Monday, 26 January 2015

AFK! Ninja Turtle?

Ninja Turtle in Real Life

Now it's the Greek election!

It seems like every week there is a new political or economic news item that rocks the stock market. Since the New Year the DIY Income Investor portfolio has wilted a bit and then started to recover. But the markets keep being hit by uncertainty and bad news: oil price, copper price, Ukraine, Charlie Hebdo, Eurozone QE, Ukraine, Russia, etc.

My reaction in the face of all this termoil is to do nothing - or rather do something else: hence I've crawled back into my investing 'income shell' and have been Away From Keyboard.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Look East, Young Man! (Portfolio Buy)


Following my recent review of income-oriented ETFs, it seems only fitting that I should buy one.

With such a wide choice, how do I decide what to buy? It turns out that it was quite straightforward...

Monday, 5 January 2015

Review of London's High-Yield ETFs

new etfs
I'm always on the hunt for interesting Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Not just any, of course, but specifically high-yield (either based on dividends or debt/fixed-income) and preferably those leading to a geographically diversified portfolio. For a DIY Income Investor, the right choice of ETFs can be a big help. They can provide cost-effective diversification (and thus a measure of safety), simplify the running of your portfolio plus give easy access to dividend shares from around the world, in various currencies.
So here is an updated list...

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2014 - A Tough Year!

The quiet closing days of 2014 offer the chance, again, to take stock of how the DIY Income Investor portfolio has performed over the year - and to assess whether any change of direction is needed.

The numbers are now in (more or less) and overall, during 2014, I have managed to produce an increase in total portfolio value (i.e. total return, as all income is reinvested) of around 11.4%.

This doesn't feel particularly outstanding compared to the results in the past couple of years - but then again, how has everyone else done?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Riding the Rollercoaster (Portfolio Buy)


Up and then down - the investment roller-coaster continues to both thrill and terrify participants. We are unfortunately living in 'interesting times' (to paraphrase the supposed 'Chinese curse' - which doesn't appear to actually exist).

Investing is a stressful activity because it brings into play our ancient Monkey Brain instincts to run (or fight) at the first sign of trouble.

So, what should we do now? Well, to paraphrase Jane Fonda - if it's not hurting, it's not working.

Friday, 5 December 2014

A Gamble on Recovery (Portfolio Buy)


Having generated some cash for my DIY Income Investor portfolio from a recent sale, I looked around for a good home for it. My first reaction is usually to look at the existing portfolio and see if anything looks attractive as a 'top-up'. By 'attractive' I mean 'high yield' (preferably as sustainable as possible) as well as holding some promise of capital gain over time.

This time I also did a little geopolical thinking. In other words, what is the most important factor currently in the world economy - and what are the implications?

Thursday, 27 November 2014

DIY Recovery - and a Sale

Pc Repair Help
'Recovery' in two senses - both a resurgence in the value of the DIY Income Investor portfolio as well as the digital retrieval of portfolio data from a failed laptop hard drive. In one sense the two are linked - without being able to recover the data, I wouldn't be able to easily recreate the portfolio's history.

But the current recovery trend of the portfolio means that I can discard the self-imposed 'ostrich' mode of the last month or so, to begin trading a little.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

My SIPP Cup Runneth Over

do not copy

The gradual recovery in value of the DIY Income Investor portfolio continues - although more slowly than I might hope for. Apart from topping up a little, I have left the portfolio alone, hoping for a continued recovery in the markets.

Essentially, the principle is to leave it alone, rather than fiddling when depressed. However, sitting back and not doing a lot can sometimes lead to some interesting observations...

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Topping Up (Portfolio Buy)

car fuel guage
Despite keeping away from the depressing market news over the last weeks, I did have some cash sitting doing nothing in the DIY Income Investor portfolio - a situation which always feels a little incomplete to me.

My first choice for investment is to top up one my existing investments - on the basis that 30-or-so different securities constitutes more than enough diversification. And I'm not even sure that I know what is going on with all of them.

So, top-up it is - the key question is: what?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Flying on Autopilot

Just who is flying the plane?
Since the start of September 2014 the DIY Income Investor portfolio has been hammered by the world-wide downturn in financial markets. The corner turned in mid-October, with the portfolio's market value recovering to values seen at the middle of the year: it is currently showing a 7% rise in total value for 2014, a far less stellar performance than in recent years.

Hopefully the markets will recover further over the coming weeks. But I have tried not to get too emotional about it all - mainly by leaving the portfolio on autopilot and removing our greatest obstacle to logical decisions: our emotional reaction.