And it’s now that time loved or hated by personal finance bloggers, where we get the numbers together and review the previous month’s performance. But this month will be different. It’s the first big drop in the markets on both sides of the Atlantic. How did everyone fare?
And more importantly, how was the month of October outside of finances?
How was October?
- October has been getting busy. My Chinese course is taking up more and more time, but I’m so grateful it is remote and flexible, apart from 3 hours a week I can fit it in around other commitments.
- Summer has ended, and the weather is now more autumnal in time for Halloween. And yes, even my pumpkins here have a feminist theme. Do you like it?
- I made an appearance at the London FI meetup. It was great fun meeting people in real life, this time at a pub with much better bar service! But I have to admit it was hard when you know people by blog names to match them to real names and vice versa.
- UK FI POD – I continue to spend a lot of time on this project – it’s been such a great learning experience for me. Moreover, hearing from guests on their approach to FI is absolutely fascinating.
There has been a lot of great theatre this month.
Starting with the modern, I absolutely loved The Hoes at the Hampstead Theatre. The writing and acting were both spot on, and it was a great commentary on female sexuality and consent in the age of #metoo.
Moving on to something very different and more traditional, The Ring Cycle at the Royal Opera House. One of the most famous operas by Wagner this four-part opera series always sells out. Not to mention the pricey seats, many people pay £1200 for top price seats. I went for the more modest £76 standing perch. The music was sublime and it was such a great experience seeing and hearing it live.
Oops. October was another spendy month. I seem to have spent a lot of money on holidays and travel. With a fincon ticket and lots of small trips being planned, there are a lot of little things to pay for travel wise in advance of the trips. Actually, adding them up I have three trips away this year, and four trips next year already arranged. However, travel is one of my priorities in life so I feel comfortable spending on what matters to me.
My annual spending is up to £21.5k, reducing my savings rate under that hallowed 80% to 79%. But I’m not going to beat myself up about it, as these are just arbitrary numbers. At the end of the day, if it remains under £23k for the tax year I’ll be content.
Show me the numbers
Straight into the numbers: my figures for October (vs September) are:
- Net Worth at £769k (-£14k)
- FIRE fund at £509k (-£14k)
- Which is 67% to the £750k target
- 23.1 x current annual expenses
So it’s my first month where I had a massive drop in my portfolio, that is not really told in these numbers. The market has been very volatile and I’ve found it weird to see my portfolio change by £9k some days. Those are some massive swings. At the worst point, I was £40k down. However, the pound has weakened and the market bounced back a bit for the end of the month to reduce those losses.
Moreover, I am still working and get most of my income quarterly. And October was one of those quarters. As much as it grates and feels frustrating to see income disappear into losses, overall the reduced loss becomes much more palatable. Simply put, the main reason I only lost £14k in this month of market turmoils was that I got a lot of money in. Working really helps balance out those market dips.
Additional, I’ve been testing my resolve and risk tolerance throughout the month. So far I’m happy with my asset allocation and comfortable keeping to the plan even when the market slides. But only time will tell if I can keep the resolve when things get even more choppy.
Every month I like to check my country allocations – and again this month it is all as expected.
I always like to check my top 10 underlying holdings for any movement. And this month we have the addition of Berkshire Hathway.
- 1.65% Apple
- 1.34% Microsoft
- 1.08% HSBC
- 1.06% Amazon.com
- 0.95% Royal Dutch Shell PLC Class A
- 0.90% BP
- 0.79% Royal Dutch Shell PLC B
- 0.68% Tencent Holdings Ltd
- 0.67% Berkshire Hathaway
- 0.66% Taiwan Semiconductor
And now looking at the performance of my portfolio how are the trailing returns looking with the recent drops?
- 3 Months -4.68%
- 6 Months 0.92%
- 1 Year 2.05%
- 3 Years Annualised 14.39%
- 5 Years Annualised 10.78%
Next, on the charges, the weighted aggregate charge of all my holdings is holding steady at a respectable
Over to you
- How about you?
- How has October been for you personally?
- And numbers wise?