Halfway to £100k: Update on My £50k Stocks and Shares ISA Investment Portfolio

Since my last update in March this year the value of my Stocks and Shares (S&S) ISA has more than doubled to over £50k (£55k to be exact).  This may seem like a bit of a leap as the investing limit is only £20k a year, but there are a few factors that explain it:

  • My last update was during a dip, and the stocks quickly regained their value up to £30k after my post
  • I was putting as much as I could at the end of the last financial year to use up my 20/21 allowance
  • I’ve been putting at least £1600 a month into my ISA this year
  • I transferred £6000 from my Cash ISA to my S&S ISA recently which took me over the £50k threshold (£55k to be exact)

Why I was able to invest more this year

I’m on track to use up my £20k S&S ISA allowance this year for the first time.  There are a few reasons why I’ve been able to do this.  In the past we’ve prioritised building up an emergency fund and also overpaying our mortgage.  We have a decent amount saved now and are also on track to be at 60 loan-to-value ratio when we next remortgage, so overpaying has taken a back seat.  

We also have a bit more money in our pockets to invest each month because I now work mostly from home (saving me the almost £250 a month commuting costs!) and for the last year or so my daughter has qualified for pre-school funding, and is now at school, so our childcare costs are down.  We’ve also been quite frugal and are only now going on the first holiday we’ve ever had since my son was born almost three years ago.  

The last big factor is that I’m much more comfortable with investing now.  I will regularly invest every single month regardless of what the market is doing and I invest into the same small number of funds.

What I’ve been investing in and why

At my last update I talked about wanting to simplify my portfolio and which funds I would stop investing in, or even sell.

I actually haven’t sold anything yet but I have definitely cut down on the number of funds I invest in.

I use the Interactive Investor platform which I did an honest review of here.  I think it’s great but I will be the first to say that the fee structure starts to make more sense once you have about more than about £40k invested although I have used it since I started from zero. They are running a promotion at the moment which means you can save the first year’s fees through a referral so please message me if you are interested.

Here is my portfolio as it stands. I have put two stars next to the funds that I’ve invested in this year.

SymbolDescriptionMarket ValueBook CostGain %
B64TS99FIRST SENTIER INVRS (UK) FDS LTD STEWART INVR GBL EMG MKTS SUST B GBP ACC£360.08£300.0020.03%
BF0V6P4FUNDSMITH LLP SUSTAINABLE EQUITY ACC£784.16£674.9716.18%
IEM.L**IMPAX ENVIRONMENTAL MARKETS ORD GBP0.10£1,568.77£1,363.8915.02%
INRG.L**ISHARES II PLC GLOBAL CLEAN ENERGY UCITS ETF GBP DIST£5,698.61£3,711.5553.54%
IESG.L**ISHARES II PLC MSCI EUROPE SRI UCITS ETF EUR (ACC) GBP£7,930.76£6,905.2214.85%
CUKX.LISHARES VII PLC CORE FTSE 100 UCITS ETF GBP (ACC)£1,502.40£1,356.4110.76%
SMT.L**SCOTTISH MORTGAGE INV TRUST ORD GBP0.05£5,734.53£3,001.3991.06%
ZPRP.XESSGA SPDR ETFS EUROPE I PLC FTSE EPRA NAR D EU XUK INDEX UCITS ETF£1,730.77€1,643.1124.76%
BKV0VZ0**VANGUARD INVESTMENT SERIES ESG EMG MKTS ALL CAP EQTY IDX GBP ACC£4,488.92£4,611.45-2.66%
B76VTN1**VANGUARD INVESTMENT SERIES ESG DEV WORLD ALL CAP EQTY IDX GBP ACC£8,518.53£8,186.214.06%
BLLZQL3**VANGUARD INVESTMENTS UK LTD ESG DEVL WLD ALL CAP EQ IDX UK GBP ACC£2,227.85£1,999.9911.39%
B4NXY34VANGUARD INVESTMENTS UK LTD LIFESTRATEGY 20 % EQTY A GBP GROSS ACC£4,585.11£4,173.029.88%
B3TYHH9VANGUARD INVESTMENTS UK LTD LIFESTRATEGY 60 PERCENTAGE EQTY ACC NAV£3,194.83£2,755.1015.96%
Total £48,325.32
Cash£7026.34
Total value£55,351.66

At my last update I had been starting to think that my portfolio was too weighted towards what were traditionally “satellite’ investments, like thematic ETFs or funds (such as the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF “INRG” and the technology focussed Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust “SMT”).  I also wanted to stop investing into my Vanguard LifeStrategy funds which are not ESG screened. 

I decided to build up investments into three main ETFs:

  • A Vanguard ESG-screened All-Cap index fund with an emerging markets focus 
  • A Vanguard ESG-screenedAll-Cap index fund with a developed world focus
  • An iShares ESG-screened ETF with a European focus “IESG”

Then, occasionally I would also continue to invest in my two favourite thematic ETFs mentioned above, but the bulk of my monthly investment, at least £1000, would go into the core investments.

All of these funds, with the exception of IESG, can be invested into for free on the Interactive Investor platform using the “free regular investing” function.  As my monthly platform fee of £9.99 includes one free trade then I use that to buy IESG.

You’ll see I’m invested in two versions of the A Vanguard ESG-screened All-Cap ETF with a developed world focus, one registered in the UK and one in Ireland.  This was actually a mistake as when I added the funds I didn’t realise there were two versions (perhaps I should mention now that I’m not a qualified finance professional, in case it isn’t obvious!). However on researching the difference I understand that although they are tracking the same index (FTSE Developed All-Cap Index)  the Ireland domiciled one is larger and more established (fully replicating the index) but is not covered by FSCS protection.  If I were investing outside of an ISA I’d also need to treat the Irish version as a foreign investment in my self-assessment, but this is not the case for me.  I’ve decided to continue to invest in the UK version from now on for the FSCS protection. 

My plans for the future

I will stick to my strategy of investing primarily in the three core funds mentioned above, with about 10% going into other funds such as INRG and Scottish Mortgage.

I don’t have any immediate plans to sell any of my other investments that I am no longer investing into.  

I’ll continue to put money into the ISA as I have about £7k of my allowance left to use up and I’ll also gradually invest the £7k of cash that I have there.  If I have an opportunity to use a bit more to buy during a dip then I may do that but I won’t intentionally keep it all aside for that as I’m following the “time in the market is better than timing the market” principle.

If I continue to work 4 days a week I can hopefully continue to use up my ISA investing allowance. I still have about £15k in a cash ISA which I’d like to transfer gradually over to my S&S ISA.  The money in my cash ISA is part of my emergency fund, but I’m planning to build up a new emergency fund in a new location and then regularly transfer the equivalent from the cash ISA to the S&S ISA.

As a best case scenario, if I can max out my S&S allowance next tax year and also transfer all of the cash ISA over then I may be able to reach that classic goal of “the first £100k” invested (outside of my pension) by the end of the next tax year. 

However, if I took a break from work to study, or decided to go freelance, I’d need to reduce or pause on investing, unless I could bring in additional income sources.  Now that I’m making decent progress it makes the decision to do something different more difficult but I’m trying to focus on my long term fulfillment and to also be creative about how I can make money.

PS: I’m thinking of opening a premium bonds account for my new emergency fund given that interest rates are so low anyway, it should be quick to access and I can build it up in quite small increments (£25 per bond) and I should have the thrill of the occasional win once I have a decent amount invested. It would be great to hear where other UK savers are keeping their emergency funds, and why – please comment below…

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