Gilts form the Level 5 tranche of investment on the DIY Income Investor Income Pyramid, which reflects the fact that this is a safe but relatively low-yield asset class.
So why has the golden shine worn off gilts for me?
The security is called Consols 4% (code CN4) and is a perpetual security, with no maturity date. 'Consols' are about as safe as you can get but because of this endless stream of fixed income, they do tend to behave differently to most - dated - government stock. I have watched the price rising since I bought them, peaking (neatly) at the very end of 2011 at very nearly par (i.e. 100% of the face value). Conversely, the yield has dropped from nearly 5% when I bought to the original face yield of 4%.
Now, it is not every day that you expect to obtain double-digit returns on ultra-safe government bonds. My view is that this has happened due to the short-term gyrations in the European financial markets and that this mini-bubble is unlikely to continue.
So I have sold and this means I am no longer holding any government bonds - potentially increasing the overall risk profile of my portfolio.
Does this mean that I have suddenly become a short-term speculator? I hope not - but some of the more risky investments with yields of 9% or 10% are looking much more attractive now.
Sale price: £0.9288
I am not a financial adviser and the information provided does not constitute financial advice. You should always do your own research on top of what you learn here to ensure that it's right for your specific circumstances.