Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Portfolio Value and Net Worth - March 2016

Each month I publish the following regular progress updates toward achieving my second goal for 2016 which includes the pursuit of Financial Independence:
1. Portfolio Value and Net Worth as it stood at the end of the previous month
2. Income, Expenses and Savings achieved for the previous month
3. My Investing Choice for the previous month's savings

This post covers point 1 above: Portfolio Value and Net Worth at the end of March 2016.

Portfolio Value - end Mar 2016

My portfolio includes the savings and investments in my Freedom Kitty as well as my Personal Pension, the combination of which make up my "FI Before 50 Roadmap".

Here is the end of month value of my Freedom Kitty:

As you can see the total amount I'd invested into my Freedom Kitty by the end of Feb was £1,200. In March with the ISA year end looming I managed to contribute a whopping £14,810.53 in order to max out my ISA allowance for the year.

The reason I was able to do this was because I sold my flat (which I had owned since 1999) earlier this year and I made some profit (after putting aside money to cover what I anticipate will be the capital gains tax liability). I have had the money from the flat sale sat in my current account while I decided whether I would likely need it for my upcoming house purchase with TheBF. As we progressed through March it became evident to me that I should be able to use some of the money to pump into my ISA without causing us any problems with the house purchase (mostly because we're using our mortgage to cover up-front costs).

I'd also not yet invested the money I'd saved for the Freedom Kitty in January and February so these contributed to the figure. So the money I was able to put into my ISA in March broke down as follows:
  • Flat sale profit - £12,135.00
  • Savings from January - £678.78
  • Savings from February - £1,048.22
  • Savings from March - £948.53
  • TOTAL - £14,810.53

Within the 2015/2016 tax year I have paid a total of £16,010.53 into my St. James Place ISA. The ISA allowance for the year is £15,240, which means that the up-front fees for my ISA came to £770.53, which looks to be an initial fee of 5%. I don't yet have a benchmark to compare this up-front fee against, but I will certainly be paying a lot more attention to both up-front fees and ongoing fund fees from now on.

Due to the up-front fee, the current value of my ISA is less than the total amount I have invested by -£706.53, I'm hoping to see this deficit disappear over the course of the coming year, but who knows what may happen!

I have decided to consider an alternative ISA provider for the 2016/2017 tax year, so I've got some research to do in order to pick a good one!

Here's how the Freedom Kitty is tracking for the year - I've set myself a target of £23,000 for this calendar year (Jan-Dec 2016):

At 66.54%, I'm now about two thirds of the way to achieving my Freedom Kitty goal for 2016 with 9 months still to go. Though of course I have been helped along the way to this target by the money from my flat sale.

Here's how the Freedom Kitty is tracking against the overall target of £209,590:

It's particularly satisfying to see the percentage for my overall Freedom Kitty target shoot up from 0.54% to 7.3%. With 9 years 3 months to go until my desired FIRE date, I think this is a healthy percentage to be at. If I can manage 10% of the way to the £209,590 target by the end of the year I'll be very happy.

Here is the end of month value of my Personal Pension:

In March the monthly pension contribution from my business account was £3,000 again. This is great because my monthly target is £2,000. As I mentioned last month, I'm not currently working on a contract so there's no income into my business account due in March. I've decided to postpone starting a new contract until after we've moved house, which means it's likely that my business account will not have any sales income until August. For this reason I have asked my financial advisor to reduce my company's pension contributions to £1,000 per month with this change taking effect in May. However, for now at least, I'm ahead of schedule for achieving my pension contributions target this year.

Here's how the Personal Pension is tracking for the year - I've set myself a target of £110,000 for this year:

I've got about 65% of the way still to go to hit my pension target for this year. My ability to achieve this target looks like it will really hinge on how soon I secure a work contract after our house move.

Here's how the Personal Pension is tracking against the overall target of £364,965:

I've achieved 24.59% of my overall target for my Personal Pension goal, next month I should hit a nice milestone of 25%, and that will feel good!

Net Worth - end Mar 2016

I don't include assets such as car, valuables or house sundries in this calculation - it's really only the big or purely savings items I choose to include. The credit card debt listed is my monthly spend which I always pay off in full each month by direct debit. This month sees an increase in my Net Worth of £4,007.66 since last month, a nice increase largely fuelled by my pension contribution I suspect.

Overall March was a very positive month for me in terms of my increasing Portfolio Value and Net Worth. The challenge now is to keep up the good work, which could be tricky with the big house move fast approaching and the uncertainty over when and what my next paying contract will be.

How's your net worth looking at the end of quarter 1? How are your portfolios fairing with the recent turbulent times in the markets? As always I'd love to hear from you and appreciate your comments...


  1. Thanks for sharing your numbers, OR.

    That 5% up-front fee is pretty monstrous and it's good to hear that you are going to look at another provider for your 2016/17 ISA. I'm with Hargreaves Lansdown which is considered 'expensive' amongst the usual crowd - its charge is 0.45% per year (capped at £45 for ETFs, shares and investment trusts). I think I mentioned before checking out Monevator's comparison list for platforms and brokers as fees will depend on what you invest in, eg AJ Bell YouInvest don't charge anything for their ISA if you just hold ETFs, shares and investment trusts but will charge 0.2% for funds).

    Aside from that, some great progress there on your targets and it'll be great for you to hit that 25% milestone next month for your personal pension!

    You've got lots on your plate so all the best with keeping your focus!

    1. Hi Weenie,

      I had a feeling that I might get some feedback about the St. James Place fee - it's nothing I haven't thought myself already, so I do agree with you. I took the ISA out before my recent interest and investigations into FIRE, and at the time it just felt good to at least be investing in an ISA at all, having never previously done that.

      As soon as I have a bit of time on my hands (probably post-move) I will look at the Monevator's comparison list and check out your suggestions here. Hopefully later in the year I'll be able to report on what I opted for.

      Thanks for your kind wishes.


  2. Hello OR

    Just read through this post and think it is great you are laying everything out in the open. Well done you.

    The one thing that really stands out to me is the 5% initial charge from St James Place ISA. I don't know anything about this ISA but a 5% initial charge seems excessive to me. Do you know what the ongoing charges are for this?

    If we take a Vanguard Lifestrategy Funds as a frame of reference. In iweb it will cost £5 each time you buy the fund and 0.24% annual charge to Vanguard. If you buy it through Hargreaves & Lansdown it is free to buy, the same 0.24% per annum to Vanguard and 0.45% to Hargreaves for their management charge.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing you achieve your goals.


    1. Hi Richard,

      I decided to share all my figures having really got interested in FIRE from reading other people's sites who also share their figures. It was great to be able to see how a real person was making real progress and follow along in the journey with the ups and downs - so I figured I'd like to do the same. Getting encouragement from those who visit my site really make it feel worthwhile - so thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!

      My St James Place ISA is currently invested in just 1 fund though this may well change in the near future. We set it up with just 1 fund when I was only investing £150 per month, I didn't know at the time that I'd have a larger lump sum to invest near the end of the financial year. The fund is UK High Income UT-Acc and I think that the ongoing fund fee is 1.67% having just plugged in the fund's details into the morningstar website to check it out.

      I plan to pick a new provider for this year's ISA, hopefully max the ISA out again, then I'll be able to do a like for like comparison of how each one does compared to the other (taking both upfront and ongoing fees into account). Unless I find some spare time I'll probably hold off opening this year's ISA until after my house move, things are starting to get pretty busy ha ha!