“Freedom” Dogs of the FTSE 2021/22

My last Dogs of the FTSE experimental portfolio didn’t do too badly despite volatile markets during uncertain times.

Things got a bit hairy on occasion, with the markets all over the place, but I continue to follow the strategy as an experiment, documenting the bad times as well as the good.

As another 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, prior to purchase]

The Dogs of the FTSE strategy is based on the original Dogs of the Dow strategy.

Note that this is my ‘fun’ portfolio and represents less than 1.5% of my Future Fund.

New Pooches

Time to set up my new Dogs of the FTSE 2021/22 portfolio! [I set this up in June but only getting round to posting about it now]

So, in accordance with the strategy:

Three Dogs Set Free (Sold):

    • Anglo American (AAL)
    • Standard Life Aberdeen (was SLA, now ABDN)
    • United Utilities (UU)

Total received from sales = £911.16

Total Dividends received = £35.79

Profit from original investment = £172.77 (28.6% profit)

Last time round, I had to shut my eyes and grudgingly push the ‘sell’ button to ditch loss-making stocks – it was rather easier this time!

No trading fees applied as I’m using Freetrade* for this portfolio.

Sign up via my link to get us both a free share worth £3 – £200.

Ok, next, in accordance with the strategy:

Three Dogs Rounded Up (Bought): 

    • Persimmon plc (PSN) – was in my Dogs portfolio 2019/20
    • SSE plc (SSE) – was in my Dogs portfolio 2017/18
    • Polymetal International plc (POLY) – a brand new Dog, never even heard of this company before!

So here’s how the Dogs of the FTSE Portfolio 2021/22 looks as at today:

A sea of red at the moment but that’s the way of the markets right now. Let’s see how they fare after a year.

I will continue with quarterly updates as before so those interested can see how the portfolio is doing.

Until next time, keep calm and carry on investing.

June 2021 Savings, plus other updates

Ah, the great British summer, dithering like a bumblebee between bouts of heatwaves and non-stop rain – I wouldn’t have it any other way! 😉

So how did I get on with my savings in June?

I saved just 13.5% of my net salary. I realised that it was probably a better idea to put funds to one side ready to cover future house purchasing costs like conveyancing, solicitor etc, rather than add much more to my Future Fund (for the moment). It does mess up my goals somewhat but that’s the way of things.

Hurray for unexpected income – the above includes top ups from another £25 premium bond win (yay!), £20.19 from doing surveys with Prolific, £100 from winning the football predictions at work, £11.64 from WeBuybooks (started decluttering!) and £55.05 from affiliate income from OddsMonkey* (thank you to all who signed up via my links!).

Shares and Investment Trusts

No new investments, I just topped up existing holdings.

Current share/IT portfolio can be found here.

(Entire portfolio here)

Future Fund 

Markets appeared to go mostly up for me this month.

At the end of June, my Future Fund was at £241,446, so a nice increase despite barely adding any capital this month.

Grinding ever closer to my next milestone!

Dividends and Other Income

Another decent month for dividends:

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Dogs of the FTSE 2020/21 – final update + Random Shares

After the previous portfolio’s abysmal performance, I wasn’t sure how this current Dogs of the FTSE experimental portfolio would do, particularly with the continued situation around the world.  This portfolio was created just after markets had crashed and had begun its recovery so timing was not favourable.

Long-Covid Dogs

So one year on and my 4th experimental portfolio hasn’t done too badly.

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 2020/21 portfolio looked as at 8th June 2021:

A so-so gain of 14.98%, but a respectable 21.78% if you include dividends paid out.

Over the same period, the FTSE 100 Total Return was 18.68%.

Anglo American was the outstanding performer, showing a gain of 66%+ over the year.

What Next?

It’s always been my intention to run this as a (minimum) 5-year experiment so the Dogs will be back for their fifth (and possibly last) outing very soon. I’ve not decided yet what I want to do afterwards.

So, some mutts will be kicked out and new ones brought in.

I’ll get this new portfolio set up soon, so will do an update in a couple of weeks.

Random Shares

My Random Share Portfolio is made up of free shares awarded to me whenever someone signs up to Freetrade* via my affiliate link, bagging us both a random free share (worth between £3 and £200) in the process.

One of the freebies I received recently

Here’s the full portfolio – it’s gotten a bit too big to do a full copy and paste.

Thanks to all who have signed up via my link – hope you all got a decent free share!

I’ve been selling the odd one, whenever any showed >40% gains.

Until next time – keep calm and carry on investing!

[*affiliate link]

House Hunting during a Property Boom

As mentioned recently, I have been house-hunting.

The last time I did this was ten years ago, when I bought my BTL flat.

Different times, different circumstances, different reasons.

Fast forward to today and let’s just say that had I been able to, I would have picked a less frantic and chaotic time to look for a new home!

Boom

I’m sure most of you will be aware that there’s currently a property boom, with properties being snapped up like hot cakes, despite the continually rising (and often ridiculous) prices. It’s definitely a seller’s market.

As soon as I knew I was buying, I registered with around a dozen local estate agents. Only 2 bothered to get back to me – they’re inundated with buyers.

Walking into the estate agents’ offices yielded better results. Some properties were on the market for only a few days (some for just one day) before they were sold and I can verify this from my own experience of fruitless efforts.

Why the boom?

Various factors, including people having surplus cash saved up during lockdown and of course the stamp duty holiday. That said, house prices are predicted to continue rising for a while longer even after the holiday ends and then at some point, the housing bubble might burst – the prices can’t continue to go up forever, can they?

Viewings

Anyway, it was weeks of frustrating searching before I was even able to get to view my first property, despite finding several which I liked.

With COVID restrictions still in place, properties were already sold or under offer even before I had the chance to enquire about them, never mind view, or the sellers weren’t accepting any more viewings because they already had (on two properties I was interested in) over 30 buyers interested. Ridiculous.

I realised that I had to dedicate time in the day to enquire about properties – leaving it until when I’d finished work was too late.

Went to view one house which was nice at an affordable price but I realised that it was too far away from friends and family (and work, as I’ll still be expected to go in the office, even if on a flexible basis) so at least I was getting a sense of how far I would be willing to move to.

Agents told me that they had even been selling some properties with no viewings (as in people just buying from looking at photos) – it’s not something I would contemplate doing.

Alas, with demand far exceeding supply, I’m competing against families looking for a decent 3-bed semi-detached, with a nice garden in a nice location. Lockdown has changed the priorities and perspectives for many, although such properties have always been in demand, the current boom is exacerbating things somewhat.

I’ve been thankful that I’m working from home so I’ve been able to block out my calendar for 40 mins and nip out for viewings in the afternoon; this task would have been virtually impossible had I been in the office, with only evenings or weekends available.

Rush Hour

I know I shouldn’t rush my decision in buying a house, but I feel like I’m caught up in very fast moving times and if I don’t move at the same speed, I will miss an opportunity and in this current climate, there aren’t that many to begin with. And of course, property prices continue to march ever upwards.

via GIPHY

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in a much better place than I was a couple of months back when my head was in a complete spin and I couldn’t think straight.

I have a plan, I’m progressing with it, I feel like I’m getting back in control.

When I see a house I really like, I will make an offer – I don’t feel like I have the luxury to dilly-dally or drag things out.

Anyway, I have a viewing lined up this weekend and another next week, so fingers crossed I will find somewhere soon, somewhere which ticks most of my boxes.

I’m resigned to the fact that I probably won’t find my perfect ‘dream home’, but whatever I find, I hope to just make it ‘my home’.

Wish me luck!