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Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

General discussions about equity high-yield income strategies
tlf67482
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Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222456

Postby tlf67482 » May 17th, 2019, 12:47 pm

I have had a HYP for a good fifteen years or so.

Looking at my overall performance over this period I am at a current yield of 5.5% and a current unrealised profit of 25% (and a realised profit of 15%). Comparing to my Pension funds and Fidelity Funds I have, my HYP is probably underperforming these by 25%.

Even though timing shouldn't be a overall factor I have been very unluckly with this due in the banking sector and now the utility sector. Also in retrospect some choices may not have been the best for a HYP but I was certainly not alone in making the same mistakes. There are also some dot com disasters mixed in with my figures which are dragging the figures down somehwat.

I have some uninvested funds but I am struggling to find new sectors / new shares without breaking the rule of not over investing in specific shares or sectors (lesson learnt from banking share crash) or just having lost faith in my choices. To be honest I am already quite a bit overweight on Banks (LLOY) already and tempted to add more!

Out of my current holdings only really VOD and BT are showing a 20-30% loss have a few around 10% loss UU, EMG and LLOY and the rest are a few small loss, a few small gain and the rest reasonable gains.

My main current concerns are I have United Utilities showing a 10% loss and SSE a 2% loss and National Grid showing a 55% profit. My gut feeling is get rid of UU and SSE and keep a very close eye on NG am I mad? Should I be ignoring the current political environment?

Am I better off just converting to IUKD UK Dividend and IDVY Euro Dividend iShares to reduce the worry a bit and spread the risk a bit more but then again apart from the specific shares above it is not all bad and income is quite healthy.

I have 22 shares, 18 sectors (16 if SSE/UU are sold with the sector names I use).

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222459

Postby Lootman » May 17th, 2019, 12:57 pm

If it helps that same 15 years ago, the S&P 500 was around 1,000. It is now around 3,000. It has tripled in that time and that excludes the 2% dividend it has paid. Factor that in and you would probabaly have quadrupled your money in 15 years despite the sub-prime crisis smack in the middle. Call that 7% a year, compounded. And that is all without the currency gains.

Your investments are (in my view) too UK-oriented and too ex-growth oriented. Insofar as you have new money to place, or dividends and proceeds to reinvest, I'd diversify away from UK HY and look at global and US trackers.

Nothing in HYP says that it should be your ONLY allocation.

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222487

Postby JoyofBrex8889 » May 17th, 2019, 3:03 pm

Fifteen years is plenty of time to try a strategy. You seem rightly dissatisfied with the result.

The seminal conclusion of Dr Bessembinder was “the best-performing 4% of listed companies explain the net gain for the entire US stock market since 1926.” This is surely one of the most thought provoking pieces of research in investing.

Consider: You aren’t even in the market for the best 4% of US stocks!

After all, foreign shares are out according to the creed of HYP purity, leaving you stuck choosing between junk equities from a selection of the dogs of the FTSE. You have decided to fish for 15 years in the muddy end in what has proved one of the more disappointing indexes globally, finding low rated shares in sectors with no obvious secular growth trend, all denominated in a currency that continues to lose ground even after a century long decline.

To obtain better results I think you ought perhaps to fish in a different pool. Or cast your net wider with a tracker to capture the whole market.

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222502

Postby jackdaww » May 17th, 2019, 4:25 pm

an article in todays IC by phil oakley .

" if you look at many of the high yielding shares in ftse100 at present , then the warning signs are flashing bright red lights for many of them .

i am heeding the warning .

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222503

Postby monabri » May 17th, 2019, 4:29 pm

Aren't you comparing apples with pears?

The aim of the pension fund investment being to grow until you decide that it's time to put your feet up. Then it's a question of what you do with the pension fund. The HYP approach was a suggested means to generate an income (and it might, in time, give a little capital appreciation) rather than investing the pension lump sum in an annuity and then saying goodbye to the capital...forever.

The main issue though is (relative) safety - having ones money in a specific company and it going belly up because of factors out of their control. So, the alternative is to sell and reinvest in another share (potential - frying pan & fire?) or into a collective such as an ETF or an IT (chose a big, well known one).

Income - assumes you want income "now".
I held UU and decided to "trade it in" for Merchants IT - the yield was slightly higher than UU and I was "happier" to have the money in a biggish investment trust (and the slightly increased yield helped).

Q: can you do this - what would the net effect be on income, profit/loss, risk reduction, diversification ?

HYP invests in UK companies (although many are multinationals and their UK profits are a small percentage) - perhaps, if looking for income, one might wish to consider a "trade in" of UU for something such as Murray International (MYI) or Henderson Far East (HFEL) - both investment trusts. The hit on the yield might be ameliorated by perhaps splitting the funds freed up and buying into both?


Growth
A longer term view - perhaps invest in a global tracker such as Vanguard (VWRL). The downsides
- the yield is ~2% p.a. (but if you are only changing one HYP share, the overall income reduction is not too bad)
- currency risk (if Sterling strengthens against the dollar it wouldn't be favourable)
- you could get a similar investment package a bit cheaper (this has been discussed elsewhere on the passive forum)
- will the US continue to grow as it has over the last few years (even Vanguard urge caution here).

The upsides, you would be investing in ~3200 companies around the world - mostly Corbyn-proof.

Then we have more specialised funds such as Scottish Mortgage (SMT) and Smithson (not forgetting, Lindsell-Train, Witan, FGT, FCIT ). There's plenty of discussion on these funds within the Lemon Fool.


p.s. If I had to sell one of the Utes, I would sell SSE (I did). Just my view - others will be hanging on in there. I also sold UU as I was put off when Mr Mogford (UU's CEO) dumped a big chunk of his shares.

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222508

Postby tlf67482 » May 17th, 2019, 4:37 pm

Thanks for replies very thought provoking.

Some positives are I was trying to do better than savings accounts and I have managed that but when I compare my attempts at a HYP and look at the managed/tracker funds in my pension and ISA I have fallen short in most but not all cases. I do have some diversivation in the managed/tracker funds in my pension and ISA funds in European=25% and North America=25% markets (UK=50%) so it could be worse but generally my HYP is the vast majority of the investment.

If I was going to diversify my HYP portfolio as a rough guide what markets and split is normally suggested? Is UK=50%, EU=25%, US=25% still too UK oriented or missing markets?

I guess for the US look for a S&P 500 tracker? Is something like iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF USD completely wrong or is it along the correct lines?
Should I be looking at the more "specialised" products?

If you were starting to invest today and just want a simple, straightforward approach with low fees what should I be looking at? Something to get me started on my research?

Thanks

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222513

Postby Dod101 » May 17th, 2019, 4:49 pm

I have a high yield portfolio but it is not a HYP, and I agree with Phil Oakley, as quoted in jackdaww's post. I have some individual shares (around 17/18 usually plus two or three higher yielding IT's). Alongside that I have a growth portfolio, mostly in ITs.

For some time the high yield shares did well but in recent years they have not for all sorts of reasons. I have said before, but will repeat, the universe of truly rteliable HYP shares is quite small at the moment and you only need to look at pyad's picks for his recent HYP to see that. I would pick very few of those for myself. Ironically, a couple of what seem to be the more secure high yielders, the two tobaccos, are where the price has sunk most I think. Makes no sense and despite what the market appears to be telling us, their dividends look secure and are in fact increasing, unlike many others.

To answer your question in the title, well I cannot. You must do what seems best and what you are most comfortable with. Good luck whatever you do.

I do not see the FTSE100 as being particularly UK oriented; in fact you will find very few shares in it which are deriving their profits 100% from the UK and many which derive well over 50% from overseas.

Dod

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222516

Postby monabri » May 17th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Where will growth come from over the next n years.

I'd have a shufty through :

https://www.starcapital.de/en/footernav ... -charts%2F


The indication of the research is that some countries are good value and others not so good (over valued). The UK falls into the former and the US into the latter.


Here's a short animation (3 minutes) of GDP growth - especially China -no wonder the Donald is concerned. Where will China spend it's increasing wealth - maybe on UK,US,European luxury goods (except DT is rather putting them off US goods). So, could an argument be put forward that UK and European luxury items might do well. Trumps actions might backfire longterm - why buy Iphones when you can buy Huawai or even Samsung (not a Chinese company before anyone points it out) ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wykaDgXoajc


As for the UK going forward , well hopefully your HYP shares are multinational and not specifically UK biased .... :shock: .

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222519

Postby Lootman » May 17th, 2019, 5:18 pm

tlf67482 wrote:If I was going to diversify my HYP portfolio as a rough guide what markets and split is normally suggested? Is UK=50%, EU=25%, US=25% still too UK oriented or missing markets?

I guess for the US look for a S&P 500 tracker? Is something like iShares Core S&P 500 UCITS ETF USD completely wrong or is it along the correct lines?
Should I be looking at the more "specialised" products?

If you were starting to invest today and just want a simple, straightforward approach with low fees what should I be looking at? Something to get me started on my research?

A neutral weighting by market cap might be something like:

US: 50%
Europe: 25%
Emerging Markets: 10%
UK: 5%
Japan: 5%
Developed Asia: 5%

You can vary from that according to taste. Most UK investors want more in the UK, for instance. Whilst 50% in any one country might feel nervy for others.

The US ETF you cited is fine as is the Vanguard US ETF - symbol VUSA.

I think that anyone starting out today should use ETFs - low charges, tight spreads and no stamp duty.

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222544

Postby tikunetih » May 17th, 2019, 6:39 pm

tlf67482 wrote:I was trying to do better than savings accounts and I have managed that



You say your goal was to beat a savings account - which is at one end of the risk/volatility spectrum and extremely low hassle - but plumped for a volatile 100% equity portfolio concentrated in a modest number of shares requiring rather a lot of hands-on management.

While not quite at total opposite ends of the risk/volatility spectrum (eg. you could've plumped for a portfolio of micro-cap miners etc...) the two choices you considered were not far off it. Sounds to me like you somewhat fell into HYP.

These were not (and are not!) the only two alternatives, so if you are considering changing the strategy for this investment pot then you should consider going back to basics and look at what you're trying to achieve with this lump of money, so an appropriate strategy can be chosen, eyes wide open.

For example, when are you intending to spend the money in this pot? Before, alongside or after your pension fund money? The reason I ask is that is very likely your pension fund is invested in a multi-asset manner, yet this pot is currently 100% equities...

That makes sense if this pot has a longer investment time horizon than the pension fund money, but not so much if its investment horizon is shorter. If the investment horizons are similar for this pot and the pension fund, then it might also make sense for this pot to be higher risk / more volatile if it's intended as an adjunct to the pension money, a nice have that you can take more risk with.

This is just an example of the sort of things to consider before deciding what to invest in. It sounds to me like you didn't do this exercise last time around, but it's never too late to up your game, so I suggest you have a long hard think before deciding what to do next.

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222566

Postby Itsallaguess » May 17th, 2019, 8:37 pm

tlf67482 wrote:
Am I better off just converting to IUKD UK Dividend and IDVY Euro Dividend iShares to reduce the worry a bit and spread the risk a bit more but then again apart from the specific shares above it is not all bad and income is quite healthy.


I'd recommend looking at this thread, where baskets of income-related Investment Trusts are discussed.

You might benefit from following the web archive links in the opening post of the first link below, which covers lots of the ideas behind both the Basket of 7 and the Basket of 8 approach -

https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=54&t=10278&p=123872#p120011

Luni himself carried out a Basket of 7 review last year, which is also worth having a read of -

https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t=12192

It sounds like you might benefit from a more IT-oriented approach, given your experiences with a more 'pure' HYP portfolio approach. I've certainly moved heavily in this direction too in recent years, and have had a lot of personal benefit to some of the issues you've described having yourself.

Cheers,

Itsallaguess

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222646

Postby tjh290633 » May 18th, 2019, 10:30 am

I followed the fortunes of IUKD for quite a few years. It had a disastrous start, due to a high proportion of financial shares at the wrong time. Initially rebalanced once a year, they changed managers and switched to quarterly rebalancing, with some limitations, as I recall.

My feeling is that it is indiscriminate and lacking in diversity. I don't like their weighting system, either. Equal weighting would be my choice.

TJH

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222654

Postby Lootman » May 18th, 2019, 10:51 am

tjh290633 wrote:I followed the fortunes of IUKD for quite a few years. It had a disastrous start, due to a high proportion of financial shares at the wrong time. Initially rebalanced once a year, they changed managers and switched to quarterly rebalancing, with some limitations, as I recall.

That can be the problem with any of these so-called "smart beta" quasi-passive funds. If the rules say that they need to be 80% in finance then that is what they do. I recall that Bland's Value portfolio on TMF suffered a similar fate although at least with that you knew you were taking a big risk. With a collective you might believe you are diversified when you are not.

Of course some funds protect against that by having limits for single sectors and/or single shares. But then they are breaking their own rules. That said quarterly rebalancing is probably more prudent then waiting a year before reacting to change.

If there were an ETF that effectively captured the UK HY sector I think it would be a winner. But somehow the attempts so far have not done well. Vanguard haven't tried yet so there is still hope. Until then there are always investment trusts.

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222681

Postby Julian » May 18th, 2019, 11:53 am

tlf67482 wrote:I have had a HYP for a good fifteen years or so.

Looking at my overall performance over this period I am at a current yield of 5.5% and a current unrealised profit of 25% (and a realised profit of 15%). Comparing to my Pension funds and Fidelity Funds I have, my HYP is probably underperforming these by 25%.
...
Am I better off just converting to IUKD UK Dividend and IDVY Euro Dividend iShares to reduce the worry a bit and spread the risk a bit more but then again apart from the specific shares above it is not all bad and income is quite healthy.
...

I'm going through somewhat of the same journey. In terms of what you should do it depends a lot on your individual psychology (which to some extent you might be able to change if required) and your personal requirements. In particular...

1 - Are you wanting to live off income from your investments right now or are you in the accumulation phase at the moment?

2 - If you are living off investments now then are you comfortable with a bit of turbulence in your finances, i.e. some years your income might go up, some years it might go down? This might to some extent depend on whether you have, or expect to have if you are still in the accumulation phase, a decent amount more income(*) generation capability in your portfolio than you actually need.

3 - When you do draw income. maybe already or in the future, do you have any psychological aversion to selling off capital to generate some or all of the spending money that you need each year or do you absolutely need it to come from dividend distributions so that you feel some sense of security because your holdings aren't reducing? (Your capital might still be eroding some years due to market fluctuations however but the number of shares you hold wouldn't be changing.)

4 - Are your investments tax-sheltered? If not this can have an effect on the viability of a strategy to accumulate via growth stocks/funds and switch into high-yield assets on retirement since, depending on the length of time you will be accumulating growth and the size of the final investment pot, you might have very nasty potential capital gains tax liabilities that prevent you doing that wholesale switch too quickly. (I actually have this problem myself and that is for me going from income-oriented investments to growth investments where one would expect the issue to be less than the other way round.)

Without waiting for any replies to the above that you might want to give I would make the following observations...

1 - I don't like high-yield ETFs. Presumably people go into them because they do want a "real" dividend income stream rather than extracting income from top-slicing more capital-growth-oriented investments. If that is someone's psychology then fine and it has been mine for a while but, at least for me, I also wan't that income stream to not fluctuate too much, maybe staying level for a year or two and then doing at least inflationary increases, but not bouncing up and down year on year. I haven't seen an ETF that has an objective of steadily rising payouts, in fact from their nature I'm not sure that would even be possible, so if I wanted a solid divi stream I would choose high-yield investment trusts (henceforth "HYITs") instead. As already mentioned LUniversal did a lot of analysis on various baskets of income trusts chosen to hopefully yield a stable income stream. It is also possible to get international diversification this way by appropriately chosen HYITs.

2 - I personally am switching from an all HYP strategy to a split strategy whereby I have some income from what have in the past been very dependable HYITs (e.g. City of London has an over 50 year history of rising divis) and the rest of my income from growthier investments where I extract extra spending money to top up my HYIT income by top-slicing capital value. Note that I just said top-slice "capital value" not "capital growth". If one is living entirely off investments as I am and wants to maintain a certain level of income(*) each year then one needs to be prepared to extract from the growth investments the amount of extra income needed each year in addition to the dividends generated by the HYITs even in years when the value of one's growth investments have gone down. If that were to arise in the first year of implementing the scheme it would actually involve selling down on a portfolio that was already underwater due to a bad year in whatever markets it had been invested in. This would be done in the hope that future years would show sufficiently strong growth to make up the combined loss of capital from market effects and capital (aka income) extraction such that ultimately the retained capital value of the growthier portfolio increases above the sum at the start of the year when income extraction was first implemented, and ideally that growth would be at least in line with inflation, but in my view if someone is using this strategy to genuinely live off investments and that person isn't willing to reduce expenditure in bad years then they must have the psychology to be able to make these sell-at-a-loss trades in some years in order to extract the income required from a growth portfolio.

In (2) above I simplified. I have actually been running a mixed HYP + HYIT + growth portfolio approach for about 10 years now it's just that my HYP has been maybe 75% of that total and I am now looking to shift the weightings in a more dramatic fashion than my previous drift that I was effecting simply by how I invested new funds rather than actively selling off any of my HYP. I am now looking to step up the pace of my shift, probably towards 50% HYITs and 50% growth, although as already mentioned I have CGT issues which, if I try to keep selloffs each year to within the CGT 0% band, means I am unlikely to be able to complete the switch entirely and end up with no HYP before I die. (I'll be 60 next month - something that is maybe contributing to my sudden re-evaluation of my finances and how much I draw from my investments.)

By the way, on my growthier stuff my current main vehicle is the Vanguard FTSE Developed World ex-UK fund (https://www.vanguardinvestor.co.uk/inve ... _fund_link) deliberately chosen not only to be global but also for the ex-UK bit because, as mentioned, I had and still have a big HYP that is all FTSE100 shares so I wanted to avoid overlap with that. There may be other/better choices now but at the time this looked best for me. I am also considering Vanguard LifeStrategy funds as well (https://www.vanguardinvestor.co.uk/what ... y-products) as and when I start adding extra money released from my HYP into my growth portfolio but have made no decision on that yet.

Anyway, I hope at least some of the above is of help/interest and good luck with whatever you decide. It is interesting how many of us seem to be travelling the same, or at least similar, roads at the moment.

- Julian

(*) I use the term "income" loosely here to not only refer to dividend payouts but also the ability to release capital to use as spending money.

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222686

Postby Julian » May 18th, 2019, 11:57 am

Lootman wrote:...If there were an ETF that effectively captured the UK HY sector I think it would be a winner. But somehow the attempts so far have not done well. Vanguard haven't tried yet so there is still hope. Until then there are always investment trusts.

Vanguard do do a global one though by the way, "FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield UCITS EFT (VHYL) - https://www.vanguardinvestor.co.uk/inve ... _fund_link

I'm sure you knew that but I mention it in case others are interested although personally, as explained in my last post, I don't like high-yield ETFs because they make no attempt at monotonically increasing year-on-year income.

- Julian

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222690

Postby Lootman » May 18th, 2019, 12:02 pm

Julian wrote:
Lootman wrote:...If there were an ETF that effectively captured the UK HY sector I think it would be a winner. But somehow the attempts so far have not done well. Vanguard haven't tried yet so there is still hope. Until then there are always investment trusts.

Vanguard do do a global one though by the way, "FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield UCITS EFT (VHYL) - https://www.vanguardinvestor.co.uk/inve ... _fund_link

I'm sure you knew that but I mention it in case others are interested although personally, as explained in my last post, I don't like high-yield ETFs because they make no attempt at monotonically increasing year-on-year income.

Yes I do have a small position in VHYL mostly as a placeholder to see how it does.

The indifference to rising income is a fair point, although you could say the same about open-ended funds. Neither have the freedom to not pay out dividends in the way that ITs do, who can also pay out capital as dividends as well. So if you want your issuer to manage the income you receive to ensure gradual growth and smoothing of fluctuations, then ITs would be the way to go.

Personally I manage that through cash cushions, i.e. the HYP way.

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222699

Postby Julian » May 18th, 2019, 12:15 pm

Lootman wrote:The indifference to rising income is a fair point, although you could say the same about open-ended funds.
...
Personally I manage that through cash cushions, i.e. the HYP way.

I do say the same about open-ended funds :). I completely understand your point about cash-cushions though. On this one it really does come down to personal preferences & psychology.

- Julian

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222760

Postby Hariseldon58 » May 18th, 2019, 2:47 pm

After 15 years you have given HYP a fair trial and it has not worked out for you.

Income Investment trusts have a good record and a selection of half a dozen is a pretty sensible way of getting a pretty safe and gently rising income with no great stress or activity on your part.

I like ETFs but IUKD and similar income orientated ETFs have not done so great...

A very simple solution to a UK holding that has down fairly well and gives a reasonable yield and good diversity is a 50:50 mix of a FTSE 100 tracker eg ISF and a FT250 tracker eg VMID.

The FTSE is heavily exposed to a few sectors and the top 10 holdings are a substantial part of the whole. The FT250 is a bit beaten down by Brexit but has done well over the years and an equal split is an attractive mix.

A global element makes sense, the S&P500 has had a good run and perhaps a global index might me a sensible addition eg VWRL , VHYL the previously mentioned Higher Yield global ETF has a value element, less exposure to the US market ( which is fairly expensive but can of course get more so !)

There is a lot to be said for a mix that requires no maintenance, no sleepless nights and can be ignored for years on auto pilot, the results over multiple years can be very satisfactory!

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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222778

Postby Backache » May 18th, 2019, 3:51 pm

Firstly I would say don't be to dissapointed research has shown that the majority of fund managers do worse than the market and the majority of private investors do worse than fund managers recognising this and acknowledging that you haven't beaten the market is a huge plus and something many people cannot do.
Secondly the majority of the population don't invest at all in the stock market and have their savings in accounts that do considerably worse than your investments.

Personally I think that having acknowledged the fact that you share similar stock picking ability as the vast majority of the population changing your approach is the logical and rational thing to do.
What to do is a decision that depends on your own attitude to returns, volatility risk and wish to be involved.
Personally I think going with market capped based ETF's or Unit trust trackers has a lot to recommend it both in terms of ease of investing, logic and historic record. However it has to be said that if you wish to harvest income , need the income and have an aversion to selling for gains Income targeted investment trusts have a pretty decent record over a long time.
Personally I think the risk is likely to be slightly higher as getting good coverage outside the FTSE is a challenge and the costs are a little higher so returns are likely to be a little lower however they have served many people well for many years.
For myself I have a bit of a mix as I find the investment process interesting but whenever my family ask me I just point them to Vanguard and ignore the allure of Fundsmith or IT's at a steep discount that I find interesting.

tlf67482
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Re: Losing the faith - should I just sell and move to funds (Poor Performance / Renationalisation)

#222796

Postby tlf67482 » May 18th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Many many thanks for all the replies.

I think I am going to have to think on how I want to go forward but a more global approach and moving away specific high dividend shares is where I want to aiming - I think - still not sure ;)

For more background I am 15 years away from retirement and currently on a break so living off savings when they run out the income from my HYP will be used. My state pension NI contributions are short of the maximum so I need to do something about this also. I think you can voluntary pay but it is quite a sum and as there is a reasonable chance I will come back to my senses and go back to work it seems silly to pay for it twice - mid life crisis ;)

However, there is a massive selection of EFT & ITs it makes picking a single of shares in a sector seems simple to me at the moment. I am probably even more cagey about investing into say an S&P500 EFT at what appears to be historical highs than I would be splitting it across say RDSB, BHP, LLOY, GSK, AZN, BLND, DGE, ULVR, LGEN & BATS.

Back to United Utilities and SSE what are opinions on whether I am falling into the trap of selling at lows and bad news instead of just riding out the bad news? Also Utilities shares I guess also have the regulatory reviews not just renationisation hanging over them? I have to say I will probably sleep better getting rid of UU and SSE but I guess without a crystal ball who knows what is going to happen. If I sell UU and SSE shouldnt I really be selling NG also?


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