All is redeemed? With the latest market volatility correcting for December’s falls are we back on track money wise? What else has been happening in January?
How was January?
- I may be unusual in loving January. It’s a fun month and always a great time to go away and explore some snowy places. And this year was no exception, with a trip to Budapest. What a majestic city, it really is the Paris of the East as they say. Sadly it’s nowhere near as cheap in 2019 as the last time I visited many years ago but it’s hardly expensive. My highlights were sampling several thermal baths – nothing like being outside relaxing in 36-degree baths when it’s freezing out of the water.
- And after many exams, I have passed the first semester of my Chinese course. I am obviously very happy about this and it provided a much-needed burst of enthusiasm and motivated to study more.
- I’m working on my 2019 Goals, and have managed to start shedding a few kilos and am making healthier food choices. Small steps but heading in the right direction.
- Additionally, operation dating has commenced. More posts to follow on the topic later in the week.
I’m always a fan of Shakespeare, despite the many problematic elements of his work.
And my best theatre in January was a modern production of Richard II at the Almeida. There was lots to like – Simon Russell Beale was superb as Richard and the barrenness of the set combined with the water and blood worked really well. Not to mention the Brexit comparisons were delicately done.
“Poor political leadership may be the predicament of our time but, as Richard II shows, not just of our time”
— Almeida Theatre (@AlmeidaTheatre) January 13, 2019
On the spending side, I am coming in at £20.9k for the last 12 months, bringing my savings rate back to 80%. A couple more months left of the tax year, so I think it’ll be touch and go if we end up just under or just over 80% for the year. There was the trip to Budapest in January but nothing particularly spendy or noteworthy.
As I mention a lot, I love travelling but am rather a frugal traveller. I still very much believe in the philosophy of spending on what makes you happy. And culling spending you don’t care about. I could spend much less, but then life would be less fun. Conversely, I could spend more, but life would not be more fun. Getting your balance is key. What works for me won’t work for you, and vice versa.
Show me the numbers
Straight into the numbers: my figures for January (vs December) are:
- Net Worth at £782k (+£29k)
- FIRE fund at £522k (+£30k)
- Which is 70% to the £750k target
- 23.7 x current annual expenses
And that was a quick correction. The majority of December’s paper losses have returned. And you know what? That was lightning fast. Selfishly I was wanting to check how I’d cope with a real dip. When losses kept appearing month after month. Instead, we have a quick correction and a poor year, but nothing major or insurmountable. So I’ve been getting a good test of the month on month volatility, but not much training on how to deal with large losses.
Having said all that, I am not so secretly happy things are looking rosier again. It makes my dream of retiring by 40 appear much more achievable. But there are still many many months to go, so I will be watching the market, and more importantly my reactions to it closely over the next year.
Now let’s check the country allocations. Has much changed? In reality no – just a few small changes following the market performance. I’m still very comfortable with these.
I always like to check my top 10 underlying holdings for any movement. The same 10 stocks as last month feature – with a little reordering of their relative positions.
- 1.25% Microsoft
- 1.18% Apple
- 1.06% HSBC
- 1.05% Amazon
- 0.96% Tencent
- 0.89% Shell Class A
- 0.84% BP
- 0.83% Alibaba
- 0.75% Taiwan Semiconductor
- 0.74% Shell Class B
And now looking at the performance of my portfolio how are the trailing returns looking with all these falls and subsequent rises? Interestingly the 3-months performance is now no longer negative, although the 6 months and year performance are. But more importantly, the 3 and 5-year performances are looking very healthy indeed.
- 3 Months 0.00%
- 6 Months -4.95%
- 1 Year -0.85%
- 3 Years Annualised 14.93%
- 5 Years Annualised 11.12%
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 January been for you personally?
- And numbers wise?