October 2018 Savings, plus other updates

Happy Halloween!

My efforts this year.

In the spirit of All Hallows’ Eve (although I don’t have time for trick or treaters), I’ve enjoyed carving pumpkins, having pumpkin in my casserole and munching on pumpkin seeds but was it a horror show for me, investment-wise?

During the recent stock market upheavals, I made a point of not checking my investment numbers (apart from my Dogs of the FTSE portfolio).  I didn’t see the point of scaring/torturing myself.

So I was able to ignore all the hysterical news and remain blissfully ignorant…until now!

Firstly, how did I get on with my savings?

I saved 41.2%, which sees my average savings rate going down a little to 44.4%.

It’s all downhill from now until the new year as the spendy months are here, plus I need to pay off my holiday flight.

The above savings includes top ups from £430 matched betting profits (from last month), £78.20 from TopCashback*, £20 lotto winnings and £80.40 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, I just topped up existing ones.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

Well, I can confirm that the value of my Future Fund was affected negatively by the volatile markets.

It might be easier to show to what extent with a graph:

2018 Future Fund progress

No need to panic – it’s just sort of back to where it was in June, so no disaster.

I was preparing myself for the worst and as with the recent budget, in the end, not a lot happened.

It would be good to get back over the £150k mark by the end of the year, so let’s hope things pick up over the next month or so. My balance now stands at £145,068 and I will continue to invest as normal.

Dividends and Other Income

The markets tanked yet my dividends continued to roll in regardless: Continue reading

Dogs of The FTSE Q3 (2018)

It’s been around 9 months since I set up my 2018 experimental Dogs of the FTSE portfolio, so time for another update.

With the markets recently in ‘chaos’ and ‘turmoil’, what happened to my poor little flea-bitten canines?

As at close of trading on 19th October 2018, the portfolio was showing a 4.92% gain from its starting value.

Including dividends received, it’s a 11.53% gain.

Over the same period, the FTSE 100 Total Return was 0.34% so the Dogs weathered the recent rocky patch and came out of the other side more or less intact! Ok, so half of the stocks are in the negative but these are cancelled out by the other ones which are positive, so I’m not too concerned.

Nothing to do really except to keep track of dividends as they roll in and see how things look in another 3 months’ time and then, it’ll be time to get rid of dogs that didn’t make the grade and bring in some new ones!

Until the next Dogs of the FTSE update!

I Just Got Paid

When I first heard the song, ‘Just Got Paid’, I felt a sudden wave of emotion – so much so that I had to stop what I was doing.

When the song ended, I played it again.

The gleeful chorus/riff brings about feelings of sheer absolute joy and describe exactly how I used to feel when I got paid, during the time when I was buried in credit card debt, back in the mid-2000s.

Some of the lyrics describe my irresponsibility with money back then and yup, if I could dance like that, I would have been dancing like those girls in the video!

I no longer experience this joyful feeling when my wage hits my bank account these days. It’s not that I’m not happy when I get paid because of course I am.

But perhaps it’s because back in those debt ridden days, being paid meant huge relief and happiness that I had money in the bank to spend, to pay off my debts, to plug my overdraft (if only temporarily) and that for a short while, I was financially ok…until I became skint and the cycle would being again as I waited for the next pay day.

Nowadays, I get paid, I check my bank a few days later to see automatic amounts going out for my investments, my bills being paid automatically, all tickety-boo, all quite clinical really. No sheer joy here but also, no fear or grief or stress that it’s all going to run out soon.

And this got me thinking – the next time I’m likely to get these happy feelings of getting paid will be when I stop working and am living off my investments/dividends/pensions etc. Yes, because I will have gotten ‘paid’ for doing nothing!

Just a short post, it’s been a long week and the post I was going to put up didn’t get finished so let me just end on that thought, dance to this top tune and hope you all have a great weekend!

Thought Experiment #1

I’ve been persuaded to take part in a ‘thought experiment’, where people give their own take on the same thought/idea or scenario.

Please check out Saving Ninja’s post which explains in more detail.

So here’s the first scenario:

What would you do if right at this very instance you got given £1 million? This could be from a lottery win, an IPO, a scratch card, you name it. No tax needs to be paid, it’s just been plopped directly into your run-of-the-mill bank account.  

Lucky me! 🙂

Ok, off the top of my head, I would….

…be Financially Independent and would be able to retire early immediately, but I wouldn’t, not right away anyway. It’s a lot of money, I’d like to think things through properly so yes, I’d still go into work! I know for a fact that I would not be mentally ready to give up working just yet.

…remain anonymous and tell only my immediate family how much I had won and tell my close friends I had won a ‘large amount’. Why not tell them the exact amount? I’m not sure – never really discussed money with my friends so not really sure how they would react to be honest.

…put aside £300k to be gifted to my immediate family – all members of my family are already a lot wealthier than I am but I would still want to share my winnings and good fortune.

…put aside £100k to be gifted to my close friends. No idea how I would do this but in whatever tax friendly way I can do it, be it paying for their holidays, etc.

…put aside £100k for specific charity needs. Rather than throwing it into a charity pot, I’d like to pay for stuff like school equipment, that kind of thing

…use the remaining half to buy a property which would ultimately be my primary residence, perhaps buy another small property to rent out and invest the rest in boring index trackers to enable me to have a ‘fat’ retirement!

…be lying if I said I wouldn’t change because that kind of money all of a sudden is life-changing, for me anyway. I would probably naturally become less frugal but I think I still wouldn’t be wasteful or flash with my money. I wouldn’t buy a new car, as there’s nothing wrong with my current one, although I could realistically consider a new electric car as my next motor.

…start looking at holidays to Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA!

Reading back on the above, there are probably some tweaks and changes I would make or add but the point of the exercise is to not dwell on your answers and just write what comes to your mind immediately.

What would you do in this instance?

Edit – Here are the other bloggers who took part in this experiment and their thoughts:

Ms ZiYou
Saving Ninja
TheFIREStarter
in-deed-a-bly
Early Retirement – Early Freedom 
Steel Kitten
Inspiring Life Design
DrFIRE

If you fancy joining in and want to be added to the experiment, send a tweet to @SavingNinja or send him a message via his website.

PS – I live in hope that I bag £1m with my premium bonds!