General Life Update

portfolio update

Hi all, this might be one of the last posts I do for a while due to the imminent arrival of baby TV #2 – so I thought I’d give a general update of what I’ve been doing lately with regards to investments and life in general.

Investments Update

I’ve not made any other purchases or sales in my NISA, which is where we are slowly building a dividend-paying value stocks portfolio. I might make one more purchase this month, and this will probably be Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN). The price has been down to -35% up to -20% and back down again recently from where I purchased it at. I had a feeling it would go down again, which has happened. If I make my regular monthly purchase this month, hopefully it’ll stay low in price so I can massively average down my purchase price.

Investing for Your Baby

I have been preparing to set up investment accounts for the new baby – cash JISA (okay, not investment, but still, another account), stocks and shares JISA, and a Junior SIPP. These will be set up in the same way as with baby TV #1 – which I spoke about in my very first post here, as well as clarification in the comments.

Investing for Your Mother-in-Law

I have also been preparing a portfolio for my retired mother-in-law. We are taking on managing her money, so I have created a portfolio based on Ray Dalio’s ‘All Weather’ portfolio:

7.5% gold – iShares physical gold ETC (OCF 0.25%)

7.5% commodities – Lyxor ETF Commodities Reuters/Jeffries CRB TR (OCF 0.35%)

30 % stocks – Vanguard LS100 (0.24%)

55% gilts – Split 50:50 between Vanguard UK Inflation-Linked Gilts (OCF 0.15%) and Vanguard UK Gilts ETF (OCF 0.12%)

This portfolio is pretty boring, low on stocks, and extremely defensive. Ray Dalio created this portfolio mix so as to provide rock-solid defence. It’s a lot simpler than Tim Hale’s ‘All Seasons’ portfolio, which is also very defensive, but I wanted something simple and easy to follow and manage for my mother-in-law, who might not even use the money, but I’m sure would want it to be very protected either way.

Preparing for a New Baby

I’ve been typically frugal, and done some batch cooking in preparation for having a new baby. My aim is to make around 10+ days’ worth of dinners for my husband and I for when we are whacked after the new baby arrives. So far, I’ve made 3 days’ worth of Irish stew. I made it extra hearty by adding barley soup mix (i.e. barley with splits peas and extra bits like that) instead of plain barley. I also added smokey bacon lardons (YUM). I also would like to make a batch of veggie burgers, a chilli/spagbol type mix, and something chicken-y which I’ve not decided on yet. It’ll probably be boiling down a large chicken, dicing and shredding the meat, and then making an enormous amount of stock, which can be used for soups, stews, and various types of risotti.

Also typically, I’ve not bought anything new for the new baby, as I’m reusing everything we had from our first child. I will buy a new soft toy to put in its Moses’ basket, but other than that I don’t think we need anything else. We even have 47 of 48 terry nappies remaining (one somehow, and very mysteriously, got slightly shredded) which will be used at home. Outside of the home, it’s Aldi nappies all the way! Less than half the price of Pampers and at least as good in my opinion.

At this time of year, and feeling heavy and uncomfortable, I’m not wanting to go out and about much. I already started maternity leave, so have been using that time to set the house up for the new arrival. This is all very frugal of course, although I’ve had quite a few visitors recently, which caned our grocery budget. We also took one of the visitors out for quite an expensive meal, which blew our eating out budget in ONE GO. That would have annoyed me normally, but since the baby could literally arrive at any moment now, I was glad to be able to have a super nice meal out before I’ll be basically pretty much indoors for a month after the baby is born.

That’s about it for now, if you get another post soon, then that means the baby is still hanging out in my belly, and the post will thus be probably me ranting about wanting it to hurry up and be born (ADVANCE WARNING OF POTENTIAL RANT)!


  1. Money defines our values.So planning for future is very important.This articles provides various tips or need of saving money for different important people.Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi M, good luck with the baby – and your mother-in-law’s investments. I’ve suggested to my old dear that I do similar with her money, but like so many others she’s a bit frightened of “stocks and shares” (or maybe a bit frightened of me managing them!) It was around when my son was born that I first started getting into investing and I hope I’ve managed to indoctrinate him with my investing mantras and frugal ways – I think I have. He drives his car in winter with no heating, just to “save petrol”. That’s my boy! All the best, have a great Christmas…

    1. LOL, love it, stick an extra jumper on! Does he do what my good mate started too? “It’s a recession, eat dinner at your mum’s as much as possible”

    2. Hi M,

      Good luck with baby number two, it sounds like you are well prepared as I would fully expect! 🙂

      Chilli/SpagBol type thing sounds interesting. My friend recently told me he made a “Lagolli” or something like that. A cross between a lasagne, spag bol and chilli. Sounded a bit odd but might actually be nice, I am going to try it one day soon.

      Jim McG – You might want to tell your son to spare himselft he discomfort and turn the heating on! Car engines generate a ridiculous amount of heat as waste anyway which is used for the heating, so I really don’t think you’d save anything worth saving by turning it off. It’s keeping the AC off in summer that is the bigger saver of petrol!

      theFIREstarter recently posted…bathroom makeover – update #2My Profile

      1. i think the ‘lagolli’ sounds fine, it’s basically the meaty sauce that goes into each of those dishes with a spicier kick! i bet it would be delicious. you could just jazz it up for the final meal with some appropriate flavours i.e. make the meaty part in bulk in advance, and then on the day you want the particular dish, you just add the creamy sauce and cheese for the lasagne, some kidney beans and cinnamon etc. for the chilli, or a bit of chopped up bacon and celery for the bolognese! a great time-saving trick.

        THanks for the well wishes, and I hope all is going well with baby TFS hanging out in Mrs TFS for the time being

  3. Hey M

    Sounds like you have been super busy – it’s great that you’ve been so organised with sorting out investments for the new baby – all the best with those and also to your mother-in-law’s investments – that one does look pretty solid, although I’ve never thought about investing in commodities myself.

    You must have a huge freezer to be able to accommodate all your batch cooking – that, or it’s highly organised in neat little stacks (maybe that’s where I’m going wrong with my freezer, it’s not organised haha!)

    Hope you enjoyed your meal out – like you say, it’ll be a while before you do that again after baby is born. Imagine if you didn’t budget, you’d be eating out all the time and not only would it not be special but you’d be wondering where all your money went! 🙂

    All the best – hope the baby comes out when he/she’s supposed to!
    weenie recently posted…November 2015 Savings, plus other updatesMy Profile

    1. Thanks Weenie. Life of always busy, just the types of activities in which we’re involved varies!

      I’ve never really thought in great detail about investing in commodities, although metals are beaten down right now so maybe this is a good idea, especially as we’re creating the portfolio imminently? The baby’s JISA will have a small allocation to gold, but I’ve not considered commodities for him/her whatsoever.

      Freezer recently got organised because we ate a lot of meat out of it, it wouldn’t have been otherwise! But that was just perfect to then use the space to organise it properly and fill the gaps with the batch cooking 🙂

      Thanks for the well wishes, hope to be in touch soon.

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