for the last few years, I only became frugal-minded during the 2nd lockdown.

3. What’s your interpretation of frugal-living? 

Live under your means. Don’t go into debt unless you absolutely have to (buying a car or a house for example). Make rational choices when buying stuff. Ask yourself “Do I REALLY need this?” “Can I get it cheaper if I don’t choose next day delivery?”

4. At first did you have any concerns about investing and being frugal? And why do you think there’s a misconception that frugality and playing the stock market don’t go hand in hand? 

At first I did, and this is because I graduated when the 2008 crash happened. Finding a job was almost impossible so I had to settle for a job that I did not like. This created a negative prejudice towards the stock markets. I also thought, why gamble your money away while you can save it. My major misconception was that investing was something reserved for the rich and that it doesn’t make sense to invest small amounts of money as most of it will be spent on fees. Therefore I thought that frugality and investing are not compatible.

5. Were you specifically searching for frugal-minded investment apps?

This ties up with the previous question. If you can only invest £100 per month, it doesn’t make sense to pay 10% of this amount in fees. Apps like Orca investment portfolio app make investing easy and more accessible, while you can build wealth for your later years. A few years back there were no options available for the general public, now there are many ways you can invest your money.

6. How does Orca help you get the most out of your money?

Investing helps you beat inflation. Having money just sitting in a bank account is losing money, regardless how good the interest rates are (they aren’t). If you make sound, long term investments, you will end up with more money.

7. What’s your investing strategy? 

My strategy is to connect the dots. As an Engineer I have worked in the automotive industry, infrastructure, renewables and power distribution. When people hear that electric cars are the future they think of Tesla. I know who supplies Tesla with parts and I also know what infrastructure is required to make electric cars mainstream. I know of the companies that make all of that possible (the dots) and how they do that, so I invest in those companies.

I have also done academic research on industry 4.0. and I firmly believe that it will fundamentally change how we make products. Therefore, I am looking for companies that are at the forefront of this transformation.

I also look for ETFs that group companies that I am interested in together.

8. How would you describe your portfolio? What principles do you follow when buying stocks?

I would describe it as moderately adventurous. I think only 15 to 20% of the stocks I own are widely known. While this might sound speculative, I have tried to find as much information as I can about the product or the services those companies sell, if they have any recent innovations, if they have done any acquisitions recently and why, what their revenue is like, what is their competition and if the industry they are active in has growth potential. I try to take calculated risks. While I will invest in a company that has a lot of growth potential, I try to stay clear of IPOs or SPACs. Also, if I don’t like what a company does I don’t invest in them, regardless of the returns.

9. Can you share your Frugal living investing hacks?

• Set aside an amount for investing at the start of each month. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount; whatever you think you can afford.

• Round up your spending. Some banks allow you to do that through their app, otherwise use a 3rd party app. At the end of the month invest that money

• Invest whatever is left at the end of the month.

• ALWAYS do your research before buying a stock. Look at the risks involved. Are you comfortable with it? Do their financials make sense? Do they actually have a product or service that they are selling? Is this product or service in demand? 

• The same goes for ETFs. For example, there are loads of Green Energy ETFs out there, but which companies do they hold? 

• FCA regulation and FSCS protection are key. Last thing you want is losing your money

• Treat yourself every now and again. This will help you stay in the game for longer.


As with all investing, you may get back less than you put in. Your capital is at risk. Be sure to conduct research on stocks that you want to invest in. If you are unsure of this you should seek advice from a professional advisor. Orca does not provide investment advice.

Orca is an appointed representative of RiskSave Technologies Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 775330).

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