I’d start targeting a £5,000 second income by investing £100 a month in UK shares

By saving and investing in UK shares each month, investors can potentially start adding to their main income. Zaven Boyrazian explains how.

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

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UK shares may not be known for their explosive growth potential as some US stocks do. However, the London Stock Exchange is home to some of the best dividend-paying companies in the world.

And by targeting these income stocks, even with as little as £100 a month, it’s possible to build a chunky second income with relatively little effort.

Building a high-quality income portfolio

It may be tempting to focus on the stocks offering the biggest yields. However, this approach may not deliver the best results. After all, a high yield isn’t always sustainable. And in the long run, far more money can be made by owning low-yield income stocks that can consistently raise payouts each year.

In other words, when analysing prospective investments, quality matters far more than quantity. Specifically, investors should be hunting the companies that generate plenty of cash with large operating margins.

Cash-generative enterprises are typically less reliant on external financing. And high profitability provides a wider buffer against temporary disruptions.

Obviously, there’s a lot more research that needs to be completed beyond these two factors. However, in my experience, they serve as powerful filters to eliminate subpar enterprises from consideration during the portfolio construction process.

Turning £100 into £5,000

On average, the FTSE 100 has provided index investors with an annual dividend yield of 4%. However, by picking stocks directly and constructing a custom-tailored portfolio, it’s possible to reach a more substantial payout. In fact, with all the recent volatility, many top-notch enterprises are offering significantly more. And it’s not just in the FTSE 100.

The FTSE 250 has a reputation for housing UK growth stocks. Around a third of its constituents now offer yields in excess of 6%. Therefore, building an income portfolio with a 6%, or even a 7% yield, in 2023 without taking on excessive risk, isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

After a year of investing £100 each month at a 7% yield, my portfolio would be worth £1,200, plus £39 in passive income. Obviously, £39 is a long way off from £5,000. But by reinvesting any dividends received over the long run, compounding can change all that. And after 24 years, this portfolio would be worth an estimated £74,390, generating just over £5,200 in annual passive income.

Taking a step back

Twenty-four years is obviously a long time to wait. But the timeline might be far shorter than this. After all, the previous calculation doesn’t consider any capital gains.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Neither dividends nor capital gains are guaranteed to move in the right direction. And even the best companies in the world can end up getting disrupted through no fault of their own. In such a situation, a portfolio could end up getting blown off track, causing the timeline to be far longer than expected.

This perfectly highlights why getting started on an investment journey as soon as possible is so important. But investors should always be aware of the risks and stick to a strategy that works best for them.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

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.

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