Net Worth and other updates – October 2018 (-£14k)

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?Ms ZiYou 2018 Pumpkin

  • 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.

Ms ZiYou Asset Allocation Oct 2018

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%
  • 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

  • 0.15%

Related Posts

Over to you

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

Thank you for reading – please leave a comment below and join in the conversation. You can also connect on Twitter or contact me privately.



32 comments on “Net Worth and other updates – October 2018 (-£14k)

  1. It is a significant drop of course, but it is good to read it is within your risk tolerance range. Hopefully we’ll be in calmer waters in November (maybe we’ll have to wait until midterm elections in the US).

    My numbers (still) follow my company’s stock to a large extent, which meant I had to swallow a 10% drop. But this was from an all time high, with the YTD number still being close to +40%. So I am not complaining and still sleeping well. I started investing additional funds in crowdlending, so overall not too big a drop in total asset value. But it was interesting to ‘measure’ my own anxiety levels during the month.

    Other than that, my October was great. I got to visit family in the tiny little town in Holland where I grew up. That really was a trip down memory lane. I did a lot of writing for my blog as well of course, which I really enjoyed.

      1. It was interesting to go back. I left the country 20+ years ago. I visit each year, but always suffer a bit from ‘reversed culture shock’. I’ve changed over the years. And so has this tiny land below sea level. On the other hand, I always have this feeling of ‘coming home’. The country, language and all sights and sounds are in my DNA after all.

          1. It’s my mother tongue and in my blood, so yes. I do struggle a bit sometimes to find the right words. At work I speak mainly English and an odd ‘viking mix’ of Scandinavian languages… confusing.

  2. I once Sat in the office.with a guy who lost over £100k back in 2008 in one day!
    Luckily we were on the first he didn’t.think too long.about jumping out the window.

    This market blip was a buying opportunity and hopefully you accumulated some etfs?

    It does make me think that there is a parallel sequence of returns risk in the road up to ‘RE as well. 2% down is not so bad and the trend is your friend – 10% compound over 5 years!

    1. Yeah, £100k is a lot to loose in one day. But I’m guessing he had over £1m invested to lose that much.

      I don’t really play market timing and I don’t keep cash lying around really so no, I just kept on the same path.

      Yeah, the sequence of return is the big one……long-term trends are always reassuring, it’s just the short term. I’m expecting to liquidate a bunch of cash from my company when I retire ~ 2 years expenses, which I hope mitigates some of the risks.

  3. My stocks went down quite a bit over the last month also, but I was lucky to see my overall net worth increase.

    Just sorry I don’t have any spare cash lying around to invest more into my SIPP.

    1. Hi FHC – yeah it’s nice when it all balances out positive – the benefits of working and earning an income I’m calling it.

      On the having cash around, I think I’ve read enough to believe market timing is just luck – and I don’t think I’m lucky enough to call the bottom correctly.

  4. It’s all a matter of perspective….. My October net worth in the three currencies I track is:
    GBP: down 4k (not too bad)
    USD: down 48k (oops!)
    EUR: up 5k (whe-hey!)
    I’m feeling quite Europhile today!

      1. assets are a mix – I convert and track the total in all three on the basis that it’s no good if my total £ value goes up if it’s just due to £ going down the tubes. I find that looking at all three gives me a better feel for what’s really going on

        1. Yeah – mine are all ‘held’ in sterling although many of the underlying assets are in other currencies. And I know this volatility with the pound is having an impact, it might be a good idea to start converting this each month into a few stable currencies and check exactly what the impact is. I am going to copy your approach.

  5. I’m actually finding my risk tolerance has gone up as I have more liquid funds (the bit I’ve always lacked as most is locked up in pensions and property I now have high five figures in isas and p2p and a small amount in cash. The investments don’t really seem real to me anymore which is good in a way. My pension lost 15k this month my isas about 4 but it never made me panic. I should really stop looking but I find it interesting

    My dad said he stopped looking half way through the month (he’s got nearly 2 mil in a pension so you can understand that it must have been horrendous especially with no more income coming in)

    1. That’s a very cool perspective FBA that as you have more your tolerance to losses is higher. Makes sense as a scarcity model as well.

      Yeah, for pensioners it’s a very different perspective – who knows, maybe annuities will make a come back for the risk adverse.

    1. There is no such thing as a silly question.

      It is a model where for example there are only a set amount of resources and no way of getting any more. Hence the resources are scarce and human nature tends to hoard them.

  6. 14k.. ouuch! Keep that reserve toughened 🙂

    It doesn’t seem as bad as it could have been with the amount you have invested. You must be ploughing a lot in! Buy em while they’re low! Keep it up, you’re almost there – are you going to throw a FI party?

    1. Yep, working having slugs of money coming in really helps balance it out. I am in for the long haul anyway.

      Parties are overrated! Let the young ones have their parties.

  7. Negative numbers but only on paper or if you actually sell now. I’m with you, I want a big crash now rather than later.

    Still, there’s Brexit to come to rock the markets some more!

    PS – it seems an important question hasn’t been answered re the London FI meet up – did you wear the dinosaur or giraffe dress in the end? 🙂

    1. That’s a very good point Weenie = they are only paper losses and I have no intention of selling up.

      And yeah, who know what will happen if / when they finally get Brexit agreed.

      It’s one and the same dress. I call it dinosaurs, but others call it giraffe.

      1. the dress sounds scary! can we have a pic please? I’m not sure that the vision my imagination has dreamed up is sonething you could really have been seen in public in (without being arrested, that is)!

  8. My peak-to-trough for 2018 is currently well into negative six figures. It tests the old constitution for sure. Still a few months left yet – could get worse!

What do you think?