Monday, 2 March 2015

Housekeeping (Portfolio Sale)


Even the simplest portfolio needs some attention. I have tried to automate the operation of the DIY Income Investor portfolio as much as I can - but the human touch is still needed.

I try to keep up-to-date on a more-or-less monthly cycle (I revise the portfolio totals each month). But with 30-odd different investment securities to keep tabs on, important developments can sometimes pass me by.

And so a bit of remedial action was required...

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Swan Portfolio (Portfolio Sales and Buys)

Dazzling Black Swan Swimming
Hand on, no-one said it could be black!

The DIY Income Investor portfolio continues to recover from the recent market jitters and is currently only about 1% below its all-time peak value. The average yield - as well as I can measure it - is around 6.1%. And the sun is shining (for the time being).

The portfolio is apparently sailing calmly towards its ultimate destination, which is (potentially) a nirvana-like state of automated tax-free cash generation. But, like the proverbial serene swan, the webbed feet are paddling like crazy underneath the water - because I still like a bit of a flutter.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Portfolio Performance Vs The 'White List'

Which is better?

It's not always easy to gauge how well the DIY Income Investor portfolio is doing. Usually I compare my performance against benchmark indices. Occasionally I can find some performance stats from other investors that have similar portfolios - but unfortunately, not too many people have tried my 50/50 shares/bonds income portfolio approach.

The latest comparison I have found seems to be encouraging...

Euro If You Want To! (Portfolio Buy)

You row if you want to!


After a bit of profit-taking, selling a directly-held holding in a dividend share, it was time to get back to main strategy: ramping up the ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).

I'm not sure I'm going to get much richer investing in ETFs - but that's not the objective. Most investors who have been reasonably successful - and have accumulated a sizeable nest-egg - are probably more interested in retaining what they have, rather than trying to accumulate a lot more.

It also makes the portfolio easier to manage. The only trouble is that ETFs are a bit boring...

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Breaking the Rules (Portfolio Sale)

As an investor (and if you are reading this, you probably are) - no matter what type of investor you are - you should have developed an investing strategy. This strategy will include three main parts:
  • your basic concept of how the market works (for you particular investment style)
  • your investment 'architecture': the mechanics of buying, holding and selling securities, whilst minimising tax exposure
  • your 'rules' for buying and selling: because, fundamentally, we are all monkey-brains.

Monday, 2 February 2015

AIMing to Please (Portfolio Buy)


I am generally sitting on the market sidelines at the moment, watching cash trickle in. As I had a bit of loose change available in one of my ISA accounts, I decided, in a moment of boredom, to have a little flutter on AIM (the London-based Alternative Investment Market for smaller companies).

I don't usually bother with small companies, as they can be flaky and unpredictable. Also AIM shares have not been eligible for ISA investors until recently. I look on this purchase as a 'bit of fun' to relieve the boredom of owning an increasing proportion of income-producing ETFs.

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?