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!Β As I covered in my β€œHow 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 πŸ™‚

β€˜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 πŸ™‚

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?

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The 2017/18 (Tax) Year Performance

So, the end of the tax year has passed and I have pushed as much as possible into the various tax efficient wrappers (ISAs & pensions) to put me in as strong a position as possible.

So first of all some of the stats for the year:

The Benchmarks

Index Performance
FTSE-100 -1.8%
FTSE-250 2.7%
FTSE-All -0.9%
S&P500 13.1%
Dow Jones 18.7%
VWRL 1.2%
VHYL -4.1%
GBP/USD 12.2%

So really a fairly mixed bag out there. The US did rather well last year but not enough to make any real impact on VWRL. The pound strengthened quite considerably over the year (just mood swings around Brexit, or something more – who knows).

So if you had followed the Go T’ Pub ISA approach and just shoved money into VWRL you may have been very disappointed! Now let’s get into a bit more detail.

Company Pension

So the company pension is still, in the grand scheme of things, in its early life. The amount going in each month is still a (relatively) large amount compared to the size of the pot. Ultimately the overall value goes up so I don’t really take much stock on the growth numbers for this. The main thing is that my company put a lot of cash into it, so free money I won’t turn down.

Performance: -0.8%

So down a fraction. Not that bad given the UK markets, but this is a fairly global portfolio (not in the standard fund!). To be honest, I really am not too worried about this the money is going up each month and it all helps. It is too soon (for me anyway) to get any meaningful performance so I will just continue to watch and wait. Let’s see how it looks in a few years time.

Personal Pension & ISA 1

So, how did my IFA do? I am sure this will be of interest to many people – was it worth it for him to take a cut of every single contribution I make?

Personal Pension: 12.4%

ISA 1: -1.1%

So given the make up of the portfolio (I will update my portfolio page at some point!) I am happy with this. No, it is not as high as the US but they are not bad performances.

The first obvious one to me is that my IFA is far better with larger value pots than smaller. I will have to talk to him about the poor performance again in my ISA.

Overall the pension is very good especially as this includes a large injection of more funds right before the tax year end. The cynics out there may say he has underperformed the US market, however only about 20% of my pension allocation with him is in the US market.

If he keeps this performance up then by the time I get to 55 I will breach the LTA, even with the increases, and assuming I stop putting any more in when I hit 50. A nice place to be, but it won’t stop me contributing now, I will worry about the LTA as and when it is likely to affect me.

ISA 2 (also IFA managed)

So the second ISA is the most complicated with 3 sub portfolio’s with different goals inside it. For simplicity here I am tracking only the overall performance, remembering that it also pays out income monthly. The contributions still form a significant amount of the total value of the portfolios as it goes in each month, so I continue to expect this to under perform based on my method for tracking for some years.

Performance: -3.1%

Ok so a poor performance there really. However, it also threw out almost 2% trailing dividend. The main thing for me here is that it is achieving what I wanted out of it – this is not a growth portfolio but a cash flow portfolio.

It is now starting to throw out a noticeable amount of money each month which helps given the ongoing battles I have with HMRC and their inability to work out how much tax I should pay.

Go T’ Pub ISA

So, how did the GTP ISA do, compared to VWRL’s 1.2%?

Performance: -1.0%

Well this was the first year of running so wildly affected by the in month swings, and also of course the impact of CTY, so a comparison against VWRL direct is a little unfair yet.

The funny thing is, do I really care? The short answer is no! CTY is sitting there as my cash reserve – as long as it grows faster than my actual cash, and after a couple of years never goes below the original value of cash I will be happy.

VWRL will just keep ticking up and throwing out money for me to go to the pub (or out for a meal etc.) and I won’t really change what goes in (I would like to increase it at some point as the ideal world would let me fill it completely) so I will carry on firing and forgetting. Very nice πŸ™‚

My actively managed ISA

So last, and by no means least, how did my actively managed ISA do? I have been trying to move this to have less individual shares, and a combination of Investment Trusts and Trackers. This is still very much work in progress and will reduce the potential performance (or stop it from being so bad maybe?), but as the value of the portfolio has increased over the years I am getting less comfortable with quite such a large portfolio – I know I should have faith in my own ability but when you can read so much out there that shows passive is most likely to win, who am I to argue.

After the last rebalance I am almost there so I can play again, more trackers to be purchased.

Performance: 4.9%

The dividend income was reinvested in the portfolio which helps to bolster the returns. The trailing yield was a shade under 4% as it was last year, which indicates to me that I should probably think about a maximum of 3.5% withdrawal rate.

So whilst this didnt repeat last years stellar returns, it continues to move upwards, and at a faster rate than my spreadsheet plans for (4%) which is nice. Whilst I would like this to go up faster (not necessarily the 44%, but maybe 10%), it is still going up.

The dividend income this year was not as much as I would have liked, but still more than last year, even with the rebalancing. The gap between contributions and value continues to grow (in the right way!) as dividends get reinvested so I continue to be happy with this.

Premium Bonds

So for a bit of fun I thought I would also look at the returns on my premium bonds holding. In total it returned 0% – no winnings at all for the year yet again.

Not good, but then these do form part of my cash reserves so preservation of capital is important.

Conclusion

If I look at where I finished the year, I really can’t believe quite how well the values have gone up over one tax year. When I set my (undisclosed) target of what I wanted the fund to get to, I never once thought I would get there.

And I didn’t get there, however I wasn’t that far off which amazes me. If I continue to build wealth at this rate I will hit my number by 2025, regardless of what my spreadsheet tells me!

 

Mar ’18 Performance

So the month has ended and a bit more volatility than we have seen for a while (or is it just that it’s gone down for once?). So how have the investments fared this month? As I covered in my β€œHow 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 πŸ™‚

So, what did March do for me? I was feeling very positive until the drops started kicking in at the back end of the month, but that said it means my GTP ISA will buy more!

‘folio Perf. Notes
Company Pension -1.55% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
Personal Pension -3.94% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 1 -2.55% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 2 -2.97% The performance does not include the income that was paid out into my account
ISA 3 0.01% 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 -2.74% Go T’ Pub ISA
FTSE-100 -2.42% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-250 -1.15% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-All -2.20% This excludes any dividends
S&P500 -3.50% This excludes any dividends
Dow Jones -4.54% This excludes any dividends
VWRL -4.91%
VHYL -4.94%
GBP/USD 2.07% 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 πŸ™‚

So a lot of negative numbers there for the second month in a row. This puts me back to pretty much the same value I had back in November. Whilst a little depressing, I am still in wealth building mode so it just means I can buy more while they are cheap – something I have been waiting for since the bull market started so very long ago!

The one shining surprise in all this was my self managed ISA. Whilst 0.01% increase isn’t anything to shout about, the fact that it remained positive despite the large drops everywhere else. This was despite a shortfall in the dividends this month from the same time last year – attributable to the fact that I sold some of my stock that paid out, and the change in the GBP/USD exchange rate meant dividends were smaller.

Last summers rebalance of ISA 3 is now working its way through the numbers so I think I have mostly taken the hit on lower dividends, but the lower volatility is also helping.

Oh well, as I am currently not reliant on them I can continue to reinvest.

Although ISA2 looks very bad, it is continuing to pay out a steadily growing income stream

So, what does this look like in pretty pictures?

201803PerfGraph

So almost a year on and Β£10,000 invested wouldn’t have shown that much growth when you keep hearing about the historic returns. Just do remember that these figures banded about are average over years.

My forecasts still show that I will not hit the number I need by June 2025 however that is based on 4% growth and no increase in savings, something which I have changed. Increasing the payments into my other half’s ISA and hopefully also my GTP ISA that will soon make up the shortfall.

And what of my other non financial performance? Well I am pleased to say that the stone of weight that I lost has so far stayed off and seems to have balanced, however I haven’t yet managed to shake any further but I am hoping that I will get below the magic 14 stone soon…

How was your March? Were you caught in the falling market or did you buy more?

 

Feb ’18 Performance

So the month has ended and a bit more volatility than we have seen for a while (or is it just that it’s gone down for once?). So how have the investments fared this month? As I covered in my β€œHow 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 πŸ™‚

So, what did February do for me? Firstly, I realised how poor the table looked in the browser, I will try and fix that at some point, although I could claim that is almost DIY so it will never get done!

Portfolio Performance Notes
Company Pension -2.45% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
Personal Pension -1.73% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 1 -2.20% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 2 -2.13% The performance does not include the income that was paid out into my account
ISA 3 -2.92% 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 -1.30% Go T’ Pub ISA
FTSE-100 -4.00% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-250 -2.75% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-All -3.77% This excludes any dividends
S&P500 -3.30% This excludes any dividends
Dow Jones -3.74% This excludes any dividends
VWRL -0.62%
VHYL -1.59%
GBP/USD -2.95% 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 πŸ™‚

So a lot of negative numbers there… despite what it looks like with VWRL and VHYL the GTP ISA is showing it is quite a difference.

Even worse for me, with all the negatives, and with all the funds I put in, the overall absolute number is also down on last month. The advantage of recording every month over the last few years is that I can look back and see that actually this is the 6th time this has happened. So it isn’t as unusual as I thought it was. It softens the blow, and I keep telling myself I am buying more of the same for a lower price which helps me in the longer run, but that doesn’t make it any easier!

So not really an interesting month other than seeing the values drop. I continue to put money into my accounts, and watch them automatically buy my future freedom (or at least a very small part of it).

Onwards and upwards for next month!

So, what does that look like in pretty pictures?

201802PerfGraph

So VWRL is just a fraction ahead of my IFA managed pension, with the clear losers being VHYL and ISA 2 – however ISA 2 also pays out a lot of dividends and so my assumption is limited overall growth. The short answer is, I am not too fussed strangely… money is going in, and the assets are building up.

All in all, despite the disappointment of a lower number, it is still going the right way so I will cope with it.

How have you coped with the surprise drops this month?

Jan ’18 Performance

So January has finished, Christmas is but a distant memory – so how does it look? A hangover January? The month has screamed past with work being insanely busy meaning I only had 1 day completely off work since the 2nd January – but then I do enjoy it as it really gives me something to get my teeth into.

Portfolio Performance Notes
Company Pension 0.35% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
Personal Pension 0.78% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 1 0.21% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 2 -0.41% The performance does not include the income that was paid out into my account, and was another very good month of payouts!
ISA 3 -1.56% 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 -1.20% Go T’ Pub ISA
FTSE-100 0.14% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-250 0.38% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-All -1.99% This excludes any dividends
S&P500 5.86% This excludes any dividends
Dow Jones 6.11% This excludes any dividends
VWRL -0.11%
VHYL -0.70%
GBP/USD 4.89% 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 πŸ™‚

So what to make of all this?

The obvious one for me is the strengthening of the pound – which explains why the US Markets powered up but everything else went down!

I am continued to be surprised that, despite the fees, my IFA is powering up on the returns (no I am not plugging him!) – which slightly grates as I want to show I can do better!

Despite all the negatives in there, the nice thing is that the absolute amount is still going up. Slowly but surely I am getting there. Putting it all into pretty pictures, it is something like this:

201801PerfGraph

So amazingly after 9 months my IFA has given the best returns, even after fees, although my personal managed ISA and VWRL not that far behind. ISA 2 continues to lag the field, but then it was mostly designed to generate income and pay out (helping me further pay down the mortgage).

So not a lot to really shout about – the main thing is money goes in, invests and some comes out. The total amount is still increasing so I can be happy with the fire and forget approach.

Update: I forgot to add one of my targets – losing weight. Unbelievably I have managed to lose 1 stone since January 1st. I put this mostly down to reduction of the alcohol consumption although reducing my food intake slightly has also helped. That’s the easy win though, I think the next stone will be harder….

How was your January?

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 portfolioΒ 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 β€œHow 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 πŸ™‚

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 www.xe.com for consistency and real life πŸ™‚

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!

Dec17

So a nominal Β£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?

Nov ’17 Performance

So the month has ended (a little while ago, apologies for the tardy post), and so its time to take stock of the performance across my portfolio, and compare it to the usual index of choice. This enables me to see how I am doing. As I covered in my β€œHow 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 πŸ™‚

So November was an unusual month in terms of performance as I checked the progress through the month so little compared to usual it has, for once, been an unknown to see how it has panned out..

So, what did November do to the portfolios?

Portfolio Performance Notes
Company Pension 0.60% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
Personal Pension 0.62% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 1 -0.48% No income generated as all funds are in growth or reinvested
ISA 2 -0.36% The performance does not include the income that was paid out into my account, but is covered by the income so really need to consider both in conjunction.
ISA 3 -1.47% 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 -0.58% Go T’ Pub ISA
FTSE-100 -2.22% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-250 -1.36% This excludes any dividends
FTSE-All -2.04% This excludes any dividends
S&P500 2.81% This excludes any dividends
Dow Jones 3.83% This excludes any dividends
VWRL 0.12%
VHYL -0.20%
GBP/USD 1.89% 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 πŸ™‚

So the US markets continue to go up and up and up – although this isn’t really reflected in the Go T’ Pub ISA. Despite the fact that everything is down performance wise, the actual Β£ amount is still going up so I can’t complain too much. Given the way December is going as well makes me think that there is a slight slump underway which means I can buy more for the same price!

So overall, how is this doing in a pretty graph?

Nov17Perf

So my self managed ISA is just holding in, but the pension my IFA manages is closing in fast. ISA 2 looks bad, but then if I add in all the income it has paid out so far this year then it wouldn’t look so bad… either way they are all up so I am happy!

Thinking about 2025… well I am still not there in my forecasts sadly but it hasn’t gone any further out, so that is something! I have also started to forecast what my liquid total (i.e. ISAs) will be on that date which is quite interesting, not a huge variety since then but a reasonable chunk of change in there. I would like to increase it by about 50% on what is forecast, but then if I hit that then I wouldn’t need my pension!

How was your November performance?