Mello 2019, the annual two-day investment conference run by David Stredder, was back in London this week - and it was another big success.

Mello events are hands-down the best (and most fun) gatherings of private investors and they keep getting better. Once again, both days were packed with company presentations and a programme of talks and panel discussions in the theatres at the Clayton hotel in Chiswick.

Highlights were numerous, but things got off to an interesting start with a panel debate on how to encourage young people to become investors. MoneyWeek’s executive editor John Stepek hosted the discussion between Andy Parsons (The Share Centre), Michael Taylor (@ShiftingShares), Megan Boxall, Lord John Lee and Lilian Nandi.

Lord Lee, of course, was quite literally talking his own book - having published Yummi Yoghurt – A Taste of Stock Market Investment!, an introduction to investing for teenagers, earlier this year. He stressed that getting young people into investing not only helps them begin to build wealth, but is also in the national interest. He said it was important to empower young people, to help them detect and avoid fraud and prepare for inheritance.

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There was general agreement that a new generation of young people are taking more control of their money and that investing is a crucial skill in looking after yourself. Indeed, with very first Child Trust Funds beginning to mature from September 2020, there’s an imperative to get younger people thinking about long-term investing. As Andy Parsons from The Share Centre pointed out, the concept of compound interest is perhaps one of the greatest life skills to get to grips with.

Elsewhere during the morning, Graham Neary (@GrahamNeary)did a stellar job of doing a live Small Cap Value Report. Among a wide range of companies that came up for discussion were Gear4Music, Rightmove, Google and Games Workshop.

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That was followed by a panel discussion on how to start an investment share club - hosted by Ray Williams of SIGnet. This was interesting because it got to the heart of the fact that investors like to meet other investors. And while there are no particular tax advantages attached to investment clubs, they do provide a great forum for healthy debate about the pros and cons of shares. The discussion…

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