Irish Financial Independence & Personal Finance Podcast

Review of my second full year of investing - 2019

Saturday 4th January 2020

Finding a balance between making contributions to my portfolio and enjoying life was the story of 2019. I made contributions of around €1,500 a month on average and worked less than 4 hours per day in 2019. It was great to spend time with my family, especially my youngest child who turned 2 years old in 2019.

Outside of investments, my biggest news in 2019 was the other projects I started. This included The Irish FIRE Podcast, which peaked at number 1 in the Irish Investing category during the year, as well as launching three new hockey clubs (with another on the way).

2019 showed the power of what working part time can do. I went for long walks during the day, spent hours at a time with my kids, coached hockey after school, voluntarily launched new hockey clubs and found time to launch a podcast.

I also spent time learning to do financial trading and started trading my own money on the forex markets. While the early part of the year had been hard, with me losing money to a forex scam with Algotechs, I was able to recover some of the losses by trading my own money.

Overall, the year has been positive, and by the end of the year I cut my hours back even further, working as little as I needed to. I only plan on investing €1,000 a month in 2020 and want to take on even more projects which bring me a lot of joy.

From an investing point of view, in 2019 I started to focus more on my pension. I set up another two pension accounts and now have three in total. My plan is to invest in them equally to ensure that I have some protection in the event of a broker going bust.

In early 2019 I continued investing heavily in peer to peer lending. Initially, I liked the fact that peer to peer lending provided monthly cash flow. With loans offering interest rates of between 12% - 15%, I figured I could grow my peer to peer lending portfolio to around €200,000 and simply live off the interest. As the year went on, I started to doubt this idea. For starters, I would be relying on a completely unregulated investment market, which seemed risky. Furthermore, I started to like the idea of adopting the 4% rule rather than focusing on cashflow and started thinking more about building a portfolio that wasn’t just relying on cashflow. On the one hand, this was depressing as my FI portfolio would need to be far larger than €200k.

As a result, I started to take a far more long term view of FIRE in 2019. In many ways I have adopted Slow FI - the concept of living my best life now, while making small monthly contributions to my portfolio. For this reason, my pension investing has become a critical aspect of my strategy. I will be able to start withdrawing from my pension from age 50 onwards, so I have 15 years until that time. This will allow me to live my best life now, while making small and regular contributions into my pension accounts.

Lastly, I have a payment due for my investment in Walker Forestry Services in early 2020, so I am looking forward to having less invested in the one company.

I am also trading a small bit of my own capital - roughly €12,000, and plan to grow that where I can in 2020 by compounding the profits.

My Updated Investment Strategy

Overall, my investment strategy has been the following:
1. Any new contributions will be going towards my pension.
2. I am looking to withdraw funds from my unregulated investments - in peer to peer lending and forestry and move the capital into my pension.
3. I am looking to trade my own capital and grow that overtime.

2019 Portfolio Report

Portfolio Summary (as at 31st December 2019)
Opening Balance €41,252.14
New Contributions €18,195.79
Portfolio Growth €3,097.00
Closing Balance €62,544.93

Yearly Portfolio Growth Report

Yearly Portfolio Growth Report
P2P Lending Interest Income €3,257.41
Equities Capital Gains + Dividends €1,989.49
Managed Forex Trading Income -€2,149.90
Total Growth €3,097.00
Annualised % Return 5.21%

Portfolio Breakdown

The table below shows the breakdown of my portfolio into the various asset classes:

Portfolio Asset Breakdown (as at 31st December 2019)
Christmas Tree Investment €17,500.00 27.98%
Peer to Peer Lending €16,745.21 26.77%
Equities €15,739.15 25.16%
Forex Trading Account €11,635.54 18.60%
Cash €925.03 1.48%
Total €62,544.93 100%

Keep in Touch

Subscribe to the Monthly Newsletter and keep in touch with regular portfolio updates.

< Previous FI Update    Next FI Update >