I’m a big believer of sharing knowledge. I keep referring to Tim Hales ‘Smarter Investing for Better Results’ (3rd edition) as Tim has a fantastic way of breaking in technical ‘lingo’ into more readable, sound investment paths.

My advice if you’re brand new to FIRE: Start with the book!

I’m certainly no expert myself and don’t class myself to be at all! However the book gave me the boundaries and direction towards achieving my FIRE Goals. There’s a lot to investing, but predominantly I’m focusing on my savings rate:

Goal: Achieve a savings rate of 45% for 2019

So far so good! In January-19, my savings rate was 58%! Wahoo! However this in the grand scheme of things is a bit of a blip because my income is slightly different to most others (I shall explain later in this blog post). Now onto my investments!

Being at the age I am and watching many interviews from John Bogle (founder of The Vanguard Group – what a true gentleman who has recently passed away), my investment strategy is predominantly weighted towards assets currently. Why? It’s all down to your appetite and affordability to risk (which is fully explained in the book – yes sorry, I do keep plugging it but it really is very good!). I also have age on my side and focusing on the long-term (20 years) being at only 28 years old. The latest I want to retire is 50 (at maximum, giving me 22 years in total currently). However ultimately my focus is 45.

Anyway, enough of that – what am I placing my savings into currently? Well here’s my currently savings / investment per month;

Just to provide additional clarity on the above; £1,666.00 p/m goes directly into my S&S ISA which is then broken down by individual ETF’s. IG is a stocks and shares broker and I currently use them for my ‘middle man’ – However I am thinking of leaving them, considering that they have continued to delay their DRIP process year after year in their development schedule (I’ll be making a decision by April-19 whether to continue with them).

Low cost, exchange traded funds provided by The Vanguard Group. In-fact, I my portfolio is predominantly weighted towards ETF’s currently (around 69%). (I’m only 6-7 months into this and my first goal was to ensure I max out the 2018/2019 S&S ISA allowance!).

FTSE Global All Cap Index Fund – Accumulation is comprised of a broad range of differently sized companies in both developed and emerging markets. Currently, I have £6,222 in this specific fund because I’m following a ‘buy and hold’ type strategy over the long term.

Lifestrategy 100% Equity Fund – Accumulation seeking to gain exposure to a diversified notional portfolio composed approximately 100% by value of equity securities. Heavily weighted towards the UK (which in light of Brexit, has been causing a bit of a storm!).

Vanguard FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield UCITS ETF This Fund seeks to track the performance of the FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield Index, a free float adjusted market capitalisation weighted index of common stocks of companies, excluding real estate trusts, in developed and emerging markets that pay dividends that are generally higher than average.

Individual Stocks on London Stock Exchange (LSE). More specifically, I’m investing in high paying dividend yielding stocks in the UK spread out across a broad range of industries.

However, currently the majority of my stocks that I have invested is part of the ‘Carnival PLC’ group, not because I’m looking to grow this stock or receive dividends (Carnival dividends aren’t too bad actually) but it’s more down to the fact of obtaining on-board spending money when me and my partner go on cruise holidays. We do like to go on a holiday at-least once a year and as part of our FIRE journey, we are focused on ensuring that we do just that! 🙂

However, my income isn’t quite as simple as most!

Being an owner of a Ltd business, I pay myself a proportion of a salaried wage and dividends based on profit of the business. Therefore my income isn’t quite as ‘level’ as most. My base salary remains the same each month – but this can be topped up utilising dividends as and when the necessary financial paperwork has been carried out. For example, in January-19 this year, this is how much I actually invested into my investment accounts due to the profits of the business;

Therefore this makes the ‘Early Retirement Calculation’ somewhat different based on the pot required to deliver the passive income of my expenses each month. All in all however, to make things simple (KISS!) I’m looking to achieve an average savings rate of 45% throughout the entirety of 2019. So far in January-19 my savings rate is at 58% so I’m super chuffed! In February-19, given that it’s not here yet, my savings rate is anticipated to be 42% so I’m going to need to work on working towards reducing a few expenses….

Of which that leads me nicely onto my next post regarding INSURANCES! Oh jesus, when I moved into our new house last year, our mortgage broker got us well with signing us up to unnecessary insurances. More to follow…