Wednesday, 15 August 2012

July 2012: Portfolio update.

So July has been and gone but triggered a small outperformance by the FTSE with a gain of 1.15% v. my personal portfolio's gain of 0.82%.
However, with just a meagre 1.13% year to date you can see that the main index has only just made it back into profit for the year.

Still a little disappointing looking at my portfolio in July though particularly when there was a  healthy dividend received from my largest holding Rolls-Royce which accounted for just about half of this months gains.
Anyway William Hill galloped on with a gain of 11.03% in the month backed up by some mid single digit recoveries in Aviva, Apple, BAE, and Morrisons.

But, the big news for July is that I have made a further investment in Aviva. Some might say its a gamble because of the risks associated so it will be an interesting lesson one way or another. Hopefully, the upside is now greater than the downside given the changes at the top.

Elsewhere, and slightly concerning, National Grid has been under pressure following a public (spat's probably too strong at this stage), difference of opinion with the regulator over the amount of infrastructure investment required and how this might be financed. 
This has raised a small doubt over the dividend and is likely to rumble on until the end of year when a final decision is reached.

As alluded to earlier there is also a risk to Aviva's dividend following its underperformance of recent years, and EU exposure. Perversely this was further heightened by the departure of Andrew Moss and the subsequent need for strategic review and direction.
Encouragingly, as things stand the incoming Chairman, John MaFarlane (Executive until a new CEO is appointed), has completed a review and set the company on a strategy that could/should maintain the dividend by divesting underperforming divisions to achieve a better balance of capital protection/deployment.
Could and should continues to be at the whim of that big poker game going in Europe though.

Vodafone also has a slight question mark above this years dividend with the lack of news from Verizon Wireless over any special that might be paid to its 2 shareholders: Verizon Communications; and Vodafone.
As the majority shareholder Verizon Communications holds all the voting cards and comments from its CFO - Francis Shammu at a recent investor update gave little encouragement (Vodafone falls 1.16% following Shammu comments.). You could say that Shammu made a big splash with his comments!

So those are the clouds but the portfolio did record a gain of 0.82% in the month and is up a pleasing 10.68% year to date.

Merchant Adventurer's Index
Forecast1 monthYTD19 mth
Price% holdingDiv. yield% gain% gain% gain
National Grid662.50p17.11%6.17%-1.92%6.00%19.80%
Apple **$610.585.84%0.30%4.68%49.50%84.12%
William Hill314.00p3.44%3.46%11.03%54.83%83.95%
IG Group448.70p2.79%5.13%-6.33%-5.91%-12.02%
General Electric **$20.752.53%2.71%-0.31%14.89%35.40%
Microsoft **$29.452.27%2.25%-3.61%12.49%4.99%
BG Group1262.00p2.16%1.30%-2.92%-8.32%-2.62%
BAE Systems308.90p1.81%6.34%7.03%8.35%-6.39%
1 MonthYTD19 mth
Virtual Portfolio gain (incl. Divs)
- 1 month gain   1547.41 - 1560.110.82%
- YTD gain         1409.55 - 1560.1110.68%
- 19 month gain 1264.20 - 1560.1123.41%
- 31 month gain 1000.00 - 1560.1156.01%
FTSE gain (excl. Dividends)
- 1 month gain   5571.15 - 5635.281.15%
- YTD gain         5572.28 - 5635.281.13%
- 19 month gain 5971.01 - 5635.28-5.62%
- 31 month gain 5412.88 - 5635.284.11%
04/07/2012DivR-R @ 10.6p
BuyAviva @ 2.898p ea.
08/07/2012DivTesco @10.13p 
31/07/2012DivGE @ 14.47c
*     US Dividends adjusted for exch. rate and 15% tax.
**   £ : $ exchange rate = £1: $1.5669 as at 31/07/12

The chart still looks pretty good as my portfolio, the Merchant Adventurer's Index, just manages to eke out a little extra performance over time particularly as all dividends are re-invested.

Click to enlarge, close to return.

Looking ahead though, my portfolio's biggest dividend, the 2012 Final dividend from National Grid, is due to drop in very soon (15 August, tomorrow in fact), which should enhance August's performance (2012 Dividend bull period update (to the update!).).
But, it maybe that I am due a period of underperformance in the run to the year-end as some of the more volatile, and affected sectors of the FTSE100 bounce. 
In particular, I'm thinking Mining, and Banking, should there be any stabilising of confidence in global growth, and in the EU to resolve its problems, or at the very least for the EU to remove some uncertainty over its future viability.

August is already underway and the FTSE 100 is already looking healthier despite confidence being low.
Still likely to be testy and volatile for the foreseeable though but fingers crossed that financial disaster can be averted or at least managed.

Related posts:
Vodafone falls 1.16% following Shammu comments.
2012 Dividend bull period update (to the update!).

Links to Portfolio updates:
June 2012: Portfolio Update.
May 2012: Portfolio Update.
April 2012: Portfolio Update. 
March 2012: Portfolio Update. 
February 2012: Portfolio Update. 
January 2012: Portfolio Update. 
December 2011: Portfolio Update.  

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