Monday 30 June 2014

London's Juicy Bond ETFs

It's all about the juice...
I'm always on the hunt for interesting Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). Not just any, of course, but specifically high-yield and preferably geographically diversified. What is slightly surprising to me (given the wealth of data available) is that these are not so easy to find - there does not seem to be a comprehensive list that is ranked by yield.

I recently looked at high-yield dividend ETFs. Today I'm specifically looking for fixed-income ETFs quoted on the London Stock Exchange. So here goes with some more real-life Do It Yourself investing...

Sunday 29 June 2014

Update on the ETF Strategy (Portfolio Buy)

Regular readers may be aware that I am trying to increase the proportion of Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) holdings in the DIY Income Investor portfolio. With recent sales and this latest purchase (see below), they account for 30% of the portfolio - but I'd like to buy more.

So why am I a fan - and why am I buying some and selling others?

Thursday 26 June 2014

The New Sell Rule (Portfolio Sale)

In the new 2014/15 financial year I started implementing a new 'sell' rule, to deal with the unpleasant - but necessary - task of getting rid of poorly performing investments. At the time this helped me to rationalise a clean-up of the portfolio, getting rid of long-term losing 'trees' that would provide a better overall view of the investment 'wood' (so to say).

Having adopted the rule, when it flashes 'sell', then I now feel much less reluctance to take the loss and move on.

Monday 23 June 2014

The Old Crossroads

I've just come back from my first visit to the small-but-perfectly-formed East Anglia Bluegrass Festival. During the weekend several bands performed a gospel song made famous by the late, great Bill Monroe - The Old Crossroads.

Although this music may not be your cup of tea, the chorus has a warning that has familiar ring for investors:

The old crossroads now is waiting
Which one are you going to take
One leads down to destruction
The other to the pearly gate

Thursday 12 June 2014

Renewable Energy (Portfolio Buy)

After getting a bit depressed about the options for good yields on offer for my current cash pile, a comment from a reader cheered me up - hopefully, in a good way.

I guess that most of us have become more aware of the environmental impacts of our activities. Despite trying to 'do the right thing' environmentally. I have always been a bit sceptical about alternative energy.

Until now, that is...

Tuesday 10 June 2014

Selling the Crown Jewels? (Portfolio Sale)

Yields are falling all around as both dividend shares and fixed-interest prices are rising on the London Stock Exchange. Perhaps it's due to an influx of Euroland money, seeking a safe haven - who knows?

But it is providing a bit of a conundrum for this DIY Income Investor.  The latest portfolio sale is almost shocking - kicking out the poster boy for the portfolio as a whole. It shows how difficult things are to judge right now.

Saturday 7 June 2014

Consols 4%

In the world of yield-oriented income investing, you have to accept that the goalposts are always moving. Mr Market is continually changing his mind, lurching between euphoria and despair, swept along by a never-ending stream of news, both trivial and significant.

In all this churning activity, for the UK-based DIY Income Investor one important reference point is the undated UK Government Consolidated Loan Stock, with a fixed coupon of 4% - affectionately referred to as 'Consols 4%' (LSE:CN4).

Thursday 5 June 2014

Put the Dog Out! (Portfolio Sale)

iCalmDog dog home alone
Better late than never, I suppose.

After a thorough clear-out of my DIY Income Investor portfolio dogs (poor performers) earlier this year there was only one pooch left. But, much as I have grown attached to him, he had to go.

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Under and Out (Portfolio Sale)

Sometimes low is good. Low cost, low fat - that sort of thing. And limbo dancing, of course.

But when the yield on one of your investments gets too low - that's another matter. Particularly if the reason is that the price has risen.

A low current yield means - if you are a DIY Income Investor - that your money is not working hard, but is figuratively messing about on the beach. Time for action.

Hall of Mirrors (Portfolio Buy)

A regular feature at fun-fairs used to be the Hall of Mirrors, where you could enjoy distorted images of yourself: thin becoming fat, tall becoming short - an alternative image of reality.

Regular readers will be aware that the key metric for the DIY Income Investor portfolio is yield, with the proviso that this yield should be as sustainable as possible. Essentially I am buying high-yield securities and selling them when they become low-yield, preferably when this is due to a substantial price rise.

However, when buying something that is not priced in your 'home' currency, there is an additional factor to consider - the trend of the exchange rate. Otherwise you risk being misled by a distorted image of yield.