Final Countdown

So after being put on group consultation in June, I have finally been told that my job is being made redundant and have been given my leave date at work:

30th December 2016

Actually, my last day at work will be 21st December as I have a festive holiday booked in and wasn’t planning on returning to work until 2nd January, but 30th is officially my last day at work with New Co.



Right now, I’m just glad that I’ve been asked to stay a little longer –  most people will be leaving at the beginning of November, including my boss. Getting over the financial hurdle that is Christmas makes me feel better.

I’m relieved that I finally know when I’m going to finish – although I’m of course sad about leaving, not knowing hasn’t been easy at all.

I’m also a little excited – after working for the same company for so long, I’m going to be doing something different – new year, new start and hopefully, new job!

Severance Package

With 21 years’ service under my belt (over two decades – gosh, that makes me feel so old!!), my package will come to just over a full year’s pay. There’s a possibility that I may even be able to sneak in part of my bonus as negotiations continue in that area but I’m not counting on it. A bonus if I get it 🙂

As I’ve never been made redundant before and have nothing to compare (except to UK statutory), I don’t think the package is a bad one. It’s not as good as the one our French colleagues are getting though but hey ho!

It’s hard not to keep thinking about what I will do with my redundancy money – I would love to just invest it all but need to remember that I will be living off it until I secure my next employment.

If I do find decent work pretty quickly, well then, I’ll have a nice sum to play around with, which might even shave a year or so off my FI plan.

Reasons to be cheerful

I could have made this into a sad and dreary post but I’d rather it be an optimistic one.

The future is bright, opportunities beckon!

Have a good weekend all!

P2P – 2 Year Update

Following on from my last review, another 12 months have gone by so here’s an update on my peer-to-peer (P2P) lending.

P2P image

Around this time last year, my P2P portfolio stood at £2,098.15.

As at June 2016, it totalled £2,437.20.

£226.88 came from referrals and a bit of new investment (a whole £26.88!), so actual increase was £112.17 (5.3%).

This increase compares favourably to the 4.9% I achieved in 2015 as I continue to reinvest my money in loans with higher interest rates.

Here’s my P2P portfolio:

Funding Circle – £1,050.11
FundingKnight – £105.18
LandBay – £204.09
Lending Works – £355.55
RateSetter – £730.02


In December, I suffered my first P2P loan default. Since then, there has been a second default. The above 5.3% increase includes both defaults (both of which were with Funding Circle). Most of my loans are very small and spread out (I have over 80 loans with Funding Circle), thus hopefully, minimising the impact of defaults.  Had I not had those defaults, I would have seen an increase of 6.4%.


P2P does have its risks. It’s not covered by the FSCS so there is the chance that you may not get all your money back should things go belly up.

In June, FundingKnight went into administration.  The first I heard about it was when I received an email stating that it had been acquired by a company called GLI Finance. I don’t have much loaned via FundingKnight but some lenders may indeed be trying to get their money back in a panic. I can see on the website that there are lots of loans on the secondary market and not a lot of new loans (if any). What I’m going to do is to withdraw repayments made and recycle them into one of my other P2P accounts – I’m not going to try to cancel down my loans or sell them.

This does mean that I’ll not really be keeping to my P2P diversification plan, but my funds will still be spread between the other accounts.

So, whilst I’m not currently intending to add any new funds, I will continue to reinvest and of course, will monitor my portfolio closely.

Monkey Stocks League Challenge – Update #9

So, what effect did Brexit have on our Monkey Stocks League Challenge?

Below is a snapshot as at the close of trading on 30th June 2016 and still way ahead for the FOURTH consecutive month was M’s Underdogs Fund!


The ‘fund’ is showing a gain of over 37% – last month, it was 17%!  This is despite the fact that the portfolio includes shares in Standard Chartered, one of the many banks which suffered big losses following the Brexit vote. True, the fund in reality is worth somewhat less than before due to the devaluation of the £ but still, it’s got to be better to see gains than losses.

For the Live table (during trading hours, Rank and Value will be updated automatically) and full portfolio listings, have a look here and also via the right sidebar.

All June dividends have been added to the respective portfolios. However, please let me know if I’ve missed any (or if there are any errors) as there are so many to keep track of.

Real Portfolios

Of the real portfolios, behind the Underdogs Fund is my own Funky Monkey Fund.  Mr Z’s Undead Monkey Fund clings onto that last top 10 spot, with FireVLondon’s B Team Fund languishing in mid-table obscurity and Cerridwen’s Eye of Toad Fund dropping into the bottom 3.

Expertly Picked Funds

John Kingham’s Pigmamig Fund hovers outside the top 5, with Huw’s Kunniga Apa Fund moving up to 8th place. Just three more months for either/both to finish above the monkey funds by the end of the competition!

Steady Eddy

As mentioned  before, diy’s Mutley’s Magic Formula fund maintains its steady process and position in the Top 5. This fund is based on Vanguard’s 60% LifeStrategy Fund and appears to not bounce around as much as the funds made up of just 5 stocks.

Best vs Worst

The best 5 performing shares since the start of the league are Centamin, Evraz, NMC Health, BGEO Group (previously Bank of Georgia Holdings) and British American Tobacco.

If someone had happened to pick all these shares for their portfolio, they would have seen a nice gain of over 62% on their initial investment of £500:


The worst 5 performing shares were Royal Bank of Scotland, OneSavingsBank, Barclays Bank, Interserve, Restaurant Group.

If you’d had the misfortune to pick this lot, you would have seen your portfolio value drop  by 48% – ouch!


Bank shares took a battering – how long before they recover?


June 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

A bit of a topsy-turvy month – with the announcement at work and various members of my family arriving for an extended visit and birthday celebrations (mine!), things aren’t quite normal in the weenie household. Oh, and also Brexit happened….


So I managed a savings rate of 39.7%, my lowest so far this year. Meals out with friends and family plus shopping trips (again with family) incurred extra expenses.

My average savings rate has now sadly dropped below my target, now at 49.4%, so just below my target. With my family being around for a few more months and work being uncertain, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to drag this back up but I’ll do what I can.

This month’s income was boosted by £50 from rent received, £25 premium bond winnings and £25.05 from TopCashback*. I also made my first £100 investment using matched betting profits – more on that another time.

Net Worth and Future Fund 

I don’t report my Net Worth on a monthly basis, but here’s the detailed info after the second quarter:

Jun16networth(a) Figure based on August 2015 statement, plus overpayments made

(b) Personal Emergency Fund

(c) Emergency Fund for stuff related to BTL property

(d) On a 0% rate

(e) Zoopla estimated value of property as at 30/06/16

Brexit has actually had an initial positive impact on my portfolio – helped along with new capital, my Future Fund now stands at £72,192.02, an increase of 5.9% from last month.

Since December 2015, my net worth has increased by 15.2% (not including my work DC pension). I’m not really hung up on this number but it’s heading in the right direction, so I guess I’m happy.


Dividends and Other Income

Dividends received this month (which will be reinvested): Continue reading