Return of the Dogs!

I can’t think of a better time to post about my Dogs of the FTSE experimental portfolio, just as the markets are apparently tanking!

Is this just a blip, or the beginning of the inevitable end of the bull run?

Whatever, I’m still investing and I intend to document the bad times as well as the good times.

As a reminder, here’s the Dogs of the FTSE strategy:

  1. Choose the ten FTSE 100 shares with the highest yield (subject to my criteria*)
  2. Invest equal amounts in all ten shares
  3. Hold for a year (give or take a week)
  4. At the end of the year, sell the ones no longer in the top ten, replace with new shares with highest yield
  5. Repeat from step 3

[*criteria being that shares already in my portfolio are not included, nor any where a dividend cut has been announced]

Note that this is my ‘fun’ portfolio and represents less than 2% of my Future Fund.

Here’s how my last portfolio finished in Feb 2019:

Full end of 12-month update is here if you’re interested.

There was a delay in setting up the next portfolio as I had to wait for the 2019 tax year to commence to open my new ISA with a new provider.

So in June, I went about setting up my Dogs of the FTSE 2019/20 portfolio! Been a bit busy so this post has been languishing in my drafts!

So, in accordance with the strategy:

Six Dogs Set Free (Sold):

  • Marks & Spencer Grp plc (MKS)
  • National Grid (NG)
  • Rio Tinto plc (RIO)
  • Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDSB)
  • SSE plc (SSE)
  • United Utilities Group plc (UU)

Total received from sales = £1,333.20

Total Dividends received = £175.90 (note I continued to receive divis until I sold in June)

Profit/Loss from original investment = £57.94 (3.9% gain)

It was not easy at all pushing the ‘sell’ button for some of those but I am committed to the strategy.

Also, it was hard swalllowing the 6 x £9.95 trading fee (with AJ Bell) – if not for the fees, I would have doubled my profit/gain and this is the main reason why I moved to another provider, where the fee for buying/selling will be a big fat zero.

Next, in accordance with the strategy:

Six Dogs Rounded Up (Bought): 

  • Standard Life Aberdeen (SLA)
  • ITV plc (ITV)
  • Aviva plc (AV)
  • British American Tobacco plc (BATS)
  • Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG)
  • HSBC Holdings (HSBA)

I’m not timing the market, just bought at whatever the price was in June.

So here’s how the Dogs of the FTSE Portfolio 2019/20 looks as at today:

Best of breed or mangy mutts? All pretty much looking like they’re the latter right now!

Over this same period, the FTSE 100 Total Return was minus 1.46% so the Dogs are lagging a bit on -5.10% including dividends.

I’m not sure I can do quarterly updates as before – perhaps half-yearly updates on how this portfolio is doing.

Random Shares Portfolio

I’ve been testing Freetrade’s free share referral scheme and now have a bunch of free shares, thanks to those who have clicked on the link and topped up their accounts – hope you were all allocated decent free shares in return.

When I get round to it, I’ll provide an update on what random shares I was awarded and how they are getting on.

If anyone would like to try out Freetrade’s app and bag a free share in the process, drop me a note via @QuietlySaving or my Contact Form.

The free share referral scheme will be rolled out to all shortly, which will allow all Freetrade account holders to be able to refer.

And finally….

Possible Blog Delays in Future…

D-Day is imminent, my living situation will be completely changed from this weekend.

I’m feeling both excitement and dread. And rather stressed.

I have no idea how I will be able to continue to post regularly and keep my blog secret from my family so don’t know when I’ll be able to post again.

I hope I’ll work something out.

Dogs of the FTSE 2018 – final update

Just a quick update to say that I’ve reached the twelve-month mark for my 2nd experimental Dogs of the FTSE portfolio.

So how did the mutts perform with the markets going all pear-shaped towards the back-end of last year?

As a reminder, here’s the Dogs of the FTSE strategy:

  1. Choose the ten FTSE 100 shares with the highest yield (subject to my criteria*)
  2. Invest equal amounts in all ten shares
  3. Hold for a year (give or take a week)
  4. At the end of the year, sell the ones no longer in the top ten, replace with new shares with highest yield
  5. Repeat from step 3

[*criteria being that shares already in my portfolio are not included, nor any where a dividend cut has been announced]

Here’s how the 2018 portfolio looked after a year (as at 11th Feb 2019):


A very decent 8.77% gain, but if you include dividends, this becomes a mighty 16% gain for the entire portfolio! Nice!

Over this same period, the FTSE 100 Total Return was minus 2.02% so woo hoo, the Dogs romped home this year! 🙂

Ok, so most of the gains were from just one stock (Evraz) but with some other gains (eg National Grid and United Utilities), the small losses made little impact on the portfolio.

What’s Next?

I do intend to run a 2019 portfolio, or rather a 2019/20 portfolio but there will be a slight delay, because I’m going to wait til next tax year as I plan to use a different ISA account for this experiment.

So for now, I will just hang onto all the Dogs for a while longer and sell/buy when I am able to.

The Dogs will return in April!

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!

Monkey Stocks – 3 Years on

Anyone around when I announced the winner of my Monkey Stocks League Challenge?

Anyway, as promised in my 2-year update, I bring you the ‘what happened next after 3 years’ update.

Monkey Stocks?

Here’s how I came up with the idea of running my own Monkey Stocks League Challenge.

The majority of the £500 portfolios (consisting of 5 stocks each) which lined up in September 2015 were made up of stocks/shares (from FTSE 350) and were randomly picked out of a hat.

A handful of daft brave souls followed me in purchasing their random stocks for real!

The league also had a couple of portfolios chosen by experts (John K and Huw) and of course, we had M’s infamous portfolio, based on the Dogs of the FTSE strategy, which was the runaway winner of the league after both 1 and 2 years.

One Year vs Two Years vs Three Years

As a reminder, here’s how the top 10 finished after Year 1:

Here’s how the top ten (and the rest of the league) looked after Year 2:

And here are the scores on the doors after Year 3:

Zombie annihilation, with Mr Z’s Undead Monkey Fund taking the top spot, more than doubling his initial investment.

What’s in the winning portfolio?

Three not-so-great shares but the humongous gain (and dividend) from Evraz (EVR) more than made up for those losses (apparently, Roman Abramovich is a majority shareholder – only just found that out!). Of course, EVR is also one of my own Dogs of the FTSE shares…

Anyway, after one year, only 8 portfolios made gains of >10% and there were 10 portfolios showing losses.

After two years, 17 portfolios made gains of >10% (12 of them >20%) and there were only 3 portfolios showing very small losses.

After three years, again, 17 portfolios made gains of >10% (14 of them >20%), with 5 portfolios showing losses.

John K’s Pigmamig Fund was one of those which ended up in the negative after 3 years, but had this been a real portfolio, I’m sure John would have gotten rid of some/all of those stocks to minimise/avoid losses using his own investing strategy.

Still Steady Eddy

Mention must be made of diy’s Mutley’s Magic Formula fund which continued to maintain its steady process and remained in the top 10. This fund was based on Vanguard’s 60% LifeStrategy Fund, ending up with a gain of 34%. Definitely one for the passive investors and one which I will invest in myself.

Random Strategy?

Of course, as before, in no way am I recommending that randomly selecting stocks is a viable investing strategy, though I find it’s a fascinating one, which appeals to my gambling curious nature!

Did my experiment show that randomly picking shares ‘might not’ result in disaster?

It could have all gone horribly wrong, especially as you could have been unlucky and ended up picking Carillion…

Alternatively, fortune could have shone on you and you could have randomly chosen ones like this lot and celebrated seeing your investment quadruple:

Or you could get something in between and according to the experiment, that doesn’t look too bad, with the average gain being 29% over 3 years. Better than sitting 3 years in a cash ISA

Of course, we have seen the FTSE breaking records these past three years. What would  have happened if there was a big Bear market?

No More Updates

A 3-year measurement still isn’t great for a buy and hold strategy but this will be my last update for this league. Whilst the first year was fun (especially as there was a trophy at stake!), it was a complete chore getting all the dividends for the 100+ companies, plus I had to find out what happened to companies which were bought out/sold, changed names or were no longer trading.

I’m still very much interested in the random walk theory in relation to investing so I won’t rule out creating another small experimental portfolio in the future (and again with real money).  Sorry, I won’t be running another such league though – far too much effort and not nearly enough people with skin in the game!

Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed this experiment and if after your own research you fancy running something similar, I’d be interested to hear about it!