April 2020 Savings ReportBy Money Mage · · Frugality, Savings
Welcome to our April 2020 Savings Report.
Before I start, my Aunt passed away this week. She was a lovely, bubbly and hilariously self-deprecating soul. My family is in my thoughts, and so is my memory of her. She was 74. Thankfully unrelated to COVID-19, but it’s a blow none the less. It’s a terrible time for the family as they have not been able to visit the hospital. My cousins were allowed in at the end. I have no idea how the funeral is going to be arranged.
The COVID-19 crisis continues. The other-MM household is still yet to be directly affected, other than some paper losses. We are hopeful that continues. But are thinking of those that are more seriously caught up in this.
I’ve finished a 6 project at work, working from home. I work in software specifically games technology. Many would say it’s games, but I don’t like to say games. It’s way wider. I’ve always worked in games tech, the city I live in is a bit of a hotspot in the UK. It’s a really interesting space. I do very fortunate to have one of those ‘hobby as a job’ jobs.
This project though was something else. I haven’t worked on a big ‘triple-A’ console games project for a wee while. The team I am on were parachuted into a struggling project. Let’s just say, eye-opening…
The other-MM is still working from the office. He doesn’t drive, so I am playing chauffer. There and back again, like an even more boring version of Bilbo Baggins. His work has picked up, having taken quite a slump, to the point they’ve cancelled furlough for a couple. One negative of this is he keeps picking up sore throat / minor colds from the office, so something is still going around. I’m just at the tail end of another bout of illness in 5 weeks.
The roads are getting busier in the mornings. The parks are getting busier in the evenings when we walk the dogwog. I do worry we’ll be facing a second peak imminently as people get bored of being shut away.
We’ve had another good savings rate month, due to low expenses.
The markets seem to have rallied slightly too. I expect the rallying to be a bit of a blip and a ‘return to the mean’ is still imminent. I do fear the economic shockwave of this whole shitshow is still just building up, and the main blastwave is to follow.
I’m still intentionally letting the blog slip. I’ve had a bit more motivation and ideas this week, so expect more over the coming weeks.
If you need someone to talk to, I’m here: mm at moneymage.net.
Let’s take a look at how COVID-19 continues to impact our Saving and Investment numbers. You can get all Savings Reports at the best of Money Mage.
April 2020 Savings Rates
- SR = Savings Rate
- SRp = Savings Rate inc. Pension
Savings Rate continues to remain high this month due to us not leaving the house at all. I’m also due a tax-rebate due to 2019/20 pension contributions, as soon as I pull my finger out and get my Self Assessment done.
Towards Financial Independence
Our Financial Independence number is quite conservative. This table shows the number of years to achieve Financial Independence in various cases.
- FIh = Years to FI based on Total Assets.
- FIp = Years to FI excluding the house, but including illiquid pensions.
- FI = Years to FI excluding the house and other illiquid assets.
Our net worth has taken a beating during this crisis. Our path to FI has stagnated in 2020. Fingers crossed things start to pick up later in the year. We’re saving and investing as normal, so if things pick up we are well placed with some unit cost averaging.
You can see the blip clearly in March, with our FIh heading in the wrong direction by a whopping 6 months, it’s on the way to recovering now. The good news is FI, which excludes our illiquid assets, is still trending down.
I continue to warn you again this month: paying attention to net-worth fluctuations during periods of volatility is a fool’s game.
April has recovered somewhat, with markets rallying slightly. Month on Month recovered 3.32%, although we are still down slightly on our February position.
Our networth is where it was in January 2020. It’s still only paper losses, and during that period we’ve been continuing to invest in Stocks and Shares ISA and our pensions, benefitting from unit cost averaging. Ignoring it and carrying on!
The Nationwide estimate of the house price has fallen 2% this month. I expect this is just the start of a wider fall of house prices as demand completely dries up. There are loads of flats for sale around where we live. It’s a student city, and all the students have gone.
We hold quite a chunk of our portfolio in Cash - about 13%. This acts as a huge buffer for us and helps us sleep. However, the banks have completely slashed rates following the UK Base Rate being cut further during the COVID-19 crisis. We may look at rebalancing this into something else later in the year.
Year on Year is still up a healthy 12.8%. You can find more details in the review of 2019.
Here you can see asset allocations this month compared to April 2019.
Whilst equity exposure appears very low, all pensions are in global trackers funds. Investment in equities is almost solely via pensions. Although I am now also contributing to an S&S ISA via Vanguard LifeStrategy 80 and a small holding in Vanguard’s FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield $VHYL.
This chart shows our net worth growth since the other-MM started work and I graduated.
You can see the impact of the markets on our net worth last month. The blip upwards this month is quite welcome. Let’s see how the next few months pan out, but I am expecting 2020 to below forecast.
Whilst we’re mortgage free, and on the path, FI let alone FIRE still seems a very long way away. Subscribe now and follow me on Twitter @moneymagery. I hope you like the charts, I am a fan of Tufte*.
How is your journey to FI going?