York Gathering + Monkey Stocks

Just a quick update from me about the UK PF/FI Gathering which took place in York this weekend, as I’m sure Huw will do a detailed one on his blog.

All I can say really is that it was a most enjoyable weekend – many, many thanks to Huw for organising it all!

It was great to catch up with people I’d met at the last gathering in Stratford-Upon-Avon (eg Huw, Lou, Richard, Alison and M) and to meet up with new faces, namely Cerridwen, TheFIREStarter + Mrs TFS, Emma, Craig, MikeS, A+Z and JimMcG, a resident of York who directed us to the best pubs! Much local beer and ale was consumed over the weekend, or was that just me, haha?
Incidentally, it was JimMcG who wrote the guest post on Early Retirement Guy’s blog, Top 10 Downsides of Financial Independence & Early Retirement – I hope I’ve managed to persuade Jim that if he started his own blog, there will be plenty of readers who will enjoy his wit and dry humour!

Typically, we had the usual mix of British weather – rain one day, glorious sunshine the next – but regardless of the weather, it was fantastic company. I thought it was great just listening to other people’s stories and also being able to talk to others who didn’t think I was a freak/bore/lottery winner (delete as applicable) just for mentioning investments or early retirement!

I’m not sure I’ll be able to attend the next gathering (down south somewhere) but for those toying with the idea, I would highly recommend making the effort.
I think I feel even more motivated than ever after this weekend!

Monkey Stocks League Update

As promised, one of the highlights of Saturday afternoon was the blind drawing of stocks for my Monkey Stocks League Challenge! There was great participation and it looks like it’s going to be an exciting and fun league!

However, only two brave souls will join me in actually purchasing for real the shares that were blindly drawn out – yes, step forward Cerridwen and Lou (Mrs FFB40) – us women are fearless, haha!
Ok, here are the shares that I picked out of the hat:
ARM Holdings plc
Sainsbury (J) plc
Shaftesbury plc
Tate & Lyle plc
Temple Bar Investment Trust plc
Am I happy with my picks? Well to be honest, I was a little disappointed as I actually wanted 5 companies I’d never heard of before and there are plenty of those in the FTSE 350! 
Oh well, I shall indeed be purchasing the above shares on 10th September and have set regular investments as follows on my share account:
Now, I’m really excited! πŸ™‚
Here are Cerridwen and Lou’s picks:
Diploma plc
OneSaving Bank plc
Prudential plc
Redefine International plc
Wood Group (John) plc Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (Cerridwen’s spare being used as she had a prior criteria of no fossil fuel related stocks being picked)
BG Group plc
BP plc
Rolls Royce Holdings plc
Segro plc
Shire plc
Ten others blindly picked their ‘virtual’ portfolios so that they could join in on the fun. Who’s to say that they won’t sneakily invest for real in their picks!? Anyway, I’ve listed those portfolios at the bottom of this post.
For the people who are joining the Monkey Stocks League Challenge and actually purchasing their shares (eg FireVLondon, Mr Z), please can you ensure you buy your stocks in the month of September and let me know the numbers, eg cost etc.
Same goes with others joining in virtually, eg , John K, Dividend Drive and Dividend Legion, (plus Huw and M for their hand-picked portfolios), can you let me have your picks any time in September.
Oh and if you haven’t already done so, I’ll need the names of your portfolios for the league table.
Prize for the Winner
I did mention that there wasn’t going to be a prize but there’s likely to be a trophy for the winner – might even get it engraved!
Anyway, I’d best continue working on my Google sheets for the portfolios – a bit more work than I thought as I didn’t think so many people would be joining in, haha!
Hope everyone had a great weekend!

EDIT – Ok, FIbrarian’s the last entrant, need to keep this easy to update!


Virtual Portfolio Picks
Richard: CLS Holdings Plc, Enterprise Inns plc, Royal Dutch Shell plc, Smith & Nephew plc, Spire Healthcare Group plc
Alison: Antofagasta Holdings plc, Big Yellow Group plc, Nostrum Oil & Gas plc, Redrow plc, Standard Life plc, 
Emma: Centrica plc, Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc, Rexam plc, Serco Group plc, Unite Group plc
Huw: Bank of Georgia Holdings plc, Booker Group plc, Bunzl plc, Carillion plc, UK Commercial Property Trust plc. (Huw intends to submit a second portfolio of personally selected shares to pit against his monkey portfolio!)
TheFIREStarter: Alliance Trust plc, Bovis Homes Group plc, Carnival plc, Mondi plc, Restaurant Group plc
A+Z: City of London Investment Trust plc, Hunting plc, Inchcape plc, Sky plc, Synthomer plc
JimMcG: Blue Crest AllBlue Fund Ltd, Electra Private Equity plc, Grafton Group plc, Rio Tinto plc, Taylor Wimpey plc
MikeS: Amlin Group plc, British American Tobacco plc, Cineworld Group plc, Experian plc, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc
Craig: CRH plc, Compass Group plc, NMC Health plc, Northgate plc, WPP plc
M: Brewin Dolphin Holdings plc, Coca Cola HBC AG, CSR plc. AVEVA Group plc, Debenhams plc, Zoopla Property Group plc.(Like Huw, M intends to submit a second portfolio of personally selected shares to pit against her monkey portfolio!)

Additional entry:

FIbrarian: Bodycote plc, Morgan Advanced Materials plc, SVG Capital plc, Standard Chartere plc and WH Smith plc

27 thoughts on “York Gathering + Monkey Stocks

  1. Hi weenie,

    It was great to meet everyone at the weekend so thanks again to Huw and everyone who helped to make it happen.

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to mess up your spreadsheet already and ask you to swop out one of my "Eye of Toad" holdings. Wood Group are apparently heavily involved in oil and gas, and as I said I wouldn't be buying fossil fuel companies, I'd like to throw that one back in and replace it with one of my "spares" – RBS.

    Thanks for taking the time to sort this out (hope the spreadsheet doesn't keep you up all night :-))

  2. This sounds great fun Weenie! Is it too late to get in on the action? I know squat about picking individual stocks so having it randomly generated is probably a good thing!

  3. Hi Cerridwen
    Of course you can change – that was the reason why you picked a couple of spares in case one of your picks was involved in fossil fuels – have updated the above now for your 'Eye of Toad' portfolio!

  4. Hi FIb
    It's not too late – how do you want the stocks to be picked? I think I may still have the 'hat' from York with all the unpicked stocks in so if you wanted, you could entrust me to draw them out for you. Or you could do your own random draw. Let me know.

  5. Hi Weenie,

    thanks for the brief write-up on the weekend. I am really sorry that I didn't not get to talk to that many people over the time, as we had family things arranged too.

    I am really looking forward to the monkey stocks league!



  6. Hi Weenie

    It was great fun meeting you and everybody else at the weekend – I had a great time!

    As for the name of my portfolio – how about the Crimson Permanent Insurance Investment Fund? – lets see who gets the reference πŸ™‚


  7. Really sorry to miss the weekend. Weenie: as promised I am going to pick the portfolio imminently. Can you remind me of the rules: monkey picks from ftse350 right?

  8. Hi Again Weenie,

    Because I'm a hopeless geek I started spreadsheeting the picks – just picked up on this : M's pick CSR plc have been acquired by Qualcom and are no longer being traded! : see http://www.csr.com/investors

    I've got everyone's picks in an excel spreadsheet along with the TIDM codes if that's any use to you – drop me a line (planning to do a little programming and see if I can get a webpage up where we can track these live)

    Mike S

  9. Haha, ok….I've just randomly picked five for you from the remaining picks in the hat; have updated my post but here they are: Bodycote plc, Morgan Advanced Materials plc, SVG Capital plc, Standard Chartered plc and WH Smith plc! Good luck!

  10. Hey MikeS
    Was great to meet you and glad you had a great time also!

    Sorry, I cheated and googled 'Crimson Permanent' and got something to do with Monty Python?

  11. Hi M
    Yes, a shame I didn't get a chance to spend much time with you, understand that you had your family commitments. It was great to see you blooming though and I wish you all the best for Christmas Day! πŸ™‚

    Yep, really looking forward to seeing your dogs v monkeys, although not sure if you've seen Mike's post about one of your picked stocks no longer trading – I'll drop you a note.

  12. Hi Mike
    Thanks for the heads up re CSR – I'll have to ask M to choose another one.

    Haha, you did mention that you were a geek with spreadsheets! πŸ™‚ I'm not sure how easy it is to share Excel so had been planning on sharing on the more basic Google sheets, using Google Finance for the live updates.

    I have no idea how that compares to Excel but be my guest if you wish to sort out a webpage and I can link to it!

  13. I've sent you a pm with it via Early Retirement Guy's forum (really must get around to introducing myself on there! he's an absolute star for setting that up!)

    Mike S

  14. Hi Weenie

    It'll probably take me a while to get a webpage sorted so I'd go with the google sheets plan for now – I'll drop you a line with a link to a google sheet version of what I've got so far – might save you a bit of typing!

    Mike S

  15. That's the one, from The Meaning of Life film – staid London firm rebels and sets sail on the rocky seas of finance as pirates!

    Here's hopin' I gets me Pices of Eight from my picks!

  16. Weenie
    OK here you go – my list is as follows – it's called 'the B team' and is an alphabetical list:

    BA. BAe
    BAB Babcock Intl
    BABS Bluecrest Allblue
    BAG AG Barr
    BARC Barclays

    I will confirm quantities and values in September.

    Well done for organising this!


  17. Hi Weenie!

    Great to meet you once again at the weekend and to all others who attended.

    My team name is going to be the Hologram Grocer Brats.

    It is an anagram of the first two letters of each word in all of the companies on my list (not including the PLC bits) (and with an "s" on the end so it sounds like an actual team)

    Before you think I am some sort of genius (or just have way too much time on my hands) I will admit to cheating somewhat and pluging them into here: http://incoherency.co.uk/countdown/ – Still great fun trying to come up with something that barely makes sense though πŸ™‚

    Cheers for sorting all of this out… should be fun! πŸ™‚

  18. Hey TFS
    Haha nice name and thanks for that link, not seen that before – I will check that out properly and have a play around!

    Good luck – I think it will be fun!

  19. Hi Weenie, finally got around to reviewing the stocks I picked from the hat in York! I see I have to name my portfolio, so The Stonegate Certainty will do for me, in memory of the time and place.

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