So, what happened in February? Much interesting to report?
How was February?
- Like it does every year, February flew by. I got another year older, yet I’m not sure I got any wiser. Seriously, at what age will I start to feel like a grown up?
- This month my travels were out to Spain – Seville this time followed by a visit to my Dad’s place.
- Seville is one of those Spanish cities I’ve always wanted to visit. However, it never made it up to the top of my list. Until now. And wow, it was worth it. Such a pretty city, with amazing cobbled alleys to get lost in. Not to mention churros.
- The old buildings and palaces and the cathedral are mindblowing. Moorish influences abound. And the bell tower used to be a minaret.
- I was amazed to see so many oranges on the trees in February! It was glorious and just so unexpected for me.
- Operation Dating has been proving quite successful. However, it is very time-consuming and causes a lot of self-reflection and self-doubt.
- Next on my 2019 Goals, making small progress on these but no major strides this month.
- And into the start of March, I was lucky to meet Weenie from Quietly Saving, Mrs and Mr Fu from FIUK money and some non-bloggers at a Manchester FI meetup. It was my perfect sort of meetup – small with loads of interesting attendees – and lots of women! It made me think, maybe we need a smaller scale London meetup…..
And this month my best theatre was another Shakespeare…..Timon of Athens by the RSC. A story of personality, relationships and money – and cannily similar to the Merchant of Venice in my thoughts. Yet I’ve no idea why it’s not staged more often. It felt very relevant to the current political climate, welfare state and inequality discussions.
For the last 12 months, my spending is coming in at £21.1k which gives me that comfortable 80% savings rate. And nothing particularly remarkable about the month – all quite ordinary expenditure. Having said that, there has been a bit too many drinks out, something not helped by all the dating. With the weather being cold and wet, pubs and coffee shops are proving ideal date venues.
Show me the numbers
Straight into the numbers: my figures for February (vs January ) are:
- Net Worth at £792k (+£9k)
- FIRE fund at £530k (+£9k)
- Which is 71% to the £750k target
- 24.1 x current annual expenses
It was another tumultuous month in February, with my portfolio moving a lot through the month – some weeks losing £15k, other weeks gaining it back. And I’m getting more and more comfortable with the volatility, which can only be a good thing.
People keep asking me if I still plan on FIREing in less than 2 years – and my answer is still only time will tell. At this stage, I am playing it by ear, and making sure I am in the best place whatever happens. In addition, I run a few basic forecasting models, and I’d need ~4% return for my worst-case scenario. In conclusion, not a dead-cert yet, but nonetheless more than likely.
Digging into the stats (geek alert) I aim for a 95 stock / 5 bond split and still in the right ballpark here. Then for the country allocations – not really any major changes since last month – all ticking over nicely.
I always like to check my top 10 underlying holdings for any movement. Some small movements here as Taiwan Semi is replaced by Samsung.
- 1.31% Microsoft
- 1.20% Apple
- 1.03% Amazon
- 1.01% HSBC
- 0.97% Tencent
- 0.86% Alibaba
- 0.86% Shell Class A
- 0.85% BP
- 0.71% Shell Class B
- 0.71% Samsung
So, how are the returns of the portfolio looking? The five-year yield is coming down, but the 3 months and 1-year yield are back to positive, albeit still under inflation. For a volatile period with lots of political and business uncertainty, I am comfortable with these yields.
- 3 Months 0.27%
- 6 Months -4.26%
- 1 Year 1.48%
- 3 Years Annualised 14.46%
- 5 Years Annualised 10.71%
Next, on the fund charges, the weighted aggregate charge of all my holdings is holding steady at a respectable
Over to you
- How about you?
- How has Febuary been for you personally?
- And numbers wise?