Who Let the Dogs Out?

I was so impressed by the performance of M’s ‘Underdogs’ portfolio (using the Dogs of the FTSE strategy), the winner of my Monkey Stocks League Challenge, that I was determined to set up a similar portfolio of my own.

Dogs of the FTSE?

The Dogs of the FTSE strategy is the UK equivalent of the US ‘Dogs of the Dow‘ strategy and setting up this portfolio is relatively simple:

  • Choose the ten FTSE 100 shares with the highest yield.
  • Invest equal amounts in all ten and hold for a year.
  • At the end of the year, sell the ones no longer in the top ten, replace with new shares with highest yield.
  • Pocket profit / reinvest / cry at losses* (*delete as applicable)

The rationale is that “a high yield indicates that a company is out of favour with investors. When that happens, its shares will be undervalued relative to its prospects and intrinsic worth. When the market realises this, the firm’s share are likely to rebound and give investors a decent profit.”

Allegedly.

Still, according to Money Observer, over the past 15 years, the Dogs strategy has performed impressively, though of course, past performance is not a guarantee of future results, etc, etc.

The strategy was considered back in 2010 by the ermine, although I can’t find an updated post on whether he followed through on it or not.

My Doghouse

I could have just set up a ‘notional’ Dogs of the FTSE portfolio like other sound-minded folk, but risking some real money makes it more interesting for me and worth the effort of tracking the progress of the portfolio. Risking real money also satisfies my gambling gremlin!

I received a bonus from work as part of my severance package so decided to invest the entire lot (as close to) in this ‘experiment’. Note that this will lead to a massive boost to my savings rate for this month!

So, who are the mutts in my Doghouse?

  1. AstraZeneca plc (AZN)
  2. Capita plc (CPI)
  3. HSBC Holdings plc (HSBA)
  4. Intu Properties plc (INTU)
  5. Marks & Spencer Group plc (MKS)
  6. Persimmon plc (PSN)
  7. Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSB)
  8. Royal Mail PLC (RMG)
  9. SSE plc (SSE)
  10. Standard Life plc (SL)

Some of these were actually just outside the top 10 but I didn’t want to include any shares which I already held in my portfolio, or any where a dividend cut had been announced (hope I haven’t missed any announcements…).

The shares were purchased on 10th February 2017 (via regular investment to reduce costs). Here’s the live link, which I’ll stick on my header menu at some point. I’ll probably do quarterly or half-yearly updates.

As at close of trading, 10th Feb 2017

Risky

Yes, I’m aware that this strategy is on the risky side, though not as risky as randomly and blindly selecting shares out of the hat like I’ve done before… However, these stocks represent only a small part of my portfolio, it’s a bit of fun (gosh, should investing actually be FUN?), plus I may make some profits along the way. Or not. This will also expose me to the pleasures/perils of buying and selling as opposed to my usual buying and holding strategy.

I was a little concerned at first about the timing of my purchases – stock market is currently high and likely to dip in the year with Brexit/Article 50 triggering, the end of the Trump rally or more shenanigans and other stuff happening in the UK and around the world which may affect the financial markets.  Should I have waited to buy low?

I went ahead anyway because stuff happens all the time and I don’t know how to time the unpredictable market. Plus the money would be doing nothing if left to sit in my bank account, except to tempt me to spend it!

Anyone else tried this strategy before?

I’d be interested in any success/sob stories!

Anyway, have a great weekend all!

January 2017 Savings, plus other Updates

Ok, the first savings/investment update of the year and things don’t look too different from much of last year.

My ‘income’ this month has been derived from my pay-in-lieu-of-notice (PILON) from my last job.

Previously, my savings rate calculation was based on my net income from my main salaried job, ie net of tax, NI and company pension contribution.  The PILON is net of tax and NI.

So, how have I done in January?

My savings rate was 53.6%, a great start to the year!

That said, if I’m still jobless in April, my savings rate is going to be at or around 0%….

However, next month’s number should get a very big boost as it’ll include my bonus. My highest ever savings rate so far is 70.4%, achieved in March 2015. It’s possible I could better this…watch this space!

January’s savings was boosted by £70.84 from TopCashback* and £50 from rent received.

Future Fund 

With the crippled £ sterling doing a creditable impression of a bottom-feeder, my Future Fund continues to ignore other political shenanigans and is now up to £92.321.

Dividends and Other Income

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

December 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

Hi all, I’m back! 🙂

I’ll talk about my hols in a later post but right now, I need to get my final 2016 numbers out, plus an update on how I did against my goals.

Apologies in advance for this long post but here goes…

My savings rate in December was 40.6%, resulting in an overall average in 2016 of 44.9%. Although it meant that I failed in my goal, I’m pretty satisfied as I was able to beat 2015’s savings rate of 43.7%!

December’s savings was boosted by £122.25 affiliate income from Siteground* and Oddsmonkey*, £100 from rent received and £100 from matched betting winnings.

Future Fund 

With the crippled £ sterling continuing its slide, my Future Fund got a big boost, up to £91,101. The number looks good on paper/online and I’m a bit giddy that it’s getting closer and closer to that coveted £100k milestone. However, I’m not kidding myself that things are all rosy – the UK is poorer as a result of this currency slide and of course, at some point, the stock market will come crashing down again.

Net Worth

I’ve not mentioned my net worth in a while, only because it’s not something I regularly track. Anyway, my net worth is now £163,004, an increase of 39% from the start of 2016.

I have no idea what a ‘good’ net worth number should be so I’ll just say that I think that’s a pretty good increase!

Dividends and Other Income

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

November 2016 Savings, plus other Updates

Have finally recovered from work’s Christmas party/leaving do! Hangovers get so much worse as you get older!

Anyway, it was probably one of the best parties I’ve been to – lots of mixed emotions but what I do recall was a lot of fun and laughter.

Work for me is winding down a little as I begin to hand over the rest of my responsibilities. Not long to go now.

Anyway, how do things look on the numbers front?

nov16saved

So I managed a savings rate of 38.1% – gift-buying has taken its toll a little here but still not too bad. I’ve only a few more items to get now so for me to be able to have a decent savings rate is still a big achievement for this time of year.

My average savings rate however continues its downward trend  –  it’s now at 45.2%. If I can get it to be at least 45% by the end of the year, I’ll be well happy.

This month’s income was boosted by £50 from rent received and £10.36 from TopCashback*.

Future Fund 

Markets went a little wobbly this month, so my overall portfolio dropped a little and now stands at £86,188.

Dividends and Other Income

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