December 2016 Performance

So the month has ended, and so it’s time to take stock of the performance across all of my holdings, and compare it to the usual index of choice. This enables me to see how I am doing. I calculate this by taking the value of the portfolio at the end of last month, add on any contributions for the month, and that was my starting value. End value is the value at the end of the reporting period. Simples 🙂

So without further ado, below is the overall performance of each of my various portfolios.

Portfolio Performance Income Notes
Company Pension 3.3% 0% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
Personal Pension 2.4% 0% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 1 3.1% 0% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 2 2.1% 0.2% The performance does not include the income that was paid out into my account.
ISA 3 5.6% 0% Although dividends are paid out, they remain in the ISA wrapper, and will get reinvested for growth. The performance figure includes both the Capital growth, and also income received which will get reinvested. The Income is the %age paid out by the portfolio but remains inside the wrapper to buy more goodies. I do keep a graph demonstrating the contributions vs. Portfolio value over time, the question is would people be interested in seeing this?
ISA 4 N/A N/A N/A – not yet set up, so will only start from the new tax year
FTSE-100 5.3% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-250 3.0% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-All 4.9% This excludes any dividends
S&P500 2.1% This excludes any dividends
Dow Jones 3.3% This excludes any dividends
VWRL 3.4% This excludes any dividends
VHYL 3.8% This excludes any dividends


So what does all of this tell us, apart from I have too much time on my hands to fill out the various spreadsheets? The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have added in two Vanguard funds into my monitoring as well so over time I can see the ongoing performance and that may well influence if I continue the self-selection and so forth. I am aware that it needs a reasonable period of time to get an accurate reflection.

Company pension.

So not a great result compared to a lot of the markets above, however it’s a global portfolio, and the contributions going in are still a very high percentage of the overall value of it, so for the minute I tend to write this off on the grounds I have matching from my employer, and until the fund value has grown significantly this will continue to cause wide swings. Give it another year or two when the contributions have a lower impact on the returns. One good thing I found out with the company pension website is that is automatically shows how the total value is split between contributions and fund growth.

Personal Pension & ISA1.

Not a great month for it compared to UK, but then it’s another global portfolio, and the aim is to build wealth and not lose it. Certainly something to keep an eye on – but is it fair to compare when this covers UK, US, APAC, bonds, alternatives etc. – probably not quite, the telling time will come in the downturns I guess. Certainly the last downturn it performed far better with a much lower drop.


Contributions are still a reasonably significant amount of the value going in so it will take another year or two for these things to calm down, however the returns aren’t too bad. I look at the 0.2% in dividends as not great, but then put that averaged over the year (which makes it 2.4%) and it’s providing a regular steady income already, albeit it low. This continues to help chip away at the mortgage for now, but may also help me reduce my reliance on my salary.


Not too bad a month, but so far this year I have had better months. I am pretty happy with that so far as long as it continues to keep going, although I do need to think about cashing out some of the more profitable positions. Also a significant amount of dividend income from it as well, higher again than I was expecting which has really pushed up the income. I also note that TD Direct are offering 2 days of £1 dealing costs, so I think I may be topping up some holdings – although this isn’t when I would like to do it as I think the market is high, however low costs and time in the market….


So I don’t usually do a conclusion but as it’s year end, and the second report I thought it may be worth mentioning – normally it would only be tax year end.

The actively managed portfolio’s under performed somewhat compared to if I had put it all in one of the above trackers or even a Vanguard fund – but this isn’t really a like for like comparison given the composition. I am also aware that this is a long term game, and I am not willing to transfer to frequently so I am willing to give it time to show the difference. FIREplanter asked in a previous comment if I tracked my performance. As you can see with these updates on a monthly basis I do and I share these, and I will publish my returns over the year at the end of the tax year. I did see that TD Direct have started providing a snapshot of the performance of the portfolio over the year. I have no idea how they calculate it, nor what they determine is the “Benchmark”, but for this year, I will share the snapshot below that they provide. This is not something I intend to do going forwards once I get into the regular year end report in April, but as its early days, I thought I would share – it also gives me a warm fuzzy glow, even if it has dropped its returns by 10% over the last couple of months.


I seriously doubt I will repeat these figures any time soon (if ever!) as a lot of my high risk holdings did well this year, so I need to learn to sell them and find new opportunities.


Company Pension: This consists of a number of actively managed funds – I don’t have any choice of trackers etc, but I will take the matching, that will more than cover the fees, and I will just live with it. It is split across global markets and growth funds and some bonds (I will look up the standard percentage). I can’t easily rebalance as I can only change my contributions once a year.

Personal Pension: This is managed by my FA and contains Actively Managed funds. I continue to contribute each month and the contribution is included in the performance – before my FA has taken their cut (e.g. if I put in £100, and they charged me £5, so only £95 went into the account, I would still class that as £100). This really is a widely diversified portfolio, not just equities across the globe, but bonds, alternatives etc.

ISA 1: This is also managed by my FA, but no new contributions going in (nor planned). This does contain some property investment as well as global equities and bonds.

ISA 2: This is also managed by my FA, however its slightly more complicated than that. There are 3 sub portfolios within, each of which have funds added each month, but each portfolio has different levels of contribution, different investment strategies and different targets. This means that the performance is a little trickier to compare given that I do take out one of the sub portfolios dividends rather than reinvest them.

ISA 3: This is the ISA I manage myself, trying to time the market. The last contributions added to it will be this tax year, 2016 – 2017 until some of my other ISAs have grown to a similar size. All dividends will continue to be reinvested once they get to a sensible level to make the cost of dealing worthwhile.

ISA 4: This is the Go T’ Pub ISA that is being held for now for reference, but will start from the new tax year in 2017 – 2018


Author: fireinlondon

Fighting the high cost of living in London

2 thoughts on “December 2016 Performance”

  1. My annualised return is 23.9% using this formulae: My real return is 16.7% given that I have been invested for less than a year. My Unitized return is 19.19% based on Monevator’s method is what is termed ‘time-weighted return’: . My TD trailing returns shows 1 year trailing return of 25.20%. I still can’t get my head around all the figures and what they mean but I am just glad that it’s all in the double figures. I suppose at the end of the day, they are just numbers and don’t mean a thing and probably not worth to crack my skull over it.

    You entire portfolio is torpedo-ing skywards btw. Good year I suppose.


    1. Hi FIREplanter,

      Thanks for stopping by! That is a really solid performance over the part year and definitely not to be sniffed at! I did look at the Monevator approach to unitising the portfolio, but to be honest now it feels like too much effort 🙂
      I don’t trust the TD return but its interesting to watch and track to see. In future for other ISAs that I start afresh I may well do that. The most important thing is that it is continuing to go up 🙂

      As you say, it really did torpedo this year, however that is down to a couple of stellar performances – one of which I top sliced to take some profit, but I will get to that post in the future!
      Cheers – and fingers crossed all round for a good 2017!


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