What a month it’s been. In September 2019 I completed my Americas trip with a visit to fincon and won an award! Had a brief spell at home, then another quick trip out to Norway. Also, how did my money fare, especially as I’m still enjoying a life of leisure.
How was September 2019?
- I made it to Washington DC for Fincon19. And it was fabulous getting to meet all those bloggers I only talked to online before. Putting real faces (and real names) to people was hard work. We had lots of great chats and carried on online conversations all around, but actually didn’t make it to much of the scheduled events.
- While I did see a lot of big-name bloggers, I’m not one to act like a groupie. There certainly were a lot of admirers around the big names, and they all reacted very differently. Some were humble and receptive, others less willing to talk to fans.
- Already surprised that I was nominated for a Plutus Award, imagine my shock when I won the category of Best International Blog. I managed to make it to the stage to accept my prize without falling. But I’m told I ran off the stage very quickly after winning! I have to say thanks to everyone who nominated and voted for me, the recognition means a lot to me.
- I got to attend the London #ClimateStrike. And for my second ever protest, I even made a sign or two, from recycled items naturally. There was a great atmosphere, with lots of children and families there. I am still in awe of how Greta has galvanised people all over the world – a true hero.
- And my summer of leisure is coming to an end, with a new contract starting next month meaning I am back to work. I have so enjoyed the freedom of no work over the summer, so I wonder how I’ll cope going back to a stricter routine.
I completed my Americas trip with my first time visiting Washington DC. I did all the obligatory tourist things. Saw the White House and snapped pictures – they are even building a fence/wall. Went for a tour in the Capitol Building which was great fun. Also went into the galleries at the House of Representatives and the Senate. Great to see inside them, but not much was happening at the time.
The National Archives also drew me in as they had the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence on display. All I can say is they looked impressive, but the cursive handwriting was impossible to read. Alongside these artefacts, they had an exhibit on women’s suffrage which as expected I enjoyed.
A few museums were also squeezed into my schedule, with the National Art Gallery, National Portrait Gallery and Postal Museum. And finally, there were a few walks down the mall and appreciating all the different memorials.
And onto my final stop, mainly as it saved me hundreds of pounds on the flight – a day visit to NYC before catching my departing flight. I’ve been to NYC many times before, so this was just a sightseeing visit. I got the Staten Island ferry at dawn which was great fun and such good views. Sadly they didn’t really photograph well. But I enjoyed them. I photographed the bull yet again and went to seek out the fearless girl in her new location.
Yet more September 2019 travel
Yes, I managed to fit some more travel into this month with a quick trip to Norway. My second visit to the country, I went specifically to see “That Rock”. Or the Pulpit Rock as more educated people call it.
As expected it was a significant hike up to see the rock, and despite it being late September I was far from alone up there. But just look at the rock, it is stunning.
Now, I have to declare that I have no fear of heights whatsoever. Hence hiking solo up to the rock was no big deal for me. When you are up on the rock, you really feel very safe as the overhang masks the view down. You logically know you are on a cliff, but as you cannot see it it doesn’t feel real.
Seeing Pulpit rock in person was great. It’s a simple enough day trip from Stavanger, you just need to get a ferry and bus to the start of the hike. There are decent facilities there, a cafe, a water point and toilets alongside a great lake view. The hike was moderately hard, rough ground and a little scrambling but most people made it up to the top. And the view is incredible when you make it, all that pain and effort are made worthwhile.
It’s been another of those months where I’ve been out of the country so much I’ve forgotten to go to the theatre. Oops.
Well, looks like I’ve been spendy. My 12-month rolling spending has gone up to £22.7k. While it’s above my ideal of £22k, I’m not at panic stations yet. I know it’s mainly due to holidays – and I love holidays. even if they nudge my spending up.
However, I am planning on staying home more for the last quarter of the year and will try to keep spending under control. When I have some free time I might so some analysis – I suspect some of my fixed costs have gone up and I want to see how much inflation is hitting me.
Show me the numbers
And now straight into the numbers: my figures for August 2019 (vs July) are:
- Net Worth at £863k (+£9k)
- FIRE fund at £599k (+£8k)
- Which is 79.8% to the £750k target
- 27.2 x current annual expenses
September 2019 Numbers Deep Dive
As I’ve not been working, I’ve not been adding any cash into my investments (I’ve not cashed any out). So it’s been interesting seeing how things are doing and leaving the numbers all completely in the hands of the markets. This month some of last months losses are back, but for how long?
As usual, I have the details and graphics shamelessly stolen from my broker reports.
And the overall distribution between large and small, value and growth can be seen again on the right. No changes here. I like to have some small companies as well as the giant and now have 9% of smaller companies which feels good and I plan to maintain.
I always like to check my top 10 underlying holdings for any movement. And in September we have AstraZeneca replacing Facebook at number 10.
- 1.59% Microsoft
- 1.41% Apple
- 1.08% Amazon
- 0.94% HSBC
- 0.84% Tencent
- 0.82% Alibaba
- 0.77% BP
- 0.77% Shell Class A
- 0.75% Taiwan Semi
- 0.72% AstraZeneca
And the trailing returns have a few changes from last month.
- 3 Months 2.97%
- 6 Months 8.19%
- 1 Year 6.54%
- 3 Years Annualised 10.73%
- 5 Years Annualised 12.12%
Next, on the fund charges, the weighted aggregate charge of all my holdings is steady at:
Over to you
- How about you?
- How has September 2019 been for you personally?
- And numbers-wise?