Portfolio Update – November 2014

My main focus as a Dividend Growth Investor is the amount of Income I receive on a monthly basis. My long term goal is to receive a yield that will surpass the cost of my expenses each month. My annual overheads are currently under £10,000 per year, and my investments average over a 4% return. By using those numbers, I would require £250,000 in my portfolio to cover all bills and spending money. 

I want to keep track of the value of my portfolio each month as I go through this process. It’s been motivating to see the growth of my pot since I started DGI. Recording this data has helped by raising my awareness of individual stocks and the market as a whole. I now find myself eager to invest so I can report back on the progress I’ve made. 

I achieved one of my goals for 2014 by having a portfolio worth more than £12,000 in July. I sold some tracker funds I had in an old account, and used the money to invest in some companies last month.  The reinvestment from the sale took my portfolio value up to my Version 2 Goal of £17,500. In last months Portfolio Update I announced that I would be creating Version 3, and increasing the Goal up to £20,000 because I didn’t want to count the money that had been transferred. 

My portfolio value went up in November. The increase was a result of purchasing Admiral Group, receiving above average dividends, and an increase in value in some of my shares.

At the end of October my Freedom Pot was worth £17,169.00. When the market closed on 28th November my portfolio was worth £19,263.99 which is a £2,094.99 increase (12.2%). This is a significant increase for me month on month. The total cost for Admiral Group including charges were £1,266.79, and I received £83.71 in dividends. If I subtract the combination of the two from my increase I’m left with £744.49. This would suggest that my portfolio grew by this monetary amount. There are a several companies that increased in November but there were a couple that performed particularly well and they were my recent purchases of Morrison’s and IG Group which are now worth 11% more than what I paid for them.  

At the end of October I was £2,831 off my Version 3 target of £20,000. At the end of November I’m now £736.01 short with one month to go. The increase in share value has helped immensely and I’m now within sight of the goal. I plan on making one purchase in December. If my portfolio holds its value during this month, with the support of another above average month of dividends, I should cross that mark.

Thank you for reading!


How was November for you? Has your portfolio increased this month? Are you still on track for your end of year Goals? 


0 Comments

  • Hi Huw

    Looks like you're making great progress there. I'm very careful to separate the savings from salary (Saving Hard) I make from any investment returns (Investing Wisely) including capital gains, dividends and interest. This then means I can compare my investment performance with benchmarks. I'm reasonably happy with November:
    – Saving Hard. I saved 49% of my gross earnings compared with a target of 55%. October was 60% so between the 2 months it's averaged out to target. Note I think I calculate my % differently to yourself. Mine is savings including employer pension contributions divided by before tax earnings plus employer pension contributions.
    – Wealth increased by 1.9% as a result of investment return only. I only target 4% after inflation annually.
    – Summing these two has enabled me to take the amount of wealth I need to retire early from 77.0% to 78.8%.

    Cheers
    RIT

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Hi RIT,

    Thank you very much. I take the same approach as you on recording the saving (contributions), investment yield in income and capital gains. They're all very different and warrant separate monitoring if you want to know meaning behind your performance.

    It looks like you only just missed your saving rate this month. I've noticed a similar trend where one month you're comfortably above your target and then the next month it's a real struggle. Large 'one off' spends play their part too.

    Congratulations on taking another step closer to the goal. Thank you for stopping by!

    Huw

  • Cerridwen

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Hi Huw. Congratulations on a good month.

    I think most of us saw better results than for October which was pretty dire. Fingers crossed for your end of year target. It's not something that I ever set myself as I only started tracking my investment in March. However I certainly will be giving myself a target for 2015 as it is the last year I will have for cramming in as much investment as possible. My husband retires next Nov so income will be very restricted after then!

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Hi Huw

    Just found your blog through a comment you made on the diyinvestoruk.blogspot.co.uk/ site, yesterday.
    This internet and blog thingy is amazing !!!!

    Really enjoyed looking through your posts. I have many similar holdings in my portfolio as you do.

    You may have mentioned it already, but I am interested to know which share dealing site you use,
    and do you make your purchases 'as and when' or on a particular day when they offer reduced charges etc.
    Maybe you could put up an entry about it at some point.

    Keep up the good work

    Matt

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Thank you Cerridwen.

    I think you're right, October wasn't a great month for stocks but November has seen some substantial increases

    I feel confident about the end of year target (£20,000). I didn't think I'd be this close coming into December. It looks we started at the same time then! Tracking this information,and reporting it on this Blog has been a great motivator. I would recommend it to anyone that wants to see positive results. Do you have any idea what your targets will be or are you saving it until the New Year?

    Either way, good luck with it!

    Thanks for stopping by.
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Hi Matt,

    It's great to have you on board. Thank you for the kind words too! Are you based in the UK?

    I'm with H&L currently, but I plan on moving to iWeb in April. My taxable account is with iWeb and I've been impressed with their service and value for money. For example, when I buy shares with H&L, it cost £11.95 + Stamp duty. iWeb charge £5 + Stamp duty. Less than half.

    I plan on writing about it when I change in March next year. If you have any other questions, please get in touch.

    All the best!
    Huw

  • moneystepper

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Hi Huw – looks like a great month and the portfolio seems to be growing nicely – good work!

    As per your previous reply, when you are buying small tranches like this, the choice of online broker can make a big difference (especially when you are actively buying and selling).

    With Admiral, for example, when you are buying only £1000 of the stock, the £11,95 is taking over 1% off your returns straight away. Add on to that stamp duty and bid/spread offer and you need to make 1.5%-2% increase before you move into profit. That can be quite substantial.

    This is why I tend to buy larger chunks in wider tracking low-cost ETFs/funds, but clearly this approach isn't for everyone.

    All I'm really trying to say is that moving to the iWeb stocks and shares ISA would be a good decision, and I would do it sooner rather than later! 🙂

  • Special Agent Dividend

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Some great numbers! It looks like you are well on your way to meeting the goal, which is awesome. I've made several buys in November, really focusing on energy and commodities. I did pass my initial goal for 2014 of $200 in forward income, so I've just been adding to it. 2015 will be $1000 goal.

  • Anonymous

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Hi Huw

    Thanks for your reply.

    Yes I am based in the UK (Herts/Middx border).

    I have stocks & shares ISA accounts with Halifax and Interactive Investor (iii). Similar costs as H&L.
    For funds etc. I use Best Invest and Fidelity (Funds Network).

    I will await your future update.

    Thanks for now
    Matt

  • "I've noticed a similar trend where one month you're comfortably above your target and then the next month it's a real struggle." Two of the biggest effects for me come from food and fuel. Food is because the weekly grocery shop occurs on the weekend so if it's a 4 weekend month I'm laughing and if it's a 5 week month then it's a struggle. Fuel is a similar story, some months I need an extra tank full simply because of when in the month I complete my first fill up.

    "Large 'one off' spends play their part too." Agree with this one also.

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Hi Matt,

    It's nice to see more people in the UK getting involved with the FI/PF blogging community.

    I'll keep you posted with the NISA move to iWeb. Thanks again for stopping by.

    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Thanks for getting back to me. I like your regimented approach with food shopping. It makes a lot of sense and it's understandable how your budget can fluctuate with a 25% increase on some months.

    I'm quite fortunate because food and fuel are fairly stable for me. The one offs make the biggest impact overall. For example, December is going to be a big spending month. I have presents to buy, a wedding, 2 x Christmas Parties, and catching up/socialising with friends around Christmas time.

    Cheers
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Hi Moneystepper,

    I couldn't agree with you more! I went with H&L when I first set out to invest, and I only found that the comparative broker charges on Monevator earlier this year.

    Unfortunately, you can't put money into two stocks and shares NISA's in one year, and I had already started with H&L. So, I'm going to have to wait until April until I can open an account with them.

    I have a taxable account with iWeb, and I plan to continue investing into that once I've passed the £15,000 allocation for this year which is likely to be in January.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You read my mind!

    Cheers
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 30th November 2014

    Hi Special Agent Dividend,

    Thanks very much. I feel pretty confident about it, but you can't say for sure with the stock market. My contribution for December coupled with my dividends should cover it. I just need to stock Market to play nice……

    Congratulations on hitting the dividend goal! I like the $1000 goal too, it's a nice step up as well as being a good benchmark figure. I wish you the best of luck with it!

    Thanks again for the support.

    Cheers
    Huw

  • Tawcan

    Reply Reply 1st December 2014

    Those are some great numbers. Looks like you'll be able to meet the goal. That just show how important planning and having a strategy is.

  • weenie

    Reply Reply 1st December 2014

    Well done Huw – it must feel great to consistently hit your goals, even though you've been moving the goal posts! Good luck for your year end target – you're pretty much there!

    I've only ever paid the £11.95 share dealing charge once (my first purchase of GSK shares). All other times, I've set the purchases as 'regular payments', so you only get charged £1.50 + stamp duty. Just seemed to make sense, as I'm only investing small amounts at a time, eg lots of around £300 at the moment. Since I'm not timing the market, it doesn't really matter if I buy the shares now or in a week's time – I just decide which share that month and set it up as a regular payment, usually about a week before the purchase takes place. For HL, the purchases are made around the 20th of the month. This regular payment service for shares is pretty new for HL, so perhaps you weren't aware of it.

    One thing though, you do need to remember to cancel the regular payment or you'll end up buying more of the shares the following month!

  • No More Waffles

    Reply Reply 1st December 2014

    Huw,

    Great progress on your end too!

    I find it fascinating to see your portfolio grow from month to month. It gives me the confidence that what we're both doing must be working somehow since our portfolio's have ballooned so much.

    Let's hope the markets are kind the next couple of weeks so you make your £20k goal!

    Good luck,
    NMW

  • Dividend Mantra

    Reply Reply 1st December 2014

    Huw,

    Another really solid month. Looks like you're having a fantastic 2014. You're setting yourself up for an even better 2015! 🙂

    Best of luck crushing your £20k goal over the coming weeks.

    Cheers!

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 1st December 2014

    Hi Tawcan,

    Thank you very much. I feel confident of hitting it, I just hope the stock market is kind to me this month. If we have another month like October it might cost me. It's out of my hands either way, so I'll make my contribution this week and I'll keep my fingers crossed.

    Thanks for stopping by!
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 1st December 2014

    Thank you Weenie. It feels good for about 5 mins, then I think about what I can hit next. I'm a bloody nightmare! I am happy though joking aside, especially when I look back at my portfolio value at the start of the year, it makes me feel great.

    Thanks for sharing the H&L regular payments service. I was aware that they offered a regular payment service, but I didn't look into it. I will now though! Do they have a top end cap on it. For example, could I invest £1,000 per month and only be charged £1.50 + Stamp duty? If so, that sounds very interesting. I would prefer to buy a share as and when I want but if you can save just over £10 in charges it's worth considering.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 1st December 2014

    Hi NMW,

    Thank you very much. Likewise, it feels very reassuring to see others invest in similar companies and experience success. Yes, I hope Mr Market is kind. I'd really like to hit £20k, it's a nice round number and a benchmark I'd be proud of for 1 year of investing.

    All the best
    Huw

  • Huw Davies

    Reply Reply 1st December 2014

    Hi DM,

    Thanks for the kind words. I've had a cracking year for contributions. My portfolio value and cost hasn't made a lot of progress yet, but I'm pleased with some of the Income generating companies I've investing in, and I have no doubt it'll come to fruition next year.

    Bring on that £20k! Thanks for the support!

    Huw

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