Trade Updates and portfolio

This page will show my trades and keep you informed about the performance of my personal portfolio with particular attention on income shares.

If you’ve read through my shares watchlist already, you’ll have seen me provide information on the shares I already own. On this page I will provide a complete picture of the portfolio I hold across two ISAs. I aim to show fellow investors the shares I hold and what I have added or sold within my portfolios and I will updates as and when trades are made which is likely to be fairly infrequently.


Aug 2020

The wait goes on to get my money back following the collapse of SVS Securities. So I still own the shares listed below from June along with these shares in my Hargreaves Lansdown accounts.

My share holdings


June 2020

This post shows my latest trades and holdings. On top of these holdings with Hargreaves Lansdown I also hold the following shares which are with the SVS Securities administrator and cannot be sold. They are in rough order of value of mu holding.

  • National Grid
  • Legal & General
  • Persimmon
  • AstraZeneca
  • Merchants Trust
  • HSBC
  • Synthomer


July 2019

It’s been a while since I updated on my portfolio and looking back, much has changed. The ISAs I hold are now far more concentrated on fewer shares with a greater focus placed on high dividend yields. Some companies which showed their yields to be sustainable, or showed a lack of ability to grow have been sold, for example SSE, while others that don’t really fit the strategy of focusing on income-providing shares have also been offloaded. Avation and Safestore both fit into that latter category.

There’s still some work to be done in finding a wider range of higher yielding shares that fir in with my refined rules for investing which now focuses more than before on dividend sustainability and I’d expect to add a few more shares in the coming months to diversify what is an overly concentrated portfolio reliant on the performance of too few companies.

I continue to hold many of the same funds as I did before across my ISAs, SIPP and LISA and outlined below are the individual shares I own within my ISAs. It’s worth noting though I sold ITV shares just this morning for a small profit after just six weeks. It was a short-term opportunity rather than my more usual long-term play which I prefer.

EPIC Company Name No. of shares Price per share
NG. National Grid 1203 843.10
LGEN Legal & General 3749 268.00
PSN Persimmon 438 2080.00
HSBA HSBC 1199 658.00
AZN AstraZeneca 111 6336.00
MRCH Merchants Trust 1448 477.00
SYNT Synthomer 1438 328.00
RB. Reckitt Benckiser 28 6487.00

And that’s it for now. I hope to be able to provide further updates soon on some more buys. Although with the market so high right now I might wait for the bull market to cool down first and for share prices to dip a bit before hoping to grab some good companies a bit cheaper.



Well as some of you know, I hold one of my main ISAs with SVS Securities which is a problem as it’s now in Special Administration. That means I’m unable to buy or sell shares held in that account – probably for some time. Thankfully, someone reading this blog has got in touch and we’re in contact and getting through this stressful situation together. The situation is not helped by the fact I’m currently unemployed. Thankfully I have decent savings and my ISA and LISA which are held by Hargreaves Lansdown. Talking of which there have been some buys since my last update.

With the market plummeting earlier in the month, I took the opportunity to buy into some high-yielding stocks which seemed to have been hit too hard. All the buys were within my LISA. I picked up stakes in Electrocomponents, Lloyds Banking Group, Prudential and Redrow, the latter of which as I think is massively undervalued.

Here’s a breakdown of the trades:

  • Lloyds Banking Group, 5498 shares for a total of £2775.24
  • Redrow, 512 shares for a total of £2774.02
  • Electrocomponents, 180 shares for a total of £1014.51
  • Prudential, 66 shares for a total of £1007.56

Reasons for buying

I was fortunate that after leaving my job I had time on my hands to do some analysis of shares that were on my watchlist. This threw up some interesting undervalued stocks which then became even cheaper when the stock market fell. Specifically, here’s what I like about the stocks I bought on the dip:

Lloyds Banking Group (LSE: LLOY): The bank has I think been affected disproportionately by Brexit worries. This is because it is a more UK focused retail bank than say Barclays. The upside of this negativity is that it makes the shares cheap, with a P/E of around 10 and a dividend yield not too far off 6%. The PEG – a measure favoured by growth investors such as Jim Slater, author of The Zulu principle – is also very low. I calculated it to be 0.38. Slater said anything under 0.7 had growth potential – if I remember correctly. When it comes to the dividend, the cover is good at around 1.7 and has been growing strongly the last couple of years. Barring recession I expect that to continue and so now with the share price around 50p I’m happy to have a stake in the bank.

Redrow (LSE: RDW): This has been my best performer so far (albeit over a very short period of time). Housebuilders are also being hit by Brexit worries – not so much financially I don’t think, but instead by investor sentiment which is making them look very cheap. And I love cheap. I compared Bellway and Redrow and both looked very investable. But as I already own Persimmon in my SVS ISA I only wanted to hold one other housebuilder. Redrow has a P/E of around six, its EPS share growth is around 14% and the dividend yield is well covered, growing year-on-year and is around 5%. In 2014 the dividend was 3p, that’s increased to 28p last year which is phenomenal growth. I’m very happy to have picked up shares in this housebuilder and I think the industry will do fine over the next few years (famous last words)!

Prudential (LSE: PRU) and Electrocomponents (LSE: ECM): Both of these were more short-term trades. Basically, I was trying to take advantage of the falling prices, but so far it hasn’t really worked. These shares haven’t done too much since I bought them, with Prudential sinking lower and Redrow being up by about 5%. If the share prices of both don’t improve, I’ll probably cut my losses in these two and keep Lloyds and Redrow for the reasons I’ve explained.

I’m glad though I was holding cash when the market fell, and I expect with Brexit and ongoing US-China tensions there will be a lot more volatility over the coming months. I see market dips usually as buying opportunities because over the long-term I think well-chosen dividend-paying shares make for great wealth-enhancing investments.

This is how my ISA focused on individual shares looked on 23rd February 2018. The table is in descending order of value, so Persimmon is my largest holding and Avation (more of a growth opportunity and a recent addition) is my smallest holding.

EPIC Company Name No. of shares Price per share
PSN Persimmon 378 2,454.00
LGEN Legal & General 3,534 259.80
NG. National Grid 1,203 754.10
HSBA HSBC 974 724.80
MRCH Merchant’s Trust 1,448 468.00
SSE SSE 382 1,238.50
AZN Astrazeneca 64 4,716.00
SYNT Synthomer 630 478.80
GSK GlaxoSmithKline 204 1,296.00
GFRD Galliford Try 294 886.50
ISAT Inmarsat 232 448.80
SAFE Safestore 140 503.00
BT.A BT 137 241.85
AVAP Avation 105 223.00

The portfolio has changed in recent weeks with the additions of Synthomer, Safestore and Avation lowering the focus on the FTSE 100 and on high income paying shares. The thinking behind that is to provide increased diversification, more opportunity for capital growth and introduce companies that are likely to grow quicker and consequently I hope increase their dividends over time whilst keeping their dividend cover (ie the affordability of their dividend) better than some of the FTSE 100 giants where the dividends now are potentially under threat because they are so high and growth is constrained.

Also, in 2018 I’ve increased my holdings in Persimmon and Legal & General because of negative sentiment towards utilities in recent times which has seen National Grid’s share price fall since the summer of 2017 when it paid out a huge special dividend. I believe Persimmon and Legal & General both have strong growth prospects and I will keep them as my top holdings for the foreseeable future unless their dividends were to be cut or their business case changed. For me though I’m very happy to back them and think they have good medium to long term growth prospects which will benefit shareholders like me.

Currently I also hold some funds in HL across an ISA, SIPP and LISA. In my ISA I have two funds, the Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth and Slater Income. The former has done particularly well since I first invested in the fund in June 2016. In my SIPP I currently hold just one fund, the Artemis Global Growth fund which has been steady since I first invested in October 2016.

Unfortunately my LISA hasn’t done so well as I made the mistake of investing in two funds in just two buys rather than drip feeding the investments as I do with my funds. It means that as I bought at a market high in May 2017 the LISA is now sitting on losses of 15% which hurts. I won’t be making that mistake again! Fundamentally though, I see nothing to worry about with the two investment trusts I bought, it was bad timing that is the main issue. The trusts were the Dunedin Income Growth Investment Trust and Edinburgh Investment Trust plc. The latter in particular is down since the summer of 2017. In the last month is has fallen further which has hit my returns even harder. I’ll stick with them though as I’m investing for a few years so a longer term perspective is needed and I just need to stay calm and focus on the positives.

Going back to the individual shares ISA I outlined above it started 2018 fairly similar to how it looks now almost two months later, although as I mentioned I have added three new higher growth shares into the mix. Predominantly though it is still an income-focused portfolio as I want to reinvest dividends to achieve compound growth which I do believe is a great way to increase wealth over the long term, something I am keen to achieve.

In 2018 so far Galliford Try and National Grid have been particularly poor performers, although most shares have fallen, as has the FTSE 100. It started 2018 at around 7,600 and is now hovering above 7,200 after some dramatic declines and volatility, which I believe does show investors are nervous. HSBC has been none of my better performers and may be a share I add to over the course of 2018 if it continues to grow strongly and economic news from China is well received by the market, the reason being HSBC is now seen as an emerging markets focused bank and so concerns about China will likely have an effect on its share price.

That’s my portfolio. I hope you like what you’ve seen here and please do get in touch with me if you have any questions or are interested in discussing investments. I can be found on Twitter at @sharewatch100

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