Wednesday, 5 March 2014

From the Storecupboard ...

The first step in putting together my recipe for success has to be to take stock of what I have to start with.

This will help me decide what I need to add, or take away. How much of this, and of that, is needed to give the whole mix the most "fizz" and the best chance of growth.

A rough inventory gives me:

  • Cash in a high interest current account (or what passes for such these days) equivalent to 6 months salary.
  • A public sector, final salary pension fund that, along with my state pension, will give me enough to live on, in contentment, at age 66
  • A very small (but growing) AVC pot paid into at source from my salary (£200 per month). This pot can be taken, in whole, as a tax-free lump sum at 66. 
  • Two small pensions from previous jobs payable at age 60.
  • No debt whatsoever (mortgage paid off last year).
  • A S&S ISA that I've been paying into for several years on a monthly basis and taking no more notice of than to quickly glance (and sometimes deeply sigh) at the 6 monthly statement. It is invested in a single UK Equities fund which has not performed particularly well and is nowhere near the top of the leader board (although it has done better over the last couple of years) and is currently worth the equivalent of 18 months' salary. Up until recently it was held directly with the fund manager and I had made no effort to "manage" it in any way. I have recently started the process to have it transferred to an trading platform that offers online access (Interactive Investor) and I plan to sell some the fund and buy a few more "ingredients". It feels far too dangerous to rely on a single holding which is invested in the UK market only.
  • Monthly rental income from a small flat (mortgage paid off).
  • Enough disposable income to be able to continue to invest around £500 per month.
  • Time and energy to spare (I've recently recently reduced my working week to 4 days)

So, I do have all the things I need - tools, equipment and wherewithal, but, at the moment these things are not working together.

That's because up till now there hasn't been a plan and there hasn't been a goal. Both these things are now very much on the agenda.

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