Daft Punk – Harder, Better, Faster

I’m sure that we can all agree that it’s Monday today.

Each Monday is another chance to improve. I want to improve my investment decisions & that means putting in the effort to learn.

Every week I want to be more knowledgeable than the last and in a better position to make the best decisions. With this in mind, I think the song choice for this week fits perfectly.



As a bonus, here’s Kanye’s use of the sample:


The Business Of Cannabis (Infographic)


Call it what you want, the green leafs prominence is spreading rapidly as legalisation spread across the US.

It’s now a huge business which has amazing growth potential. There are 2 main use cases; medicinal & getting high AF.

The industry is really hard to ignore, there are now ETF’s (HMMJ), dedicated cryptocurrencies (PotCoin is an example), and Snoop Dogg is even a partner in an associated venture capital firm.

If you’re interested in the sector then I suggest you check out www.savestacks.com which is a blog focussing on buying related stocks.

The below infographic is a good place to begin. You may want to light 1 up for this…


The Business of Cannabis
Source: BusinessStudent.com

The Legend, Benjamin Graham In Rare Video Footage!

Benjamin Graham

We all know Warren Buffet, most of us know his mentor and main inspiration, Benjamin Graham, but very few people have seen him speak.

I remember years ago, reading The Intelligent Investor but being too basic in the mind to understand any of it. I should really schedule a re-read.

In the video, the father of value investing can be seen giving market insights & taking questions at a Columbia University seminar. He’s alongside Courtney Brown whom I’m not familiar with & doesn’t show up until the 13.35 mark. At the start of the vid, there’s an unrelated, entertaining segment that you might want to see!


Investing in the 1950s:

The Thinking Behind My January Buys


Given that January was a busy trading month by my standards, I thought I’d post on the activity to give more detail on the decisions.

See my January activity below (this will not be boring):

January trades






Executed Price











































All trades took place on the 30th since that’s the day that there’s a discount on the commission fee from my broker. Instead of £12.50, I paid £3.95 per trade. This is still quite high and definitely not sustainable. When the new tax year kicks in, I expect to be trading on either Vanguard or Freetrade.io.


I still hold 166 shares of BP. It’s a great company. The idea here was to sell some of the profit to rebalance the portfolio.

It’s sad to see these shares go as BP has been such a powerhouse with the dividend payments. However, whilst dishing out these dividends,  BP has been growing their debt & pension burdens. Couple this with the cyclical nature of oil and it’s clear why I had to average down.

I could be tempted back in if the price goes below £4 a share.


I’ve had my eye on Microsoft for some time now. Unlike other stock giants like Amazon or Google, Microsoft pays a dividend!

Whilst Microsoft’s best growth years are surely in the past, the future should hold many more years of dividend growth. The current yield is 1.27% and the dividend has grown for 14 consecutive years.

Microsoft is making solid progress with AI and cloud technologies so I’m confident revenues will be protected as PC usage declines. I may have overspent at the current price but I don’t think this will matter in the long run as dividends continue to grow & new technology is leveraged for productivity gains.

Micron Technology

This is the most speculative buy on the list. Micron specialises in memory and digital storage.

I wanted a company that is strong in the semiconductor space and Micron ticks that box. Micron has extremely strong fundamentals and has performed well compared to rivals.

Their customer base includes heavyweights like Facebook & Google, which is always a good sign. Although Micron sits in a cyclical industry, I expect demand for semiconductors to continue to trend upwards as long as technological innovation persists.


This company is 1 I’ve wanted to buy for an awfully long time. The price was posted around the $20 mark for most of 2017 until it broke out in November. It’s disappointing to buying at the higher price but this is a company I’m happy to buy and hold for a long time.

They pretty much have a global monopoly on professional wrestling & they continue to expand into new countries. Revenue streams are multiple with income from live events, TV deals, licensing, advertising & WWE’s own online streaming service.

To top off, WWE also pays a steady dividend!


Heres a stock that nearly doubled in 2017. I may be late to the party but I think there’s still plenty of upside in the long-term.

NVIDIA primarily makes graphics processing units (GPUs) for computer gaming with great success. What makes NVIDIA such an exciting buy is that growing tech industries are highly dependent on these GPUs. NVIDIA now helps power the following industries: blockchain (mining), cloud computing, mobile, automotive, VR, AR & machine learning/AI.

Most of these industries have exponential potential & NVIDIA is set to benefit as they grow.

At the same time, NVIDIA pays a very small dividend (<1%) which is unusual for such a tech-heavy company. I don’t expect the dividend to grow substantially anytime soon & I would prefer they prioritize paying down debt instead.


Much like BP, Shell is a dividend-paying powerhouse & an oil industry monster. This is a pure income play.

I’ve grown the portfolio’s oil exposure but diversified the risk. If oil prices nosedive I’ll obviously still take a big hit, but 1 management team won’t determine my fortune.

Recently, Shell has been on an intriguing buying-spree. They’ve invested in a blockchain company, bought First Utility outright, invested in a solar company & bought an electric car charging company!

Hopefully, these investments help keep the dividends high way into the future.


Another income play here for the portfolio, but AstraZeneca doubles up as a defensive stock being in the pharmaceutical industry.

AstraZeneca hasn’t had any dividend growth in the last few years but the payout hasn’t changed and the dividend cover has hovered solidly above 1.5. As for the dividend yield, it’s only been below 4% once in the last 5 years.

I’m not expecting major growth from AstraZeneca though I could easily be wrong. If a crash or downturn occurs then I expect a robust performance from AstraZeneca.

Key takeaways


  • I need a new broker

    my stock and shares ISA mean I pay no capital gains tax or income tax on dividends which is lovable but my broker is just not good enough! each month I have to wait until the day that they have their monthly share dealing commission offer otherwise the fee is too high for the levels I want to trade at. The offer doesn’t extend to funds either so ETFs are out of the question.

  • Stock prices tumbled globally just days after these buys

    More sad timing than bad timing (i refuse to even try to time the market). This is a short-term annoyance but I’m not spooked. Patience is key.

  • Stock picking is fun but index investing is essential

    I want to continue to buy companies that I believe can perform for me in the long term but I need to to be index investing at the same time to have a portion of the portfolio matching the market.

  • Dividends dominate 5 of the 6 buys all pay a dividend. Dividend payers help to reduce risk as the cash flow can be used to reinvest in further buys

Please remember, this is not investment advice. Always do your own research!

I’m eager to hear if you think that any of these buys are stupid. Comment below so we can discuss!⬇

Wealth Building & Income Update – January 2018


The first Wealth Building & Income Update of the new year!

I’m sure everyone had an amazingly productive January. The month seemed to go on forever so you had enough time to get things done!

Let’s see how much beautiful passive income came in the first month of the year.

Passive income for January







Property Partner


Rate Setter


Wise Alpha


Grand Total

£28.41 (£18.09)

Clearly, not a remarkable month, but every penny is important on the road to financial freedom. Also, each penny above is ALWAYS reinvested to create more passive income.

Dividends came in from National Grid (£3.87) and Disney (£2.59). In the same period last year, dividends received was £2.24. Progress is progress eh?

As ever, Property Partner and Rate Setter make their usual contributions to the cause. I’ve received more interest from the bank in January so £18.09 is the figure excluding interest on savings.

Recently, I’ve started investing with Assetz Capital but I struggle to make any sense of whats happening on my account so won’t even try to include the passive income from them yet.

assetz capital


I have no idea what’s going on. It doesn’t make a huge difference as there’s only a small amount invested on the platform. Hopefully, Assetz Capital make it easier to see how much interest comes in each month!

Portfolio tracker 

Portfolio Tracker



P2P Lending

Property Partner

Private equity


Wise Alpha


MoM increase

Asset purchases

Saved in month
















































































The crypto joy ride continues! I won’t sugarcoat things here, I’m getting annihilated on the crypto front. Gladly, I’m not panicking & still buying as I don’t think this will be the death of crypto. If I’m wrong the portfolio is strong enough to withstand the pain and the lessons learned will be priceless.

For stock purchases, January was eventful with 6 new buys and 1 reduced positioning. I will look at these in more detail in a separate post – make sure you’re back for that.

To wrap up, below is a pie chart showing the break down of the portfolio for January


Thanks for reading, let me know if January was a good income month for you in the comments ⬇


New Hobby: Buying Bullion


Isn’t the feeling of having a new hobby fantastic?

That’s how I feel right now as I have started to collect gold & silver in the form of coins and bars! Gold and silver coins & bars are otherwise known as bullion.

Rule Britannia!

My first buy, pictured below, is a beautiful 2018 1 oz silver Britannia Coin.

silver coin

This all began with me researching into gold as an investment. Gold attracts a wide spectrum of opinion. For example, Warren Buffet seems to hate it & Vanguard founder, Jack Bogle doesn’t consider gold to be an investment at all.

On the other hand, Ray Dalio thinks every investor should hold some gold & Kevin O’Leary likes to keep a 5% weighting of his portfolio in gold.

Whilst looking into gold I started to hear a lot about silver as an investment too. Today, silver is far cheaper than gold (especially in terms of the silver-to-gold ratio) and has far higher utility due to silver demand from the industrial & technological sectors.

More on silver as an investment can be seen here.

I made a decision. I was going to buy gold & silver. Only a small amount, but enough to say “I own gold and silver”.

I took 1 look at some coins & pretty much fell in love.silver

Collecting vs investing

You see, as a kid, I collected comics & games et.. As a grown-up, I’ve collected bottles of liqueur and fragrances etc. I’ve always been a collector at heart.

Bullion has value based on the weight of the precious metal it contains. I value the craftsmanship and design too.

For the time being, I’ll consider myself more of a collector as opposed to an investor. There are a few reasons for this

  • Silver coins come with a hefty 20% of vat (luckily, there is no vat on gold)
  • Buying small amounts of bullion means paying a hefty premium
  • As I buy online, the cost of insured delivery will be included in the price (the alternative would be paying for storage)
  • Lack of knowledge on the resale market

That’s not to say that bullion doesn’t have a serious investment case, It does. It’s just that for me, it’s not a particularly strong one. So I’d rather treat it as a hobby, the hobby of kings.

Eventually, I will add bullion to my portfolio updates but for now, I’m happy to just enjoy the shine.

Back to my beautiful Brittania!

I paid £20.75 for the coin. The plan is to get the average cost per ounce down as I progress.

The Britannia is legal tender here in the UK and its face value is £2. Silver Britannia’s have only been circulating since 1997, a new design is released each year. Britannia coins are extremely well recognised and have a fineness rating of 999 (which is very good FYI).

For the reasons above, Britannia’s are a great place to start. I  intend to branch out to a variety of coins for my collection and post about my purchases.

I’d really really like to know your thoughts? do you think that I am wasting my time with this or do you collect bullion your self? let’s connect in the comments below ⬇


Property Partner Review & How My Monthly Income Rose By Over 12,000% In A Year!

property partner

A review of Property Partner is long overdue for this blog. It’s finally here and the whole world is overjoyed, I’m sure.

Property Partner is a UK-based property crowdfunding platform which specialises in residential property. Backing the business is Index Ventures, Seedcamp & Octopus Investments

The idea is to allow investors to gain from the buy-to-let market with less hassle and less risk than buying directly.

The minimum investment is outrageously lower than buying a property outright using a mortgage, yet investors still benefit from the effects of leverage as most of the properties are geared.

The platform has recently branched into PBSA (purpose-built student accommodation) & commercial property for further diversification.

How does Property Partner work?

Listings are divided into shares and the monthly rental payments are actually dividends. This is because each listing is set up as an SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle); a standalone limited company which owns the property.

Subsequently, They describe their platform as “the world’s first stock exchange for residential property”. This hints heavily to the resale market where investors can buy and sell their shares, but more on that later.

There is a 2% fee for any purchase but no fees to sell. Rental income is paid monthly and accrues from the time that you make the purchase.

New listings appear on most Wednesdays & you can buy property at any time on the resale market.

New listings are the main attraction of the website. An example is below

property partner

Since summer 2017, any listing that yields less than 5%, automatically gets a top-up bonus to the 5% mark for the first 2 years. After the 2 years, the rental income reverts to the original calculation of gross rent minus costs & service fee (2.51% per year in this case).

In the past, there have been other promotions such as double dividends for the first year which help to boost income.

In the resale market, you buy directly from other investors at a market price. Also, instead of buying immediately, you can place a bid at your own price and wait for a willing seller to be matched with you.

In terms of exit strategy, It’s strange how Property Partner works.

Resale market aside, investors also have an option to sell at market value after 5 years. For those that want to sell, Property Partner will make a new listing on the website selling the unwanted shares as a single block. If this is unsuccessful then they will sell the entire property externally.

It’s a shame that selling is considered after just 5 years in my opinion as I see property as a longer-term asset. Especially considering the cash flow it creates. Why anyone would want to sell after 5 years is beyond me. Aren’t properties meant to double in value every 10 years?

My experience so far

I entered the Property Partner ride back in February of 2016 with a £200 investment. My confidence in the platform was low but my desire to create a passive income stream was high.

Month by month I added to my portfolio of properties and watched the rental income grow. See for yourself:























2016 Total



























2017 Total





2018 Total


Grand Total


By just contributing what I could afford, my monthly income rose by 12,433% in a year. It was 
3p in April 2016 and £3.76 in April 2017. Isn’t the income growth beautiful? Every month I benefit from compounding returns, unlike stock market dividend where the payout is every quarter, at most.

The rising income is impressive but it is important to put it into context. So far, I’ve spent £2403.44 on the platform. April 2017 to January 2018 is 21 months. That’s an average spend of £114.45 a month! easily manageable.

These days, I take advantage of the Auto-invest feature since the minimum deposit went from £50 to £250. Without warning might I add! Auto-invest allows me to continue to invest from £50 a month & allocates the funds against all new listings on the platform.

Auto-invest has 2 additional benefits. Firstly, far less chance of getting scaled back for an oversubscribed listing. Secondly, there is 5% interest on funds waiting to be used in the Auto-invest account!

My goal for 2018 is to reach the £10 a month mark which will be a great symbolic landmark. Of course, all of this will be reinvested into more purchases on the platform.


Let’s look at overall performance, keeping in mind a contribution of £2403.44

Property Partner

To begin with, the £161.38 only considers dividends, valuation gains and auto-invest interest. Interestingly, the combined value of promotions and discount on purchases in the resale market outweigh the 2% transaction cost for all purchases.

When I first joined the platform, expected returns were advertised at 13% pa. Since then, I’ve watched it dwindle to 7.2%! at least they’re honest.

I’m sure the returns would be higher if it was not for the Brexit referendum result. Soon after the referendum, the valuation slumped but has been on a slow, upward trend ever since.

The resale market has a lot to offer. Remember, market means market. There are some extremely juicy bargains waiting to be scooped up. Take a peak

property partner

As you can see, there are some properties trading at a massive 20% discount! Valuations take place every quarter by a RICS qualified Chartered Surveyor. I know of no other way to buy UK property at such large discounts – do you?

Why Property Partner is a winner

  • Effective way to gain exposure to geared UK property
  • Easy to diversify into multiple properties across the country
  • Resale market offers liquidity and opportunity to buy at a discount
  • Reasonable fee and no annual charge
  • Monthly income stream
  • Newer listings have strong yields
  • Auto-invest option offers 5% interest and low monthly commitment

What I dislike about Property Partner

  • Gearing enhances loses if house prices go down
  • Uncertainty over exit after 5% years
  • Property market has high tax burden
  • Relatively low yields from older listings
  • No shield from macroeconomic risk
  • Minimum spend (when not using auto-invest) increased from £50 to £250

So there’s my take on the Property Partner platform. Overall I think it is a great way to invest in property and I will continue to grow my position this year. However, like with any other investment, there is considerable risk to consider.

For more information, visit the FAQ section on the Property Partner website. This post has purposefully avoided tax issues as everyone has a different tax situation. Please check site disclaimer information.