Portfolio update: August 2015

My inaugural portfolio update. Exciting times.

As will no doubt be expounded upon elsewhere on this blog, this portfolio (the Investicles Wealthbuilder Alpha-Bet Low-Vol Secret Squirrel Partnership) is my general equity portfolio*.

(* He says, as if there are other equity portfolios. Or indeed other non-equity portfolios.)

And this is the monthly post where I record what’s happened and what I could be doing better.

Prepare to receive some analysis in your eye holes…

Value at the start of the month

  • Cash value: £4,214.23
  • Unit value: £100 (I’m tracking the my investing performance from this point…)
  • Number of units: 42.14


  • £1,600 cash from accrued blog earnings (not this blog…)
  • £1,200 transfer from current account

Transfers in:

  • £2,8484.81 – a FTSE All-share tracker that I’ve transferred from another ISA

Shares bought:

  • 484 shares of Rotork plc at 212p per share (10 August) = £1,024.11
  • 152 shares of Rotork plc at 212p per share (24 August) = £298.15
  • 19 shares of Admiral Group plc at 1563p per share (24 August) = £297.03
  • 42 shares of IG Group Holdings plc at 701p per share (24 August) = £294.23
  • 39 shares of Petrofac Limited at 761p per share (24 August) = £296.81

Total consideration paid: £2,210.33

The prices above include dealing costs and stamp duty. In total these fees came to £15.94 (0.72% of the consideration paid)

Shares sold

  • None (I’m a buy and hold investor!)

Dividends paid

  • National Grid: £38.01

Value at the end of the month:

  • Cash value: £9,027.44
  • Unit value: £95.86
  • Number of units: 94.17


A volatile month for global stock (and other markets).

Through some quirk of fate, the regular investment I had set up via my on-line broker (Motley Fool) ‘forced’ me to buy on 24th August (‘Black Monday’ if you’re a Chinese gambler investor).

Three of the four shares I bought on that day rose significantly by the end of the week, mitigating the general market losses from holding shares throughout the month.

Headline message: automated investing works. Sort of.

The value of a unit in the Investicles portfolio fell by 4.14%. The F&C FTSE All-Share Index fund fell by 6.4% in the same period.

So I’ll call that a 2.2% outperformance on my part…

Things I Am Thinking About (Of A Personal Finance Nature)

Consolidating Old ISAs

I finally realised that:

(i) I was paying fees on a stocks and shares ISA with Fidelity that was effectively an inactive account; and

(ii) my cash ISA with Intelligent Finance was earning so very little interest that IF themselves wrote to me (and I assume others) to suggest I might like to invest it elsewhere (… which is one form of marketing I suppose).

So I took the decision to:

(i) move the contents of the Fidelity ISA (i.e. the £2,800 FTSE All-Share index tracker fund mentioned above) to my current ISA provider / on-line broker (Motley Fool), for which I’m already paying an ISA fee (or whatever it’s called); and

(ii) transfer the ~£4,000 of cash in the IF ISA to Motley Fool as well, and use it to acquire shares over the next 3 to 4 months.

So that should make life simpler.

The final challenge in this investment simplification drive (or perhaps ‘optimisation’ in this case) is to attempt to transfer my son’s Child Trust Fund into a Chidren’s ISA, where fees will hopefully be lower, the range of investments greater and where he’ll have the ability to put more funds in.

(I’ll cover this in another post, but it turns out that the investments of a 5 month old (the age when he ‘plunged’) have been pretty spectacular…)


I am still working on the whole ‘unitisation’ thing (i.e. the method by which I will attempt to compare my investing performance (such as it is) versus simply investing in an index tracker.

Whilst I think I have the basics in place, I’m aware that I haven’t accounted for cash correctly.

As set out above, I moved £2,800 of cash into the portfolio, but only purchased ~£2,210. The £590 difference is not currently being accounted for in my portfolio total value (and therefore not in the unitisation calculation either).

On a similar (ragga) tip, I haven’t included the cash dividend paid by National Grid this month. Though, at £38, I’m not sure this is going to have a significant impact for now.

I foresee some spreadsheet wrangling ahead…

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