My Bitcoin up 1,348%

Bitcoin 2017 ChartIt was back in December 2013 when I purchased £500 worth of Bitcoin which at the time gave me 0.7 BTC. I kept it to £500 as this was the amount I would initially invest in a single company, larger amounts for investments funds. I was tempted to round things up to to a whole Bitcoin, nonetheless I stuck to my rules and was happy with 0.7 of a Bitcoin.

You can read my post at the time Taking a punt with Bitcoin here.

The value of my Bitcoin fell shortly afterwards and I forgot about it in a kind of ‘just ignore it’ sort of way. Until 2017!

So currently (31/12/17) my 0.7 BTC is worth £7,240.85, a whopping 1,348% increase! Earlier this month it was even higher at over £10,000!

There has been a lot of talk about digital currency this year surrounding the rise of Bitcoin throughout 2017. A number of other digital currencies have come on the scene such as Ethereum and Litecoin, but for now at least, I will stick with my original Bitcoin investment. I am interested to see how far this will go, I am reading everything from a Bitcoin crash to a Bitcoin being worth £1 Million in 5 years. At least for now anyway, I am finding it entertaining and a great source of conversation.

2014 a non-event so far

Well so far, 2014 as been a non-event. The portfolio value is pretty much where is was at the beginning of this year which is better than saying a loss I guess, however it is bringing the overall average percentage gain down, which at the end of year 1 was 11.74% and as of last week was down to 8.06%. This week has seen a good return and bumped the percentage up to 10.30%, back closer to the target of 13.7%.

I haven’t been as active in buying and selling as I would like over the past 3 months, I did sell my funds in India and more recently in Russia on the back of poor economic news and the conflict in Ukraine, as a result there is some cash on account. I have shortlisted the following shares as potentials buys: Telecom Plus, Supergroup, Workspace, Ted Baker, PayPoint, Homeserve, Enterprise Inns. Also the following funds: SLI UK Smaller Companies, Standard Life UK Unconstrained, Marlborough Multi Cap Income.

Year 1 review, up 11.78%

I started the year with £165,001.87 and ending with £194,460.47, up £29,458.60. I added £10,020 cash gaining £!9,438.60, 11.78%. Apart from the odd week here and there I kept to weekly summaries as planned and went live with my blog early January 2014. I am feeling happy with the first year results, my worst week losing -£5,924.53, my best week gaining £4,945.21 with an average weekly gain of £388.80. Excluding cash that I have added to the fund I am up 11.78%, lower than my target of 13.7% but I am pretty happy with it.

I like to keep an eye on the average weekly gain because it allows me to compare potential income/gain from other sources mainly property. An option for me is to buy a property and get income from the rent and capital gain as the property increases in value. I have roughly calculated based on my experience with buy-to-let a house worth £195,000 (current fund value) would give me rent of around £180 per week. Taking into consideration the increase in property value in addition to the £180 per week rent, I am happy to keep the money in shares for two reasons, I make more money and the fund is more liquid i.e. it’s easier to turn shares back into cash than it is to sell a house.

As for the annual gain of 11.78%, that’s better than any savings account that is currently available and better than the FTSE 100 performance over the past 12months, confirming that my cash was in the right place. Yes it is below my target due to a couple of bad weeks in the market at the end of my year 1, but I’m cool with that.

I am feeling good, confident even. I’m not a Champagne drinker so I’ll toast the year with a large glass of Rioja, cheers!

Taking a punt with bitcoin

Screen shot of the bitbargain.co.uk trading page

Bitbargain.co.uk trading page

I have ventured into buying aprox. £500 worth of bitcoin, as more people have purchased this new currency its value has increased significantly over the past few months. I think it will continue to gain as people understand it more and feel more at ease purchasing bitcoins and then buying goods with them on the internet. As its popularity grows so will demand, I am speculating it’s value to increase against the £Sterling to then sell and make a profit.

I purchased 0.3 BTC for £232.50 on 01/12/13 and 0.4 BTC for £288 on 05/12/13.

The process of buying was a bit daunting. After a little searching and reading I found bitbargain.co.uk, a trustworthy online marketplace for trading bitcoins in the UK. After registering I was able to search sellers by entering the amount I wanted to buy. You don’t have to buy 1 whole bitcoin, you can search and buy such as 0.01 bitcoin or 0.5 bitcoin. When you agree to buy, a transaction window pops up with the sellers bank account details, sort code etc. You then go to your online banking and make a cash transfer to the sellers account, all the time the transaction window stays open. The seller monitors his/her bank account and waits for the money to come in, as soon as it does, he/she confirms receipt and you are credited the bitcoin to your bitbargain.co.uk account… Phew!

I then discovered that I needed to do something else. Bitbargain.co.uk charges for keeping bitcoin in your account after a short period, I needed to transfer my bitcoin out of bitbargain.co.uk and into something called a digital wallet. After a little searching and reading I found Blockchain.info, created a wallet and transferred the bitcoin from my bitbargain.co.uk account into my wallet… Phew!

The bitcoin now sits in my digital wallet from which I can buy goods from companies that accept bitcoins, or in my case leave it and see what happens.

For more info on bitcoin, this web site is a good place to start: www.weusecoins.com

The beginning of the end of quantitative easing

The US Federal Reserve finally announced it’s plan to taper down its money printing (quantitative easing), removing the uncertainty as to what’s going to happen, the markets have responded positively this week. Perhaps the markets will now focus on the good news and not see it as bad news, the markets knew that this was coming and that it was good thing, it’s not knowing the exact details of how and when creating uncertainty therefore volatility. Fingers crossed this will bring a little extra Christmas cheer.

Taper tantrums

Stocks seem to be going nowhere in recent weeks, it’s a time of good news being bad news. Stories about the economy are more positive of late which is increasing expectation that the US Federal Reserve will start easing back on its money printing (quantitative easing) sooner rather than later. Like many countries America has been propping up its economy during the recent recession by printing money and putting it into the market every month, this has increased stock prices. If they slow this down, what will happen to stock prices… there’s the uncertainty and subsequent volatility in the market. Watching Richard Hunter’s daily stock market update on the Hargreaves Lansdown website, he referred to current activity as a “taper tantrum” which did make me chuckle, nonetheless there is going to be a few tantrums in the near future. I currently don’t have any plans to sell short-term, although I am getting my storm-proof clothing out of storage.

Trading update

I sold my India fund (Jupiter India Accumulation) this week, it hasn’t done much for a while apart from fall (down 20%). Recent unexciting news about India has tipped me to sell with a growing personal confidence in moving the money into company shares I want to buy that may give a greater return in the short-term. I have purchased shares in RSA Insurance (RSA) and British Sky Broadcasting (BSY), both have taken a bit of a hammering recently, solid companies with a good dividend at a bargain price.

I purchased shares in Xaar (XAR) and Norcros (NXR), fund managers on the Hargreaves Lansdown web site spoke about these in an interview. I think that if a fund manager puts his/her name to an individual stock they must have confidence in it. I don’t invest much this way, however it does introduce me to companies I wouldn’t have looked at, so far this strategy has worked OK for me, such as WANdisco (WAND) was discussed in a similar interview, this week the stock is up over 80% in 5 months.

I bought shares in Whitbread (WTB), mainly because I like their Premier Inn product, thinking as businesses pick-up so will business trips and coffee drinking (they have COSTA also). Bought shares in Taylor Wimpey (TW.) on the back of the housing market picking up, I already have shares in house builder Barratt Developments (BDEV) following recommendation from Hargreaves Lansdown 6months ago, the stock is up 42% this week. I have also bought shares in Microsoft (MSFT), Boeing (BA), Resolution (RSL) and Reed Elsevier (REL), these companies have been on my research radar for a few months.