Irish Financial Independence & Personal Finance Podcast

Portfolio

Here is my portfolio broken down as a summary (pre tax). This allows you to see exactly what capital I introduced each year and where any profit came from within the portfolio. I give a year by year break down below.

2018 2019 2020*
Opening Balance €0.00 €48,092.27 €92,193.78
Capital Introduced €37,451.50 €36,562.48 €6,201.15
P2P Lending Interest Income €237.19 €3,257.41 -€5,692.98
Gold & Currency Trading Income €5,634.78 -€2,149.90 -€4,626.01
Equities Capital Gain / Dividend Income -€126.69 €1,989.49 -€581.85
Business Venture Capital Gains €2,145.49 €67.03 €0.00
Property Capital Gain / Income €0.00 €0.00 €28.28
Forestry Capital Gain / Dividends €2,750.00 €4,375.00 €500.00
Cryptocurrency Capital Gain €0.00 €0.00 €10.26
Closing Balance €48,092.27 €92,193.78 €88,032.63

* The portfolio was last updated on the 6th June 2020.

I've made more bad investments than good ones, and have lost money along the way. It is all part of learning to be an investor. My portfolio is distributed between investments in my own name, investments through three different companies that I own and through my own private pension.

I invest in various asset classes, from peer to peer lending, forestry, start up companies, currencies & gold trading, index funds, property and cryptocurrency. A breakdown of the asset classes I invest and capital distributed is given below:

31st Dec 2018 31st Dec 2019 6th June 2020
Peer to Peer Lending €10,361.45 21.54% €30,853.86 33.47% €19,542.04 22.20%
Shares & Equities €5,873.31 12.21% €15,739.15 17.07% €21,457.30 24.37%
Business Venture Equity (Start Up Investments) €4,090.13 8.50% €8,415.20 9.13% €16,028.02 18.21%
Gold & Currencies €4,457.38 9.27% €11,635.54 12.62% €406.92 0.46%
Forestry €20,250.00 42.11% €24,625.00 26.71% €25,256.73 28.69%
Cryptocurrency €0.00 0.00% €0.00 0.00% €96.15 0.11%
Cash €3,060.00 6.36% €925.03 1.00% €5,245.47 5.96%
Total €48,092.27 100% €92,193.78 100% €88,032.63 100%

The hardest part about starting a portfolio is finding the money to start. Once you are in the habit, it will become natural to invest each month. Compound interest is noticeable once the portfolio gets big enough and you don't need to invest as much as the portfolio will grow itself. The idea of presenting my portfolio as a timeline, is to show how I was able to grow it overtime, without doing anything other than continue to save and invest. It will also highlight bad investments I made and act as an honest representation on the ups and downs of investing.

2017

  • I started my first investment in December 2017, by investing €500 in a private pension. This was my only investment in 2017.

2018

  • My goal in 2018 was to build a portfolio of €46,000 saving roughly €3,500 per month.
  • My first major investment was a €17,500 investment in a forestry company that grows Christmas Trees. The investment is broken down into two agreements, with the first agreement due to be settled in January 2020, and the second in April 2024. One mistake I made with this investment, is I should have invested less as my portfolio has been badly balanced for a long time as I didn't diversify enough when making this investment.
  • From May 2018 I invested in several forex scams. These included an investment in Blue Trading, which was a trading company offering high risk returns of between 15-20% per month. I fell for the scam and continued to add more capital into Blue Trading. I eventually worked out it was a scam and pulled my money and profit out. The majority of my profit for 2018 came from Blue Trading.
  • I also invested in another forex scam called Algotechs. Algotechs went bust in early 2019 and I lost around €4,000. While this was a bad loss at the time, I learned a lot about the forex industry because of Algotechs.
  • By mid 2018 I also started investing in peer to peer lending platforms. The platforms the majority of my peer to peer capital is in is: Mintos.
  • Also in mid 2018, I purchased shares in Mclowd, an Australian based start up providing accounting services for self administered pensions.

2019

  • My goal in 2019 was to double my portfolio to €92,000. I knew I wouldn't need to save as much in 2019 because of compound interest.
  • I initially lost capital in February due to Algotechs being a scam and blowing up my managed trading account. I recovered some of this loss by investing with an Irish Trader who returned 25% for the year.
  • I launched my own forex trading company and poured capital into that business. The business uses any capital to trade the markets.
  • I also launched The Irish FIRE Podcast in June 2019. I employed a part time podcast editor to help me with the podcast and have other costs associated with setting up the podcast. I borrowed against my portfolio to pay for developing the podcast, with the long term hope of paying off the loan through podcast adverting. Read more about this in the disclaimer.
  • I paid off a personal loan by borrowing against my portfolio. It was a win:win situation as I am now my own creditor and am paying off the loan monthly at a tax free interest rate of 6%. Listen to how I went about setting this up here.
  • I set up a second pension and started investing €1,000 per month into a low cost international index fund. My Pension Advisor is Ralph Benson from Moneycube, who I would highly recommend.
  • At the end of 2019, I made the decision to stop investing so heavily into my investment portfolio because I wanted to work less hours. I still plan to add €12,000 into my pension in 2020.

2020

  • In early January 2020, I lost €6,000 by over leveraging my trading account. It was a huge learning curve and I have adjusted my trading strategy since then.
  • In late Febuary 2020, Envestio (a peer to peer lending platform in Eastern Europe) disappeared overnight. All indiciations suggest it was a scam. I wrote off the capital from my portfolio and lost ~€1,600.
  • Also in late Febuary 2020, one of the agreements from the Christmas tree investment I made in early 2018 matured. I received €16,000 from that investment and used the capital to launch Forestry Crowd. I combined my own capital and partnered with other investors to purchase an 8.6 acre site to plant 12,000 native trees.
  • In April 2020, Grupeer (Europe's second biggest peer to peer lending platform) indicated cashflow issues due to COVID-19. Once investigations were made by investors, there were several fake loan originators. All indiciations suggest Grupeer is a scam. I wrote off the capital from my portfolio and lost ~€4,500.
  • In April 2020, I purchased shares in Gone West, a private UK company which is helping plant native trees. I am working with them directly to help them establish forestry land in Ireland.