A Random Person’s Random Investments

July 16, 2015

new portfolio balance

Filed under: General — arandomperson @ 8:10 am

With moving away from Bendigo Bank I have rebalanced the portfolio. Also time to move more towards Index Funds now there are some “Ethical” options available, although the UBA funds are only “ex Tobacco ex Controversial Weapons” it’s better than nothing.

Also I’ve bumped up the fixed interest portions (bonds and bank deposits via VAF and AAA), and reduced the relatively high fee Hunter Hall ETF.

I’m doing no sales to quickly get to this new balance, as there is no rush, I’ll just continue lazily allocating new purchases as part of my saving plan so the new balance tends towards the below:

So new mix is:

  • SYI SPDR MSCI AUSTRALIA SELECT HIGH DIVIDEND YIELD : 26% – Australian large company index fund but screened for large dividends
  • BEN BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED : 8% – I’ve stopped using BendigoBank – but no reason to sell the shares just yet..
  • IXJ ISHARES GLOBAL HEALTHCARE ETF : 8% – I think healthcare will continue to be a future world growth industry, so a low MER index fund focused on this area.
  • HHV HUNTER HALL GLOBAL VALUE LIMITED :8% – as the other index funds aren’t ethically screened, some ethically selected shares so at least some of the investment is being pushed in the right direction. Also gives a quite diverse Australian and International mix.
  • AAA BETASHARES AUSTRALIAN HIGH INTEREST CASH ETF : 8% – high interest cash
  • VAF Vanguard® Australian Fixed Interest Index ETF : 8% – bonds
  • WXHG SPDR® S&P® World ex Australia (Hedged) Fund : 14% – International shares, but hedged against currency fluctuations.
  • UBA: UBS IQ MSCI Australia Ethical ETF : 10% - UBA provides a diversified core exposure to the Australian equity market and aims to replicate the performance of the MSCI Australia ex Tobacco ex Controversial Weapons Index, before fees and expenses by physically holding the shares within the underlying Index.
  • UBW: UBS IQ MSCI World ex Australia Ethical ETF : 10% – UBW provides a diversified exposure across Global equity markets ex Australia and aims to replicate the performance of the MSCI World ex Australia ex Tobacco ex Controversial Weapons Index, before fees and expenses by physically holding the shares within the underlying Index

edit holding off buying the UBS funds until I check exactly what the “ex Tobacco ex Controversial Weapons” entails… I suspect for Australia at least they may be few, if any companies that fit this bill?

new bank – moving away from BendigoBank to BankMECU

Filed under: General — arandomperson @ 7:57 am

I got annoyed with the constantly creeping up fees of BendigoBank, so have moved to BankMecu. With my particular usage pattern, fees should be zero, and the interest rate on their “BonusSaver” account is much higher than I am getting on my BankWest internet savings account, provided I follow the rules of the account.

I was initially annoyed with BendigoBanks apparently new international ATM transfer fee – but it turns out they were just reporting an existing fee (that had been there about a year) in a more visible way, which is a good thing I suppose. But still apparently ALL the banks decided to slug people a 3% international ATM fee – on top of the existing ATM fees – at the same time, then used the lame excuse it was “in line with the practice of other financial institutions”. But it nudged me to shop around and it looks like BankMecu is better for me.

BankMecu also has not particularly great international ATM rates, but I will experiment with TransferWise – though it needs access to a bank account in the destination country.

BanMecu also have a zero fee credit card with 55 day interest free, so I could move away from my “Ignite” westpac credit card – this card started off as a VIRGIN MASTERCARD which I got to get away from WESTPAC, then Virgin sold their credit business to Westpac, putting me back where I started.

Now I’m moving away from BendigoBank, I’m a bit conflicted about what to do with my shares.. I’ll keep the existing ones, but won’t sell down.. so time for a re-balance anyway…

February 23, 2015

At last, some ethically screened Index ETF available in Australia

Filed under: General — arandomperson @ 11:43 pm

UBS Global Asset Management has launched six new ETFs that track MSCI indices which screen out tobacco and ‘controversial weapons’.

http://www.investordaily.com.au/37095-ubs-launches-six-ethical-etfs

I have yet to study these, funny that I found this just a few days after embarking on a change in the portfolio balance.

February 22, 2015

all quiet, minor adjustment to portfolio mix

Filed under: General — arandomperson @ 7:52 pm

Nothing much new to report. Portfolio has been going well though this mostly an artifact of the Australian dollar going down, so the international share mix have gone up higher in value. Of course this means if the Australian dollar goes up again, they will go down.

I have made an adjustment to the portfolio mix, adding an additional broad based index fund that is also hedged against currency fluctuations. And have expanded the fixed interest component to include some Australian bond funds. Also reduced the amount of BEN so as to not be over-represented in just a single company.

So new mix is:

  • SYI SPDR MSCI AUSTRALIA SELECT HIGH DIVIDEND YIELD : 26% – Australian large company index fund but screened for large dividends
  • BEN BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED : 20% – sentimental favourite, kept these through the mortgage and the GFC.. and I use Bendigo Bank.
  • IXJ ISHARES GLOBAL HEALTHCARE ETF : 12% – I think healthcare will continue to be a future world growth industry, so a low MER index fund focused on this area.
  • HHV HUNTER HALL GLOBAL VALUE LIMITED : 20% – as the other index funds aren’t ethically screened, some ethically selected shares so at least some of the investment is being pushed in the right direction. Also gives a quite diverse Australian and International mix.
  • AAA BETASHARES AUSTRALIAN HIGH INTEREST CASH ETF : 6% – high interest cash
  • VAF Vanguard® Australian Fixed Interest Index ETF : 6% – bonds
  • WXHG SPDR® S&P® World ex Australia (Hedged) Fund : 10%

I won’t be selling any shares to get this new mix, just allocating new purchases with some hints from the handy bit of software I have been using, that now has multi CPU support added so it can make it’s guesses faster.
I wish there were some “ethically screened” Index funds available in Australia.

July 28, 2014

portfolio underway, with a small amount of gearing

Filed under: General — arandomperson @ 9:51 am

Have decided to use a little bit of gearing to kickstart the portfolio – but using some funds from the (almost completely paid) mortgage.
I have paid a fee to split the mortgage, so that the interest on money used for dividend paying investments is accounted for separately so it doesn’t get messy down the track. Gearing ratio currently 41% and will drop over time, but at least there is no LVR here enslaving me to the random walk of the market.
One minor problem is an easy way to work out what groups of shares to buy while keeping the portfolio aimed toward the desired balance – but luckily there is a Python script on github that can give an indication of what direction to go, using the CMC market “profit and loss” csv file as an input.

June 1, 2014

Proposed new portfolio

Filed under: General — arandomperson @ 1:22 pm

It will take a while to get the savings in to meet this proposed mix, but here is my simple starter portfolio I’m going to aim for.. at least until I change my mind or an ethical index fund comes on the market. Aim is low fees passive investment and diversity plus ethical investment.

As there are no “ethical” index funds easily available in Australia I’ll add HUNTER HALL GLOBAL VALUE LIMITED into the mix, though I think the fees are high but I get they are actively researching what they choose.

  • SYI SPDR MSCI AUSTRALIA SELECT HIGH DIVIDEND YIELD : 26% – Australian large company index fund but screened for large dividends
  • BEN BENDIGO AND ADELAIDE BANK LIMITED : 24% – sentimental favourite, kept these through the mortgage and the GFC.. and I use Bendigo Bank.
  • IXJ ISHARES GLOBAL HEALTHCARE ETF : 18% – I think healthcare will continue to be a future world growth industry, so a low MER index fund focused on this area.
  • HHV HUNTER HALL GLOBAL VALUE LIMITED : 22% – as the other index funds aren’t ethically screened, some ethically selected shares so at least some of the investment is being pushed in the right direction. ALso gives a quite diverse Australian and International mix, and the NTA is at a discount(i.e. right now $1 of HHV will get $1.17 worth of shares)
  • AAA BETASHARES AUSTRALIAN HIGH INTEREST CASH ETF : 10% – high interest cash

There percentage allocation is just approx. Starting with the SYI portion, and it will take a while to get the above mix as I’m buying lots to keep brokerage fees low.

May 17, 2014

mortgage put to bed, looking at shares again

Filed under: General — arandomperson @ 11:21 pm

The mortgage is now pretty much done and we are “home owners”. Strange.
Although I was thinking initially of using some of the mortgage as to fund buying more shares, now that I’ve a place to live in, I don’t want to deal with the risk.
I do have some savings I’d like to invest, so I’m back at looking at shares.
Looking in hindsight at what I was up to until 2008, I should have avoided the margin loan – it’s difficult to do a “buy and hold” approach and forget the day to day price when they could get sold out from under you due to the LVR.

Also was also trying to be too diverse and buying more and more varied investment products for the sake of it including some that I didn’t fully understand.
The only shares I’ve kept through all of this have been Bendigo Bank, which despite the value of the shares going up and down have always reliably kicked back some dividends, so will continue to hang on to them.

My shares are still held in the margin loan account (Etrade/StGeorge) though not incurring any fees as there is no debt. My other Etrade account has the cash account closed due to lack of activity. Since I’ve got to do a bit of work to get started again I’ve opened an account with CMC Markets as they are $9 a trade cheaper, and I dont need all the advanced trading tools, just low overheads and tax reports for the accountant.

The ETF market has gotten more broad in the last few years, I just wish there were some ethically screened low cost index funds. I like Hunter Hall, etc, but the fees are quite high.

March 15, 2012

Lawyers Real Estate vs Consumur Affairs

Filed under: real-estate — arandomperson @ 8:18 am

Interesting legal case involving the conveyencer I used, Lawyers real Estate:

read more about it here:

CONSUMER AFFAIRS VICTORIA v PETER JOHN MERICKA & ORS

Atfer seeing a lot of the dodgy behaviour in the real estate biz it’s been informative to read up on the tricks following Peter Mericka’s blog, I hope it all goes well for him.

Long time between posts

Filed under: General — arandomperson @ 8:12 am

I have not written much here, but there hasn’t been a lot to write.. since the acquisition of a mortgage, the most rational investment option has been to simply reduce interest payments on my mortgage by getting it paid off, which is where the bulk of my effort has gone. Mortgage is at least now substantially reduced.
To this end, all my shares except Bendigo Bank and some AEZ (APN European Retail Property Group) have been let go of. I would have sold the AEZ but there value has sunk down to almost nothing – they dont meet the minimum trade requirement at ETRADE, it it’s OK to keep them around as an object lesson.
Bendigo Bank, although below the value I purchased them at, continues to deliver dividends. As I bank with them it seems good to own a slice of them.

July 9, 2009

“The dirty secrets of financial planners” – from SMH

Filed under: General — arandomperson @ 9:34 am

Interesting article from Sydney Morning Herald, The Dirty Secrets Of Financial Planners.
Obviously from this the only financial planners worth using are fee per hour ones who can disclose they take no fees from financial product providers.
Plus the mess from Storm Financial and similar would have highlighted these issues.

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