Monthly Archives: April 2017

End of April finance

End of month finance review time.

What’s happened on the finance and investment side of things? Redrow has done rather nicely but star performer has been JD sports, up neatly 15% over the last month. On the downside, Burberry recently announced a reduction in sales and so suffered a sudden fall in price but looks to be recovering a little. Rio Tinto seems to be on a bit of a downer, but it’s GlaxoSmithKline that’s going to be sold out of the portfolio. So on Tuesday (Monday being a bank holiday) Glaxo will go and be replaced with Persimmon (PSN).
Overall the portfolio is up over 2% and is nicely outperforming the FTSE 100 index. It is generally targeting capital growth, any dividends will be seen as a bonus.


As for setting up an income virtual portfolio I’m doing something a little non-standard. I’ve sorted out 10 high income type investment trusts (Brunner (BUT), City of London (CTY), F&C Capital and Income (FCI), JPMorgan Claverhouse(JCH), Merchants (MRCH), Murray Income (MUT), Schroder Income Growth (SCF), Scottish American (SCAM), Temple Bar (TMPL), Value & Income (VIN)), and have, in my simulation, bought £1,000 of each of them.

The slightly non-standard thing is that having decided on what to buy (based on long term dividend stability / growth) I back-dated the purchase to the start of last December. This does immediately give me an idea of how the income side is performing in respect to dividend generation. The start of December is also an important date regarding some pension stuff I have, so having this income portfolio running parallel to my pension stuff will be useful to me. This straight away lets me see that it’s currently paying out dividends at an equivalent interest rate of 3.5% a year, but if I add this to overall capital growth then since December it’s showing a 10% gain. This compares to an 8% gain in the FTSE100 Total Return Index over the same period.

I’m happy enough with things at the moment. It is a learning experience and will be useful later in life when I’m no longer having a wage as an income but am relying on other investment sources.

Time to think about generating income.

Income please.

As well as my big cap portfolio I’m playing with, I might start a second one looking to see about generating income. A mix of relatively high yield unit trust / OEICs and of investment trusts, say 5 of each. The idea will be very much a buy and hold routine, reviewing it once a year in case any disasters need to be weeded out.
As it will be targeting income I won’t be too concerned about capital growth and will assume any growth in one investment will probably be balanced out by losses in another. Any actual ‘overall growth’ in the portfolio will be through reinvesting any income not withdrawn at yield or dividend payment time. This should be an interesting experiment. Dividends are usually paid out twice a year, so this will not be a portfolio to be ‘rushed’. As a target a 4% income seems a reasonable objective to aim at. As this will be a learning experience I’m not too worried as to what it actually turns out to be, so long as I can gain some knowledge and experience doing it.

As for my main virtual portfolio, then I think I will go for the idea at the start of each month of culling out the worst performer if it really has behaved badly. I don’t want to get into the bad habit of too much churning and replacing things just for the sake of it, that will only rack up unnecessary charges. However cutting losses is so important in ensuring an overall gain. Remember that if an investment falls by say 50%, then a 100% gain will be needed to get it back to where it was.
The portfolio is currently just getting into profit mainly through a nice set of results from JD Sports. Rio Tinto is still looking a bit weak, so if anything’s going to go at the start of next month it is still favourite for the chopping block. It would be nice if it did burst back into life.

financial ups and downs

Time to kick this blog back into life, so let’s try by occasionally talking about some financial ups and downs type stuff.

As part of my Master Plan to become stinking rich and rule the World – or perhaps at least become financially stable – I thought I’d experiment a bit with some virtual stock-market trading. So (using the financial web site). I have, as of 6th March, ‘virtually bought’ 10 of the leading UK stocks. And as this virtual portfolio moves up and down (I hope far more of the ‘ups’ than ‘downs’) I’ll report back here.

The current virtual portfolio is split across Ashtead (AHT), Burberry (BRBY), Carnival (CCL), CRH (CRH), Electrocomponents (ECM), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), JD sports (JD.), Redrow (RDW), Rio Tinto (RIO) and Tate & Lyle (TATE).

Various financial targets, looking at things over say 6 months or a year. First, and perhaps the most obvious – not to make a loss! Moving up in scale, to beat a high interest bank account. To outperform the FTSE 100 index (surprisingly few ‘professional advisers’ can actually achieve this over the long term). To learn a bit about the financial world of how to sensibly save money.  Also, and perhaps most importantly, to have a bit of fun.

So now we are almost a month in, time for some first thoughts.

These are all big-cap companies varying in market capitalisation size from Carnival at around £680 million up to Glaxo at £1200 million. With these sort of sizes I would not be expecting too many sudden large jumps in value. Six (AHT, BRBY, CRH, ECM,GSK, RIO) are showing small losses, that leaves CCL, JD., RDW and TATE into profit. However despite the majority in loss, overall things are into positive territory through JD Sports increasing by around 8%.

Even as I am writing this there is something I might try. If I have a reason to sell something then it will obviously get sold. However, on a monthly basis, assuming there was the usual mix of ups and downs, then look to see which was the worst performing and if it has fallen by more than 5% then sell it. I must think about this over the weekend (this is being written on a Saturday). Assuming I decide to go with this, then Rio Tinto (down nearly 6% and below its 50 day moving average) will go and probably replaced by Smiths Group (SMIT).

Oh decisions, decisions!