Sunday, 20 December 2015

High Yield Dividend Stocks are every investors dream

High Yield Dividend Stocks

high yield dividend stocks

If you like to invest in shares you will be on the lookout for high yield dividend stocks! These are every investors dream because they give you better interest than you would achieve from a bank account. When I think about stocks best dividends I think about those that give you a return of at least 4% a year. Previously this would not have been considered great but compared to the poor bank interest rates this is fabulous especially if you have the stock in your stocks and shares ISA and therefore do not have to pay tax on any income generated.

High Yield Dividend Stocks that pay monthly

The thing I love about high yield dividend stocks that pay monthly is the fact that you feel as if you are getting another regular income. Over time you can reinvest these dividend payments and grow this monthly dividend income. This would be great for a retirement nest egg. However there seems to be a limited number of dividend stocks that pay monthly.

High Yield Dividend Stocks List

By now you will be curious to know the high yield dividend stocks list but before you run off and invest your life savings please remember to do your own research. Investing in high yield dividend stocks is like all other forms of investing, it comes with risk and it is hard to find the safest high yielding dividend stocks. The ones below are stocks with best dividends and they are from the USA and UK markets.

General Motors (GM) - currently has a dividend of 4.1%.
AT&T - currently has a dividend yield of 5.8%
BHP Billiton has a high dividend yield of 11.47%
Royal Dutch Shell A and B have returns of over 8.5%
HSBS brings in 6.2% in dividends.

Safest High Yielding Dividend Stocks

So what are the safest high yielding dividend stocks? There are a number of ways to look at this. You can consider safest by meaning that the company will continue to trade and pay dividends for a considerable period of time, or you can look at it from the point of view has the company a history of increasing dividend payments. Personally there is no such thing as a safe yield dividend stock as anything can happen to a company almost overnight.

When picking high yield dividend stocks that I consider to be safe I look for a stock whose share price stays fairly stable as well as one which has a good dividend history. If the company has a stable share price with annual dividend increases in my opinion it is one of the high yield dividend stocks.

Monday, 31 August 2015

August 2015 Dividend Income

I would like to inform all my loyal readers of my August 2015 dividend income. This is something that interests most investors along with dividend growth. I only hold 3 dividend stocks and one pays dividends in July, one in August and one in September.

National Grid was August dividend payer and paid me for holding 50 shares on ex dividend date. I received £14.08 in dividend income and £8.85 of this was subsequently reinvested into another National Grid share with the remainder of the money going into my trading account.

I topped up my National Grid shares recently and now hold 97 of this particular stock which means my dividend income will be higher in 2016. The stock has been volatile of late and I might buy more of it should the price dip below £8.40 a share.

How was your August dividend income?

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Legal and General Dividend Increase

This is just a short post but one which makes me very happy. One of my dividend stocks, Legal and General had a very positive meeting today outlining company profits and as a result raised the interim dividend by around 19% to 3.45 pence per share. This dividend is due to be paid on the 17th September and will enable me to invest in another Legal and General share as well as having some cash left over.

I am also hoping the final dividend payment to be announced in April next year will also increase and enable me to invest in more shares in the life insurance company.

Would you sell your shares if your stock portfolio was worth 2 million dollars

I often ask myself would I sell all my shares if my stock portfolio was worth 2 million dollars? I could retire from my stressful 9-5 job if I had 2 million dollars so why would I hold onto a stock portfolio of such value.

There are pros and cons of selling such a large stock portfolio and I will consider both here. However I might pass the question onto someone who has a stock portfolio of $200 000 and see what their thoughts are on the matter so it is onto Jason from Dividend Mantra.

Firstly the pros of selling such a large holding. The biggest advantage is that you get a large sum of cash into hand. You do not have to worry about the value of the stocks going down and losing you money as you have access to the full 2 million dollars. Secondly it should enable you to escape the daily grind and stresses of a daytime job. This provides opportunities for spending more time with family and pursuing hobbies. These are brilliant reasons to sell your shares but why might you want to hold onto them?

Okay so now onto the cons of selling a 2 million dollar stock portfolio. The worst thing about selling is the fact that you might lose out on a potential gain. Imagine your $2 million dollar stock portfolio was to grow in value to $4 million. How heartbreaking would it be to lose out on so much extra profit. If I was in this position I could not rest easy nor sleep at night!! There is also a chance that you would miss a regular dividend income which comes with a large dividend stock portfolio. You could keep the income for living expenses or you could use it to grow your stock portfolio even more. Finally some people invest in stocks as a hobby. It takes over their life and they become addicted to it so selling everything might make them feel like there is a huge gap in their life!

I have to say that in my current position if I had a 2 million dollar stock portfolio I would definately sell off a a large chunk possibly up to 1.5 million dollars worth so that I could do something more pleasurable between the hours of 9 and 5 as opposed to work. This amount of money would enable me to never have to worry about money again.

I do hope that Jason maybe constructs a post on how big he would like to grow his portfolio and whether he will ever sell all or most of his stock portfolio.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

I am still saving hard and investing

I have not been online as much as I am looking after my newborn daughter, however I am still saving hard and investing. Obviously my income is down drastically as I am on maternity leave but this just means I have to make my money work harder.

Last week I was fortunate enough to reach Royal Mail dividend income. I recently sold lots of my Royal Mail shares so my dividend payment was much less than previous payments, however the dividend income was enough for me to invest in 1 more share. My total holding now is 43 which is rather pitiful but better than nothing.

I still have some National Grid shares and will be receiving a dividend payment on Wednesday 5th August, and some Legal and General shares which will pay me dividends in October. I will be reinvesting all these dividend payments back into these stocks in order to grow my holding.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Saving money on my car insurance with the help of moneysupermarket

Any shrewd investor knows that the more money they save the more money they can put towards investments. Investing in dividend stocks helps you grow your money so it is only natural that when my car insurance expires in just under a month I should go searching for cheap car insurance quotes.

I always find Moneysupermarket to be very useful when looking for quotes despite the fact that I normally end up going with my local broker anyhow. At least the quotes give me a good indication of the fee I should be paying.

Last year my car insurance premium was around £265 so I am glad that it looks to be coming in cheaper this year at less than £200 and this is with me adding my husband as a named driver. However I need to be careful because some of the online quotes do not include essentials like protection of no claims bonus.

My current broker has not sent details of this year's car insurance premium but I did get a chance to visit another insurance broker in town and I pushed them hard for a good price. Of course they delay giving you a quote and then slap you in the face with a really high price which makes you think no chance. When you tell them you are not interested they pretend that they have to try really hard to get you a better quote.

The broker did come up with a quote of £250 and she said it was eating into her commission to give me such a good price. It is just over £50 more than what I was being offered online but it has extra benefits such as free courtesy car and breakdown cover which I never normally have on my policy. I decided to tell her I would think about it and get back to her in a few weeks. When I do phone back I will be asking for another discount but I do feel the price is reasonable as I had budgeted £300 for my car insurance.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

RateSetter Cashback Offer July

RateSetter is my favourite peer to peer lending company because they offer high lending interest rates on the money you lend as well as having an option to lend your funds for as little as a month. I thought I would let all my loyal readers know that they are offering cashback on new money invested from 1st July to 14th July.

You can get £25 cashback on an investment of £2500, £50 cashback on an investment of £5000 and £100 cashback on an investment of £10 000. I think this is a reasonably generous offer and has come back as lending rates are high due to lack of funds for borrowers. I am guessing the extra money added will mean more cash for borrowers and slightly reduced lending rates.

The money invested can go towards 1 year, 3 year and 5 year loans but not one month loans and the cashback will be paid within 28 days of the end of the offer, which means by the 14th August.

Are you a member of RateSetter? Will you be taking advantage of this offer? I have to say I have to decline as my funds are going other places right now.

Friday, 19 June 2015

Nisa Wine Offers for Father's Day Weekend

This weekend sees Father's Day celebrations take place on Fathering Sunday so I thought I would do a different post on my blog advertising some Nisa wine offers which are available in Northern Ireland and possibly in England too. My Dad loves his wine and he loves a bargain too as do I.

Nisa are fabulous at offering quality wines for less. Vina Maipo is available for £4.99 (normally costs  £11 at Nisa, so better than half price). You can choose between Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Trivento Reserve is also available for £5.99 as opposed to the normal recommended retail price of £9.49

If you live near a Nisa store and are buying for a Dad who does not like wine you can always treat him to some cheap alcohol.  A 10 can pack of Carling British cider is available for £7.99, meaning they cost under 80 pence per can. If cider is not his thing you can take advantage of the Nisa offer on ales which entitles you to buy three for £5. There are also deals on Jack Daniels.

These Nisa wine offers are available until 21st June so there are a few days left to pick up a bargain.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

FTSE 100 Stock Buy- 105 Legal and General Shares

I am pleased to report that I have just purchased another FTSE 100 dividend stock to add to my growing portfolio, which is now at three quality dividend stocks.

I bought 105 Legal and General shares today taking advantage of the cheap Halifax sharedealing commission charges. I paid £276 including trading fee and stamp duty. Fortunately for me Legal and General shares have taken a dip in price today meaning I could get slightly more of them than I had intended. The trading price was 257.60 pence which is down from the 263 pence I have been seeing recently. Of course the lower share price means the dividend yield looks more appealing. The Legal and General dividend yield is now close to 4% which is a far superior return to that given in any cash ISA or savings account right now. Predicted annual dividend with this size of a holding is £11.81.

My average cost per share is low at under 263 pence as I got a cheap commission charge. I will definately be trading during these offer periods again. My investment funds for dividend stocks is limited right now as I am on maternity leave but I think I will save at least £100 a month into my stocks and shares ISA so that I can maybe make a new purchase every 4 or 5 months. This also means I will have funds available if the opportunity to top up at a lower price comes along.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Halifax Share Dealing Cheap Commission Charge Tuesday 16th June

If you trade shares through Halifax and are planning on adding to your stock portfolio you may be pleased to know that Halifax share dealing have a cheap reduced commission charge on Tuesday 16th June for a limited time.

The Halifax share dealing reduced commission charge is £3.95 per trade and runs from 12 midday to 2pm. The offer also applies to international trades and you can buy/sell international shares for £3.95 from 8am to 9pm. You do still have to pay stamp duty.

I myself plan to avail of the offer and will be buying some Legal and General shares. The reduced commission charge can keep the average price of the stock down which is particularly useful to traders. I am aiming to buy around 100 Legal and General shares which will get me around £11 a year in dividends at the current dividend payout level.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

FTSE 100 Dividend Stock Watch List for June

I cannot believe it is almost the 12th of June already so I thought it was about time I updated my loyal readers with the FTSE 100 dividend stocks I am watching right now. I would be buying rather than watching but a lack of funds or rather the fact that my money is needed elsewhere is my problem but hopefully this will not be a permanent thing.

There are so many great FTSE 100 stocks or shares out there but there are a select few that I keep going back to and basically stalking their share price on a daily basis.

National Grid
Possibly my favourite FTSE 100 dividend stock right now.  I check the share price every day, not that it bothers me if it drops a little or rises a little but I just like to see how it is performing. Recently it took a little dip and I decided to top up my holding. I only have 96 of this stock but I am planning on adding more and more. It is such a solid company and I could not care less if the share price stayed at 860 pence forever more as long as the dividend yield stays the same. Each share gets you 42 pence per year so 1000 shares get you £420 a year. By the way if you have not been stalking the National Grid share price as closely as me you may have missed the fact that it dropped as low as 848 pence. I have no doubt that many shrewd dividend investors picked up a handful of shares as this incredibly low price. I will get a dividend payment in early August and this will entitle me to another National Grid share taking my total holding to 97. I know it is not fabulous but I am only starting out and this will grow.

Legal and General
The life, pensions and investments company was founded way back in 1836 and it continues to grow allbeit at a slow pace, however I do not care as slow and steady is definately the best way. The share price here was recently below 260 pence and I would have bought 100 shares except I spent my investing money on some National Grid instead. Oh well I cannot buy everything. Of course now the price is hovering around 265 pence which means 100 shares will cost me £5 more than what they would have done. I love buying low so I am checking every lunchtime to see if Legal and General's share price takes another little dip. Hopefully this will not happen until next week whenever my tenants pay their rent. I have already paid my rental mortgage this month so will be able to spend my rent money. I might just use the £265 plus trading fees to get my toes wet with this stock.

Royal Dutch Shell B
I have mentioned this oil company before and I am a massive fan of their huge dividend payments, however what I am not a massive fan of is the instability of this stock. The share price does seem to swing quite dramatically and when I read forums people are mentioning Greece being a negative influence. If I did shell out (pardon the pun) for this I would probably only be able to afford a miserly 20 shares so this has also stopped me from buying. The share price did dip below 1900 pence recently and I think it will do so again but I am not sure if I will take the bait and buy in or not. I am monitoring this company but am undecided whether to buy some shares or not.

These are the three main FTSE 100 dividend stocks I am watching like a hawk right now. It is most likely that Legal and General will enter my stock portfolio sooner rather than later. What stocks has everyone else got on their watch list this month?

Thursday, 4 June 2015

National Grid Share Price drops drastically 4th June after ex dividend date

I love my FTSE 100 dividend stocks including National Grid but was very shocked to see a share price of 868 pence this morning. Yesterday, 3rd June was National Grid's ex dividend so I fully expected a drop in the NG share price this morning. Myself and other holders of this stock predicted a 28 pence or thereabouts drop. This is the norm the day after a stock becomes ex dividend. The share price is expected to drop by 28 pence (the divi per share), however it dropped by 48 pence meaning that around 20 pence of the drop was accounted for by the market. I took a look at the FTSE 100 and was shocked to see that it too has taken a little bit of a battering this morning so this helps explain National Grid's fall away.

I am hopeful that the National Grid share price will climb in the next few weeks, perhaps to around 910 pence or thereabouts. I took the opportunity this morning to buy some more cheap shares in the stock. I bought 46 shares at 869 pence costing me £414. Unfortunately I was short of capital or I would have bought double this amount. However this helped me lower my average cost per share to 913 pence as opposed to 924 pence. I will watch the market over the next few months and look for more opportunities to add to my holding, however I do want to invest in a few other stocks too rather than put all my eggs in one basket.

My portfolio is now worth over £2000 so this is making me smile at least. Remember every cloud has a silver lining.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

My RateSetter Peer to Peer lending Monthly Summary for May 2015

I am very bad at keeping up to date with my RateSetter peer to peer lending account. I do try and login every other day to see what is happening and what money I have waiting to be matched. Speaking of which I was shocked to see an interest rate of 3.4% being matched the other day for a 1 month loan. The highest I have got so far is 3.1%. Logging to the site on a regular basis means that you can change your reinvestment settings and take advantage of these high rates whenever they are offered.

Back to my RateSetter monthly summary, where I now have £110 plus interest invested. Of course peer to peer lending sites are not covered by the FSCS so your money is at risk and this is one reason I do not have a few thousand invested. I try to filter money in slowly, this is money I will not miss. Quite often I put in money from a gambling win or money left in my account at the end of a month. I managed to earn 0.14 in interest in May.

Fourteen pence in interest is nothing substantial and obviously not enough for me to live off. It would not even pay for one of my favorite white chocolate moccas but everyone has to start somewhere. The good thing is that I can reinvest my interest even if it is only pence. I am hopeful that I can build my account and earn a few pounds monthly before the end of the year. The higher the interest rate I can get the better.

In summary I have £120.21 on loan and earned 14 pence net in interest during the month of May

Saturday, 30 May 2015

FTSE 100 Stock Sky Plc- A new stock dividend stock for me or not

Since I like FTSE 100 stocks I thought it was about time I started to focus on some new dividend stocks within the footsie 100, ones that I have never considered before. First up is Sky Plc, ticker SKY. Sky is part of the media sector, an area where I hold no stocks.

The current share price of FTSE 100 share price Sky is 1055 pence with a one year low of 839 pence and one year high of 1116 pence. The Sky share price seems to be responding to some good news surrounding the stock lately. It seems Sky has struck a deal for advertising space on Channel 5. Obviously more advertising space means more revenue, which is one of the reasons for the increasing share price.

Another thing I like to consider when purchasing a new stock is dividend payments. The Sky interim dividend payment is 12.30 pence. The final dividend payment has not yet been announced. Last year's total dividend payment per share was 32 pence at a dividend yield of 3.5%. I normally prefer FTSE stocks with a dividend of 4% or greater but I would not rule this particular stock out as I believe in it's growth and increasing, allbeit small, dividends each year.

Would I buy some Sky shares? Yes if the price is right. I am looking for bargains so this is another FTSE 100 stock for my watchlist. Perhaps I will set my buy in price around 1000 pence so it is unlikely I will buy anytime soon.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

I will be selling £1000 of Royal Mail shares just before ex dividend date

I love my Royal Mail shares and if you have followed my website you will be aware that I bought them when they were first released at 330 pence, what a bargain, considering they reached a high today of 520 pence. My husband and I are building a house and I have promised him a £30000 deposit. I am saving hard but will need to dip into my investments to reach the total of 30K.

My plan focuses on leaving £40000 in my cash ISA which is currently sitting at £46000 so this gives me £6000 of funds. I will have £18000 in savings by the end of the week giving me £24000 so only need another 6k. I am planning on using £1000 from the Royal Mail shares and £5000 from my Premium Bonds; this is breaking my heart because I love the chance of winning a prize. I will only have £75 left and it is unlikely I will win anything substantial with such a small holding but who knows. As they say it only takes £1 to win the big prize.  I am hopeful that my deposit will perhaps not be needed until the end of August so this buys me a bit more time to save some more cash, however I will be on maternity leave by then so my saving power is reduced.

With regards to the Royal Mail shares I would like to hold them forever but I am not so sure the share price can get much higher than say 550 pence. I am not alone in this viewpoint as fellow shareholders seem to agree. One guy in particular is saying he will offload just over 5000 of his holding because he will have made a considerable profit on them. I will be selling as little as possible to get the £1000 so obviously the higher the share price goes the better for me because then I can still get to keep a small holding. A small number of Royal Mail shares is better than none at all in my opinion.

The Royal Mail share price is likely to remain stable around 512 -520 pence until just before ex dividend date, which is at the beginning of July. This is unless some bad news appears before then. I am hoping for a further rise in share price at the end of June so that I can sell as little of my holding as possible. A share price of 530 pence would mean I would only have to sell 192 shares and get to hold onto 45. Obviously there is no guarantee this is the price the RMG shares would get to but I can dream, the higher the better.

I would not rule out investing in Royal Mail in the future provided the share price was below 470 or so pence. I will continue to follow the company and keep them on my watch list after offloading most of my stock.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Whitbread is my idea of a fabulous FTSE 100 Dividend stock

I spend my time reading the latest trading and investment news about FTSE 100 dividend stocks like Whitbread (WTB). This is a much more expensive FTSE 100 dividend stock than those I currently own.  I am actually addicted to visiting Costa Coffee and of course Whitbread owns Costa as well as Premier Travel, one of my favourite hotels to stay in when I visit Glasgow or Manchester. When I like a company I want to own part of it so it is only natural that I want to own some shares.  Not surprisingly I am sitting in my local Costa Coffee right now enjoying a Caramel Crisp bun. It is extremely busy, another reason why I want a piece of it.

The only downside is that the shares are extremely expensive. They are currently priced at around £52 per share, which means I would need around £540 to buy 10 of them counting trading costs. They actually reached a high of £54.75 per share last month. I have them on my FTSE dividend stocks watch list for now and should a dip in price occur I may splash out.

The latest Whitbread share news states that Credit Suisse has set a target price for the company at £62 per share. This is due to the fact that they expect Whitbread to achieve long term annual growth estimated at 13% over the next 5 years. A growing company means rising share prices and in lots of cases rising dividends.

The ex dividend date is actually this Thursday so if you want a share of some dividends you need to buy in now. To be honest I am not sure I will have the funds to purchase this time around.  For those that are interested the Whitbread dividend payment is 56.95 pence per share giving a total dividend of 82.15 pence per share. I can see that from studying the dividend charts that the dividend payment has been growing these past few years. This is another good sign of a company making profits.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Cheap UK Dividend Stock with decent yield is on my watchlist

I have trying to save money for a new house whilst also adding to my dividend holdings in my stocks and shares ISA. One cheap UK dividend stock with a decent yield has just been added to my watchlist. I have selected this particular stock because it is priced at less than 300 pence per share. This means I can get 100 of them reasonably cheaply. However this is not the only reason I have pinpointed this particular company.

The company I am talking about is Legal and General, stock ticker LGEN. This is a life insurance company with a current share price of 269 pence. The stock had a recent high price of 296 pence on the 24th March and a low of 209 pence last year, oh how I wish I had bought some then. The sp did drop today and I am going to watch it closely to see if it drops much more. I would love to buy some of these at under 250 pence.

This company seems fairly stable with small fluctuations in the share price. I would be buying in for the dividend income, which I would of course reinvest back into the company again. The dividend payment per share has been growing for the last few years and the latest recorded was 11.25 pence a share. The current dividend yield is around 4.5% although was as high as 6.2% four years ago.

Payday is next week and I always love treating myself to a new FTSE 100 stock after I get paid. The interim ex-dividend date is always in August and paid by the end of November. Buying this stock in May or June is probably best before the share price starts to rise coming up to ex-dividend date.

I will be holding £300 of my cash for this stock including fees. I will update everyone if and when I decide to buy in. I will be aiming for over 100 shares in this stock.

Friday, 15 May 2015

I won some money on Lucky Lines instant game this evening

I love a little bit of gambling, all within moderation of course. I do not want to be squandering any spare investment cash, money that could be used for stocks or premium bonds or even to take my Ratesetter account into three figures. I put £20 into my National Lottery account and debated whether to buy 10 Euromillions tickets or even some National Lottery tickets. I decided against both and played some instant wins instead.

I was playing Super 7s Multiplier but after two games I realised my luck was not in, well on this particular game anyhow. Not to mention the fact that it was costing me £3 a time to play. I moved onto another instant called 'Lucky Lines'. Previously I have won £100 on this game. This is a decent return as it costs £2 a game. In fact £100 is my biggest win on the National Lottery site, but not my biggest win on a gambling site (I may talk about this another time). I was hoping for some similar luck this evening and fortunately it came my way. On my second £2 game I managed to win £40. Obviously this is not big bucks but considering I only added £20 to the site I was up in money. I decided to withdraw £30, meaning that I had £10 profit. A tenner is a tenner after all, and I earned it while having fun!!

I kept playing Lucky Lines with my remaining £10 and got a few £2 and £4 wins before getting another £20 win. I decided to withdraw another £15, taking my total withdrawals to £45. I kept playing with my remaining balance and was unable to get another decent win. I am always hoping for the £50 000 prize, which is the top prize on this particular instant game. I mean someone has to win it. I may deposit this money into my Ratesetter peer to peer lending account.

Deposited £20, withdrew £45, PROFIT £25

Do you gamble? Do you use your winnings for investments?

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Best Dividend Paying Stock List

Many investors will be interested in the best dividend paying stock list. I am one of these because I prefer stocks that pay dividends or income as opposed to those that rely on capital growth. Personally I feel more comfortable with such investments because at least I get something back from my investment rather than having to be patient and wait for the company to grow. I can then decide whether I want to invest my dividends back into the stock or withdraw them to my bank account.

Since I am based in the UK I will be looking for the best dividend paying stock list within the FTSE 100 market. I will be hoping to acquire a few of these stocks myself in the not too near future. I have used various websites for my research and below you can find my results.

The best dividend paying stock list starts with Morrison supermarkets at number one. This company is set to pay as much as 13.65 pence per share. The yield for Morrison supermarkets is 7.54% right now. This does sound extremely appealing but I am sure investors will be cautious after what happened at Tesco. I previously discussed the dividends at Tesco and how they were heading in the wrong direction. Could the same thing happen with Morrisons?

There are a number of best paying dividend stocks with yields of between 5 and 6%. This is much higher than any bank account or cash ISA right now and this is what makes them favourable. I want my money to go further and help me increase my net worth. Investing it in a Cash ISA with 1.5% interest is not the best option right now. Royal Dutch Shell pays 121.77 pence per dividend giving it a yield of 5.88%. This particular oil stock is more competitively priced than it was 8 months ago due to the fall in oil prices. Oil prices are not starting to rise and so are share prices of these companies. I would love to buy some of these but the only thing stopping me is the huge price per share of just under £21. I only have small amounts to invest right now but I guess I could afford 25- 30 of these. BP is another option for me. It too has a decent dividend yield of 5.77% and is priced at under £5 per share.

Other companies near the top of the best dividend paying stock list include GlaxoSmithKline, a company I am very interested in, as well as HSBC Holdings and Scottish and Southern Energy. These three stocks also have yields above 5%.

There are numerous other sticks with top yields of over 4% but I felt that my cutoff should be 5%. In saying that Royal Mail have a yield of just over 4% and National Grid have a yield of 4.66% and I have invested in these two companies.

The stocks I have mentioned here appear to be the best paying dividend stocks in the UK right now. Of course this can change at any time but it is the here and now I am interested in.

Were you lucky enough to buy one of the best paying dividend stocks in 2014? The only stock I held last year was Royal Mail and I am pleased with the dividends and growth from the initial IPO price. I have only bought one new stock this year so far, National Grid but I hope to add to my portfolio sometime soon.

Friday, 8 May 2015

My net worth is now 6 figures!!

I only started writing about my net worth last month and I feel I need to update how I have increased my net worth in the past month. My April net worth was around £99100, so close to six figures!! Remember increasing my net worth is the perfect way for me to retire from my 9-5 job earlier than the UK retirement age. So how is my May net worth looking?

My buy to let property still has around £31000 equity on it. Not much change from last month as my mortgage payments are so low. I now owe just over £44 000 on my mortgage which is covered by my tenants rent payment. I have debated overpaying my mortgage recently but my interest is so low at 2.89% I have held fire for now.

My premium bonds are now worth £5075 as I won another prize this month. I just love reinvesting these prizes in the hope that I win get a big win sometime soon.

No change to my cash ISA of £46 100 as I continue to save hard for a new build deposit so I have limited funds to save.

My stocks and shares ISA is now worth £1587, an increase of £587 from last month. This is partially due to my acquiring some National Grid shares and the fact that the Royal Mail shares have soared in price. I hope to acquire some more stocks soon and take my stocks and shares ISA to over £2000.

My high interest savings account (going towards a new build home) is worth £16600 so I have managed to save £600 this month as well as buying more shares. I am very pleased with this as I had some unplanned expenses recently.

My net worth is now £100362!! This is an increase of over £1200 since last month. I have achieved a new record with regards to my net worth!! I am so pleased. Has your net worth increased much in this past month?

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Premium Bonds Winnings May 2015

I love my Premium Bonds especially whenever I win a prize. I have been relatively lucky recently and have managed to win three times this year and we are only in May.

I managed to win another £25 this month bringing my total winnings for 2015 to £75. This is a better return than I am getting on any of my savings accounts or ISAs as the winnings are tax free.

I have reinvested this prize money so now my total holding is £5075. I might have to withdraw some of my funds to go towards my new house but I want to keep them for as long as possible. Who knows when I may get a big win. I always check out the Premium Bonds big money prize winners to see who is in the money and how much of a holding they have. I am hopeful as I see someone with a £5000 holding won £100 000 and someone with a £6000 holding won £50000 this month. If you are not in you cannot win!

Did you get lucky with your Premium Bonds this month? What is your biggest ever win? Mine is still £25.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

How many GlaxoSmithKline shares would I need to own to retire by age 45

I am interested in investing in a major pharmaceutical company like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and living off the quarterly dividend income. I am not alone as the majority of stock traders are investing in high yield dividend stocks to enable them to retire early and live off the yearly dividend payments. They set themselves targets each year and hope to surpass them. They invest any spare cash they have into such stocks and reap the rewards of the dividends. My question is how many shares in GSK would I need to own to generate enough dividend income to be able to retire by age 45?

Firstly I need to consider how much money I would need on a yearly basis to be able to leave the daily grind of 9-5. I have come off with the figure of £18000 after tax. This would give me £1500 monthly, which means this is the amount of dividend money I need to get each month. I plan to hold the GSK shares in a stocks and shares ISA which means that I will not have to pay tax on any dividends received.

Basically I need to find out how many GlaxoSmithKline shares I would need to get £18000 a year in dividends. Looking at the GSK dividend history from 2014 I can see that the company paid shareholders 80 pence per share. Of course I have to assume that the dividend payments will stay stable at 80 pence per share, or even better increase each year. Doing a quick calculation I can see that I would need to hold 22500 GlaxoSmithKline shares. Now for the scary fact, the price these would cost. Yep a rough calculation at the current share price tells me these would cost me a staggering £339 975.

Of course I want to reach this holding by the time I am 45, which gives me 12 years. Even then 339 975 divided by 12 means I would need to invest £28331 per year. I have to be honest and say that it is not possible for me to invest anywhere near this amount. I could possibly invest 10% or maybe 20% of this amount.

So what now? Do I give up or rethink my strategy? Well I will never give up. I guess I will try and invest as much as I can each year and reinvest all my dividends into more shares. This will help me reach my target of 22500 shares sooner rather than later. Dividend growth starts to happen quickly when your dividend payments rise. The company could also grow and increase their dividend payment so this would help me too. Who knows what the future may bring.

However it is unlikely I would risk all my money in one company, no matter how secure they appear in today’s market. I wish I could afford so many GSK shares though. Have you set yourself an annual dividend target which would generate enough income for you to retire early?

Sunday, 3 May 2015

FTSE 100 Stock Purchase- I bought some National Grid shares on 28th April

I previously discussed National Grid and I am very pleased to say that I have treated myself to some of the FTSE 100 dividend stock. I had planned to splash out when payday arrived and after some initial difficulties funding my stocks and shares ISA I was successful. I always get really excited whenever I buy a new stock because I know I am investing for my future, a future which I hope will enable me to retire early. I mean are we all not buying dividend stocks to retire early?

I bought 50 shares in National Grid at a share price of 895 pence each. The total cost counting trading charge and stamp duty was £462.36. These 50 shares should earn me a yearly dividend payment of over £20 going by last year’s dividend; the dividends have not been announced for 2015 as yet. I will monitor this particular stock and will possibly add to my holding in the next year if I can afford to do so. I will also invest all my dividends.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Tesco Dividend Payments

Someone actually asked me about Tesco dividend payments the other day, possibly because I did a post about the decreasing Tesco share price. I had also mentioned that I thought this may have a detrimental effect on Tesco dividend payments. Now that someone has asked the question I need to do some research and find the answer. I guess the best thing for me to do is consider the history of these dividend payments over the past 5 years or so. Of course this does not necessarily predict the future payments but it might help you decide if you want to invest in this particular supermarket stock.

I checked the Tesco dividend history and have added up the prelim and interim payments since 2011. The yield was between 3 and 4.6% until 2015 which looks to be poor. You can see the results below.

Year Dividend per share (p) Dividend payment if you hold 1000 shares (£)/th>
2015 1.16 (prelim still needs to be added later in the year) 11.60
2014 14.76 1476.0
2013 14.76 147.60
2012 14.76 147.60
2011 14.46 144.60

Tesco has not experienced any dividend growth in the last few years but unfortunately the first signs for this year look as if they will be seeing a massive drop in dividend payments. I like high paying dividend stocks with a decent yield so I will not be investing in Tesco right now


Sunday, 26 April 2015

10 FTSE Market Stocks with an ex dividend date 1st May – 7th May

I want to get into the way publishing this type of post because it helps my regular readers keep up to date with UK stocks that have an ex dividend date approaching. It also helps educate me about potential new stock buys as well as highlighting their dividend potential. Previously I discussed the ex dividend date of FTSE 100 stocks for April and afterwards I felt this post was very long winded, not to mention the fact that I did not get around to consider lots of potential high dividend yield stocks. I think focusing on one week will benefit both myself and my readers.

There are 10 FTSE market stocks with an ex dividend date of 7th May. Some of these are FTSE 100 companies while others are FTSE 250 companies. The more I look at these stocks the more I wish I had more spare money to invest in them. I will consider each in turn.

Acadia mining (ACA) is first up. It is a FTSE 250 company with a share price of 292 pence as we speak. It is set to pay 2.9 cents per share and the payment date is the 29th May 2015 so you do not have to wait too long to receive your dividend payment. I have read some of the broker views for this one and the consensus is that it is undervalued. The share hit a high of over 300 pence in January and I expect it to climb as it approaches it’s ex dividend date. I am not overly fussed on mining stocks especially one with a low dividend payment.

Admiral Group (ADM) is one of the top 100 companies in the United Kingdom and is currently priced at 1581 pence. While the dividend payment for this company is excellent, 49 pence per share, the company has recently reported a fall in profits for the first time in 10 years. This sort of news discourages me from investing in this particular company.

Barr A.G. (BAG) is a FTSE 250 company in the beverages industry and has a share price of 629 pence currently. It’s dividend payment is 9 pence a share and payday is the 5th June 2015.

Derwent London (DLN), another member of the FTSE 250 is trading at 3485 pence and has a relatively low dividend yield, only paying 28 pence for each share you hold.

G4S (GFS) is a support services company trading at just over 300 pence per share. This FTSE 250 company is paying out 5.82 pence per share in dividends on the 12th June. This has a higher yield than some of the other stocks listed here.

Henderson Group is in the financial services sector and seems to be an understated stock from what I can make out. It is trading at just under 287 pence and is set to pay a dividend of 6.4 pence per share making it a relatively high yield stock. If I bought 100 of these shares for £300 counting trading fee I would earn £6.40.

Morgan Advanced Materials is trading at 347 pence and has a dividend payment of 7 pence per share. The SP has risen from around 300 pence in December and I wish I had seen this one then.

Morrison Supermarkets has an excellent dividend yield paying out 9.62 pence per share whilst trading at under 200 pence. I could buy 100 of these counting trading fee for £206 and take advantage of £9.62 in dividends. I guess the bad news surrounding Tesco has made me nervous about investing in supermarket chains. My verdict on this one is more research is required.

Playtech is set to pay 17.5 cents as a dividend payment. This particular stock is trading at its one year high of 840 pence. The company is set to buy into an online binary and CFD broker which would potentially increase the SP and even dividend in the future.

The 10th stock with an ex dividend date of the 7th May is Rightmove. This particular stock has a dividend payment of 22 pence per share but it is rather expensive to buy in the first place; it is currently trading at over 3100 pence.

Out of these 10 stocks with approaching ex dividend dates I will be researching Morrisons more closely as I feel it is the most affordable company for me right now as well as having a decent dividend yield.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Starbucks expanding into food and alcohol in the UK market can only mean one thing for their share price- onwards and upwards

I am interested in food and beverage stocks especially coffee chains, like Starbucks. I am planning to invest in a coffee shop chain and probably will opt for Costa, which is part of the Whitbread company, however Starbucks is enticing me after reading their latest news. Yes the coffee giant are now offering food and alcohol. Starbucks seems to do most of their trade in airports here in the UK. I say this because I have seen Starbucks coffee shops close in my home town due to poor trade. It seems to do poorly compared to it's competitors in other cities and towns nearby BUT it does fabulous in airports partly because it is the only big brand coffee shop there. In saying that I am sure the lease for airport trading is incredibly expensive.

Starbucks has opened an alcohol and food franchise in Edinburgh airport. Airports are notoriously busy and people are known for enjoying a drink before they head off on their holidays. I for one would enjoy a nice glass of rose or prosecco, while my better half could have one of their fancy flavoured lattes. If we are feeling peckish we can take advantage of the prawn and chorizo skewers. We can then enjoy a delicious bun for dessert. I think the new revamped Starbucks will take off in a big way. If it proves to be successful in Edinburgh airport I can see it expanding their hot food and alcohol services to other UK airports and maybe some city franchises. I could see it doing well in a student area.

If you want to invest in Starbucks shares this year to take advantage of dividends, bad news as the ex dividend date was in February. However if you feel the same way as me and believe that the new menu will help the company grow and gain more profits you may be happy to purchase some shares and take advantage of future dividends.

Tesco is a company heading in the wrong direction

I often thought about investing in supermarket stocks and one of these was Tesco. For some reason I disliked this particular stock much more than say Sainsburys or Waitrose. I guess it is to do with my grocery shopping preference and the fact that I love collecting my Nectar points at Sainsburys.

After reading the latest Tesco news and seeing their reported 6.4 billion pounds in losses I am glad I stuck to my gut instinct on this one. Sometimes it is funny how you get a bad feeling about a company and at the time you cannot see why but it becomes apparent a year or two down the line. From what I have read and been told these past few weeks it is all doom and gloom for Tesco and as a result I can only see their share price going one way and that is down. I like companies with some form of growth and the fact that their stores. If company profits are at record lows dividends are likely to fall too and therefore this would not be a company I would want to invest my hard earned cash in.

I guess some people may hope that Tesco can turn it around and will be hoping to pick up a bargain as their share price drops. Right now the live Tesco share price is 224 pence (this is of 13.30 24th April). It was as low as 155 pence back in December and over 300 pence in May of last year. I cannot see it getting close to 300 pence again for some time. Decreasing profits and shop closures is very bad news for this company.

How can Tesco turn it around? I guess they can hope the price of their individual premises rises and their sales soar but hope gets you nowhere, action is needed. They need to concentrate on promoting their profitable stores and getting rid of their poorly performing stores. Some research needs to be done to find out why some stores perform well and others perform poorly, for example are the poor performers in areas with other high competition stores like Lidl or perhaps they have a unfavourable location away from major residential areas. I do wish Tesco all the best but for now I will stay clear of this supermarket stock.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Ratesetter Monthly Lending Rate at an all time high of over 3%

This is a short update with the latest Ratesetter peer to peer lending news. I am shocked and pleased to report that a monthly loan has been matched at 3.1%. Previously the highest rate I seen was 3.0% recently and before that the rate never seemed to get above 2.9%. In fact I say it averaged around 2.7%.

Obviously a rise in interest rates is brilliant for lenders like myself. When I noticed the 3.0% figure yesterday for monthly lending I deposited some cash into my RateSetter account. Unfortunately due to more unexpected expenses this month I only made a small deposit. The money just cleared this morning and I have set my limit at 2.9% so I can get it lent out quickly. Earning 2.9% on my money for a month is better than most 1 year returns available at this moment in time. It equates to 2.32% for a basic rate taxpayer which is a reasonable return for only fixing your money for a month. Of course with this site your capital is at risk so I never invest large amounts monthly, just a little that I will not miss. To be honest the money I invest monthly would pay for one night's cocktails in my favourite bar and since I am pregnant I am saving this money anyhow.

I am guessing the rates are rising as it is approaching near payday and people are short of cash and looking for a little to tide them over until next week. Increased demand combined with decreased supply is every investors dream.

If you want to know more about RateSetter you can check out my review here

Monday, 20 April 2015

National Grid – potential FTSE 100 Dividend Stock for my portfolio

I really want to invest in some more dividend stocks and I feel like I should be selecting several stocks from the FTSE 100; they are the biggest companies in the UK after all. Selecting a variety rather than several from the same industry sector seems to be the way to go. I am particularly interested in banking and supermarket stocks but one other stock that has always been in my head is National Grid.

National Grid is in the gas, water and multiutilities sector. It concentrates on providing an essential service and therefore it currently is a useful stock to have in my portfolio. This stock is currently trading at under £9 a share. It is twice as expensive as my Royal Mail shares BUT it pays more than twice the dividend so it is something I am definitely interested in. I will of course reinvest all my dividend income and since the stock will be in my tax free stocks and shares ISA I will be exempt from paying tax on any gains so it is a win win situation.

Before I dive in and make an investment I want to research the dividend history of National Grid. If I do invest it is likely to be a small investment to get me started and ensure that I am inline for the next round of dividends which I believe are due to be paid during the summer months. I get paid in just under a fortnight and I would invest around this date. I am thinking my investment is likely to be around £400 which would get me 43 shares minus trading costs. I did some overtime at work so I might be able to stretch this to £500 but I shall have to wait and see what my payslip says.

The 2014/2015 preliminary results are released on the 21st of May and I believe this will dictate the dividends for this year. The ex dividend date is on the 4th June so I would need to buy this stock before then if I want to get the dividend payment in August. The dividend payments have been rising these past few years. In 2010 the total dividend was 38.49p per share, whilst it was 42.03p per share in 2014. This is a small rise in payments but a rise is better than a loss. However the dividend yield used to be over 6.7% and is now just over 5%. This is a higher rate than any bank account will offer.

My opinion on the future of National Grid and possible obstacles to its growth.

NG seems to be relatively stable right now. Of course any power outages or disruptions to the network could temporarily result in a fall in capital growth. The thing that concerns me is renewable energy sources such as those provided by solar and wind energy. I think these may take over and might reduce electricity usage in the future. If this happened I think it would impact negatively on the share price of National Grid and stop the company growing. However I do not think this will happen in the next few years as alternative energy sources have expensive start-up costs.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

My Daily Mortgage Interest on my rental property is at an all time low

I have one rental property which I lease out to a couple. I currently have a repayment mortgage as opposed to an interest only mortgage. I know some people with property investments like to collect a large rent payment each month and only pay the interest on their mortgage. Personally I hate having debt so I opted for a repayment mortgage. Fortunately my rent payment covers my mortgage payment, management fee, rates bill, gas certificate and other expenses. I still have a few hundred pounds left over each year too. Normally I use this money for repairs and the upkeep of the property.

I have a 2 year fixed mortgage with Halifax and my mortgage daily interest is dropping every month as the amount owed on the mortgage decreases. This makes me smile. I checked my mortgage account and was able to calculate the daily mortgage interest. Right now my daily interest is £3.42. This comes in at £106 monthly. My interest rate is low at 2.89%, which is reasonable for a buy to let mortgage. I can still remember the days of having a mortgage with 6% interest and paying as much as £9 daily towards mortgage interest.

I used to overpay my mortgage quite regularly but now I am concentrating on saving for a deposit for a new property for my husband and I. I am very happy to let my tenants pay my mortgage for now


Monday, 13 April 2015

Why a rise in the bank of England base rate would be good for peer lenders like me

The Bank of England base rate has been frozen at 0.5% since March 2009 and is likely to rise by the end of 2016. Experts have predicted that it may go to 1.5 or 2.5%. This is not good news for those with large mortgages or those with other debt; take heed and start overpaying your mortgage now. However a rise in the bank of England base rate would be good for peer to peer lenders like myself and it is easy to see how.

Peer to peer lending sites like Zopa and RateSetter will benefit investors if the Bank of England base rate increases. These sites do so well because they give borrowers the opportunity to borrow money from investors, i.e. lenders like you and I who offer them money at a lower interest rate than they would get from the bank. They can get money for a car loan from us from Zopa, RateSetter or other peer lending sites for three years charged at around 4% interest, provided they have good credit. A car garage can charge over 6% for the same loan, perhaps even more.

Lenders will be the winners and borrowers the losers with increased Bank of England base rates. Here is my theory how and it all comes down to supply and demand:- There will be a decreased supply of cash available for borrowers- lenders may not have as much spare cash to lend due to their own increased expenses from mortgages. There will be an increased demand for cash as car loans and other personal loans will cost more through banks than they do currently.

Decreased supply of cash, increased demand for cash = higher interest rates

Basically more people wanting money and less money available means higher interest rates for borrowers and this is fabulous news for investors. Those 3 year Zopa loans could bring in 6% or more for lenders as opposed to 4%. It is also important to remember that higher interest rates may also result in more people defaulting loan payments but that is another post altogether.

Will an increase in the bank of England base rate encourage people to play it safe with savings accounts or try and take advantage of higher interest rates with the likes of Zopa and Ratesetter? Personally I will do a little bit of both but I predict that many people will be pleased to get a few percent interest on their savings accounts again and fail to take opportunity of the better gains to be made from peer lending sites.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

UK ex dividend dates for FTSE 100 Market stocks in April- Will I buy or not?

The UK stocks and shares ISA can be topped up again with the maximum holding and therefore I am looking for dividend stocks to boost my portfolio. I have decided to invest in stocks that are due to pay dividends sooner rather than later so I researched those with ex dividend dates in April. It can be hard to track down such stocks without visiting each individual company’s accounts but I am fortunate to have a list of my own which can be seen below.

I like to focus on respectable companies with a history of paying dividends so I focus on the FTSE 100 market stocks. I will consider each stock in turn mentioning the ex dividend date as well as the current share price and expected dividend per share. This is beneficial for me because it lets me home in on stocks that I might like to invest in.

Aviva, stock ticker AV is a life insurance stock with an ex dividend date of 8th April so you need to buy tomorrow if you want to take a share of the dividends. This particular stock is currently priced at 561 pence which represents a rise of 8 pence on the day’s trading. Back in January it was priced at under 475 pence so I guess then would have been the perfect time to buy into this stock. As it stands the ex dividend date is far too close and I will not be buying any Aviva shares. I do anticipate a slight rise in SP tomorrow again to reflect the fact that this is the last day to buy in to get dividends. For those that do wish to buy you can enjoy 12.25 pence dividend for each stock you hold

Friends Life Group, FLG, is another life insurance stock which might end up being taken over by Aviva if rumours are to be believed. This stock has also risen in price recently and is currently trading at 430 pence. January was a good time to buy in when shares were trading at 351 pence. This stock has an ex dividend date of 9th April and pays 24.10 pence per share. Here again I feel it is too close to ex dividend date to invest as the share price has already risen.

BAE Systems, BA is in the aerospace and defense industry. It is currently priced at 528.50 pence and has an ex dividend date of 16th April so you still have another week to purchase this particular stock to receive a dividend of 12.30 pence per share. This stock reached a 1 year high recently on the 20th March and I expect it to reach this share price again approaching it’s ex dividend date. I have absolutely no experience with the aerospace industry and this is what puts me off buying this particular stock. I do think I should do some reading around this particular company and see if I can convince myself to invest. I could start off with a small investment initially I guess. You know what they something is better than nothing.

If you are planning on investing a few thousand into a share with an upcoming ex dividend date this April you might want to consider the company, Reckitt Benckiser, RB which has a share price of 5960 pence and an ex dividend date of 16th April. Do not let the price put you off as this particular stock pays a hefty 79 pence per share. You would definitely need to purchase a sizeable number of shares to make your investment worthwhile. Ten shares would cost you almost £600 (in fact over it counting trading fees) and pay you a dividend of £7.90.

If media shares are your thing you may want an investment in TV channel ITV which is also part of the FTSE 100. It is more affordable at a share price of 257 pence, than some of the other stocks I have considered here. With an ex dividend date at the end of the month you have plenty of time to think about this. The dividends are reasonable at 9.55 pence per share. Compared to RB you could buy 233 of these shares for £600 and receive a dividend of £22.50 which is a better yield and might appeal to those with smaller amounts of cash to invest. This is definitely a possibility for me. I could reinvest the dividend and receive 8 or so shares in return. I will have to explore this company further.

Remember the ex dividend date is the last day to buy a share in one of these stocks to gain a dividend. The share price of these stocks rises around this date so I would suggest buying a few weeks in advance so that you can a better price. Market timing is extremely important and can strongly influence your profits or lack of them. If you are only planning on holding the stock for a short period of time then it may not be worth your while to purchase so close to the ex dividend date. Why pay a higher share price if you are only planning on short term trading? Buying close to the ex dividend date is perfect for those that wish to hold a stock for a long period of time and for those that are planning on reinvesting all their dividends. I have already started this process with Royal Mail Group and will continue with it when I receive my next round of dividends in July.

Will I buy some of these stocks mentioned? Well that depends on a few different things mainly my other expenses this month. Firstly I should mention that I am due to go off on maternity leave in three months and therefore I will have less spare cash (and time) to invest so I need to be sensible with the investments I am making now. Secondly my husband and I are planning on buying a beautiful new home and I have promised him a sizeable deposit from my cash ISA (I hate spending money that I have saved hard for but the new home will be worth it and at least we are increasing our assets, not to mention renting out the home we are currently living in- it all makes for a better retirement). Finally I have a flashing red alarm on my car, and of course my warranty has just expired meaning I will have to cough up for any expenses. However I had saved £950 for an investment in stocks which I never got around to spending so I may save some of this for my upcoming expenses and perhaps put the rest into one of the stocks above.

I will keep you all informed as to what company I have decided to invest in. If you have smaller amounts of cash to invest and cannot take advantage of buying stocks I will be back with a post on how to use a stock’s ex dividend date to make money.

Monday, 6 April 2015

It's ISA top up day

Yes the new tax year is upon us and the 6th April is the first day that you can top up your cash and stocks ISA. Remember the allowance is £15240 this year. I need my cash this financial year so I am not so sure whether I should top up my ISA temporarily and then withdraw the funds at a later stage.

It is also a good time to go searching for a better rate ISA especially if like mine your one year deal has ended. I am now only getting 0.25% interest which is pitiful. I do not want to fix my money as I may need it for my new house so I need a direct access ISA where there is no loss in interest for withdrawing money. Currently I am with Halifax and the rate there is 1.05% which is not as good as the 1.5% offered by Santander. However this rate is only available to 123 current account holders which I happen to be. I will be visiting my local Santander branch tomorrow and putting on an appointment to transfer my cash ISA to them.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Premium Bonds Have I won in April 2015

Premium Bonds have I won this month is the question I always ask on the third working day of every month. I only have a small holding, £5050 but still manage to win the odd £25 prize. Of course like most Premium Bonds holders I am waiting on the biggie, the coveted one million pound prize, which like all the other prizes is tax free. This prize would give me instant retirement and it is for this reason I never ever part with my NS&I Premium Bonds. I could invest the cash elsewhere but where would the fun be in that.

I logged onto my Have I won Android app this morning to find out that unfortunately I was not in the money. Yep this month I won nothing but there is always next month and the month after. The next winners will be announced in 33 days, which happens to be the 6th of May. Of course the big winners will be announced on 1st May and I always check to see if there are any from my region. What I particularly like to see is if any of these have a small investment. I notice one of the one million pound prize winners this month has under £13000 invested which proves that you do not need to have the maximum holding to win big. This gives me hope.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

How to invest £10 a month and make money

If you have minimal spare cash but want to grow your money you can still get in on the act with as little as a £10 investment per month. Sure £10 a month will not make you as rich as someone who invests £1000 a month but it is better than nothing and will motivate you to make savings on your daily expenditure to free up more cash for investments.

So how can you invest £10 a month and make something? There are several options, one of which I have just found recently myself.

The investment with the least risk is of course a savings account. You can put as little as £1 in a month and make some money. However the interest rates on current savings accounts are dire so I prefer something with a little risk and a higher rate of return. You would be looking at interest rates of no higher than 1.5%, not to mention the fact some accounts like Santander 123 current account require you to have £1000 to earn 1% per annum as well as a minimal monthly deposit of £500.

I prefer peer to peer lending sites like RateSetter which give me the option of lending £10 a month. The interest rate varies but I have seen it as high as 2.9%. I guess it depends on supply and demand. If there is a shortage of funds available then the interest rate will be higher. I will demonstrate with some figures in the table below which initially may make it seem as if it is not worth your while but I will show you how it all adds up. For the below calculations I am assuming the monthly interest rate to be 2.9% per annum.

Month Total Investment (£) Interest Gained Monthly (pence)
1 10 2.4
2 20 4.8
3 30 7.2
4 40 9.6
5 50 12
12 120 28.8
100 1000 240
240 2400 576

At the end of the first month the initial £10 is invested with the next monthly deposit of £10 making a total investment of £20 and so forth. Obviously the returns are very low but after 20 years you can expect to gain £5.76 a month in interest just by reinvesting all your money from month 1. It is important to note that you would get greater gains if you also reinvested your money interest. £10 a month will not be missed but after 20 years you will have £2400 in your account plus interest. Imagine if you were able to invest £20 a month or even £100 a month, the gains would be greater. Find out more about this site in my RateSetter review post.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

My Zopa Loan Book as of 31st March 2015

Right now I am focusing on investments involving peer to peer lending and so I think it is appropriate that I share with you my Zopa loan book at this current moment in time. I recently lent out £40 to 4 different borrowers and was able to access the details this morning. I also have 2 other loans outstanding meaning that I have a total of 6 borrowers right now. All payments have been met on time so far with these 6 loans.

Loan Date Interest Rate (%) Interest Gained so far (£)
31/07/2013 4.4 0.60
24/02/2015 6.39 0.05
27/03/2015 4.33 0
27/03/2015 2.97 0
28/03/2015 3.79 0
28/03/2015 8.11 0

As you can see from the table my Zopa interest rates do vary quite a bit. This is because I have a mixture of loan terms as well as borrowers with different risk profiles. The shorter term loans (up to 3 years) generally get me a lower rate of return compared to the 5 year loans. I also have some borrowers classed as market C hence the higher interest rate of 8.11%. I think it is good to have a mix of borrowers so that you spread your risk whilst enabling the chance of higher interest earned. I will hopefully update my Zopa loan book and interest payments monthly.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Cash ISA Allowance 2015

The Cash ISA Allowance 2015 may be of interest to those who like to save or as I like to call it invest their money into the only tax free savings account available in the United Kingdom. While the best ISAs do not offer great interest rates it is still beneficial to put your money in an account that does not require you to pay tax on your income (interest). There is always a chance in the future that the Bank of England base rate will rise and you will be able to earn higher rates of interest on the savings you have built up over the years. It is for this reason that I try to maximise my ISA savings each year.

Consider this, saving £15000 a year for 10 years gets you £150 000 before interest. If the base rate increased by 3% and you were able to get 4% on an ISA you would get £6000 return on that £150 000 savings. A fixed ISA could potentially give you more if you were prepared to not touch your money. £6000 is £500 monthly and it is all tax free. It would certainly make a nice pension pot.

The Cash ISA Allowance for 2015 is higher than that for 2014. It has now increased to £15240. Of course this can also be put in stocks as opposed to solely in savings. Currently you can get a much higher rate of return on stocks versus savings accounts but it is higher risk. If you do not like taking risks you may prefer to put your money into a Cash ISA. Some people split the risk and spread their money between the two types of ISA. I need my cash this year for a property investment so I am unlikely to be able to contribute much to my Cash ISA or Stocks and Shares ISA but I would like to put some more money into my dividend stock Royal Mail.

Will you use the full cash ISA allowance in 2015? If you plan to save the money evenly over a 12 month period you will need to put £1270 away each month. This is a large amount of cash but even saving £5000 a year into an ISA is beneficial. You can start adding to your new ISA from the 6th April 2015 when the new tax year starts.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

How long does it take to get your money lent out on Zopa- far too long in my opinion

I love peer to peer lending sites because they offer higher interest rates than current savings accounts and ISAs here in the UK. I have already talked about RateSetter recently and my experience with it. Zopa is a similar site and one I have more experience with. One thing that really frustrates me about this site is the length of time it takes to invest new funds. By new funds I mean money which has been deposited via your bank account or debit card.

I deposited a small amount of cash, £40 to be exact on the 17th March. The money was available in my Zopa account instantly, far quicker than it would be in my RateSetter account. I checked the current rate of lending for the loans up to 3 years and seen that there was an average of over 230k being lent per day with 1.3m queued for lending. Based on this I calculated that my money would be lent out within 6 days. Well here I am 9 days later and my money is still not lent out.

Is it such a big problem that the money is not assigned to a borrower for such a long period of time? In my opinion yes it is. Basically it is dead money earning no interest and for someone who likes to invest this is not good news. The quicker the money is lent out the better. I am hoping that I will have my money assigned to a loan by tomorrow and that will be day 10. I have checked my progress in the lending queue and I am at 83%. I was at 64% last night so I have moved 19% in a day so I am hoping for the same movement tomorrow. Of course it is important to note that money that comes from loan repayments goes straight to the front of the loan queue as far as I am aware so if lots of lenders have their repayments being recycled I may have to wait longer.

This bothers me because the site is growing all the time and more people are investing which means more repayments being recycled meaning in the future it could take even longer to lend new money. I am not sure how this problem could be solved.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

RateSetter Review

If you like to invest in peer to peer lending you may be interested in this RateSetter review which I am constructing based on my own personal experience of using this particular P2P site.

Ratesetter is a relatively new site in the field of peer to peer lending and follows sites like Zopa (UK) and Lending Club and Prosper in the USA. It is a relatively new way people like to invest their money as opposed to in the stock market. However there are some major differences. I will outline what I like about the site and what I dislike about it. Obviously there are pros and cons with everything.

What I like about RateSetter

I can list several great things in this RateSetter review about this P2P. Firstly I like the fact that you can deposit as little as £10 to get your lending experience started. I think it is a good idea to start with small amounts to give you the opportunity to see how the site works. Personally I find it extremely addictive and as soon as I get £10 lent out to borrowers I want to deposit more and start the lending process all over again.

Secondly I like the fact you can lend your money out for as short a time as a month. This is also a great way to experiment with lending and see returns on your money very quickly. However it is important to note that your returns will obviously be less if you lend your money for a shorter period of time. Initially I only lent my money to borrowers for a month. I liked getting my money back quickly. This may appeal to people who do not want to tie up their money for a long period of time.

It is an added advantage that you can see the average interest rate you will get for each loan term. I always aim towards the lower end of the interest rate so that I get my money lent out much quicker. I find the interest rates offered to lenders to be higher than those offered by Zopa.

What I dislike about RateSetter This RateSetter review also takes into account disadvantages of the site. It is important to note that this is my opinion and not necessarily the opinion of others.

I do not like the fact that your capital is at risk. Basically this means that your money is not covered by the financial services compensation scheme. I have to be honest if my money was covered I would be investing much larger sums of money. Instead I only drip feed money into my RateSetter and Zopa account. I will not invest more than £100 a month into these types of sites as I prefer to stick to safer investments for now. Do you feel this is a valid point in this RateSetter review?

I will update this RateSetter review as my experience with the site broadens and I see how easy it is to reinvest funds in the future.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Royal Mail Share Price Close March 23rd

If you are like me and have a holding in Royal Mail or are planning to invest you may be curious as to what the Royal Mail share price finished up for the day.

I can confirm that the Royal Mail share price at close of business on 23rd March was 449.30. This was a gain of 2.90 pence on the day. You know what they say slow and steady wins the race. RMG did get to 451.20 at it's peak today. Although it did reach a low of 440 pence so it may make this favourable for some people to do some swing trading. In order to make good profits from this you would need a fairly hefty investment to make up for the buy and sell fee charges. You can see the intraday chart in the picture here. I took this from yahoo finance where I spend lots of time on


RMG lowest share price happened at 08.36 this morning shortly after trading had opened. The peak SP was reached less than an hour later just before 09.30 so the time of the day you buy in can be crucial. This was a difference of almost 10 pence in less than an hour.

I do predict that the share price will stay around this level and probably drop no further any time soon. I think we could see some more small rises and perhaps the days of 420 pence and below are long gone. I had hoped to increase my holding in this particular stock but now that is unlikely to happen. It looks like I will have to make do with my investment of 237 shares in my stocks and shares ISA.

Friday, 20 March 2015

FTSE 100 Close Price 20th March 2015

Well things went incredibly well for the FTSE Market today with the FTSE 100 finishing over 7000. We have been expecting this for some time now and it is nice to see it eventually happen. The UK economy certainly is on the road to recovery. The exact FTSE 100 close price was 7022.51 which is still not the highest recently but it is not too far off. I am guessing the positive news from the UK budget helped drive the footsie upwards at the end of the week. One does wonder will it continue to climb or have a small retrace at the start of next week. All in all it was a 0.8% percent gain from the day's opening stock price. The surge can also be attributed to rising gold and silver prices as well as good news for some oil mining stocks.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

My Investments right now 18th March 2015

I realise it has been a while since I posted on this FTSE Market blog but now that I have some free time I am keen to update it with regular snippets of information from the FTSE and London Stock exchange as well as the investments I am currently holding.

Right now I have a mixture of stocks, premium bonds and Zopa holdings. I am not going to talk at length about each of these in one post but I will summarise how much money I have in each one. Firstly stocks and it is important to mention that I only trade on the London Stock Exchange. The only stock that I hold right now is Royal Mail Group. I bought the initial 227 shares at 330 pence and have reinvested my dividends into more shares so my total now is 237 shares which are worth over £1061. These are kept in a Halifax Stocks and Shares ISA which of course has a annual limit so since I have put the remaining amount of cash in my cash ISA I cannot buy any more of this stock this way. I absolutely love the idea of dividend stocks as you can reinvest for greater gains in the future. I do have a way around this and have £900 in my normal stocks and shares account and set a trade plan to buy some when they reach a price of 430 pence (hopefully I will be lucky).I guess I should also mention I have £45400 in a cash ISA

I have £5050 of Premium Bonds, £5000 is my own money and £50 is prizes reinvested. I have won two prizes of £25 in the last three months so I am pleased with this. I will continue to reinvest all my prizes unless I get a big prize like £100 000 or even the big one million prize. Right now I doubt I will add more funds to my Premium Bonds as there is no interest gained from them. Finally I have started to become more interested in Zopa after my initial experience several years ago. I have £17 currently on loan at a rate of 4.6% after fees and I have another £40 queued to lend. I am hoping this will be lent out in the next 4 days. I plan to drip feed my Zopa account with small deposits over the next month.

In summary I have 237 RMG shares worth £1061 in a stocks and shares ISA with £900 in a normal trading account to buy more. I have £45400 in a Cash ISA. I have £5050 in Premium Bonds. I have £57 in Zopa

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