May ’18 Go T’ Pub ISA Performance

So another month flies past us, warm weather greets us, and the GTP ISA continues to tick along in the background with minimal (apart from needing to research alternative providers – still on my to do list!) effort.

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 CTY IT paid out this month which added £56.28 to the coffers which will get reinvested
  • 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 £18,956.13 with £1,100 in new funds added, and £0 withdrawals, meaning total starting value was £20,056.13. We finished the month on £20,634.47 so the total performance across the whole portfolio was 2.88%.

Not at all bad, although VWRL continues to get more expensive to buy, which is reducing the number I can buy.

So, lets get into the detail…..


So the standard units were purchased – however with the rising price means I could only afford to buy a further 17 units at £64.20 per unit, making the average cost per unit of £61.64. So it just keeps ticking along and increasing the number of units which all helps! This is the first month I have not been able to purchase the minimum 18 units which is disappointing, but I guess it is quite expensive right now!

So really absolutely nothing to see here – money goes in, units are bought… I fall asleep lol

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


So look at that – the first “clear air” between the contributions and stock value – woohoo! But I won’t start singing “I’m in the money” just yet…

So a year on of investments (my first one went in in May 2017) – and its already worth £15,000. At the 4% SWR that is £50 a month already – not at all bad!

Cash vs. Investment Trust

So now for the fun, and highly not recommended, part. The money from my Cash ISA that was part of my emergency fund that I invested in the market to see what would happen over time.

So, how is it looking?

Cash Now stands at £5,129.79
S&S ISA IT Now stands at £5,368.58

So stocks still happily above the cash value, and with a dividend to get reinvested to boot – it is starting to look quite nice. However until I know I can cope with at least a 30% fall (i.e. £1,500) I won’t be too happy however it is above the cash value!

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


For the first time you can see a slight difference between the Starting Value and the Cash ISA value (there is a part of me now that thinks I should have added in what the Cash value would be if it had grown at inflation, but to be honest, I can’t be bothered!).

From a mental point of view it’s great to see the stock value still above the cash.


So the fire and forget is still proving to be a wonderful approach – I really don’t need to do much.

I still need to follow up and finish the post on my investigations for an alternative provider after Selftrade announced the change to their charging structure.

I really am rather enjoying this stress free approach – it doesn’t give the same returns I experienced with my self select but it is SO much less hassle!


May ’18 Performance

So a chance to take a look back at the performance across the board for May. With work being so busy, all I managed to do was the usual morning daily check on my valuation (I can’t resist!) and the weekend check, but not actually notice what the wider market was 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 🙂

‘folio Perf. Notes
Company Pension 2.54% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
Personal Pension 2.53% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 1 1.13% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 2 1.21% The performance does not include the income that was paid out into my account
ISA 3 3.68% 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 2.88% Go T’ Pub ISA
FTSE-100 2.25% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-250 2.77% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-All 2.29% This excludes any dividends
S&P500 2.26% This excludes any dividends
Dow Jones 1.02% This excludes any dividends
VWRL 3.07%
VHYL 0.78%
GBP/USD -3.35% 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 apart from the drop in the GBP/USD (which may account for the performance of VWRL) another month of positive numbers.

Other than the relentless march upwards (at some point it will crash… won’t it?!) there are only two really notable things in this lot for me.

Firstly, my IFA seems to do a lot better with a larger pot (my pension with him is much bigger than my ISA). I am not about to throw more money at him for the ISA, but it does at last seem to be heading steadily in the right direction.

Secondly, my actively managed ISA. Once again this seems to be heading up faster than I thought possible. If it doesn’t go up again for the next four years it will still be at the same place I expected it to get to in 4 years! It’s times like this I wonder if I am being too pessimistic on my growth rates, but then I also think we have been in a long bull market, one quick crash and it will go.

In another couple of months the effects of my rebalancing the portfolio last summer will have finished going through the wash and I will get to see what this has done to my income and performance over the years. So far it isn’t looking pretty – my income doesn’t seem to really be growing given previous years increases rather disappointing.

I guess that is the cost of lowering overall risk and volatility by going with some trackers. And yes, before you ask, I have looked back at how some of my other stocks that were sold have done. Some up, some down so no huge difference!

As I was pulling together the review and performance for this month, I realised that I may have made a bit of an error on my rebalancing which I thought to share.

I rebalanced when the GTP ISA was in its infancy (i.e. worth about the same as an empty coffee mug). I aimed to balance my personal ISA across ETFs, Investment Trusts, “my chosen shares” and “High Risk”. I am almost now rebalanced (I need to buy some US ETFs) so I was starting to think things were good.

Then it struck me – I was looking ONLY at that ISA, and not across all my investments (excluding company pension and IFA managed stuff). Was this really sensible? Should I include the GTP ISA across my portfolio and include that as well?

After a short but frantic excel “hackathon” I rejigged my spreadsheet to show both across just my managed ISA and also the GTP and my managed ISAs.

The results? Within a few percent either way across investments I am pretty much on the spot for my balance if I include the GTP ISA.

So, on its own, I need to buy more ETFs. Combining the GTP ISA, I can pretty much buy what I want. A part of me thinks that this is just me tinkering to let me “play the stock market” which I know I am prone to do. I think I will try and resist and let it stay as just the actively managed setup.

What do you think? Should I stick with the allocation just in my actively managed ISA, or also include the GTP ISA?


A quick note: For those of you who are already aware of the FI London group but didn’t want to join as not living in London, there is now a wider FI UK group that has been setup.

There is also a meetup on the 15th June at the Rose and Crown – 47, Colombo Street, SE1 8DP London for anyone interested!

May ’18 Income and Expenses

So it is already that time of the month again, and once again I can’t believe just how fast time is flying. Work is keeping me very busy (a good thing as I enjoy it – although I am sure I would prefer not having to work!) and a lot of things going on over weekends so really quite a busy little bee!


So once again my (reduced) salary hit the bank account. This was a real kick in the unmentionables. My company share scheme purchases are still being deducted which reduces the income, and my new tax code kicked in, taking my income down even further. To say I had to watch the pennies this month would be an understatement. I really can’t wait for July when I get a full size pay cheque again, I just hope it is enough.

To date I have been continually dipping into my cash reserves and they are starting to look rather threadbare. I am sure most people don’t count a company share scheme as being an emergency, but there you go!

My other half’s ISA kicked out more money again which is always nice – a bit of tax free income, yes please! This is now starting to become more noticeable and although I said it should be going off the mortgage, for now it is helping cover the gap until I get a full income again.


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.  36%
Groceries All the food and other stuff needed for home  2%
Alcohol for home Home alcohol consumption only 0%
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.  4%
Other My catch all for anything I may have missed….  4%
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)  52%

* 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.

Day to day “Things I choose not to do anything about” is up slightly, reflecting my reduced income.

Food for home is lower than it really is as I did a big shop but used up more of my vouchers. Arguably I ought to include the income from these vouchers, and then the expense, but then as I don’t include my bonus / tax refunds etc. I am not going to bother. Reality is it won’t make that much difference to me when I pull the plug given how much buffer I expect I will have!

Eating out was a little high as we went out for a few meals, and I have started eating the odd lunch at work. One for another day.

Other was a little high – this was a few naughty taxis home after an evening out, eye / contact lens check and odd things like that.

Oh. My. God. 52% savings rate. This is my highest EVER! A combination of having to really cut back due to the decrease in pay, and not wanting to change my direct debit savings!

The reality is however never quite as pretty as it seems. Yes it is a very high savings rate, however to keep the £1,100 going into the GTP ISA not only did I not put anything into cash savings but I withdrew some to make sure it was covered. Not a sustainable position to be in.

And what happened to the insurance money I was paying, wasn’t that supposed to be going into the GTP ISA? Well… yes it was. I actually decided it shove it into my other half’s ISA. Hopefully in only a couple more years that will then start paying out enough to cover my day to day living (not expenses, mortgage etc. but the odd food bill, eating out etc.).

Now I have done that, I don’t intend to increase the contributions any further until I max my ISA out, so any future changes or increases will go into mine, and most likely into VWRL.

How was your May?