September. The academic new year. The Jewish new year. The end of the press silly season. What did it hold for us? More banging on about Brexit – with the three Brexiteers all appearing to get slapped down by their boss at various points for saying we would / wouldn’t leave the single market / leave the customs union / trigger the legals by such-and-such. Amidst the heat and the light, what actually happened? Not a great deal.
The pound fell, of course, a bit further (though nothing compared to what, at the time of writing, the Tory party’s annual conference is doing to it). This meant that UK equities were up. US equities were flat, remaining at record highs on some measures. Bonds fell everywhere I track – by as much as 1.9% in the UK. Does this mark the top of the bond cycle? Time will tell, and time will also make a mockery of anybody who tries to make such calls.
How did my portfolio do?
For much of the month my portfolio was heading for its first month-on-month decline since January. But the end of the month return was positive – up 0.5% – i.e. somewhere between the gain in the value of my non-UK exposure (up about 1%) and the constant currency weighted investment return of 0.3%. My other half’s portfolio (which is more UK/Australian equity weighted) was up over 2% so exact mileage does vary.
This still leaves me up, again, up 23% in 12 months. This is so far from being sustainable it is almost a bad thing.
I have actually been withdrawing some funds from my portfolio for use in non-liquid spending/investments, so while my portfolio has been returning a positive 0.5% in fact the absolute size of my portfolio has shrunk for the first time since January. It had to happen. Among other things this means my efforts to cut back on my margin loan are still struggling to show much impact. I’m keeping an eye on this and hope to have more to report next month.