Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Calculating Portfolio Returns - Bogleheads Spreadsheet

Calculating portfolio returns has been a hot, or at least a warm, topic on the FI blogs recently, in particular with regard to accounting for regular and / or ad-hoc additions and withdrawals of cash to and from the portfolio.

Yesterday, I stumbled across this page link on one of the investing forums.

On this page, you can download a free Excel spreadsheet in which you can select a current or historical start date and then populate all the relevant cells with end-of-month valuations, contributions and withdrawals.

The spreadsheet and its formulae & formatting is not protected in any way, so although it's initially populated with examples using US dollars, it's very easy to get in there and change the cell formats etc to suit any currency.

So, armed with the data from my own portfolio spreadsheets, I copied and pasted all the values into this Bogleheads sheet.   If you're starting from scratch, then you could either link this spreadsheet to your own or just use it as a standalone calculator.

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

High Yield Portfolio - what's in a name ?

A High Yield Portfolio (HYP) seems to me a harmless and generic name for any group of investments cobbled together in an attempt to bring in above-average income.  Until recently I had no idea of the origin of the term, which is common enough in the FI blogs and even the MSM.

However, to the boys over at The Lemon Fool forum, HYP is a religion.  It has its own messiah, texts, rules, specific and tightly-moderated forum boards and a gaggle of hard-line disciples, with a kill-the-heretic mentality for anyone daring to suggest actually selling portfolio shares or including investment trusts etc.

The constant bitching that goes on between the strict adherents and the heretics is actually quite amusing.   Check it out, they're in top form at the minute ...

It reminds me of Graham Chapman in the Life of Brian asking 'are you the Judean People's Front ?'

Sunday, 27 January 2019

New High Yield Group within SIPP

These days, I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable with holding large chunks of individual company shares, preferring instead to spread the perceived risk by using funds and trusts that invest across many companies.  I must be getting old ...

Within my combined portfolio, Centrica (CNA.L), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK.L) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB.L) may each be a relatively small piece of the whole, but if considered together they'd become my largest equity holding and be quite significant in actual cash terms.

And there's good reason to link them together.  These three shares are amongst the largest contributors to my passive income stream, and in combination produced 18% of last year's total income despite comprising just 6.5% of the total portfolio valuation at the year end. Understandably therefore, I'm very reluctant to ditch them altogether.   

So instead, a few days ago I created my own high-yield 'fund' by actually increasing the number of individual shares within the portfolio but using much smaller holdings.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Investment Review - December 2018

And so this is Christmas, and how have we done ?  

Firstly, the combined portfolio spreadsheet updated on Monday 31 December 2018.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Annual Spending Review - 2018

So where did all the money go in 2018 ?  Here's our regular end-of-year review.

click on the graphic for a larger image ...

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Pergolas - Phases 2 & 3 Works (the Summerhouse)

Following on from my post in September about building the pergolas, for a while afterwards I was thinking that the larger one to the side of the house seemed a little lost and disconnected with the rest of the garden.   

Not wanting to sound like a pretentious tosser, but what it needed was anchoring within the landscape.

So Phase 2 was implemented, which involved connecting this pergola with the one at the side of the house extension by extending the outer beams of both structures until they met each other.  This also meant reducing the height of the semi-goliath pergola slightly so that the extended beams were both at the same elevation.

The longest extension beam needed another vertical post to support it, but by this time I already had the summerhouse in mind (the Phase 3 works) so this new post was positioned where it would also form one of the new building corners.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

A personal Rate of Inflation ...

I mentioned this subject in a post a few years back, but inspired (!) by the recent decision by NS&I to tie future index-linked certificate renewal returns to CPI instead of RPI, CPI being typically around 1% lower than RPI, I decided to have a go at calculating a personal inflation rate to see how it compares with the UK government's own 'official' figures.  

At the time of writing, CPI is running at 2.4% per annum and RPI at 3.3%.

My results are tabulated below with a few following notes on the methodology and values used etc.  I've hidden the columns with the actual sums spent, and am just displaying the percentage changes from 2017 to 2018.

including holidays & travel

a) our long winter break was used as a proxy for all the 'Holidays & Travel' category, and its costs were multiplied by 2 to represent the other holidays we also take throughout the year.   Because our 2018 early break was actually paid for in late 2017, I calculated the costs which would be incurred today of taking an identical trip in early 2019, using exactly the same flights, accommodation & duration etc.