2021 in Review

Ahhhh, another one of those bloggers looking back at the past year. Well, it’s not just for my readers, but also for myself to see what went well, and what didn;t. Let’s start with a graph:

Net worth increase

If you don’t already, I highly recommend taking monthly snapshots of your accounts/investments so you can produce graphs such as the above. You can see the dip of covid in March 2020- but ever since that its been growing ever since.

Spending

Was down. A lot. Mostly because even with many of the Covid restrictions removed for much of the year, we still didn’t book a holiday nor do a lot of the normal spending that we would have otherwise done. Both a lack of time/effort on our part + the worry of having to cancel stuff just meant we didn’t manage a holiday. Nor did we meet up with friends that we would normally do, or even just treat ourselves to meals out or any other entrainment etc.

We did buy a new(er) car- Electric in fact. Although I have put this as an asset in my spreadsheet (deprecating of course), so it hasn’t really affected our net worth as such. It’s been quite nice to avoid petrol prices- which seem to be going up every time I drive past (and avoided the silly fuel rush too). I also sold my motorbike and put that into an index fund as well, so I guess that’s good as well.

We do have plans for a new patio next year as well as (hopefully) a holiday too, so I can see spending next year being rather higher.

Investing

Unsure I even need to include this- everybody knows the stock market has been utterly insane (in a good way) this year. Every month I think we can’t hit a new high, off it goes and sets a new all time high. I think it just shows that you really can’t predict the market, and it’s much less stressful to just buy the index and just wait.

I sold some AJBell shares I got as part of their IPO back in December 2018. So, held for just under 3 years, and originally bought for 160p, with some 13.45p of dividends since then too. Sold at just over 400p, so double my return.

I haven’t really bought much of anything but indexes this year to be honest- with the rather crazy stock market, I know that individual stock picking has its place, but not really in my portfolio. One stock I am still holding is IMPAX ENVIRONMENTAL MARKETS PLC (IEM) which has had a pretty amazing 5 years:

So I think I’ll keep holding that for a while longer- even though the ongoing charge is much higher than most of my portfolio (0.95%). I do like having more of a “greener” portfolio wherever possible. I’m hoping that as this becomes more and more popular that it brings fees/costs down for everybody.

2022

I mean nobody knows what 2022 is going to bring- more Covid? Another variant? Or maybe it will just peter out and we will go back to normal- I certainly hope so. I can’t see me being able to use my ISA allowance this (current) tax year, which is frustrating, but there isn’t much I can do about that. Over the past 2 years consolidating accounts where I can means that its a much simpler process each month to do the spreadsheet updates. I can also see how this will work into FIRE after my FIRE date as well- it’s much easier to sell some of a globally traded index fund over some p2p balance etc. Still seem to be on track for a 2030 retirement, but lots of other personal changes coming in 2022 as well, that could potentially delay this- let alone the stock market that could do anything in 2022-2030 as well.

As ever, these are only my views and nothing of this is advice or suggestion of what you should do.

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