Scores on the Doors: the Wheelie Dealer reveals his 2017 results
Pete, AKA the Wheelie Dealer, is a full time DIY Investor and avid blogger, and following the brutally frank Q&A he did with DIY Investor earlier in the year we couldn’t wait to see his annual ‘Scores on the Doors’ report.
Wheelie Dealer is disciplined in his trading – he has around 40 stocks in his Trading ISA (the WD40, natch) and a further 12 stocks in an income portfolio. He ensures that each stock fits, or makes sense in an overall perspective; he targets 10% return p.a. which he boosts to around 15% with some leveraged trades; so how did he do?
‘Unlike last year this is not too painful to write as I have had a pretty decent year and made a fair bit of dosh through all my constant and excessive hard work (In the White Hart?…..Ed)
For the FTSE100, the Total Return including Dividends around 4% would be 12% for the Year – a fair bit higher than the usual yearly average of around 7%.
You can probably add on around 2% dividends to the FTSE 250, totalling a healthy 17%; in the US, then Total Returns of around 28% for the Dow Jones Industrials Index and 21% for the S&P500 are very strong.
All in all, it was clearly a year when the fabled ‘Monkey with a Pin’ did very well – so as much as I want to pat myself on the back for a good year, the simple fact is that the markets made the job pretty easy.
Trading ISA Portfolio
This is the biggest chunk of my wealth and I target 10% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR); it actually gained 19.5%, a very strong result and a big relief after my struggles of 2016.
I have a very diverse portfolio crossing all market cap sizes from AIM at the bottom to FTSE100 megacaps; my return, after all costs and with dividends reinvested, is probably in line or slightly ahead of a hybrid Index made up from the various UK Indexes.
To me 20% return is the ‘magic number’ because as you can see from my ‘Power of Compounding’ blog if 20% can be achieved consistently over the years then your money multiplies in a beautiful way.
Overseas Unit Trusts
I originally invested in a bunch of unit trusts, but have been steadily selling out with a view to perhaps moving to using investment trusts, or just not using collective investments.
I hold the AXA Framlington Health Fund and a bit of the Henderson Global Technology Fund – but I may sell these soon to increase my overall cash holding and I am concerned that a recovering pound will hurt me because they are mostly based in the US. However, they returned 21% in 2017 which is not bad at all especially considering the pound regained over 10% against the dollar.
It could be argued that technology in the US is a bit overvalued now, although it clearly has momentum; if I feel a need for more tech funds exposure, I can always buy something like Polar Capital Technology Investment Trust (PCT) or Herald Investment Trust (HRI) in my ISA.
I have health exposure via GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), AstraZeneca (AZN), Clinigen (CLIN) and Tristel (TSTL); if I want more exposure I could buy a health investment trust like WorldWide Healthcare Trust (WWH).
However, this portfolio adds to my overall diversification (a rare ‘free lunch’) which makes me keen to keep it going and it adds some ‘manager diversification’ in case I screw up as the fund manager of my own share dealing accounts.
I have been particularly fixated on how my income portfolio has been performing after posting what I hope is the definitive blog of income investing in 2017; this is unusual because I normally completely ignore the thing!
My target for this portfolio is to achieve 7% a year CAGR – and at the same time be a low risk, low effort alternative to a zero interest bank account, that I can use to throw off cash for living expenses.
‘if 20% can be achieved consistently over the years then your money multiplies in a beautiful way’
My Income Portfolio returned 5.6% which is below my target but better than cash and in view of the fact that big megacap divvy stocks did poorly in 2017, not a bad result.
Dividends generated by the portfolio amounted to 6.2% on the starting value on January 1st 2017 – above the Total Return figure of 5.6%, so the capital value of the portfolio fell but the dividends more than made amends.
The drip, drip of reinvested dividends has had a very positive effect on this portfolio and in three years it is up 27%; dividends just drop in at a constant flow over the year, which is ideal for people who use such dividend payments for their living expenses – as I may do in the future at some point.
Many of the payments seem inconsequential but it is amazing how they all add up; I tend to let the dividends build up to around £2,500 and then buy more of something I already have or perhaps I will buy a new stock – I fancy some Primary Health Properties (PHP), but don’t make lots of silly little buys, which just make my broker very happy but don‘t help me much.)
The use of leverage which a Spreadbet (or CFD) Account enables means that there is a ‘return on exposure’ number and also a ‘return on capital’ number which can make reporting this account more complex; I think the latter is more relevant, although it is vital to understand your exposure when using leveraged products.
Against the starting capital in my Spreadbetting Account on 1st January 2017, I achieved a return of 21%, which is sort of OK but I am not overly happy about it; over the year I took a fair bit of cash out of the account which is one of the big benefits when it goes your way, but over time you need to watch how your long exposure grows as it is something that can get out of hand quite quickly and leave you more committed to the markets than you thought.
‘my spreadbet portfolio should deliver around 50% return’
I think my spreadbet portfolio should deliver around 50% return on starting capital each year if I were to do things properly and to effectively ‘mirror’ the positions in my Trading ISA, but the underperformance of the big stocks hit my returns, and I screwed up a long trade on the DAX cost me about 4% or so on my return on exposure – probably about 11% against the starting capital
This balls up had a large negative impact on my returns and I must not repeat such a mistake again; the key is to have very well timed entries and tight stoplosses; I would now like more exposure to housebuilders as their share prices historically rise in Q1.
Prudential With Profits Bond
And now we get to the unsung hero of my overall portfolio (OK, I do ’sing’ about this one quite a bit and certainly this year it has had me in full voice with a very strong return) – this is up 7% on the Year which is really top notch especially when you consider the lack of effort (I do nothing to it all year – just pick up an envelope off my doormat around April and rip it open to see how it has done over the year before) and with a very low risk level it is pretty impressive; I have about 15% of all my wealth in it and it really is a ‘core holding’.
It’s a funny old beast. These are the things that get linked to ‘endowment policies’ and therefore have a bad name; however, mine is a standalone thing that I have had for about 18 years and it is pretty steady and solid.
It came under some slight pressure during the credit crunch but nothing compared to what other asset classes suffered, and it has some tax advantages. – a ‘buy and forget’ type of investment, and I recommend it to anyone.
After my 8th year of retirement and freedom (try it, it‘s marvellous) my overall wealth increased nicely so I am very pleased as my pot is now quite a bit bigger than it was at the start of 2017 – obviously this is a really handy thing because the bigger the pot becomes, the less return I need every year to eat etc.
Across all my stockmarket activities, I was up 15% on the year across my Trading ISA, my Spreadbetting Account, my Overseas Unit Trusts and my Income Portfolio, but this does not include my Prudential With-Profits Bond which I think has a partial exposure to stocks.
I spent the sum total of £16,724 on ‘living expenses’ in 2017, an increase of 14%.
Due to the government pretending to care about how costs are hitting low earners etc., my rent (I live in a housing association bungalow adapted for my use after I had a motorcycle accident in 1998 which resulted in me being a wheelchair user) supposedly reduced for 2017 and came to the princely sum of £6511 (although it was actually a ‘freeze’ rather than a reduction), so my living expenses excluding rent were £10,213.
I don’t pay any car tax on my Seat Leon because it is registered as a ‘disabled vehicle’ – with 200 BHP!! – and my subscriptions to Investors Chronicle and ShareScope/SharePad, which total £450-£500 come out of this, but I see these as essential living expenses!
I don’t have expensive holidays (really down to the physical limitations of being paraplegic – in all honesty going away just means hassle and health problems for me) and I don’t smoke or anything like that but I suspect if I really tried I could get my living expenses down to around £8000; I don’t obsess about it, but I think I will concentrate a bit on Sky TV and BT Broadband – ‘The Power of Compounding’ blog will tell you that a pound saved today is equivalent to perhaps £5 in the future when it has been Compounded.
So there it all is in its glorious beauty; overall a good year but tinged with the disappointment that I had achieved pretty much the same as this by the end of May and in the last 7 Months of 2017 were rather frustrating at times with my portfolio nearly breaking out to new all time highs but never quite making it – hopefully I will see this early in 2018.
‘this disappointing, and probably avoidable, weak result has potentially cost me many thousands of quids’
In addition, markets overall were very buoyant and as I mentioned earlier, before I get all excited and congratulating myself it needs to be probably acknowledged that this was probably an ‘easy’ year if any such thing really exists.
Apart from doing something with my Unit Trusts I don’t plan to do a great deal at the moment – I am pretty much happy with the stocks I hold and I have learnt through bitter experience that it rarely helps to tinker too much. I will of course be alert for any pullbacks in the markets and ready to hedge a bit if need be, but that’s about it.
My focus really needs to go on my spreadbetting as this is clearly where I am really underperforming what I think I should be able to achieve; this disappointing, and probably avoidable, weak result has potentially cost me many thousands of quids which I should have captured – obviously this is a situation that cannot continue.
Anyway, I hope you found this blog informative and helpful and here’s wishing all WD Readers a superbly lucrative 2018; gotta rush off now ‘cos there is the new Series of ‘Wheeler Dealers’ with the ‘new’ Ed China on Discovery at 9pm – and obviously that is essential viewing for me !! (the clue’s in the name……)
Happy New Year,