How My Investment Portfolio Performed in 2015... January 20, 2016 09:43
2015 has been a hugely turbulent year for investors, dominated by oil price wars, worries about declining growth in China, and global jitters over what central banks were going to do next. 2015 marks the end of a stunning growth in market values over the last 5 years.
Fortunately, I’ve been very lucky and had an extremely solid year, despite the overall downward trend of the markets.
The reason for this success can be attributed to having shares in a single company (Google – now Alphabet), which I initially bought in January.
I invested a nominal amount mainly as a vanity stock – it’s a valuable addition to my portfolio from a marketing standpoint (a day job as an SEO consultant means it’s nice to be able to tell clients I own shares in Google), and because I suspected that in their long term future, Google would eventually start paying dividends from the massive piles of money they have.
But in June I heavily reinforced that position when I suspected some good news was on the horizon. I want to make it clear; there was no insider trading, I didn’t receive a hot tip, and looking back on it, I made a risky decision with more money than I should have invested on nothing more than a “back-of-a-fag-packet” analysis…
But that position paid off and “rescued” my year. Google (Now trading as Alphabet) shares rose in value by 65% in 2015, dragging my otherwise flat portfolio with them.
Google’s rise, coupled with a couple of timely decisions to sell other shares, I finished the year nearly 20% up, in a year when the markets finished down.
Remember the Y-axis values don't start at 0
This doesn't make me a genius, it makes me lucky, and I accept that. In fact, my year-to-date performance in 2016 is pretty poor; the last 20 days has sucked as China and oil continue their staggered collapse. If oil continues the current rate of decline, we’re looking at sub $20 per barrel prices in just 2 weeks’ time!
It all goes to prove that “the value of investments can go down as well as up.”
2016 looks like another volatile year – but there are some opportunities on the horizon. I’ll be following the Lloyds share sell-off with great interest. It looks like that’ll be a great deal for small investors.
And to reaffirm the unwanted advice that I forced on a friend of mine who works for a hedge fund; oil prices won’t recover until next year at the earliest.