Friday, 8 November 2013

Shares Portfolio Update

In a previous post back in May, the portfolio was showing a return of just 8% compared with the FTSE 100 being up around 15% and my investment trust portfolio returning 16%.

I was more or less decided to give up on the shares and transfer to investment trusts. In subsequent weeks and months I disposed of Aberdeen Asset, DS Smith, Greggs, Dialight, Pearson and RPC Group. Looking back, I now regret having disposed of DS Smith and RPC Group - they are still on my watch list with a view to possible re-purchase at some point. Dialight has had a bumpy ride and is currently down nearly 20% at 950p - I have an alert to consider buying back in should the price dip under 900p.

The proceeds were recycled into a number of ITs - Aberdeen Asian Income IT, Finsbury Growth & Income Trust, Vanguard All World High Yield ETF and Personal Assets Trust.

Of course, as soon as I am more or less decided on one course of action, I start to think I will miss the individual shares portfolio and in recent weeks I have purchased shares in AIM-listed drinks maker Nichols and retailer Next.


My fellow investments blogger Miserly Investor set out some common mistakes
"You get into the office, boot up your computer and think ‘I’ll just have a quick look how the portfolio is getting on this morning’…… and then proceed to have a quick look every hour after that. Such an obsession with share prices will do more harm than good as it is likely to either induce you into trading too much or convince you that the market is right and there’s some bad news waiting around the corner for a share which you had convinced yourself was in perfect health. Forget about share price fluctuations, speculation and other noise and keep focused on fundamentals."

Of course, individual shares are more volatile than collective investment vehicles like investment trusts and exchange traded funds. They are also widely covered by analysts and media pundits and there is often a great deal of conflicting opinion on discussion boards and blogs! All this additional information can contribute to uncertainty and result in making rash decisions.

Maybe writing regular posts for this blog is not conducive to making sensible investment decisions!


Here’s the portfolio showing current valuations and including dividends accumulated since January. The disposals are indicated (S) and their ‘current price/value’ represents the net sale proceeds not the value of the shares at current prices.

portfolio 8th November 2013
(click to enlarge)

Total return on the FTSE 100 is up around 15.5% since the start of 2013 at 6,708 (incl. dividends), so the portfolio is still a little short of the returns I may have received in a basic FTSE 100 tracker but certainly a big improvement on May.

As ever, slow & steady steps…..


  1. Hi

    I have just found this blog. Regarding the shares I wondered how you decided what to buy ?



    1. Hi Ken,

      I suppose, as an income investor, the first thing I look at is the yield but also consider fundamentals such as profitability, free cash flow, dividend cover etc.

      If you have not already done so, have a look at some of the articles under the 'basics' tab.

      For a detailed step by step approach, download a copy of my 'Slow & Steady Steps..' ebook from the Amazon website.

      Cheers and good luck!

  2. Hi DIY

    Many thanks , found them. I guess that there is always a variation between the index and a subset , thats probably less so with a collection of investment trusts.
    I was a bit confused , is the portfolio rebased at the start of each year ?


    Ken Brennan

    1. Hello Ken,

      The FTSE 100 is used as a crude benchmark - maybe the FTSE 350 would be a better alternative.

      The demo portfolio was only started this year so have not thought about rebasing - I will update on this aspect after the full year figures are to hand.