Tamara Hawkesford is a 43-year-old analyst from Peterborough. She talks to Moneywise about her hobby raising pigs, making sausages and investing the profits into a Stocks & Shares Isa
My full-time job is working for Anglian Water. I’ve been with them for 15 years. Prior to moving up to Peterborough and starting this job I travelled a lot. After working for a seismic surveying company and travelling around the world doing all sorts of interesting jobs in interesting countries, I decided to settle down.
One of the big reasons for moving away from London and settling down was the better lifestyle. That’s what led me into what we have been doing over the past couple of years – breeding and raising pigs.
I know lots of people who do that now, they have moved out of London, got a few chickens and that sort of thing.
It started off with a friend of mine who has some Tamworth pigs in the village. He had to go for a knee operation and needed help looking after his animals. Another couple and I said that we’d help out. He couldn’t really afford to pay us, but in the end he gave us a pig each to say thank you. We were hooked!
I’m not actually rearing any of the pigs myself at the moment because my job has taken off and I’m just really busy. But I’m still involved in the sausages.
Basically, I’ve still got a few “in the piggy bank” with my friend, the ones that were piglets when we were doing the rearing. Every two months or so I take two pigs to slaughter and we make them into sausages. We mostly sell them to friends and family, but every time I work in a new Anglian Water office, I get new customers too!
I decided that although I’m not making a huge profit on this, I don’t want the money just to go into the bank to pay a bill, or go on a Friday evening in the pub. I want to see a little bit of benefit from the project. So I decided to invest 25p a pack of sausages into a Stocks & Shares Isa.
The reason I do the sausages is that I like to know exactly where my meat is coming from. I like to know that these animals are high welfare. I want to know what they’re eating themselves, and I also want to know that when they go to slaughter that it’s as humane as it can be.
Anglian Water call it “source to tap” – but I like to know “field to fork” where my food is coming from.
I knew that I wanted the same thing from my investments, that I didn’t want to just go to my bank and put 25p aside because that means nothing, it’s then just a small savings account. I wanted to find something that I could be a little bit more involved with.
I’d looked at things like BrewDog and Serious Pig, thinking that sounds good, these are food outlets that I’m interested in. But most of them require quite big investments. And then I stumbled across an investment app called Wombat, where you only need to invest £10 to get started.
The truth is I’m not the biggest investor in the world, but I’m slowly building it up. What I like about Wombat is I can click on my phone and
I can go and see how my investments are doing - good or bad. And I can channel my money into ‘themes’ I’m interested in.
I’ve invested in a couple of the safer themes, like gold. I’ve also invested in social media, which is coming along quite nicely. The one I’m a bit gutted about is the foodie one, which has dropped off since I started. But it’s a long-term thing.
Two of my friends have signed up too, as a result. It’s become something we talk about, whereas I wouldn’t really discuss how well my bank account was doing! I work in analytics so I find the app interesting because it has charts and analytical tools. I like to see how things are performing.
Anglian Water used to be listed on the stock market and I would follow the share price in the papers and check how it was doing but really those are just numbers on a page.
What is nice about investing through an app with visual graphics and information is that it’s much more engaging and easier to understand.
As told to Edmund Greaves