Investment Portfolio: From £10,000 to Early Retirement

Hi, my name is Laura and this is my investment portfolio. On 1st July 2017, I started my quest for early retirement by investing £10,000 in Premium Bonds. I know that's not going to get me to where I want to be - unless I hit a big winner - but it's better than leaving it in the bank!

My plan is to build a diversified portfolio which compounds over time. I'm not a natural risk-taker, so my main focus will be on low/medium-risk investments with the occasional higher-risk opportunity thrown in for good measure. As long as I can consistently grow my portfolio ahead of inflation, I will get ever closer to my ultimate goal of retirement.

On this page, I will track each individual investment in my portfolio. I will also write about future plans for investment, which will largely revolve around products and services I have personally reviewed on this site. I'm looking for a mix of hands-on and passive investment opportunities in order to reach my goal.

My portfolio is currently valued at £10,267.75 which is a profit of £267.75 and a total growth of 2.68%.

Follow my progress...

Pop your details in the boxes below and I'll keep you up to date with my progress. I'll let you know what is working for my portfolio and where I go wrong, so that you are able to avoid making the same mistakes. I will never share your details with anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any time you like.


My Investment Portfolio


Low-Risk Investments

Premium Bonds

Making an account on the Premium Bonds site was the first thing I did to get my investment journey started. It took just a few minutes to set it up and once I had allocated the funds for my first investments, I deposited the remaining funds into the account. 

Premium Bonds are like a tax-free savings account, but instead of receiving interest you are entered into a prize draw each month with a chance to win up to £1 million.

The annual prize fund interest rate at the time of writing is 1.4%, which beats some of the main savings accounts offered by banks.

Premium Bonds

Initial investment date: July 2017

Balance: £7,010

Profit/loss: +£0.00

Total growth/decline: +0.00%


Medium-Risk Investments

Peer-to-Peer Lending

Zopa have two social lending products available to invest in; Core and Plus.​

The Core product loans money to people categorised at risk level A*-C, whereas Plus lends to those at A*-E risk levels.​

I chose to invest into the Core product as it is likely to be less volatile. The annual projected return is lower, at an average 3.9% compared to 6.1% with Plus, but it gives me better peace of mind.

Originally, I was going to use £500 for P2P lending, but I didn't realise that Zopa needed a minimum of £1000 investment into their Core and Plus products.

I changed my settings on Zopa so that any interest accrued from loans is automatically assigned to new loans, which will compound my investment.

Zopa

Initial investment date: July 2017

Amount invested: £1000

Balance: £1,024.36

Profit/loss: +£24.36

Total growth/decline: +2.44%


Etoro

In August 2017, I took the plunge and invested £250 into Etoro, which was converted to $323.17 once deposited to the site. My intention was to split this into 10 chunks for copying other investor's trades but I hit a roadblock right away. To copy another trader I found that I needed to allocate a minimum of $100 each, so I was only able to copy three investor's trades to start with.

I used quite tight filters to find a list of traders that have made a return of at least 10% over the last 12 months and at least 50% of those months being profitable. I also set the risk score to be low and made sure the traders were actively investing.

The search didn't bring up too many results so it didn't make my decision too difficult. I selected three traders and split $300 across them, giving the remaining $23.17 to the most successful investor.

In June '18 I decided to stop copying one of the traders as they hadn't made a profit in almost a year. I intended to follow another trader but eToro have now increased the minimum investment required to copy someone up to $200, so instead I have allocated the funds to the best performing trader that I am already copying.

Although my funds have been converted to USD, Etoro has a setting where you can view your overall equity in your local currency, which is what I will base my profit/loss figures on.

Etoro

Initial investment date: August 2017

Amount invested: £250

Balance: £281.04

Profit/loss: +£31.04

Total growth/decline: 12.42%


High-Risk Investments

Cryptocurrency

I first ventured into the world of cryptocurrency in July 2017, starting with a purchase of £250 worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and £250 of Ethereum (ETH) via the Coinbase exchange.

Things haven't gone as smooth as I'd hoped for and from the beginning I hit snags with initial deposit limits and getting ID verified. It's been a rocky ride so far, but the good news is that my investment has grown considerably already.

During the latest Bitcoin fork, I received some free Bitcoin Cash matching the amount of Bitcoin held which is an added bonus. It's current worth is quite a way from the value of BTC, but who knows where it might go in the future.

I decided to take advantage of the recent downturn and purchased a further £250 each of BTC and ETH for a total investment of £1000.

I have also invested in some NEO, formally known as AntShares. I've been keeping my NEO in the neotracker.io wallet, which automatically stakes my coins as well as storing them. This generates GAS that I can claim for free at the click of a button, which at the time of writing is valued at $28.71.

Bitcoin (BTC)

Initial investment date: July 2017

Amount invested: £500

Balance: 0.15137402 BTC

GBP worth: £844.59

Profit/loss: +£344.59

Total growth/decline: +68.92%

Ethereum (ETH)

Initial investment date: July 2017

Amount invested: £500

Balance: 1.51932666 ETH

GBP worth: £340.82

Profit/loss: -£159.18

Total growth/decline: -31.84%

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Date received: Dec 2017

Balance: 0.0265 BCH

GBP worth: £13.01




NEO (NEO)

Initial investment date: April 2018

Amount invested: £127.81

Balance: 3.42350362 NEO

GBP worth: £56.93

Profit/loss: -£70.88

Total growth/decline: -55.46%

GAS (GAS)

Initial date received: April 2018

Balance: 0.0747912 GAS

GBP worth: £0.70


BitClub Network

One of my latest investments was the BitClub Network, which is a Bitcoin mining business that allows you to buy shares of their mining pool. It costs $99 to become a member of the club and then mining packages start from $500.

I opted for the $500 package and as the only payment method accepted by Bitclub Network at the time was Bitcoin Cash, I decided to use what I had already gained from the Bitcoin fork to go towards it.

There are a lot of mixed reviews around about the BitClub Network, some warning that it is a scam and some singing it's praises. I intend to find out for myself but I'm going in with my eyes wide open as it's definitely a high risk investment.

I started to see some returns come in from mining after around one month and I have set it so that 50% of my returns are reinvested in new shares.

BitClub Network

Initial investment date: March 2018

Amount invested: £372.19

Balance: £339.73

Profit/loss: -£32.46

Total growth/decline: -8.72%


Angel Business Club

I have been looking for more passive investments to get involved with and when I came across the Angel Business Club I was immediately interested. Basically, after paying a monthly subscription you become a member of the club and a team of angel investors research and invest in start-up businesses on your behalf.

You receive shares in a variety of companies each week and if any of them happen to become successful, get taken over or get listed on a stock market, the returns can be very attractive. Of course this isn't always the case with start-ups, so I would consider it as a high risk investment. However, with members seeing an annual growth of between 40-70% on their portfolio, I am willing to give it a go.

I have allocated enough of my investment fund to cover 12 months membership (£960). As well as updating the profit/loss figures on this page each month, you can follow my progress in more detail in my full Angel Business Club review.

Angel Business Club

Initial investment date: June 2018

Amount invested: £240

Current Value of Shares: £196.57

Profit/loss: -£43.43

Total growth/decline: -18.1%


Future Investment Ideas

For my next investment I have been looking at buying some gold, as it is said to be one of the safest investments and one that many investors turn to when other markets are volatile.

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Laura

Laura

Laura became interested in learning more about investment during 2016 after researching ways to put a football trading bank to full use. She discovered that investing isn't as scary as it first looks and there are lots of options to suit all levels of risk.

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