S&S ISA Experiment – Mid-2022 Update

OK, a bit later that mid year, sorry! Let’s start with some pictures:

Really, the explanation for my underperformance hasn’t changed from my January deep dive – my wife’s ISA, in smaller UK companies, has significantly underperformed the FTSE 100. Mine, in bigger companies more representative of the index, has actually slightly outperformed, but combined, we’re still underperforming a bit. We’re talking less than 4% since I started the experiment in March 2021, and through some pretty volatile times, so nothing alarming, but certainly something I’m keeping an eye on.

Diving into the holdings, the divergence is even more clear. I only have 4 (of 20) stocks down over the course of the experiment, while my wife’s only has 5 that are up. Still not at the point that I’m making any changes – don’t want to sell low and buy high, of course, and there’s nothing fundamentally concerning about any of the companies. Really just a reflection that smaller companies have done worse over the past 10ish months, which could easily change again next month.

I did my “normal” ISA investment in April – invested roughly equal amounts into all 40 holdings, using HL’s regular investment feature to minimize fees. No changes at that time, just adding more to what I already owned.

I have had some action forced on me, through some corporate changes. Navigating the mechanics was a bit of a learning experience – nothing crazy, just figuring out how HL would handle the actions:

  • GSK spun off its consumer healthcare business as Haleon. This now gives me 21 holdings in my ISA. At this point, I don’t really want to pay the £11.95 dealing fee to dispose of £380 worth of Haleon and another £11.95 to buy something else, so I’ll just let it ride. At this point, I don’t anticipate investing any more in it, but there’s effectively no cost to just letting it stick around as a small investment except marginally more admin to track dividends, cost basis, etc.
  • Ideagen was acquired by a private equity firm, resulting in a fairly nice profit – which will get taxed as a mix of long and short term capital gains by the US. That dropped my wife’s ISA to only 19 holdings, so I bought into a 20th, Admiral. A very different business from Ideagen, but big enough that it pulls up the average market cap of her ISA a little bit. That resulted in a lucky bit of market timing when Admiral shot up a few day after I bought it – wasn’t the goal, but I’ll take it!

Aside from that, just a matter of staying the course. I don’t anticipate doing anything at all with my ISA until next April, when it’s time to add the 2023 contributions.


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