Dec ’17 Performance

So the month has ended and the festivities have finished, the grim reality of the workplace is back in full swing again (and more), and so its time to take stock of the performance across my portfolio see how soon I will be able to escape, and compare it to the usual index of choice. This enables me to see how I am doing. As I covered in my “How I measure performance” – basically I take 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, performance wise in December, I failed to keep tracking each week so it is a bit of a surprise towards the end of the month, so let us have a look at what has happened….

Portfolio Performance Notes
Company Pension 1.55% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
Personal Pension 0.93% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 1 0.92% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 2 0.53% The performance does not include the income that was paid out into my account, and was another very good month of payouts!
ISA 3 2.49% 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.
ISA 4 2.77% Go T’ Pub ISA
FTSE-100 2.68% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-250 1.07% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-All 4.66% This excludes any dividends
S&P500 0.98% This excludes any dividends
Dow Jones 1.84% This excludes any dividends
VWRL 1.81%
VHYL 1.67%
GBP/USD -0.03% This was taken on the spot rate on the close of the last day of the month. Going forwards I will pick up the exchange rate from for consistency and real life 🙂

So overall not too bad a month – ISA2 continues to be the laggard here, but then I am taking an income from this so it’s not surprising that it didn’t have such a good performance.

All in I can’t really grumble at those numbers, but it always helps to take a view of the bigger picture, so once again a pretty graph time!


So a nominal £10,000 invested in all the vehicles above (I have ignored indexes as I would need to track these individually via a tracker rather than just where they are, the above is things you could technically buy).

So in first place, by a reasonable amount, is my actively managed ISA. That is satisfying, although I expect performance to start to lag as I move more into trackers and Investment Trusts to balance the size. And who knows, have I just been lucky?

Second, by a whisker (although maybe by a whisky would be better, but I digress), is my personal pension, managed by my IFA. Yup, even when you take in all the charges associated, my IFA still isn’t doing too bad – although maybe I won’t tell them that….

In third place, VWRL. Looks like maybe a good choice for the Go T’ Pub ISA after all!

So I am sure some may ask is my IFA just a closet tracker for VWRL? Well I can happily say no as I know what is in it. VWRL has approximately 50% in North America, my pension has about 20% – the differences go on.

All in all my total retirement pot grew by close to 2% for the month, including additional funds, so not too bad.

How was your final month of 2017?


Author: fireinlondon

Fighting the high cost of living in London

5 thoughts on “Dec ’17 Performance”

  1. Can I ask a silly question please? Do you know the differences between vwrl and lifestrategy 100? I see both mentioned as good investment I just wondered what the difference was? I’m using lifestrategy as for me as a novice with only about 25k in my s and s isa I didn’t see the need to complicate matters until I have more in there and maybe not even then!


    1. Hi FBAB,
      No such thing as a silly question 🙂
      The LifeStrategy is a fund whereas the VWRL is an ETF. I chose the ETF route as most places charge for the Funds (either fixed, capped etc.) whereas I got cheaper rates for just ETF. This is also given the contributions I make.
      A friend started their investment journey but putting in only a small amount, so the fund was the more sensible option IMO as you can also buy part units whereas ETF doesn’t allow this.
      In your situation it would depend on where you are saving into, the amount and so forth, but for me I would stick as you are but that is just my opinion.
      The other advantage of the LS is that you can choose between Inc (pays out income) and Acc (reinvests the units automatically within the fund).
      The ETF also pays out quarterly, whereas I believe the fund pays out once a year – but I don’t know that for certain.
      As always DYOR, I am not a financial advisor etc. etc…


  2. Thanks I don’t know much about etfs I will leave that till I have a larger pot I like the fire and forget aspect of Vls. I’m 100%equity recognising it could be volatile. I have access to around 20k easily accessible funds so comfortable if it drops 50 – 60%(helped by the fact I’m 22% up as well!) i think I’ve said before (and I’m deeply embarrassed working for a financial services company that it took me until 34 to understand this) I view my isa as I view my pension.I was undecided about investing in stock market as worried about ‘losing all my money’. I suddenly realised during the whole time I’d procrastinated about investing and before that during the financial crisis I’d continued to put my money in my company pension. I’d never even thought about stopping contributing. As your isa is effectively (taking away the 25% tax free amount), the opposite of a pension (paid from net income, tax free on way out) why on earth would I do anything different with my isa?)
    This gives me great comfort in handling crashes. I pay a small 200 a month and top up as and when I have spare cash. I’m building larger amounts in share save schemes and spps for another 400 a month so I cant commit any more atm. These will be about 30k when they mature in about 5 years ( although will have to hold the spp for another 5 years to avoid the tax on that) so will start putting larger amounts in then

    I also took my company pension with aegon out of the default setting (why the hell would I want cash in a pension! I do think these default funds need looking at as people really do not understand pensions ) into their global tracker fund. I may move part of it out into a sipp at some point but the charge is pretty low on the work pension (0.45%). I could get less and will have over 150k by year end in it but will need to leave over 50k in it to get the lower charge. Plus I’m concerned I may start to think I know what I’m doing and end up tinkering with a larger amount lol


    1. Hi FBAB,

      Sorry for the delay, its been a little frantic here! To be honest if you want to mix bonds and equities then I would say funds are probably the less hassle option. Main thing is fire it in, forget about it (other than, of course, tracking each month!).
      In terms of viewing your ISA as your pension, that was exactly my approach with my main ISA so I dont take funds out of, however when I setup the GTP ISA I changed my mentality – I said I can’t touch the capital (apart from the CTY experiment), but could take the dividends from VWRL – in effect replacing taxed income with untaxed income. That said, I still haven’t taken any funds out! But spot on – put money in and forget it wherever you can

      The main thing is you have started – and the share save schemes often offer a much better return, so may not be tax free but help a quick boost! Even small amounts add up over time….

      As for cash in a pension – only if you are coming up to the limit or.. in my case I have a small amount in cash (or cash equivalents) so if everything else drops I can switch around if I want, but I accept that it reduces the returns. And yes always avoid the default! I selected my various funds and so far it has been doing ok.
      There is something to be said for fire and forget! I always leave my company pension alone until I change company, simply as it is less hassle for me!


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