Yikes, financially it was a choppy month in the markets. How did this impact my portfolio? And what else have I been up to in December?
How was December?
- I have to admit I love the festive season. The decorations and festivities are awesome and even the most grumpy have a little bit of good cheer to spread. And London is always well decorated.
- Personally, there was lots of travel. Firstly a weekend in Ukraine. As why not go there a few weeks after Russia starts flexing its muscles? Nonetheless, it is perfectly safe to visit Lviv – which is miles away from the troubled areas and nearer Europe than Russia. I would highly recommend a weekend break in Lviv for adventurous travellers – it was just so interesting and such a pretty city. Not to mention the prices are all very reasonable.
- And I also visited a friend in Germany which was ace. I got to sample many, many gluhweins and enjoy the Christmas markets despite the sub zero temperatures. And I have to report I’m liking Germany a lot more than when I previously visited. It seems to be a lot more Veggie friendly now, which I hadn’t expected from the land of wurst.
- I’ve also been taking a festive break from the blog while in the land of poor internet – aka my mums’ house. Although I have been moving over the hosting at the start of this year to a shiny new host. And testing out my WordPress skills which is always fun.
This month’s best theatre was Tamburlaine by the RSC. A play by Christopher Marlowe, it tells the tale of Tamburlaine’s ruthless rise to power and world domination.
For a play many centuries old, there was a lot of relevance to the world today. How we define kingdoms, states and countries. And how the most ruthless win. Then claim a heavenly mandate. And rule over us.
As expected from the RSC, the acting was top notch and the production didn’t disappoint. The set was awesome and the levels within the theatre used very well.
So how did December impact my spending? Well, it wasn’t too high, despite a few trips away and Xmas. As a middle-class frugal person, I don’t want or need much. Hence for Xmas, most of my friends and family partake in a gift amnesty. And my trips don’t tend to be overly spendy – Ukraine was mega cheap but there was a fair amount of Gluhwein purchased in Germany. As it was below freezing you understand.
Once the numbers are in – no change from last month – my annual spending is still up at £21.5k, keeping my savings rate at 79%. [I only calculate spending and savings rate on a rolling 12-month basis, as my spending is lumpy. And I’m far too lazy to amortise it all out as accountants do.]
Show me the numbers
Straight into the numbers: my figures for December (vs November) are:
- Net Worth at £753k (-£23k)
- FIRE fund at £492k (-£23k)
- Which is 66% to the £750k target
- 22.4 x current annual expenses
So, the biggest monthly drop in net worth so far. with a paper loss of £23k. (I’m sure there are far bigger drops to come in my future). That is a big number. As I review the numbers I know it is a massive amount of money, more than lots of people earn in a year. Yet somehow I have a stoic calmness.
I feel almost detached from the loss. Which I suppose I am in reality – as the money is for my FIRE dreams in the future and I don’t need it today. I still have a hefty income to throw at the market and stem the losses. As the market gets more volatile, I want to see how I cope with the further drops. Will my stoicism remain? When will I start talking about pushing back my FIRE plans?
But even this blog is about more than money. It’s about the freedom that can be leveraged in order to live the life I want. Without any compromises.
Every month I like to check my country allocations – nothing major has changed, US down slightly and UK & China up.
I always like to check my top 10 underlying holdings for any movement. And this month a few changes in position and Alibaba replaces Berkshire mirroring the changes above.
- 1.34% Microsoft
- 1.22% Apple
- 1.15% HSBC
- 1.05% Amazon
- 0.92% Shell Class A
- 0.91% Tencent
- 0.86% BP
- 0.77% Shell Class B
- 0.73% Taiwan Semiconductor
- 0.73% Alibaba
And now looking at the performance of my portfolio how are the trailing returns looking with all this volatility and falls? On the plus side, the 3 year and 5-year returns are still very strong. But the yearly return has now gone negative. It’s not been a great year for the markets.
- 3 Months -9.58%
- 6 Months -6.44%
- 1 Year -5.13%
- 3 Years Annualised 12.29%
- 5 Years Annualised 9.53%
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 December been for you personally?
- And numbers wise?