Friday, 30 December 2016

End 2016 - Personal Portfolio Review

As ever, an interesting year on the markets which have been dominated by our decision to leave the EU following the referendum in June.

The other main event for me this year was my house move which was completed in November after quite a long wait to find a suitable buyer. However, I am pleased to report the wait has been worth it and I am now settling in to my new home and thinking about the various jobs required to make it more how I want it to be for the longer term.

In 2015 I decided to review my whole investing strategy. The outcome was to begin to simplify and diversify - wind down my individual shares portfolio and reduce some of my managed funds. The proceeds were diverted towards an increasingly passive strategy - in particular, using the Vanguard LifeStrategy index fund.

Over the past year, I have sold a few more individual share holdings and a couple of investment trusts which did not seem to be contributing much to the basket. However, earlier this month I repurchased IG Group which now makes 6 remaining share holdings.

In the past year, I have also started to operate a more flexible approach to taking income from my investments which involves the sale of capital units from my VLS 60 fund. The fall in the value of sterling post Brexit gave a boost to the price of my VLS and I took the opportunity to sell 8% of my holding to provide income for this year and next.

Benchmark Returns

Turning to my portfolios and following on from my half year review at the end of June, I have just completed a review of my actual investments - sipp flexi drawdown and ISA - for the full year to the end of December.

The FTSE 100 started 2016 at 6,242 - after a few twists and turns, it has finished the year up 900 points closing at an all time high of 7,142 or 14.4% - if we add on say a further 3.5% for dividends paid, this will give a ballpark  total return figure of 17.9% for the full year. The second line FTSE 250 have not done as well as 2015 and the FTSE All Share index is up 16.5% for the year.

In the past I have used the return from the FTSE 100 to compare the performance of my diy portfolio returns. However as the portfolio has become more globally diversified and includes around 40% fixed interest and bonds so I now use an average of my remaining Vanguard funds. 

Total returns for these over the past 12 months are as follows :

LifeStrategy 60    18.6% and 
UK Equity Income  12.1%   
Average     15.3%

So far as cash deposits go, returns must surely be the lowest in a generation and the Bank rate has again been reduced to a new record low of 0.25% and the savings rate on my instant access account with the Coventry BS has fallen 0.35% to just 1.15%. Its really tough for cash savers out there!


As mentioned last year, my individual shares portfolio has been the main area of change following my review of strategy and is now reduced to just 6 holdings. This past year I have sold Unilever, Tesco, BHP Billiton and Sky and expect to offload some remaining shares in the coming year. Next raced ahead in 2015 reaching the heady heights of £80 per share but, almost inevitably, the higher valuation was susceptible to the slightest inkling of bad news and the price has retreated in 2016 by ~30%.

The total return including income on my individual shares has been a disappointing 1.5% which has put a damper on the overall portfolio return.

Investment Trusts

Over the 12 month period, I decided to sell the remaining holdings in Murray Income and Murray Intl. and I have added a couple of property trusts to provide a little more diversity to my basket.

The better returns came from Blackrock Commodities (unsurprisingly) with 69%, Murray International (prior to sale) +50%, Temple Bar +20% and Finsbury Growth & Income (again) up 12%   The only trust that has struggled for me this past year have been smaller companies specialist, Aberforth -5%

The total return for my basket of trusts over the year was a respectable 14.4%.

Income yield from the trusts portfolio has been steady at 4.0%. The highest increases were Finsbury 8.2%, City of London 4.9% and smaller companies specialist Aberforth 25.4% (incl. special divi).

Index Funds and ETFs

Over the past year I decided to take profits from my Vanguard All World High Dividend ETF and Asia Pacific ETF both of which were boosted by the fall in sterling post Brexit.

In March 2015, I added the Vanguard UK Equity Income fund to my portfolio. The fund gives me access to a broad range of around 130 dividend-paying securities from across the FTSE 350, while reducing the risk of being overly invested in a small number of high-yielding shares or particular industry sectors by limiting the percentage of the index invested in any one company or industry.

I have just received my second half-yearly dividend of 403.14p per unit which makes a total of £7.76 for the year and very similar to 2015. The current yield is 4.5%.

This fund is probably the nearest proxy for a higher yielding shares portfolio but obviously far more diversified.

Finally, a significant percentage of my redistribution has been invested in the Vanguard LS 60 index fund. The intention is to sell down units each year to provide ‘income’ and I have also set aside a cash buffer reserve representing 10% of the funds value from which I can draw upon for income in bear market years when returns on the index fund are negative.

Over the past year, the fund has advanced by 18.6% so I took the opportunity in July to draw the equivalent of 2 yrs income by selling 8% of my units.. The 10% cash reserve has therefore increased with an additional 4% plus interest on the 10% for the past year in my building society.

Due to the fall in sterling I have also top-sliced my holding with a sale of 30% in September and hope to repurchase at a more favourable price when the pound eventually recovers against the dollar and/or the markets retreat from their current high points.

The contribution from my index collectives has therefore been positive over the year with a total return of 17.3%.

In his book  “The Index Revolution” Charley Ellis suggests individual investors will be most likely to succeed if they stick with a straightforward buy-and-hold, long-term strategy and make few moves.
They will be rewarded, Ellis said, by joining the index revolution only to the point where they are capture market returns over time, using a few funds in a mix reflecting their age, time horizons, and risk tolerance.

There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about that thinking, except for its simplicity in an era when complexity is the norm. “A simple portfolio that has few funds, but that inspires confidence that you can reach your goals is very freeing,” Ellis explained. “It allows you to focus on the things that are really important, and we all have something better to do than to be managing our mutual fund portfolio every day.”

Fixed Interest

As ever, the PIBS and fixed interest sector has provided a steady and predictable income of 6.1% however capital values have only edged up slightly providing a total return of 6.7% for the year. 

The better returns came from my two investment trust holdings - New City +12% and City Merchants +11%.

My largest holding was the Coventry BS PIBS (held in both ISA and SIPP) and these were redeemed in June 2016 and the proceeds remain in cash. 

Likewise my Nationwide PIBS were redeemed earlier this month. I have used the proceeds to add HICL Infrastructure Trust and also iShares Corp Bond (ex financials) ETF (ISXF) to my income portfolio.

The Complete Basket

As a whole, the portfolio has delivered a total return of 11.4% over the past  year. This compares well with my portfolio returns in previous years 

2013 13.3%, 
2014   5.4%, 
2015   2.7%  


In these times of ultra low interest rates and corresponding low returns from cash deposits, for a little more risk, an average annualised return of over 8% over the past few years is for me very acceptable. Return on my investments have been positive in 7 of the past 8 years and I am thinking the wheel may be about to turn!

I am starting to feel comfortable with my revised strategy - less individual shares means less monitoring of dividend receipts, annual reports etc. The move to index funds provides more global diversity and in particular the equity/bond balance provided by the LS60 fund provides less volatility and more stability and makes life very simple as it is automatically rebalanced to maintain the 60/40 ratio. I hope this addition will make it easier to leave alone and avoid the tinkering.

I have no particular goals for the coming year. My needs are fairly modest so I do not need a fortune.

I really do not subscribe to a get-rich-quick philosophy - it seems to me the easiest way to grow wealthier is learning to live with less, because living with less has a higher success rate than attempting to earn a fortune, and fortunes tend to push aspirations and desires higher anyway. Some 50 years ago, my grandparents had much fewer possessions and much less income, they experienced two World Wars and the intervening depression of the late 1920s but they appeared just as happy. 

I will repeat my patient, stay in the game and keep it simple....

Finally, wishing all readers a healthy and prosperous New Year!

As ever, I would be interested to hear how others have done over the past 12 months - leave a comment if you keep track of your portfolio.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Some Popular Posts of 2016 & a Final Farewell

Its been another quite unpredictable year in retrospect. The FTSE slipped to 5,600 in February but apart from a blip after the referendum result in June, the markets have been trending upwards and look set to finish the year above 7,000.

Writing my blog records my personal journey over the past 4 years as I try to navigate the ups and downs of the investing cycles. It helps me to focus, as well as holds me to account for the decisions I take. Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I get it wrong but this year has been mostly positive.

In 2016, once again, my main focus has been to continue the move towards more simplicity, more diversity and less volatility.

Here are a few of the more popular posts over the past year :

1. Vanguard LifeStrategy - A One-Stop Solution
Far and away the most viewed post this year (and last year) - currently approaching 10,000 page views. Some thoughts on helping friends with a simple, no frills investment plan.

2. Asset Allocation Revisited
I took the opportunity to update and expand upon my original article from 2013. Asset allocation is one of the most important decisions every investor needs to consider if they are to be successful.

3. Vanguard LifeStrategy 5 Yr Performance
As these popular index funds now have a 5 yr track record, I compare performance against other funds and also some of my investment trusts.

4. Selecting Your DIY Online Broker
Again, an update to my first article in 2013

5. Vanguard LS 60 - Year 1 Update
How has my largest holding performed since my initial purchase in 2015?

Just to say thanks to everyone who has followed my journey over the past year and special thanks to those who have taken the time to leave a comment. Total page views has just passed the half million mark which is quite a milestone.

Lets hope 2017 is another good one!    


Finally, a sad farewell to some people who have inspired and/or entertained over the years and who passed away in 2016

David Bowie
                   Terry Wogan

                                                         Frank Kelly (Father Jack)  

               Zaha Hadid (Architect)

Johan Cruyff
                                          Martin Crowe (NZ Cricket)

Alan Rickman  
That's it then. Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas
                                                                                                                          Victoria Wood

                     Ronnie Corbett

  Tony Cozier (WI Cricket Commentator)                                                         Carla Lane


Jo Cox MP                                                                                                   Dave Swarbrick

Caroline Aherne
 Ken Barrie (voice of Postman Pat)

                                                               Gene Wilder                             Arnold Palmer

Jean Alexander

                                                                                                                         Gary Sprake

                     Jimmy Perry  

                                                Bobby Vee

Andrew Sachs 
                                                                                                 Carlos Alberto (Brazil Football)                                                                      
                       Jimmy Young

Leonard Cohen
                  Fidel Castro

                                                               Rick Parfitt                                          George Michael

 gone but not forgotten - RIP.    

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Finsbury Growth & Income Trust - Final Results

I have held FGT in my ISA for the past 5 years. It continues to deliver and remains one of the top UK Income Trust in terms of net asset value and share price performance over five and ten years, its returns far outstripping those of the FTSE All-Share index. A sum of £1,000 invested 10 yrs ago would now be worth £2,867 compared to a total return of £1,756 from the benchmark FTSE All Share index.

Its aim is capital appreciation and income combined, with a total return in excess of the FTSE All-Share.

Long standing manager Nick Train’s approach is based on that of Warren Buffett’s and involves building a concentrated portfolio of “quality” companies that have strong brands and/or powerful market franchises.

3 Yr Chart  FGT v FTSE All Share
(click to enlarge)

The characteristics that define a quality company for Lindsell Train are:

  • durability – companies that can prosper through business cycles for many years to come;
  • high return on equity – companies with the ability to grow earnings year-in, year-out are favoured over those with rapid short term growth, but uncertain long term prospects; and
  • low capital intensity/high free cash flow generation – companies that do not have to make heavy balance sheet investment to generate earnings growth.

He holds shares for the long term regardless of short-term volatility, aiming for them to double or more in value over time. This results in extremely low portfolio turnover, which saves on transaction costs. These costs over the past year amount to just £799,000 or just 0.08% of net assets. The trust's total expense ratio remains reasonably low at around 0.7%.


The trust has this week announced results for the full year to 30th Sept 2016 (link via Investegate). Share price total return is 20.8% compared to 16.8% return for the FTSE All Share.

Top five portfolio holdings are: Unilever 9.9%, Diageo 9.9%, Relx 9.7%, London Stock Exchange 7.3% and Sage Group 6.8%.

Over the past year the dividend has increased by a respectable 8.3% to 13.1p (2015 12.1p). Revenues were 15.2p (2015 13.5p) and therefore there is a surplus after accounting for payments of dividends which will further bolster the dividend reserves.

Nick Train holds 762,662 shares in the Company which represents the whole of his personal investment in UK equity and is a significant portion of his total assets

Commenting on the results, manager Train said  "I am more excited about the outlook for global and UK equities – and hence for the shares of your Company – than I have ever been. Almost every company we meet can see an opportunity for unprecedented growth or efficiency gains or both. Investors by and large are far too pessimistic about the outlook. And yet the pace of technology change – even as this creates the opportunities – means more and more potentially ruinous surprises for individual companies".

Over the past couple of years I have been moving some of my investment into index funds but I think most investors will acknowledge there are always going to be a handful of managers who can consistently beat the index and it seems to me Nick Train is certainly one of them. You cannot argue with the consistent returns he has provided for shareholders over many years.

I am very happy to continue holding.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

IG Group - Repurchase

IG is a global leader in online trading, providing access to over 10,000 financial markets - including shares, indices, forex and commodities.

Established in 1974 as the world's first financial spread betting firm, IG's aim is to become the default choice for active traders globally. It is the world's No.1 provider of CFDs and a global leader in forex. It also offers an execution-only stockbroking service.

With a current market cap of around £2bn, it is a member of the FTSE 250. IG has offices across Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the US, where it offers limited risk derivatives contracts via the Nadex brand.

I held IG Group for some time in my SIPP, however in 2012 it was sold along with some other individual shares to release funds for the tax-free lump sum. In 2014 I repurchased the shares at the price of 595p in my ISA but sold a year later as part of my revised strategy to move away from individual shares.

Never Look Back

Once I am settled on a revised strategy, I like to see it through - HOWEVER on Tuesday the share price of IGG plummeted by over 40% on the news that the FCA were seeking to protect retail investors in the CFD market. My gut feeling was that IGG were not the likely target for the FCA and the drop in share price was an over-reaction to the news.

In the past year IG have introduced their Limited Risk Accounts, which are a really big change. Prior to this introduction, they rejected about 30% of people who applied for a new account, either as being too poor or too inexperienced to have an account at IG. The introduction of Limited Risk Accounts will now allow the company to accept some of those accounts who formerly we would have rejected. So partly, it’s around accepting people and giving them an account, on which, as the name suggests, you can never lose money which you have not already put on the account, and that is guaranteed.

For this and other reasons such as global operation, I believe IG are unlikely to be dramatically affected by this investigation.

According to the latest trading update on 29th November "The Company continues to perform in line with expectations, after a strong second quarter.  Higher operating costs over the first half of the financial year, due primarily to the ongoing success in effective new client recruitment, have been offset by good revenue delivery". The first half results are scheduled for 24th January when we should have more on their response to the FCA paper.

My re-entry price was 480p which is around half of what it reached just 3 months earlier.

year-to-date share price
The company paid dividends of 31.4p for 2015/16 and if this is maintained for the current year, the yield on my recent purchase is 6.5%. There has been a rebound in the share price today but until the uncertainty is resolved, I expect some further volatility.

One of the big attractions of IGG from a valuation and risk perspective is its balance sheet. Not only does it have a net cash position, but it has the ultimate version of net cash, namely no debt at all.

I am unlikely to hold long term with this one but just could not resist the offer from Mr Market yesterday.

As ever please be sure to DYOR!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Berkeley Group - Interim Results

House builder Berkeley Group have today issued results for the half year to end October 2016 (link via Investegate).

Pre-tax profit are up 33.9% to £392m compared to the same period a year earlier, exceeding estimates of about £350m. Revenues were up 24% to £1.4bn driven by the sale of  2,076 new homes across London and the South East at an average selling price of £655,000. It compares to 2,091 new homes sold at a price of £506,000 in the first half of 2015.

In 2011, Berkeley put in place a framework to deliver £13 per share to shareholders over a ten year period, as the market began to recover from the global financial crisis. Berkeley now have cash due of forward sales of £2.9bn, an estimated land bank gross margin of £5.9bn and net cash of £208m, which means the group is on target to deliver a new five-year target of £10 per share or at least £3bn pre-tax profit beginning 1 May 2016.

However, the Board is proposing to introduce flexibility such that the remaining £10 per share payments can be made through a combination of share buy-backs and dividends, as opposed to solely dividends. They confirm that the next £1 per share will be returned by 31 March 2017 with the amount of this to be paid as a dividend to be announced in February, taking account of the cost of any share buy-backs made in the intervening period.

Berkeley remains ungeared with net cash of £208m.

Commenting on the interim results, CEO Rob Perrins said: "The prevailing environment is one of uncertainty and we expect this to continue with short-term fluctuations, both up and down, likely to be a reality. Our business is well set-up to perform strongly in these conditions and is centred around London and the South East.  Notwithstanding the UK's decision to leave the European Union, we believe that London will endure as a global financial centre and a place where people from all walks of life and corners of the world will continue to aspire to live and work.

We remain well positioned to deliver our existing earnings guidance for the three years ending 30 April 2018 of some £2.0bn of pre-tax profits".

There can be no doubt these are once again very good figures. The results were well received by the market and by lunch the share price was up over 5% £26.90.

In hindsight, it may have been better to dispose of my holding last year when the share price was ~£36 however, looking longer term, there is no reason to believe the price will not recover to these levels and beyond once the uncertainty surrounding Brexit is resolved and in the meantime I continue to receive a chunky dividend every 6 months.

I am happy to continue with this one for the foreseeable future.


House move update - all went well on the day and new phone line and broadband connection was up and running after the first week. I am now busy with my long list of DIY jobs around the new house before my enthusiasm starts to wane - usually after the first couple of months!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

On the Move...At Last

Just a brief post to say I will be moving house in the coming few days and it will be at least a week or so before the broadband connection is up and running at the new property - so no posts for a little while.

Its been quite a while coming and lots of twists and turns. The one aspect that stands out for me however is the dramatic fall in professional standards amongst the legal people compared to the 1980s when I was doing the job.

Anyhow, fingers crossed for a smooth transition and back asap!

Friday, 4 November 2016

Goodbye Motley Fool!

I was sad to hear that one of my favourite personal finance forums will be winding down later this month. I have been a regular visitor and occasional poster since 2009 during which time I have learnt a great deal about personal finance and investing issues. Not only financial however, but help with legal matters (especially Clitheroe Kid), with computer problems and a host of other aspects of everyday life.

I am sure many thousands of ordinary people have found inspiration and guidance from all the many forum members who gladly pass on the wisdom of their own invaluable experience and expertise.

I would check out my favourite boards at least 2 or 3 times each week and have enjoyed the banter and wit from many of the regulars which makes it feel like a real community. I guess many will be feeling a sense of loss as the closure is about to happen in less than two weeks.

On the bright side, a few of the regulars are talking about some continuity replacement forum. Indeed one - Lemon Fools is already up and running!

So, thanks to all at Motley Fool for all the articles and discussions over the past few years and I hope many regulars will meet up again in the future.

Feel free to leave a comment below with your experience of TMF.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

TR Property Trust - Portfolio Purchase

Following my acquisition of Tritax Big Box last month, I have recently added TR Property trust to my ISA portfolio.

TR Property (TRY) is a £1.2bn FTSE 250-listed closed-ended fund. The Trust was formed in 1905 and has been a dedicated property investor through the Ordinary share class since 1982.

Over the last five years the shares have generated a total return of 105%, but post Brexit the share price has retreated below 300p with the discount to NAV widening from an average of 2% to 15% which provides an attractive entry point for my new purchase.

The fund is managed by Thames River and aims to maximise the total return by investing in international property shares and direct property mostly in the south east of UK. Manager, Marcus Phayre-Mudge has been involved in property investment since 1992 and has been involved in running the Investment Trust since 2004.

At the end of September the largest geographic exposure was the 38% weighting in the UK, with France making up a further 17% and Germany 25%. Retail and office space accounted for 30% and 26% respectively, with another 27% in residential and the remainder divided between industrials and diversified. The main investment areas at the moment are shopping centres, residential property in Germany and offices in London’s West End.

The largest holding is the 10.4% exposure to Unibail-Rodamco, a pan-European REIT that invests in shopping centres in Europe’s capital cities, as well as convention and exhibition centres in Paris. Next is Vonovia (formerly named Deutsche Annington) the largest German residential landlord makes up 8.5% and third largest is Land Securities, the UK’s largest real estate investment trust (REIT) by market cap and portfolio value, with a portfolio of £14.3bn including share of joint ventures and developments comprises 7.4%

10 Yr Performance (click to enlarge)

TR Property has paid out 8.35p in dividends over the past year and will announce the next interim later this month. This provides a current yield of 2.8%. Dividends have increased by an average of 5% p.a. over the past 5 years. It has reasonable ongoing charges of 0.75% however there is also the provision for payment of a performance fee which added an extra 0.3% last year.

It is run by a specialist, well-resourced team who pick the holdings based on the underlying fundamentals and the strength of the managers. They have built up a good long-term track record and are upbeat about the prospects as they think that the lack of commercial property development over the last seven years will ensure that the demand from tenants will help drive rental growth.

The interim results are due later in November but here are the latest full year results for those who may want to look in more depth (link via Investegate).

Friday, 28 October 2016

New City High Yield - Results

NCYF had been a part of my SIPP/ISA portfolio for a number of years.

It invests in high-yield fixed-interest securities and has produced positive NAV total returns and increased dividends in each of the past six years. The trust has a widely diversified portfolio, including some high-yielding convertibles and equities, with useful exposure to floating-rate notes to guard against inflation.

They have today issued full year results to 30th June 2016(link via Investegate)

Building on previous years modest 1.0% uplift, the Company's net asset value has again seen a modest increase of 1.0% although the share price return has increased by 4.7%. Investment returns were muted due to a slowdown in China’s growth combined with Eurozone concerns around Brexit.

Dividends have been increased to 4.36p (2015 4.31p) giving a yield of  around 7.3% based on the current share price of 60p. The dividend is more than covered by earnings of 4.50p per share however revenue reserves have reduced to 98.3% (last yr 113.5%) - the equivalent of 12 months current dividends.

As in previous years, the trust continues to trade at a premium to net assets and the management have place new shares raising £3.4m.

Compare NCYF with City Merchants (click to enlarge)

Ongoing charges for the year have increased significantly from 0.95% to 1.25% which leaves me to ponder whether I wish to continue holding. With a great deal of turbulence hitting the equity markets in recent weeks following the Brexit decision, its reassuring to have the steadying effect of the fixed interest constituents in my portfolio. However, the charges are a full 1.0% more than my Lifestrategy fund.

If sterling starts to recover, making the LS option more attractive then I may well cash in my chips with this one.

As ever, slow and steady steps…

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Fall in Sterling Prompts Decision to Top-Slice

Since the momentous decision to leave the EU on 23rd June, the value of the UK pound has been under pressure. On the night it stood at $1.50 and has now fallen to $1.22 at the time of posting - a reduction of almost 20%.

On the plus side, the value of my largest holding, Vanguard Lifestrategy has seen a corresponding rise in price as the underlying holdings are priced in US dollars.

Over the past 25 years, the exchange rate has fluctuated between highs of ~$2.00 and troughs around $1.40. The long term average value of sterling is around $1.60, so at some point, I am expecting the pound to recover and move back towards this average level - according to the principle of reversion to mean. The pound may have further to fall, of course but sooner or later, it will bounce back, either as a result in the dollar becoming weaker or the pound regaining support as the Brexit story unfolds.
GBP v USD (courtesy of

As I am more than happy with the 20% return from my VLS fund over recent months, I have decided to take profits from a part of my holding and have sold 25% of the fund which will now remain in cash awaiting developments.
VLS 60 1 Yr Chart (click to enlarge)

I know this is trying to second guess the markets - equity, bonds and currencies - but it just feels like a prudent step to lock-in some of the unexpected gains and leave the remainder to run.

I hope it turns out OK.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Tritax Big Box REIT - New Purchase

Over the past few months there have been several disposals to my sipp and ISA portfolios - shares and investment trusts - which has resulted in the accumulation of cash. The markets have been  riding high and sterling has slumped to a 30 yr low against the USD which, for the time being rules out a top-up of my Vanguard Lifestrategy fund.

For a little while I have been thinking it may be a good idea to add one or more property trusts to my portfolio. I was therefore interested in a relative newcomer to the scene. Tritax Big Box is the only Real Estate Investment Trust dedicated to investing in and funding the pre-let development of very large logistics facilities in the UK. The company believes these properties, known as Big Boxes, are one of the most exciting and highest-performing asset classes in the UK real estate market.

Big Boxes offer tenants economies of scale and cost savings not available from smaller, older buildings. They are also crucial to the efficient and effective operation of retailers, and in particular the fulfilment of e-commerce orders. Because the nature of what the companies use these buildings for is so fundamental to their very existence, Tritax is unlikely to suffer from unexpected vacancies.

Big Box have sought to distinguish themselves through the quality of location and modernity of their real estate assets let to high calibre tenants, which provide long term income and attractive prospects for growth.

The group hold a portfolio of distribution assets which are located close to motorways and are let to tenants including some of the leading supermarkets - Sainsbury, Tesco, Morrisons as well as M&S and Next. Some other tenants are:

Amazon - the world’s largest electronic and e-commerce retailer

Argos -  the UK’s leading multi-channel retailer, offering more than 33,000 products both on-line and in-store.

Brake Bros -  the number one food service distribution company in the UK

Ocado -  the world’s largest dedicated online grocery retailer.

Wolseley - the world’s number one distributor of heating and plumbing products

The UK has been one of the fastest global adopters of online retail and continues to exhibit significant growth in the sector, driving new demand for logistics real estate including Big Box assets. Successful large-scale retailers (online and conventional) and logistics providers are increasingly relying on the Big Box asset and demand is evident from companies up-scaling to such facilities.


Tritax Big Box was first listed at the end of 2013 at an initial floatation price of 100p. Earlier this year it raised £200m (substantially over-subscribed) at 124p per share to secure further sites and at the current price of ~135p it is capitalised at £1.2bn.

The company now plan to raise an additional £150m to further expand the operation via a share offer at 132p per share.

The recent interim results for the half yr to end June showed an increase in profits of 62% with adjusted earnings per share up 16% at 3.2p.

Building on payouts for the previous two years of 4.15p in 2014 and 6.0p in 2015, the forecast dividend for the full year 2016 is 6.2p rising to 6.5p in the following year. At the placing price this provides a yield of 4.7%. The company are proposing quarterly dividend payments and will pay an interim dividend of 1.55p on 27th October . The Group's dividends are fully covered by adjusted earnings, which are underpinned by strong rental stream and low cost base.

The company aim for a total return of over 9% p.a. over the medium term. Current average annualised return for the past 3 yrs is 14.4% so well ahead of target.
3 Yr Price Chart (click to enlarge)


I like what I have researched so far and I believe the model offered by Big Box which is basically tapping into a part of the online revolution, has potential for growth as well as a fairly secure dividend underpinned by the long leases and upward only rent reviews.

The view of Hargreaves Lansdown (11/8/16) - 'We view Tritax as a "get rich, slowly" scheme. It is not trying to shoot the lights out, simply to deliver a steadily increasing dividend. The prospective 5% yield on the stock is very attractive, compared to gilts or bank deposits currently. The attractions of Tritax are that it has modest leverage and high quality tenants, who occupy strategic assets on long lease terms. Tritax Big Box is one of our 5 Shares to Watch in 2016 for precisely those reasons'.

I have therefore placed my order to purchase some shares at the offer price of 132p and these will be included in my collectives income portfolio when next updated.

This article is a record of my personal investment thoughts/decisions and is not a recommendation - as always, please DYOR

Monday, 3 October 2016

Movember (Spread the Word!)

I regularly tune in to R4s PM and recently heard the BBC media correspondent, Steve Hewlett talking to Eddie Mair about his recent diagnosis with cancer of the oesophagus. It is rare to hear men talking candidly about such personal issues.

Some of you may have wondered why men suddenly start to grow silly moustaches at the end of the year. So I thought I would post this short article, provide an early heads-up and raise some awareness about the Movember charity and the work they do.

It started just over 20 years ago in Australia to raise awareness of prostrate cancer. It has grown quickly into a global movement funding over 1,200 projects.

Gender is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of health and life expectancy - not good news for us men! On average, across the world, men die 6 years earlier than women.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide and the number of cases expected to almost double to 1.7 million cases by 2030.

The Movember Foundation is now helping projects which address not only prostate cancer but also testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention. They are the only charity doing this on a global scale.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men under the age of 40. However, with an early detection, it has one of the highest cure rates - on average 95% of men survive where the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.

Suicide affects men more than women: three quarters of suicides are by men. The World Health Organisation estimates that 510,000 men die from suicide globally each year. That’s one every minute.

For those who want to know more, here are links to the main areas of work:

Prostrate Cancer

Testicular Cancer

Depression and Mental health

So, if you think it’s a worthwhile cause, there are lots of ways to get involved - spread the word, sign up for an event in your local area, make a donation, men grow a moustaches (and tell everyone why!).

Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Collectives Income Portfolio - Q3 Update

This is a brief portfolio update at the end of Q3 and following the amalgamation of my shares portfolio earlier in the year.

The starting capital for the shares portfolio was £36,000 and the starting capital for this portfolio was £28,000 - a combined total therefore of £64,000.

Although this is demonstration income portfolio, it largely mirrors my own holdings..

Performance & Disposals

My demonstration portfolio has now been running for almost 4 years. Many of the investment trusts have been there from the start - City of London, Aberforth, Edinburgh etc.

In August, I decided to slim down my holding in UK income trusts which resulted in the sale of Murray Income. In early September after a stellar run and gaining almost 50% since the start of this year, I decided to off-load the remainder of my holding in Murray International.

The portfolio has therefore made a little progress since 1st January. The value of the combined portfolios at the start of 2016 was £75,554 compared to the current value of £83,760 - a rise of £8,206 and total return of 10.8%.

The slight drag on performance has been the remaining individual shares which are collectively showing a total return of just 0.5% (Next -30%, L&G -13% and Berkeley -24%).

Since the last update a couple more shares have been sold - Tesco and BHP Billiton. I fully anticipate the remaining 5 shares will be sold at some point over the coming few months.

The total return for the FTSE All Share index year to date is 12.4%.

The various proceeds of sale remain in cash as I am struggling to find areas of value, particularly with regard to the fall of sterling and the rising level of the UK and US equity markets.


Income from my portfolio rolls in fairly predictably, particularly from my investment trusts. I receive no natural income however from my largest holding Vanguard Lifestrategy and operate a method of selling units from the growth to provide ‘income’. This year I have sold 8% of my fund to cover enough income for this year and next.

I have put in place a cash buffer equivalent to 10% of the value of my VLS fund to cover bear market periods when returns are flat or negative. The cash is held in my Coventry BS account which has recently seen a reduction in interest to 1.15%.

Increased Broker Charges

For several years I have used AJ Bell Youinvest for my S&S ISA as they did not charge a platform fee for individual shares and investment trusts/ETFs. However, that all changes from 1st October and I now pay 0.25% of the value of my investments but capped at £30 p.a. This works out at around 0.06% extra on a portfolio value of £50K.

The charges for my Vanguard UK Equity Income fund have increased from 0.20% to 0.25% - an additional £5 p.a. So long as the cap on charges remains in place, I will carry on with AJ Bell for my trusts.

My Vanguard LS 60 fund remains with Halifax Share Dealing which has a flat fee annual charge of £12.50 and works out at 0.05% of my investment for platform fees.

Here is the portfolio

(click to enlarge)

As always, feel free to comment on the performance of your portfolio below…

Monday, 26 September 2016

Managing Finances As We Get Older

I have always been a big fan of Monty Python since they first appeared on our TV screens in the late 1960s and I was therefore sad to read the recent news that Terry Jones has been diagnosed with dementia at the age of just 74 yrs. He was the one who often appeared in sketches dressed as a woman in a pinnie and spoke with a falsetto voice.

Dementia is an increasingly common problem in out modern society and current estimates show it affects around 850,000 people in the UK, many of whom are thought to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, which can have a devastating effect on short-term memory. This has led to fears that many diy investors could run into problems in future years.

A Few Stats on Dementia

Dementia can happen to anyone and there's currently no cure.

It is estimated there will be 1 million people with dementia in the UK by 2025.

Two thirds of people with dementia are women

One in six people aged 80 and over have dementia

80 per cent of people living in care homes have a form of dementia or severe memory problems.

DIY investors who manage their own pensions and ISAs without financial advice will most likely keep a close watch on their investments to ensure their plans for income remain on track. As we are all too aware, taking too much income at the wrong time can rapidly deplete pots and leave savers short in later years.

However, whilst the majority may feel on top of things now, one big area of concern for many will be how to approach the possibility that there may come a time when they can no longer manage their financial affairs.

One option to cover such an eventuality is to appoint a trusted person - partner, relative, close friend etc. - to take care of matters on your behalf.

Lasting Power of Attorney

One of the most effective ways to guard against the possibility is to establish a “lasting power of attorney”.

The Lasting Power of Attorney replaced the previous system of “enduring power of attorney” in 2007 over fears that the old system was too easily exploited.

There are two types – one covering health and welfare, the other property and financial affairs. They can be set up through a solicitor - costs will vary according to complexity and area of the country but on average ~£1,000 - £1,500 plus vat. For those who are managing their diy ISAs and sipps, a cheaper alternative would be a diy option directly via the Office of the Public Guardian’s blog site.

I recently did this for a member of the family and found it to be fairly straight forward provided you take some time to read the various guidelines which come with the application. Once completed and witnessed the documents are returned and cost £82 to register.

Once in place the attorney or attorneys are empowered to make decisions if the “donor”, the individual whose financial affairs are at stake, is deemed to lack the capacity to manage their financial affairs.


For those retiring at the age of 60 or 65 yrs, the standard rates offered are not such good value compared to 10 or 20 years ago. Therefore many people are choosing to go down the income drawdown route.

Pension changes introduced in April 2015 as part of the wider reforms mean any unused pension assets can be passed on tax-free if the original saver dies before reaching 75. However, standard annuities are not as flexible and wealth cannot cascade down the generations in the same way.

However, if death occurs over the age of 75 drawdown pensions are taxed as income at the marginal income tax rate of the beneficiary, or at 45pc if paid out as a lump sum.

At the age of 75 (and above), annuities start to become far more attractive and on average the rates available can be as much as 50% above the rates on offer at age 65 yrs. So 75 is a watershed moment and a good time to reassess whether the risks inherent in investing are still worth it.

Now, time for a cuppa and a read of the paper - where did I put my glasses.....

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

City of London - Full Year Results

Last week I was a little underwhelmed by the results of Murray Income investment trust which has now departed my portfolio. This week it’s the turn of CTY, also in the UK income sector.

City of London is one of my steady, predictable, middle-of-the-road income trusts. It feels like a dependable, faithful old carthorse.

I first purchased CTY for my personal equity plan (PEP) in 1995 - it has served me well enough over the past two decades and it represents the largest weighting in my IT portfolio (ISA and SIPP drawdown).

City have just announced full year results for the year to 30th June 2016 (link via Investegate). Share price total return has increased by just 0.4% over the year and moved from premium to discount - compared to the FTSE All Share benchmark of 2.2%.

Dividends have increased by 3.9% from 15.3p to currently 15.9p giving a yield of 3.9%.  This will be 50 years of rising dividends - quite an achievement if you think back to the start of this run when England last won the World Cup! Reserves were bolstered by the addition of a further 1p per share to 13.5p.

Earnings per share rose by 3.4% to 17.42p, mainly reflecting the underlying dividend growth from investments held of 4.6%.

Ongoing charges are 0.42% and remain the lowest in the sector.

Over the year there was an increase in the weighting in large companies with a corresponding reduction in the weighting of medium-sized companies.  Large companies (FTSE 100) now account for 68% of the portfolio, medium companies down from 23% to19% and overseas-listed companies 13%.

Relative to the FTSE All-Share Index, City of London benefited from being significantly underrepresented in banks and the oil and mining sectors. The best three stocks held in the portfolio which contributed to performance were US telecoms firm Verizon, insurer Amlin which was subject to a take-over bid and Br. American Tobacco.

5 Yr Comparison  CTY v Vanguard LS 100
(click to enlarge)

Average annualised total return over the past 5 years has been good at 12.9% p.a. compared to say Vanguard Lifestrategy 100 which has an average return of 12.6%.

This trust is possibly the nearest proxy to a HYP portfolio often discussed on the Motley Fool discussion boards.

Unlike Murray Income trust which has disappointed over the past couple of years and has now been sold, I am happy to continue holding CTY for the foreseeable…

As ever, please DYOR

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Murray Income - Final Results & Portfolio Sale

Murray Income Trust has been in my basket of income focussed investments trusts for several years. It has a record of increasing annual dividends in each of the past 41 years.

It has been managed by Charles Luke and his team at Aberdeen Asset Management since 2005. It is essentially a UK income trust but like several others in this sector, the management have been gradually increasing their exposure to larger, high-quality overseas listed companies.

It has recently issued its results for the full year to 30th June 2016 (link via Investegate).

Net asset  total return is up 5.9% however share price return is just 0.1% compared to the FTSE All Share Index increase of 2.2%.


The board are proposing a final dividend of 11.25p making a total of 32.25p for the full year - an increase of just 0.25p or 0.8% compared to the previous year's payout of 32.0p. At the current share price of around 730p, the yield is 4.4%.

Income generation has been below par for the year, partly due to a reduction in special dividends. The income generated over the past 12m reduced by 3.3% from 33.1p to 32p per share which therefore fails to cover the proposed dividend.

The management use options as part of the strategy to increase income. This year options income increased from 5.8% to 7.1%. I imagine many trusts will make limited use of such a strategy but it can be risky, especially when there is pressure to maintain an ever increasing annual dividend record.

3 yr chart  MUT v CTY v FGT
(click to enlarge)

Over the past couple of years I have been a little disappointed with performance compared to others in my portfolio. In June I compared the 5 yr performance of my basket of trusts against my Vanguard trackers and Murray Income was at the bottom of the table along side Dunedin Income.

Last year I took the opportunity to sell off part of my holding and I have now sold the remainder as MUT seems to add little to my basket of investment trusts.

I am hoping for better news from City of London trust which announces final results in the coming week.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Volatility of Shares

As most reader will know, I am gradually winding down my individual shares portfolio following a review of strategy in early 2015.

However, I thought it may be interesting to compare how my portfolio from Aug 2014 would have fared had I maintained the full holding of 23 individual shares. Here’s a link to my update in 2014.

(click to enlarge)

In September 2014, the FTSE 100 was 6775 - by April 2015 it had risen to an all time high point of 7,100 which was swiftly followed by a dramatic 17% decline to a 3 year low by the Autumn at just below 5,900. At the time of posting we are back on the upward trend with the FTSE 100 at 6,846. That’s an increase of just over 1% over the 2 years.

I was surprised to see just how wide the variation in the fortunes of the portfolio. As can be seen from the comparison, over just two years, the results are a very mixed bag - some shares have done very well - 4 shares up by over 50%, others have tanked with 7 shares down over 20%. However, it seems that overall, the portfolio would have provided an increase in capital value of 8.4% over the two year period.

Over the past two years the returns from some of my investment trusts suggest it has probably been a wise decision to give up on shares. For example - City of London 9.4%, Edinburgh 18.6% and Finsbury Growth & Income 29.4%. The return from my Vanguard LS 60 has been 20.9%.


As noted above, whilst the FTSE has recorded a gain of just 1% over the past 2 years, there have been periods of quite volatile swings in both directions. Furthermore, at the level of individual shares, there have been margins as wide as +86% with Sage Group and at the other end of the scale, -49% for BHP Billiton.

Unfortunately, the markets do not go up or down in a straight line but tend to zig and zag - sometimes there are positive rallies and a cause for optimism, just a quickly hope can turn to despair as the markets lurch south testing patience, resolve and strategy.

One of the main reasons for my change of strategy was to get away from the rollercoaster ride which is an inescapable part of holding shares. Some people are naturally more suited to following such a plan - maybe they view the portfolio as a single entity and disregard the ups and downs of the individual constituents.

At my stage of investing, I decided to simplify my holdings and reduce some volatility via more collective investments such as trusts and the likes of Vanguard Lifestrategy 60. Lower volatility created by a disciplined allocation to equities and bonds helps me to ‘stay in the game’ by reducing the impetus to trade and it is therefore easier to remain invested during all market conditions.


There is no getting away from the fact that the equity markets can be unpredictable and, at times, extremely volatile. We are all different in some respects and I am sure there will be many who are temperamentally suited to running a shares portfolio.

However, from my own perspective, its about matching my emotions and temperament with a corresponding strategy which meshes together. I came to the conclusion last year that the shares no longer fit this equation and I am feeling just as rewarded and more comfortable with my collectives - investment trusts and index funds.

Obviously a bit of me regrets the decision to sell some of the shares which have done well - Sage,  Imperial, IG Group for example but then again it is impossible to know at the time which shares would do well and which would struggle.

I think in the final analysis, it comes down to self awareness and having a robust strategy. How you choose to invest should always come down to the type of person you are and what you can and cannot handle in the markets in terms of risk.

Do you have individual shares in your portfolio? How do you manage volatility? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Selecting Your DIY Pension Platform

Earlier this year I reviewed the process to select a diy online broker which mainly related to ISAs and dealing accounts. Most brokers who offer such platforms will also offer SIPPs however due to the nature of pensions, they can be a little more complex.

I thought it may therefore be worthwhile to take a look at the possibilities for those looking into a diy option for their online pension.

Some Considerations

The main aspects to consider at the start of the process are :

1. Value of portfolio

As with ISA providers, online brokers mainly divide into two categories, those that charge a percentage platform fee based on the value of your investments such as AJ Bell and Hargreaves Lansdown and those that charge a fixed annual/quarterly fee regardless of how much is held with them for example Halifax Share Dealing and Alliance Trust..

As a rough rule of thumb, if your portfolio is greater than say £60K to £70K then it will probably work out cheaper to look at the fixed fee providers and for those just starting out or with more modest pensions, the percentage fee may work out better. To some extent, it may depend upon the type of investments you intend to hold in the portfolio.

However, although costs are important they are not the only consideration. Customer service for example may be an important factor for many, for others, financial size/strength of the provider will be a consideration.

2. Will you be investing using mainly funds (unit trust/OEICs) or with shares, investment trusts or exchange traded funds (ETFs)?

With many brokers, the platform charges are similar but the dealing costs to buy/sell will vary and the charges on shares and inv. trusts/ETFs may be capped which can make a big difference with larger pension pots.

Some providers such as my broker AJ Bell charge a percentage platform fee - currently 0.20% (0.25% from 1st October) - for holding funds but will cap the charges for shares etc. at £100. Those with a portfolio of £50K in funds such as Vanguard LifeStrategy for example will pay £125 p.a. in platform costs but only £100 if invested in ETFs or investment trusts. On a portfolio of £200K the corresponding annual fees would be £500 and for ETFs, again £100.

There may be no charges for buying funds with some platforms however, all brokers will charge a transaction fee for buying & selling shares, investment trusts and ETFs - typically around £10.

3. Will it be a lump sum investment or are you drip feeding via regular monthly direct debit?

Most investors will probably be slowly building their pension pot over many years via regular monthly drip feeds via direct debits. For such people, it will clearly make sense to choose a broker who can offer a free (funds) or low cost regular investment option (shares, ETFs etc.).

As we have already seen above, some brokers make no charge for the purchase of funds (as opposed to shares etc.) which make these attractive, particularly where the monthly contributions are fairly modest. Many platforms offer a discount to their standard dealing charges of say £10 - maybe £1.50 or £2.00 for the regular monthly purchase of investments.

Where the investment is a larger lump sum, possibly due a transfer from another pension provider, it will obviously be more important to consider annual platform/admin charges, especially where no further monthly contributions will be made.

Combined Charges

It will be important to have a clear picture of both the platform charges and the cost of buying selling the investments as well as the cost of the investments themselves. For example, it may cost more initially for a one-off purchase of an investment but there may be lower ongoing platform costs.

Low cost index funds are becoming more popular with small investors. The ongoing charges for some are less than 0.10% which is incredibly good value but this can be negated by holding them in a sipp with percentage charges which apply up to say £250K. A similar product may be available as an ETF with a slightly higher ongoing charge but because the platform costs are capped, the combined costs will work out less than holding the lower cost index fund.

An extra 0.20% in broker platform charges may not seem much but on an typical sipp portfolio of around £50,000 it will be an extra £100 every year. On a larger portfolio of £200K the extra charges would be £400 every year.

Once you are fairly clear on the above points it should be easier to narrow down the best choices for the most suitable broker.

Some Other Considerations

1. Check out the costs for closing the account and transferring to another provider. It is common for providers to review their charges or other conditions from time to time. Typical fees are usually based on whether you wish to transfer your portfolio over without having to sell and then repurchase with the new broker and will be around £15 - £25 per line of stock. Obviously, if you hold many different investments, it could be very expensive to transfer out.

Some platforms also impose additional charges for transferring out as cash.

2. Although you may be at the start of the sipp building journey, be aware of the costs of taking benefits such as conversion to drawdown with your provider at a later stage. Also be aware that some providers currently do not offer benefits which will entail a move to another provider at a later stage.

3. Does the sipp provider offer the type of investment you wish to hold in your portfolio? Seems fairly obvious but some brokers such as Cavendish for example, will offer only a limited range of investment trusts etc.

4. If you are likely to hold shares and/or investment trusts, check the situation regarding re-investing of dividends - is there a facility for this to be done automatically and if so, is there a charge?

5. Be aware that tax credits will need to be manually invested from time to time.

6. Check if there are additional charges for telephone trades - probably unlikely that this will occur but some may be interested in investments such as PIBS for example which can only be purchased via a telephone trade.

7. Is it likely you will want to hold overseas listed investments? If so, make sure this option is available and check out any additional costs.

Comparison Sites

Comparing the best SIPP providers isn't simple. Which company will be best and cheapest for your journey over the coming 30 years will depend on how much and how often you invest. Some will be better for smaller pots, some better for free regular monthly drip feeding into funds. Others will be more appropriate for larger sums or for consolidating several smaller pots from other pension providers. There are no providers offering the best all round deal for small and large amounts alike.

There is therefore no single one-size-fits-all best sipp provider. The best one for any individual will be the one that ticks the most boxes according to that individuals specific situation and requirements.

Monevator has painstakingly created a comparison table covering most of the popular discount brokers and fund platforms. The table is mainly aimed at diy investors seeking a passive approach to running a portfolio using mainly index funds and ETFs.

Compare Fund Platforms is a spin-off from Candid Money run by Justin Modray. Select the ‘sipp’ button at the start then select the funds you wish to compare or may be interested in purchasing, confirm a few assumptions on period of investment and rate of growth (include the option of also holding shares and/or investment trusts also) and instantly see which broker currently offers the lowest cost.

It can be revealing to see the effect on investment returns of the various platform fees over a prolonged period.

Of course, you are not limited to just one broker. You can have more than one sipp and could use one to hold a lump sum transfer from another provider for example and a second sipp for your regular monthly contributions.

From April 2017, the new Lifetime ISAs will be introduced for younger investors and these may be more attractive/flexible than the traditional sipp.

Here is a random selection of some sipp providers to assist with research (this list is by no means comprehensive and other platforms are listed on the comparison sites above)

[N.B Prices/info will change over time and as I do not intend to regularly update this article please visit the platform provider if you are intending to start/transfer a sipp]

Fixed Flat Fee

Halifax Sharedealing -

Platform - £90 p.a. up to £50K,  £180 p.a. over £50K - flat fee
Dealing - £12.50 funds and shares etc.(£2 regular)
Drawdown - £180 p.a. to age 75 then £300 p.a.

Alliance Trust -

Platform - £180 p.a. flat fee
Dealing - £12.50 funds and shares etc.(£1.50 regular)
Drawdown - £255 p.a.

Iweb -

Platform - £90 p.a. up to £50K,  £180 p.a. over £50K - flat fee
Dealing - £5 funds and shares etc.
Drawdown - £180 p.a. to age 75 then £300 p.a.


AJ Bell Youinvest - (from 1/10/2016)

Platform - 0.25% on first £250K then 0.10% up to £1m (but capped at £100 p.a. for shares, trusts and ETFs)
Dealing - £1.50 for funds - £9.95 for shares, trusts and ETFs (£1.50 regular)
Drawdown - £100 p.a.

Hargreaves Lansdown -

Platform - 0.45% on first £250K then 0.25% up to £1m (but capped at £200 p.a. for shares, trusts and ETFs)
Dealing - free for funds - £11.95 for shares etc (£1.50 regular but limited)
Drawdown - (no additional charges - same as platform)

Charles Stanley -

Platform - 0.35% to £250K then 0.20% to £500K(but capped at £240 for shares, trusts and ETFs and min. £24)
Admin - £100 p.a. + vat
Dealing - free for funds - £11.50 for shares etc
Drawdown - Take benefits £150 +vat; Payroll £50 +vat p.a.

Cavendish -

Platform - 0.25% funds (limited range of ITs and ETFs)
Dealing - free for funds (0.1% for ITs and ETFs)
Drawdown - not available

Fidelity -

Platform - £45 flat fee + 0.35% up to £250K, 0.20% on £250K+ (capped at £45 on limited range of ITs and ETFs)
Dealing - free for funds (0.1% for ITs and ETFs)
Drawdown - not available

Best Invest -

Platform - 0.3% on first £250K then 0.2% up to £1m
Dealing - free for funds - £7.50 for shares etc.
Drawdown - under £100K £100 +vat (over £100K no additional charges - same as platform)