Welcome to another update of my investment portfolio. As you already know, March has been marked by the Coronavirus.
Unfortunately, the contagion rate of the virus, combined with its high mortality rate, have turned it into something terrible. In March I have seen things that I never thought I would.
Closing entire countries and banning people from leaving home unless it is to go for food/medicines, are two things I didn’t think would ever happen. And yet here we are.
This is a proper Black Swan, as per Nicholas Taleb definition.
I have been working from home for 3 weeks now, and to be honest it’s not so bad for me. I am taking advantage of the time I save on transportation to work on my blog and my finances, my two greatest passions nowadays!
Luckily, my work can be done remotely, so I am having no problem with carrying out my job. I know I’ve been lucky, many people have lost their jobs or worse, a family member/loved one.
It is not an easy time, but it will pass. There has been other crises and we have overcome them, and surely we will also do it with the Covid-19. I send you my best wishes and strength, yes we can!
I am going to try to make your confinement more enjoyable with my portfolio update 🙂
The main results of this month are:
- I have saved 51% of my income
- I am now 67.9% financially free (down 9.4% compared to February)
- My portfolio return has dropped by 13.6%, leaving the accumulated return at 9.6%
These are not the best monthly results, but with everything that has happened, I cannot complain.
Portfolio Asset Allocation
The companies that I have personally selected continue to be my largest position, although they are down 3% compared to the previous month.
After that we have the mutual funds, representing 34%. They have grown 4% this month.
Next come Estateguru and the S&P 500 index fund, with 9% of my portfolio each. As I commented in previous posts, I have been reducing my position in Estateguru for a few months in order to balance my investments in p2p lending.
Lastly we have Crowdestor with 5% and Bulkestate with 1%. Crowdestor is in my opinion the best crowdlending platform.
After Kuetzal and Envestio fraud cases, and the problems that other platforms like Grupeer are having, I have decided to reduce my investments in peer to peer lending until there is a financial regulation that supervises p2p sector.
This regulation would protect the investor in the event of fraud, as it’s already the case when you invest in the stock market with regulated brokers, such as DEGIRO.
Below I show you the evolution of the assets in my portfolio.
As you can see on the picture above, my investments in the stock market are increasing, and the money not invested is decreasing.
My initial idea was to be 100% invested by the end of 2020, but after the recent stock market crash due to the Coronavirus, it is likely that it will achieve the 100% earlier.
I follow the Dollar Cost Averaging strategy, which consists of investing periodically, in order to benefit from the ups and downs of the market.
Portfolio Return in March 2020
This has been a tough month for my portfolio. The stock market crash has highly impacted my accumulated return, which has reduced by 13.6%. It is currently standing at 9.6%.
My stocks portfolio has been responsible for this decline, since p2p lending is not so volatile. That does not mean that peer to peer lending carries no risks, since with current situation many companies will not be able to afford the loan payments.
In fact, platforms like Crowdestor have already reported that they offer 3 months to borrowers where they will not have to carry out loan payments. This means that investors can have payments delayed up to 3 months.
The Coronavirus has generated a crisis, and as in any crisis, it will be necessary to see how the global economy evolves.
Let’s take a look at my investments in more detail 🙂
Stocks Portfolio Return in March 2020
This has not been a good month for stock market investments. In the graph above we see how all my assets have gone down. Although there are significant differences in each asset performance.
If you want to learn how to invest in stocks, take a look at my initial guide to invest in the stock market.
Now we are going to see each product separately.
S&P 500 Index Fund
March has been a month of declines in stock markets, and it has also impacted the S&P 500 index. As we can observe in the graph above, S&P 500 accumulated return has reduced from 21.2% to 8%.
The S&P 500 fund is in my opinion a “safe bet”. It is based on the United States economy, which is the most powerful in the world (with the permission of China). And it has averaged an annual return of 9% over the past 150 years.
Consequently I am calm. I know that in the short term it may go down, but in the long term I am confident of getting a 9% annualised return.
You can learn more about index funds on my index funds full guide,
Investment funds have been the big winners for March. Its return went down only 6.7%. That means they have obtained a 7% higher return than the S&P P500, which was down 13.2%.
This makes them the asset with the highest accumulated return in my portfolio, olé!
I hope they continue to do just as well in the coming months.
If you want to learn how to invest in these mutual funds, take a look at my detailed Hargreaves Lansdown guide.
My Own Stocks
It has not been the best month of my shares. US companies declined 15.7%, slightly more than the S&P 500. Unfortunately my UK shares went down 30.8%. They have gone from being the best performing product to being the one with the worst return. The pound falling against the euro (-3.3%) did not help, but it wasn’t the responsible either.
Well, just like in the previous months they went up more than FTSE 100 and the S&P 500, now it has been the other way around.
Let’s see how each company has performed:
[table id=22 /]
The winner of the month has been Biogen, which has grown 2% during this tough month. I am glad that it has my biggest position, and I have high hopes for it for the future.
On the other hand are Barratt, Suncor Energy and Tayloy Wimpey, each fell 42%. 42% in a month, that’s massive!
I still think they are solid companies and that in the long term they should do well, so I am not really concerned. The stock market is irrational in the short term, so things like this happen.
Stock market downturns represent an opportunity to buy stocks cheaper. I have been keeping an eye on Google and Facebook for a long time, and now they are at a much cheaper price 🙂
To invest in the stock market I use the broker DEGIRO, which has very low fees.
If you invest in the long term, stock market drops allow you to buy cheaper, take advantage of them by registering with DEGIRO in the banner above or with the link here!
You can learn more about this broker with my super guide of DEGIRO.
P2P Lending Portfolio Return in March 2020
The return of my p2p portfolio continues to increase, although their monthly performance has decreased compared to previous months. The Coronavirus has impacted these platforms as well, since some business have been unable to meet their payments.
It has not been a great month for peer to peer lending. There has been problems with several platforms, including one where I invest, Grupeer.
It is early to draw conclusions, but it seems that some of the loan originators are fake, and the same might be true for certain projects. This seems to point to another fraud case, as it already happened with Kuetzal and Envestio.
We will learn more about Grupeer in the coming weeks. Due to the lack of financial regulation that protects the investor in fraud cases, I am reducing my investments in p2p lending and increasing them in the stock market.
Investments in the stock market (with regulated brokers) are protected in case of fraud, which is why I prefer to invest in stocks.
Now let’s see each platform individually.
Crowdestor monthly return has dropped to 0.4%, which is not so bad given current circumstances.
As I mentioned before, Crowdestor has announced a 3-month recovery period for its borrowers, in order not to drown them. Since everyone is at home and the stores are closed, it is likely that companies will earn less money, and therefore have trouble coping with payments.
Crowdestor continues to be the platform with the highest accumulated return in my P2P portfolio. So for me Crowdestor is the best p2p platform.
Do you want to start making money with Crowdestor?
Estateguru has also suffered from the effects of Covid-19, reducing its monthly return to 0.6%.
Its accumulated return stands at 9.9%, a great result 🙂
Estateguru offers you a 1% bonus on all investments you make in your first 90 days, if you register using this link or the banner below.
If you want to learn more about Estateguru, take a look at my analysis of Estateguru.
Finally we have Bulkestate, which this month has obtained a 0.4% return.
As you know, most projects at Bulkestate pays interest at the end of the loan. Therefore, the monthly return is much lower than Crowdestor and Estateguru.
Since I started investing with them in June 2019, by June 2020 we will see big increases in the graph 🙂
This month I have published my guide to invest in Bulkestate, so you can learn everything you need about this real estate crowdfunding platform.
Financial Freedom Progress
This month my progress towards financial freedom has suffered a big drop.
After the stock market crash, right now I am 67.9% financially free (first phase – survival).
Portfolio Value Growth
On the picture above you can see my net worth growth since January 2019.
As you might be guessing, the Coronavirus also had a major impact, since the total growth reduced to 37.7%.
Even so, now I have 37.7% more money than in January 2019, not bad at all 🙂
If you want to know all the products I invest in, take a look at my portfolio.
This month my savings rate reached 51.3%. It is not bad considering that I had many expenses since I moved house.
We all know how movings are like. Hard, long and tiring, and also expensive.
Luckily it’s already gone, so I’m happy. Next month I hope to return to my savings goal, which is 60%.
Do you want to learn how to save? I have prepared a super savings guide where I show you my method.
Blog Stats – March 2020
This has been a good month for the blog, mainly due to:
- Page views: 3763, 24% less than in February
- Followers on Twitter: 2150 (356 new followers)
- Blog Subscribers: 112 (26 new subscribers)
- Facebook has removed the ban on my page!
Undoubtedly, the big story has been that Facebook has removed the block it had on my URL.
You might not be aware of this, but in October 2019 I reported that Facebook had banned my blog. This implied that any link from my domain (tofinancialfreedom.co) could not be posted on Facebook.
I tried my best to get Facebook to unblock me, I used their support channels and customer service. Nothing worked. I learned first hand how one of the technological giants of our era has a terrible customer service for these cases.
In the end, I was able to contact a Facebook employee, and after several investigations he contacted the right department, and they removed the ban.
This is how on March 17 I was able to post on my Facebook page again, To Financial Freedom.
Apart from Facebook, my page views went down 25%. This is normal given that my January portfolio analysis went viral on Twitter, making my visits in February higher than a regular month.
Without taking that into account, I maintain an upward trend of traffic, Twitter followers and subscribers, so I’m very happy 🙂
Thanks to all of you who read me and make it possible for me to continue developing my work!
To finish, please keep in mind that investing involves risk of loss of your capital.
Previous analysis of my portfolio
If you want to see more analysis of my investment portfolio, take a look at the previous months here:
- Initial guide to invest in stocks
- Index funds, the best way to invest
- Portfolio analysis in February 2020
If you have any question, please do not hesitate to use the comments section to ask me. I will be happy to help you!
Other interesting financial blogs
Here you can find other blogs about investing and personal finances that I recommend you to read:
See you soon!