Happy New Year!
Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and enjoyed the celebrations last night to see in the new year, whether you were out in a noisy pub/bar or at home watching ‘Jools’ Annual Hootenanny’ – I was doing neither, as I was already tucked up in bed suffering from jet lag well before Big Ben’s chimes rang! I could have dragged myself out to meet up with friends but FOMO can’t compete with sleep these days!
Anyway, I had a great break in Hong Kong, spent a lot of quality time with family, ate too much, though surprisingly drank very little.
So, how did I do in the last month of the year?
I saved 38.4% – surprisingly higher than expected but I put some of my Christmas shopping on my credit card so that will appear on next month’s bill.
My average for the year ended up at 43.2%. Although I didn’t achieve my goal (again) to hit that elusive 50%, I’m quite satisfied with this average.
The above savings include top ups from £155 matched betting profits (from last month), £42.61 from TopCashback* and £66.32 affiliate income from OddsMonkey (thank you to all those who joined via my link – much appreciated!). I also withdrew £1k from my Smarkets exchange account which was chucked into my SIPP.
Shares and Investment Trusts
I made an investment in JPMorgan Asian Investment Trust – don’t have a lot in this region so thought I’d diversify a bit.
Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.
(Entire portfolio here)
I think this is the rockiest year of investing that I’ve encountered so far – no Santa Rally this time.
My Future Fund ends the year at £142,831, which was around what it was back in April 2018 – one step forwards, three steps back it seems! Hitting my £150k milestone back in September seems like a dream now but I look forward to hitting it again in 2019!
Dividends and Other Income
Dividends received this month:
The bottom drops out of the stock market but the dividends continue to roll in. I received £140.03, which brings the total dividends received this year to £3,071.47 – yes, target reached!
So here’s how things look at the end of the year for dividend income:
In the face of doom, gloom and stock market volatility, this graph continues to make me smile. It’s great to see my passive income grow every year, although I think in future, I might track the SIPP/ISA split.
Matched Betting (MB)
A busy month meant that I only had a couple of weeks to do any MB. EW betting finished up badly as I didn’t have any time to recoup my losses. Fortunately, my no-lay accas didn’t do too badly so cushioned the blow somewhat.
I ended up making just a small profit of £232.33 – total profit made for the year was £4,526, which is actually the biggest annual profit I’ve made so far in my years of MB. Not the mega-riches that some matched bettors report but it’s more than enough for me for the effort I put in and of course, it’s all tax free.
The matched betting guide I subscribe to is OddsMonkey*. It’s a nifty little website for beginners and experienced matched bettors alike – for beginners, there are plenty of tutorials which provide you with step-by-step guides on how to make profits and to work through special offers. They also offer one-to-one sessions for those who need a little more help. OddsMonkey offers quality tools including the Each Way Matcher, Extra Place Matcher, Dutch Finder, Racing Matcher and Acca Matcher. There’s also a friendly forum for you to ask questions. Anyway, check out the free trial*.
Here’s how it all ended:
4 out of 6 isn’t too bad, so I’m satisfied overall with what I’ve achieved.
I didn’t set it as a goal but I pledged (to myself) to donate at least 10% of my MB profits to charity. In the end, I donated over £474 (which includes the £240 toilet twinning) so I’m happy with that.
I didn’t quite manage to get ‘House’ but it was a fair attempt – I may give this (or similar) another go for 2019.
Round Up of 2018
I think it’s been a good, though not exceptional year. Perhaps this is because of how dismally the stock markets have performed, affecting my investments and my Future Fund.
Sure, I ended up with the employee of the year thing and achieving my target weight but meh, it’s not really been a year of highs. Then again, there have been very few lows so perhaps I should just count myself fortunate in that respect – I hate drama so I should definitely not wish for it!
I think I’ve been pretty with good with my spending in 2018 so I need to continue with this, maintain my focus.
Investments-wise, I’ve continued to plough most of my money into investment trusts and will likely continue to do so.
And that’s pretty much it. Just finalising my post for my goals of 2019 so that will be up soon.
Hope you all had a great 2018!
*edited to add Book Bingo.