Saturday, 4 October 2014

Quarterly Review: October 2014

I have decided that it is perhaps better to review my portfolio quarterly where possible as opposed to half-yearly as I have done before. So here I am, taking another look to see how things are ticking along and how close or far I am from reaching my goals for the year.

By going through these I will then adjust my goals for the last quarter of the year to reflect any goals which I have already achieved and thus need to be revised.

First, let's take a look at my holdings as they stood on 3 October 2014:

ShareTicker# of SharesPrice (GBx)Transaction% CostCurrent Value% PortYield (%)
Banco SantanderLON:BNC92588£499.294.68£540.965.705.01
BHP BillitonLON:BLT251650.5£496.684.66£412.634.354.44
Seeing MachinesLON:SEE66006£499.164.68£396.004.170.00

Goal 1: Invest at least £8,000 in 12 companies

This I have easily surpassed. I am currently sitting on 14 companies with a combined investment of over £10,600. What is more, my other aim of having at least 1 foreign equity in the mix has also been achieved with Banco Santander ticking that box.

So this has been ACHIEVED. What to do now? Well I will revise this to at least £12,000 invested in at least 15 companies. In reality, I think in some cases some of my holdings could do with a top up so I will not target to grow the number of holdings too much.

Goal 2: Portfolio yield of at least 3.5%

This goal is in order to create a portfolio which should be beating a FTSE 100 tracker fund. So where do I stand? Well, currently my portfolio is on a yield--not yield on cost--of 4.62%. This is well ahead of my goal as it stands.

However, two caveats must be added here due to fact that I use dividend figures for the trailing twelve months. First, the significant cut in the Tesco dividend earlier this year will revise the actual yield of the portfolio downwards going forward. On the flip side, the anticipated dividend growth from most of my holdings has also not been factored in. 

Even with the above caveats I still expect to end the year well ahead of my 3.5% goal. So I am currently AHEAD OF GOAL. Shall I revise it upwards a little? No, I think I will keep it as it is. I think anything around 4.5% is very good going and I am looking to bring in some lower yield, but higher growth stocks going forward.

Goal 3: Earn £200 from dividend income

Here, thanks to an excellent September income-wise, I am also on track to achieve this before the end of the year. Currently, my dividend income sits at £159.59. What is more, October is set to be another good one with the likes of HSBC, Interserve and--most importantly--GSK throwing their cash into the pot.

Happily, this means that I am ON TRACK FOR GOAL. I may well revise this target if I achieve it some time before the end of the year. I will wait and see. As it stands, the £200 goal remains.

Goal 4: Achieve a Beta volatility of 0.9 or less

So where do I stand with regards volatility? Well this is how my portfolio currently looks:

Banco Santander1.25
BHP Billiton1.6
Seeing Machines0.8288
Overall, this means that I am nicely below the 0.9 beta volatility for my portfolio at large with an 0.84 reading. I am thus ON TRACK FOR GOAL and I am hoping that my future investments will keep this on the case. Any revisions? Yes, I think I will shift the aim from 0.9 to 0.85. Lower volatility in this environment would be a helpful thing to fix into a portfolio of my size.

Goal 5: 5 different sectors

This is with the hope of bringing some diversification into my portfolio. As it stands, I have 8 sectors represented in my portfolio. I think this is pretty solid going for such a young portfolio. 

I have thus ACHIEVED this goal already. Should I revise. Yes, I think I will revise this up slightly higher than what I am currently sitting. I will now aim to have 9 different sectors represented. 

Goal 6: Reduce equity weight divergence to under +/-18% 

I introduced this goal after my series of purchases in GSK (see here, here, and here) which meant that the pharma giant soon represented about a third of my portfolio. What I am looking for here is whether the difference between my largest holding (i.e. GSK) and my portfolio median weighting is greater than 18%.

Has this been achieved? Just about. Currently, my current median holding weight is 5.49% and GSK represents a hefty 23.12%. Plugging those numbers in I have a divergence 17.63%. This is not bad as it means I am currently ON TRACK FOR GOAL. However, I am looking to bring that down further if possible. I am now going to revise that target to a divergence of less than 17%. 


Overall, I am very happy about my progress so far. All of my goals I am either ahead of or on track to achieve. With the various revisions in place I expect that I will fail a couple of these new goals. However, that is sort of the point of such goals. To push myself to achieve a little higher. If I fall short, so be it. As it stands, having already achieved a series of my goals set for the year my first year can already be considered a pretty successful one.

What next? I am hoping to have a quick review of the position of my worst performing holdings so far to see whether their weakness is due to a fundamental weakness in the company and its fundamentals or due simply to weakness in sentiment. If the later, it may be worth looking to push some more investment their way!

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