March 2024 Savings, plus other updates

The days have brightened up and a bit of winter sun has been great for my spirit and soul!

I had a few extra days off as well as the Easter days. Over the bank holiday, I did the usual thing of going to B&Q and came away with a couple of plants and paint for the garden fences  (front fence now done).

Have enjoyed some nice relaxing days, pottering around the house and garden, planting some things so will see if those are successful.

Anyway, another month, another NI reduction, resulting in some extra pay in my wage packet. As with the last reduction, I will use this extra to overpay my mortgage.

Also, another month, another work bonus! This time, the annual discretionary bonus I get if the company hits its profit/growth targets and partly linked to my own performance.

I’m sure there was a time when I would have gotten hugely excited about getting a bonus, probably because it would have been already spent  on ‘stuff’ (and then some) in my head! When I saw it in my wage slip, I just thought, oh that’s nice and mentally divvied up how it would be invested etc. As with the last bonus, I split it across my ISA, SIPP, emergency funds and mortgage overpayment.

And on that positive note, how did my numbers look for March?

I saved 50.3% of my net salary. Normal savings rate shall resume next month! The above includes £87.44 from doing Prolific surveys and £50 football predictions winnings.

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 

The rocket continues onwards and upwards, my Future Fund hitting £262,470.89 at the end of the month. Looks great but I can’t bring myself to get too excited about it (much!).

Dividends and Other Income

An average month for dividend income:

I received £448.87, of which £353.18 was from my ISAs, the rest from my SIPPs. All dividends were reinvested.

Here’s what my ISA income dividend graph looks like:

Goals Update

First quarter done and dusted, how are my goals looking?


Seem to be doing alright on the charity donating, dividend income appears to be on track, doing better on emergency funds than I did last year but falling behind a little on the reading front. I spent the Easter weekend catching up on tv shows, probably should have done some more reading, I guess.

What Else?

I thought I’d try one last time to get my Twitter/X account resurrected. Here’s the reply I got:

Goodbye!

The original rule breach had apparently been “Violating our rules against evading permanent suspension” which makes no sense whatsoever.

To be honest, I can’t say that I’ve really missed it, but occasionally, it was handy to check out news headlines.

Anyway, hope you all had a great March!

 

8 thoughts on “March 2024 Savings, plus other updates

  1. Hi,

    Cool blog.

    Quick question – you are obviously well versed in personal finance etc, but why is your portfolio so complex? Why not just buy a single global index fund? Your portfolio is barely up since 2021.

    £10K dumped into the Global App Cap would have been worth 13K over the past 3 years.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Jonny

      Ah with hindsight, at the start of my investing journey, I would have just invested in a single global tracker and be done with it, kept it simple!

      25% of my total portfolio pays out dividend income where the share prices of these investments are pretty flat, thus contributing to ‘low growth’ but my overall performance between 2021 and mid-2023 compared to a global tracker like VWRL isn’t too different, ie both crawled along sideways during that period. It’s only really the last 6 months that global trackers has been on a big bull run and since I do have some global trackers, I’m getting some of that uplift too!

      • Weenie basically appears to try everything

        Income investing
        Stock picking
        Passive investing

        Income investing is useful in retirement because you never have to sell (just collect income) but the capital return is less.

        Stock picking is fun – can you beat the market?

        Passive investing is the default best option but at the moment but a world tracker has horrible concentration risk in the US (60%) and the big tech stocks (apple is bigger than the entire French stock market). Also passive investing can cause problems in retirement as you may have something called sequence of returns risk ie having to sell when the market is down.

        • Hey Matt

          How’s it going? And yes, I am doing a bit of everything, haha!

          Fortunately, in terms of portfolio value, my priority is passive investing, income investing, with only a small amount in stock picking (because I know I can’t beat the market!).

          I have just over 50% of my ETF portfolio in a global tracker – this has of course somewhat diminished my returns of late (compared to if I had 100%), but also diversifies me from that horrible US concentration you mention.

          • “[…] but a world tracker has horrible concentration risk in the US (60%) and the big tech stocks (apple is bigger than the entire French stock market)”

            I don’t find that concentration horrible per se. For better or worse, the US economy is still very much *the* economy, and a major driver of innovation & research with a massive (enviable?) global reach; the comment re: Apple illustrates my point – a company bigger than the entire French stock market, generating an insane amount of profit. What’s not to like?

            Then again, I speak like a guy invested neck deep in VUSA, which for the time being I am. I am also aware of the risks of concentration on one market alone (the US in my case) but for now at least I wouldn’t want to bet against the USA (as a famous politician once said!).

            If the SP500 evaporates overnight and the US gets relegated to third world status, we will all have bigger problems than worrying about share prices.

            By the way Weenie as a long time lurker I wanted to say I love the blog and the side bar has helped discover some other cool blogs too!

  2. Hi v.b.

    Hear what you’re saying, I would never bet against the USA but neither am I fully comfortable putting all my investments there, with that concentration of the Mag 7. Happy with my current allocation, benefitting from the rise, just not reaping as much as those who are neck deep in VUSA! And you’re right, if SP500 evaporates, there are far bigger problems to worry about!

    Anyway, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

    I need to update that side bar as many blogs are no longer updated, thanks for the reminder!

  3. Greetings from glorious Hong Kong! After visiting Macau, I concluded that all of this discipline is great, as long as one does not have any significant addictions (gambling being a huge blocker to wealth creation)! Stock market vagaries aside, one can withstand turmoil in the long run.

    • Hey Donna

      Hope you are enjoying Hong Kong! I like visiting Macau, just to watch the high rollers – as you say, gambling is a huge blocker to wealth creation (certainly for us normal folk!) which is why I keep my gambling very small but fun!

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