Another broker changes their fees….

So I fear that this post is going to end up in more of a rant than anything that may possibly make sense, so please do indulge me and put up with it 🙂

It’s just over a year now since I opened the Go T’ Pub ISA with Selftrade. Whilst their website is a little on the basic side, it worked very well for me. I paid a £1.50 per trade for my regular order and for any dividend reinvestments, and that was it. No other fees – a truly cheap price for using their service.

The perfect fire and forget strategy… or so I thought.

Out of the blue yesterday evening I get an email via their secure inbox to me. Note: not to my registered email address, but to my selftrade account. This means to read it I have to log in, look out for the tiny mail icon just above my account logo and click on there to read it. Nothing else to tell me I have a message. At least with premium bonds they email me to tell me I have a message.

Out of the blue they are announcing a new pricing tariff – effective from the 1st July 2018. I can’t believe they didn’t know about this plan before the new tax year so I can only assume they have deliberately waited until now to notify people.

This really annoys me as I have now made an ISA contribution to them, and so I need to research if I am able to move my ISA without any consequences (I have enough trouble as it is with HMRC not getting my tax code right!). I’ve made one payment to them. For this I feel that they have me over a barrel.

So, what is this new tariff I (don’t!) hear you cry? They are introducing a new “custody fee”. And yes, you guessed it, it applies quarterly. They are reducing the cost of trading (if you don’t buy on regular direct debit) – which I never use. To make matters even worse, ETF trades will not change (my main purchase)

The new cost is “Up to”£17.49 per quarter. Needless to say this is fees you have to pay inside the ISA wrapper (unlike my IFA who’s fees I can pay before it goes into the wrapper).

The whole reason I chose Selftrade was their low fees, however it seems that they are now going the way of iii who took over TD Direct, and others who are charging a quarterly charge regardless.

Am I going to take action? Yes. Unlike when iii introduced their fees, I took the view that I was happy to pay them (as it offset my trading costs, and I really do like their platform so happy to pay a slight premium for it, it leaves others in the dust). For Selftrade, I am not happy to pay the fee.

Unfortunately for me, the Selftrade helpdesk isn’t open at 6am on a Saturday morning (why on earth not?! :)) so I won’t be able to do anything yet, but my clear actions are:

  1. Call Selftrade. Find out about the cost of transferring the ISA out from them to another provider
  2. Find out if, now I have started this ISA year, if I can actually move to another ISA provider (or do you, dear reader, know if I can?)
  3. Review the broker table on Monivator to find out which broker I will be moving to

My biggest fear is that in a relatively short space of time another broker is moving to a quarterly fee and that this will become the norm.

I think I need another coffee….

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Apr ’18 Go T’ Pub ISA Performance

So once again another fire and forget month for the GTP ISA. It isn’t quite zero effort as I do log in and alter my direct debit each month to maxmise things, but imagine if I was buying an acc. fund – an occasional log in to potentially pay fees, and that would be it…

For the full details over all of the portfolios as a summary please refer to the full month end report – this is specifically looking at what has happened on the Go T’ Pub portfolio only.

So, what activity did we have this month?

  • New Funds added. As always, the regular contribution of £1,100 has gone in
  • The VWRL dividend from March paid out this month which added £42.79 to the coffers
  • No withdrawal was made
  • Left over cash from the previous purchases was left in

So once again a very quiet month just ticking along and the number of units keep ticking up.

Overall performance: The starting value was £17,206.75, with £1,100 in new funds added, and £0 withdrawals, meaning total starting value was £18,306.75. We finished the month on £18,956.13 so the total performance across the whole portfolio was 3.55%.

Not at all bad, although it is making the VWRL more expensive to buy again, but I guess I can’t have both!

So, lets get into the detail…..

VWRL ETF

So the standard units were purchased – however with the extra cash meant that I could purchase a further 19 units at £60.73 per unit, making the average cost per unit of £61.44. So it just keeps ticking along and increasing the number of units which all helps! I am really happy that once again it was 19 units rather than the usual 18, which keeps putting my fractionally ahead of where I had planned.

The dividends paid out giving me £42.79 for the quarter, almost £15 a month. In effect enough for me to have 2 pints and a bowl of pork scratchings a month. For free. For ever (subject to me still being alive of course). Not at all bad – so 1 year of saving heavily generates me just over £10 a month.

I can see why people get put off savings when you look at the fact that to get this I had to pay in £1,100 per month (and a bit when you add in the extras), but then this is not an income portfolio.

The other way of looking at it is in another couple of quarters that will buy me an extra unit!

Still, it’s free money in effect.

So – how does this now look as the graph data slowly builds up?

201804gtpub

So the value is back just tickling above the contributions, nice so early on. The larger that dividend gets, the better as the further the gap will grow!

Now Weenie did ask to see about how the dividends started stacking up over time (and I am sure others would be interested to). The question is how to present it – I didn’t see any value in just replicated JustETFs table showing dividend per share per quarter, so I thought maybe showing the number of shares that came through, and the total dividend income to date. Let me know if this works!

  • Jul ’17 – 18 shares @ 42.3p dividend per share – £7.61
  • Oct ’17 – 73 shares @ 26.8p dividend per share – £19.60
  • Jan ’18 – 127 shares @ 22.4p dividend per share – £28.51
  • Apr ’18 – 182 shares @ 23.5p dividend per share – £42.79

So one year in – assuming no increase in dividends, and just multiplying by 7 (to get me to 2025) that would give me almost £300 income… so £100 per month in the pub… nice!

Cash vs. Investment Trust

So for me this was the more interesting part of the overall approach – I transferred 50% of my last remaining cash ISA over to an IT and will be tracking the two together to see how things perform. Remember – you really, REALLY shouldn’t do this. Keep cash on hand, be able to sleep knowing your bills would be covered etc.

So, how is it looking?

Cash Now stands at £5,128.90
S&S ISA IT Now stands at £5,257.25

So stocks back above cash once again which is nice, and soon time for yet another dividend from CTY which will buy a few more, nice!

How does the rollercoaster look now? Well, very much like this:

201804cashvsstock

Talk about a rollercoaster but another month back above the cash value, but not enough clear air between them to warrant transferring anything more. A small correction and the difference would be wiped out.

Conclusion

No change to last month really – ticking along up in the right direction and minimal effort – it takes me longer to write these posts than it does to manage the portfolio!

April ’18 Performance

So a bit later than normal(to put it mildly, I do apologise!), a chance to look back at the performance and see how things went in April. I actually couldn’t tell you what I thought the markets did over the month as it flew by, although that could potentially be a good thing! 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 🙂

‘folio Perf. Notes
Company Pension 1.25% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
Personal Pension 3.11% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 1 4.33% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 2 2.70% The performance does not include the income that was paid out into my account
ISA 3 4.80% 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 3.55% Go T’ Pub ISA
FTSE-100 6.42% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-250 4.24% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-All 6.00% This excludes any dividends
S&P500 0.57% This excludes any dividends
Dow Jones 0.55% This excludes any dividends
VWRL 3.61%
VHYL 3.58%
GBP/USD -2.13% 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 www.xe.com for consistency and real life 🙂

So apart from the drop in the GBP/USD (which may account for some of the VWRL/VHYL going up) a lot of reasonably positive numbers.

A very good month for the FTSE-100 and All Share, top of the performance on my side, once again, was my actively managed ISA. I am not quite sure how given that I have been moving this into more trackers and Investment Trusts, but there you go. I will definitely not complain!

My IFA doesn’t seem to be fairing too badly – last month he didn’t lose as much as the markets, this month he didn’t generate as good a return as the FTSE 100 or All, but still beat most of the rest. I guess capital preservation and some growth is working well here. That said the IFA Pension is slightly skewed by my bonus (plus tax relief) going in mid April which in theory would account for some of the delayed performance. Had I not added this then maybe he would have had a more favourable performance, but it is what it is.

Overall, not a bad month – the total value of the portfolios (and so NetWorth) continue their rise, and looking back on this number compared to 12 months ago (a great advantage of monthly tracking) I really can’t believe what a good position I am in right now – the joy of steady but constant savings over the years.

How was your April performance?

April ’18 Income and Expenses

Firstly, apologies for the slow progress on posting of late. Fortunately the NHS at its best has helped once again, so things can (hopefully!) get back to normal!

So its that time of the month again when my salary hits and it’s time to review what I have spent my hard earned cash on, and where I could have done better. It felt like a very tight month and that I was having to carefully watch every single penny

Income

So as always I had my steady Salary drop into my bank account, always nice. I get a new tax code for next months income (as I do trailing income), and only a couple more pay cheques with my share scheme contributions coming out. I don’t include any of my personal ISA dividends in my income statement, that is just part of the growth of those portfolios.

The income thrown off by my other half is steadily increasing and starting to make a noticeable impact on my monthly income. It has taken almost 3 years to get this stage, but shows it is worth it!

So, steady as she goes on income.

Expenses

Item Notes Amount
Things I choose not to avoid* Mortgage, Insurance, shared bills etc. – yes, we could move somewhere cheaper, not have insurance, reduce our bills a bit and so on, but we are where we are.  34%
Groceries All the food and other stuff needed for home  4%
Alcohol for home Home alcohol consumption only 5%
Bicycles / Car related Any costs related to either the bikes or the car  1%
Alcohol Out Generally, its the pub….  1%
Eating Out I include purchased lunches in this as well as meals out etc.  3%
Other My catch all for anything I may have missed….  2%
Holidays Any spending related to holidays, flights etc.  0%
Savings Anything left over! This includes money into ISAs, mortgage payments and non relief pension contributions. My company pension comes out before it hits my bank account so isn’t included, nor do I include the “top up” of money when my money goes into my personal pension (i.e. I put in £100, I register it as £100, not the £125 that gets credited in my pension)  50%

* This covers a number of things that I would class as essential for me. Yes, I could move to somewhere cheaper to reduce the mortgage (which in turn would reduce the insurance I have to pay), yes I could reduce my bills by switching energy supplier etc. but it comes down to what I am happy with. There are a few other things in there that are classified as essential that others may object, and so I have just lumped it into there.

So this was the first month of not paying out for insurance which is reflected in the lower “do nothing about” costs. We have also switched energy providers, however this won’t impact on the savings as we will continue to put the same amount into our joint account, it will just go on something else.

The Other and Eating Out were a bit higher than anticipated as we had friends over and took them out (they aren’t English) so a little more expense than planned.

The Groceries were quite high, and this excludes the “free” shopping I have been doing with some gift cards, so a little work to be done there.

Also the alcohol out was a touch more than I had planned, as there was an offer on at Majestic. Naughty Majestic for tempting me like that!

Lastly…. savings rate…. 50%!!!!! I really can’t believe it, I thought that would be an impossible rate and I am REALLY happy with this. The downside is that I have realised whilst my share scheme contributions go out I am burning through cash reserves to keep the money going into ISAs at their levels.

I have made next month an even bigger challenge as I have increased the amount going into my other half’s ISA to cover the cancelled insurance. I chose this rather than an IT at present as it means I get cash flow sooner. Once my share scheme finishes I will consider redirecting some of that into my ISA – although at that level I may just put more into VWRL and not separate it out, keep things simple!

How was your April?