Net Worth and other updates – July 2018 (+£27k)

Yet another first of the month rolls around; time to do my company books and my personal balance sheet. And see what the numbers have in store for me – spoiler – an epic month numbers wise. July is always a good month for cash injections, let’s see how this translates into my FIRE fund and my progress to financial independence.

How was July?

  • Our UK heatwave has continued so it’s been hot, hot, hot all around. Lovely if you have nothing to do, but not ideal if you need to get work done. Our only rain comes in dramatic thunderstorms which are fantastic to watch from the comfort of indoors.
  • And the heatwave has kyboshed my running motivation – it’s just too hot to run if you don’t have to. If the heatwave continues, I’ll need to start to get up early to run again.
  • Nonetheless, I am managing to get out on my bike and managed a 19-mile ride without any ill effects. Building up the stamina here and getting my road confidence slowly and surely.
  • On the learning side, I passed my Chinese HSK 3 test. Which I am obviously very happy about, although I realise this was more due to exam strategy (I am good at passing exams) rather than a truly deep understanding of the language. It will be a struggle to get ready for the HSK 4 by the end of the year, but I am going to give it a bash anyway. Without audacious goals, I wouldn’t achieve so much.
  • One big work project has completed successfully – it was a big slog getting it up the hill so extra chuffed with the result. And it’s now in support only mode, which makes me workload much lighter but also unpredictable. I’m not a big fan of providing support, but it does guarantee me a contract extension. And it’s much better supporting code you built yourself than legacy code.
  • And work-wise I’ve unofficially put myself on a WFH (Work From Home) 3 days a week schedule instead of 2 and no one has really noticed or commented or seems to really care. Given I don’t care much for the open plan office this is great progress.
  • I was featured in HaltCatchFires’s Coders of Finance series as the first female coder. Personally, I very much believe we need to encourage more women into coding and break down both the barriers that prevent women from entering and the culture that causes women to leave. Compassionate coding is the way forward; we need a seat at the table when designing the next generation of technology
  • Politically Brexit seems to dominate the agenda and despite the Article 50 deadline being six months away nothing much seems to be agreed. This is causing lots of unnecessary volatility in the stock market and causing companies to seriously consider moving jobs abroad.


How knowledgeable are you on Roman history? It turns out what I know is only Shakespeare’s version. But I now foolishly realise that he took a lot of license. Which should have been obvious – he is after all a dramatist and a fine one at that. Nonetheless, his plays are based on the facts – with Plutarch widely credited as his factual source. Which leads me to this famous opening of a speech to the people by Mark Anthony.

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

With the scene set with my naivety on taking Shakespeare’s works as gospel on Roman history, I was treated to a new perspective in Imperium by the RSC. This play centres the action on Cicero and features a different version of this speech. And it made me realise Shakespeare made up the opening above.

Through watching this two-parter; the gaps in my knowledge became apparent – it was fascinating learning about the Roman Republic and how it governed. Moreover, Cicero himself was such a complex character – his idealism was quickly corrupted with power yet he remained relatively moral. The staging was simple yet effective and acting superb all round. And the Brexit parallels abound.

I left thinking are power and money always linked? When is corruption acceptable? How do we define a good person? Then moving forward a few hundred years – can I still assume Shakespeare’s Histories are truthful?


So as I mention quite often – I always look at my spending on a rolling 12-month basis -it’s meaningless on a monthly basis alone. Now for July, there were no big or exciting purchases at all. Therefore my annual spending decreased slightly from last month and is showing as an 80.5% savings rate. I expect this to go down in the next few more spendy months as I have a few trips planned.

Show me the numbers

Straight into the numbers: my figures for July (vs June) are:

  • Net Worth at £773k (+£27k)
  • FIRE fund at £514k  (+£30k)
  • Which is 67% to the £750k target

July is always a good month financially with a decent wedge of cash coming in. Moreover, only half of this bump can be attributed to cash coming in; the markets have also given me a hefty net worth gain. And I’m back to being a dollar millionaire again (until the pound has its next wobble).

My FIRE fund has burst through the £500k milestone – I am a solid two-thirds of the way to financial independence which feels absolutely amazing – and the momentum is building. I am very chuffed to get to the place where the market swings can increase (and decrease) my portfolio by significant amounts on a daily basis.

Although the markets have been good and given me a boost, the London housing market is taking a different approach. Prices are now decreasing and my house is now a depreciating asset with a £7k loss in value over the year. My brief is watching on this one – people still need somewhere to live. Moreover, London is still cool and has many jobs. Nonetheless, the Brexit uncertainty is making people keep their chequebooks in their pockets until things are resolved.


Every month I like to check my country allocations – and this month I see nothing untoward, all looking as expected here.

Ms ZiYou Asset allocation JUL2018

And the movement I’ve desired has happened in my top 10 stocks – Alibaba is back in (And Facebook is out):

  • 1.51% Apple
  • 1.33% Microsoft
  • 1.21% HSBC
  • 1.18%
  • 0.99% Royal Dutch Shell PLC Class A
  • 0.92% BP
  • 0.86% Tencent Holdings Ltd
  • 0.83% Royal Dutch Shell PLC B
  • 0.78% British American Tobacco PLC
  • 0.70% Alibaba

Looking at the performance of my portfolio – remembering this is a global passive portfolio –  the bull market continues despite wobbles earlier in the year.

  • 3 Months 6.29%
  • 6 Months 1.19%
  • 1 Year 9.13%
  • 3 Years Annualised 14.22%
  • 5 Years Annualised 12.25%

Related Posts

Over to you

  • How about you?
  • How has July been for you personally?
  • And numbers wise?


Thanks for reading – please leave a comment below and join in the conversation. You can also connect on Twitter. Looking forward to your thoughts and ideas – all are welcome. 

27 comments on “Net Worth and other updates – July 2018 (+£27k)

  1. If you liked learning about the Romans have you ever read any of the books about cicero from Robert harris? No idea if they are historically accurate (they appear to be but very good about the political machinations around that time)

  2. Ahh i thought i recognised the name . I’m not normally a fan of that type of book (I’m a voracious reader but tend to prefer easy reading like Stephen leather lee child which i know some will consider the literary equivalent of love Island but for me reading is about escapism) but he manages to make quite a dry subject eminently readable

    I love the anne rice books for the same reason. I completely corrupted our English teacher at school with those. Our school syllabus was always Jane Austin etc Not great at an all boys school.

    she always moaned about my reading choice as I read alot of horror (Stephen King James Herbert) and moaned i never read the classics (i did point out I’d read Dracula jekyll and Hyde and 39 steps but she meant the classics she felt were worth reading ) to her credit i lent her interview with a vampire and she absolutely loved it and read the rest of her books. Anne rice weaves the fantasy stories into historical situations in alot of her books (servant of the bones is a great example) and the books are a much more about the dichotomy between the immortal vampires and their human loves and the choice they have to make to let them die or convert them which i really liked. Even if you’re not a horror fan you might be pleasantly surprised

    1. I never used to be a fan of history either – just as I’m getting older I’m seeing more and more parallels with everyday life. It’s scary.

      And I always have a mound of books to read – and some library books that need to go back, so I’d better get started on them!

  3. Congratulations on getting over the £500k threshold on your FIRE fund! That must feel amazing!

    I’ve been putting off running with the weather too and have spent more time in the air conditioned gym but sprained ligaments in my wrist has put an end to that (hopefully temporarily) so I’m back to running. I had to go before work this morning though just to make it through 30 minutes and it was so tough!

    1. Thanks for the congrats – indeed it does feel good.

      And go you working out already this morning -much more than I’ve managed. Sorry it was tough, bet the next one will be easier!

  4. Congrats on 1) breaching the £500k threshold; 2) being a dollar millionaire again (even if temporary, enjoy while you can!); 3) passing your Chinese test and 4) an awesome savings rate! Must be a great feeling to see how much your FIRE fund has gone up in just one month!

    Interesting that you’ve now got an extra day WFH – I prefer going into the office to work and try to avoid WFH if I can – get too distracted at home!

    @Fatbritabroad – I love a bit of Lee Child – the Jack Reacher books make perfect holiday reading. I’d also throw James Patterson into that category! Tried some Anne Rice a very long time ago but decided they weren’t for me – I’m not a big horror fan, more into fantasy/sci-fi, with some crime/thriller thrown into the mix!

    History has always interested me (loved it at school) and it’s something I’d love to get back into when I have more time.

    1. Thanking you weenie for your awesome kind words.

      And indeed, it’s a massive increase – mainly due to luck, but feels good nonetheless. I’ll try and remember this when commiserating falls in the future.

      I’ve found people fall into two camps with WFH – it’s kind of a marmite thing!

      And yes I love Jack Reacher (even tho he is a bit of a d*ck) and James Patterson. Such fun and easy reading. I even not embarrassed to say I like a bit of Dan Brown. Given they are all a bit male hero heavy I also try and read some female-centric ones such as Stella Rimingtons.

      ON the history – yes if I had more time it would be fascinating to really dive in and learn more.

      1. Ah yes, I too try to look for books with strong female characters to balance out the male hero heavy books – thanks for mentioning Stella Rimington, female authors are also kinda low on my list, though not on purpose. Do the Liz Carlyle books need to be read in order?

    1. Yes it is 100% brexit that is tanking the London property market – we are not getting as many people coming who want to live here, and loads of Eu professionals are considering leaving. And to be honest, the London property market is a bit overpriced as well.

      The bull has done well for the 5 year return. I don’t expect it to continue indefinitely.

    1. Hi Quitting Teaching – after your comment, I had to check if the London bubble had made me disconnected from average salaries.

      My investments made about £15k last month – and the average UK salary is still £27k – so although I made a good chunk of paper money, my monthly passive income is nowhere near average yearly salary! And this is a bull market and flaky pound month – next month I could be -£15k!

      So can’t give up the day job yet.

  5. Congrats on bursting past the 500k mark, Ms ZiYou! I am less than 3% completed of my financial target. It’s awesome that you’re two-thirds of the way there. Thanks for sharing your asset allocation breakdown. I’m a big fan of Apple and the recent performance has been great. As for my numbers, July was another small step forwards. I haven’t shared my dividend income numbers yet but it will be a new record when I post soon. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks for your kind words Reverse the crush. I’m sure from your 3% you’ll see rapid growth towards your target, slow at first then the momentum builds. Good luck and enjoy the journey.

  6. Hi Ms ZiYou,

    First of all, congrats on an amazing month. +£27k in a single month is truly epic!

    I found this sentence on your About page: “As I’ve decided to remain anonymous, I can share real-life numbers with you”. I’m trying to break that money paradigm by putting my face, name and my numbers out for everyone to see. I think the world needs to be more open about money and personal finance.

    Even though I was no way near +£27k, July was still a great month for me. Things are definitely going in the right direction. I hope I’ll be able to retire in a few years, just like you. Cool idea with the count down timer by the way!

    Best regards,

    1. Wow Jorgen I love your style and your openness. Under you are breaking the mold. And people do need to be more open about money – however until we get there we can’t control other people’s reactions.

      And fabulous that we are on the same timetable to retire in a few years. And yes, it may be gimmicky but I like the countdown timer!

  7. We went to Rome for a few days at the start of July specifically to look at some of the historical sites. Lots of reading up on Augustus, Marcus Auerelius, Trajan, Hadrian & co.

What do you think?