If you’ve been following my Investment Diary from the beginning of the year, you’ll know that I write a review at the end of each month that is designed to evaluate the performance of my investments and identify areas for improvement.
My monthly update is designed to give inexperienced investors the confidence to take control of their finances, whether that’s through a stocks and shares account, tax-free investments like an ISA or a pension fund designed to give you security on retirement.
As we see inflation rise amongst a backdrop of low interest rates, cash or low interest savings accounts and fixed term bonds, money is, in essence, losing it’s value.
Now, investing in the stock market can be a great way to counteract the effects of inflation and a diversified portfolio can provide exposure to rapidly growing markets whilst limiting the risk of poor performers. That’s my strategy in a nutshell, to beat inflationary rises and build wealth for my retirement with a pool of low maintenance funds.
If you would like to take a look at the range of funds and ETFs that I am currently investing in and my thoughts behind them, check out my ongoing investment diary or scroll down to see a list at the bottom of this article.
So what happened in March?
Well, it turned out to be another eventful month. Trump was again at the forefront of both upside and downside movement as we rode the US Presidential roller-coaster.
The equities bull run we saw in February carried on into March as investors maintained confidence in Trump’s claims of a ‘phenomenal’ tax plan for US businesses. This positive sentiment carried investor optimism across the globe. A record breaking run of closes for the Dow Jones saw the index reaching levels never seen before.
However, Trump’s inability to pass through Senate the roll-back of ‘Obamacare’ sent investors to safe havens like Gold while much of the gains we’d seen in March were wiped out as investors began to get jittery.
The Netherlands election result saw parity as any fears over right-wing politics were swiftly quashed while the UK’s formal invoking of Article 50 saw a sharp sell off of the Pound, which quickly regained its composure.
What did that mean for my portfolio?
Having peaked during the course of the month at 7.5% growth for 2017, Trump’s failed Healthcare plans and further repeal saw the portfolio value drop by over 1.5% with US Stocks taking the brunt of the losses. This meant the Technology, Sustainable and Fundsmith global funds were hit hardest.
But, having rallied in the final few days of the month, the Technology fund managed to find the levels it was enjoying in February while Fundsmith was the standout performer, rising by almost 10% since the start of the year. However, it was Gold that was the major beneficiary in the month, rising by around 2% over the period.
Performance for the quarter, as well as for the month, has been encouraging, with portfolio growth sitting at 6.75% at the end of March. While I’m not pulling up any trees, I’m on track for my target of 15% over the full year.
What’s in store for April?
There are plenty of political tensions circulating at the moment, with Brexit negotiations likely to come to the fore, French elections due to begin and Trump continuing to upset the political establishment, both at home and abroad. Inflation is on the rise and it will be interesting to see how this affects monetary policy around the world. It’s unlikely to be smooth sailing for the financial markets this month.
If you’ve not got around to setting up your investment portfolio, then please make some time to do it. There is never a right or wrong time to start investing for the long term. If you have any concerns that are stopping you from investing, feel free to post in the comment section below. I’ll be happy to answer your questions.
|Fundsmith Equity||Fidelity Global Technology Accumulation Fund|
|Gold ETF||Templeton Emerging Markets Smaller Companies|
|The Royal London Sustainable World Trust Fund||HL Select UK Shares fund|