Since its start a year ago, the Beginners' Portfolio has soared.
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The Beginners' Portfolio made its first buy, of Vodafone (LSE: VOD) shares, on 18 May 2012 -- and the first anniversary of the fateful day will be here on Saturday. So how has the first year gone? Here's an snapshot at market close on Wednesday 15 May, accounting for all spreads and charges:
|Company||Shares||Buy price||Total cost||Bid price||Proceeds||Gain/loss||% change|
|Dividends|| || || || ||£164.31||£164.31|| |
|Total|| || ||£5,100.66|| ||£6,733.36||£1,632.70||32.0%|
It is not a real money portfolio, but it's run in exactly the same way -- I account for actual bid/offer spreads, commissions, etc, and include dividends in these occasional performance updates.
Since our last update on 26 February, Vodafone shares are in the black again with an overall gain of 9.7%. Further simmering rumours of a merger with Verizon Communications, or a buyout of Vodafone's 45% stake in Verizon Wireless, have helped push the shares up as the two companies play a game of brinkmanship. Then this week we heard that Vodafone is to receive £2.1bn in dividends from Verizon Wireless -- we'll hear what Vodafone intends to do with it when the company releases preliminary results next week, on 21 May.
GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) shares have swung into profit as well, up 14.2% now (they were down 2.2% in February). We heard first-quarter results on 24 April, telling us to expect full-year sales to be up around 1% with core earnings per share up 3-4%. Current forecasts suggest a full-year dividend yield of around 4.7%, which would suit me just fine.
Persimmon (LSE: PSN) shares have soared, and are now up £78.9% since purchase (against a 39.7% rise at 26 February). The whole housebuilding sector, in fact, has been on a recent surge -- and there are clear signs that the government's Help to Buy scheme is having an impact.
BP (LSE: BP) has moved slightly into profit, while Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO) has slipped into a loss as the mining sector has taken a pummelling recently on weaker Chinese economic figures, and BAE Systems shares have started their anticipated rise (anticipated by me, at least).
But the star of the show is still video technologist Blinkx, with our stake almost three-bagging -- in fact, ignoring spreads and costs, the share price has indeed more than trebled. The latest boost came from full-year results released on 13 May, which revealed an expectation-busting 73% rise in revenue, with pre-tax profit up 129% and basic earnings per share up 336%.
You'll see the dividend figure nicely improved since last time, too, as we've had quite a few ex-dividend dates from our companies since then:
|Rio Tinto||6 March||final||60.3p||£9.65|
|BAE Systems||17 April||final||11.7p||£17.09|
|Total|| || || ||£72.69|
The bottom line
Overall, then, our portfolio is up 32%, including dividends and all costs, since the start -- even though we were not even fully invested until as recently as 19 March. Over the same period, the FTSE 100 has risen 23%.
I think I'm happy with our first year's performance.
Finally, my idea of the kind of shares that should make up the core of a beginner's portfolio is the same as my choice for an ISA, or a retirement portfolio -- or in fact, any portfolio. I'd start with good strong companies that should stand the test of time and potentially reward you for decades.
Not surprisingly, the Fool's top analysts think similarly, and they have put together a special report detailing five blue-chip shares, which I think would be ideal for anyone at the start of their investing career.
But it will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your hands on these great ideas that could start you on the road to long-term riches.
> Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article.