05 October 2021

Investment Review - September 2021

 Here's the combined portfolio summary as at 30 September :-

23 July 2021

Investment Review - June 2021

I'm posting this brief review several weeks later than usual - I've been very busy on many fronts - but here's the Combined Portfolio spreadsheet summary at close of business on 30 June 2021 :-

click on the graphic for a larger image ...

15 July 2021

Campervan Conversion - Part 7 - Van Tour

It's been a very long time since my last update on the campervan, but I've continued to work on it and things started to come together quite quickly towards the end, if there ever is an end to converting a van, which I doubt.

I don't suppose this project will ever be completely finished, there'll always be things to repair, modify or add, but most of what was originally intended has now been done, along with several examples of 'scope creep' in the form of stuff I just kept adding to the workload as I went along.

We've already been away on two separate week-long trips in the van, and after each we made a few modifications to the vehicle, just to make life easier and more convenient.

So this post is by way of being a Van Tour.  Twenty weeks since I bought the van, the post shows what it looks like now.

on a campsite at Aldbrough in Yorkshire ...

22 April 2021

Campervan Conversion - Part 6 - Progress on Several Fronts

Following on from Part 5, I've been continuing with the project across several fronts.

One thing about this conversion is that it's very difficult to actually finish anything, because to complete X means that Y needs to be done beforehand and suitable provision made for Z to follow etc.

For example, it's been over a month now since we made our cabinet carcasses for the RH wall and we've now also built a similar unit to fit over the kitchen area on the LH side, but we couldn't install them permanently until we'd run all the necessary cables behind.  

We're still adding equipment to the design but I've now bought and installed all the cables I'll think we'll need, and I've also run a few extra lengths here & there for any additions we might want in the future.

So the RH wall cabinets are now fitted.  I've also been working on the control panel in the lower half of the rearmost cabinet.  It has two fascia sections, one side fixed and the other hinged for access to fuses and to be able to complete all the wiring etc.

RH wall cabinets with the control panel in blue ...

And we're making progress elsewhere, too.

06 April 2021

Financial Planning - 2021 Annual Review

The end of March represented the 8-year point in our 10-year term 'Grand Plan'.  Here are the usual two graph plots:-

Savings Pot to Mar-21

SIPP Pot to Mar-21

There's been a good recovery from this time last year ...

01 April 2021

Investment Review - March 2021

 Here's the usual spreadsheet updated after the market close on 31 March :-

I've been busy on many fronts during this first quarter of the year, so I've only looked at the portfolio on the last day of each month and on those specific dates between when dividend payments arrived.

29 March 2021

Campervan Conversion - Part 5 - The Solar Panels & Major Electrical Items

This is number five in the series of posts about our campervan conversion, following on from Part 4.   

The solar panels arrived last weekend so it was time to fit them on the van roof.

I've bought 3-off identical 100W panels from Renogy.  Using monocrystalline cells, these are quite compact panels measuring just 1,074 x 498 mm.  This particular panel design is narrow enough to fit between our rooflights, and it also has a low open-circuit voltage which can be important when choosing controllers.  I'd considered 2-off at 150W or even a single 300W panel, but these layouts didn't fit properly on the roof space available and they also tend to operate at a higher voltage. 

the panels ...

panel nameplate data ...

So we've nominally 300 W of solar power available under bright sunlight conditions, although during standard rating test conditions the light source is positioned perpendicular to the panel surface, whereas on the van roof the panels will always be horizontal and therefore the actual available power is likely reduced by around a quarter, so let's say it's a maximum 225 W installation.