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Portfolio Update – December 2019

  • Total Portfolio value: € 3,745.64
  • YTD development: +5.28%
  • MoM development: +1.28% from € 3,698.28
  • Current average fee: 0.25% p.a.

Hi and happy new year!

I hope that you had a good and joyful end to 2019, and a perfect start of 2020! Feels amazing, doesn’t it, with a new year and a new decade? For me, this marks the first 12-month anniversary of this blog and my All Seasons Portfolio, for which I took my first shaky steps in December 2018. And look where we are now!

My year is actually of to a rocky start (a case of food poisoning, leaving out all the details), but the year can only get better from there. I am slowly but surely growing the reader count of this blog, for which I am ever so grateful. And my portfolio is actually performing decently as well.

The end of 2019 felt quite uneventful, but that might only be that everything happens at once now in 2020 with the American assassination of Qasem Suleimani, the Iranian general (spoilers), but all in all, investors and markets were in a good mood in December.

However, leading indicators of economic growth show a lack of growth going forward and that companies’ profits aren’t really increasing at the same pace as their stock prices. I guess we will see more of the results of such tendencies during 2020. Good that we have prepared with a risk adjusted portfolio such as the All Seasons Portfolio.

For my holdings, and the key components of the portfolio strategy, both Gold and Commodities saw a good come back in December. My own Commodities ETF is actually back to show a profit, after I bought it right at the top in March.

And in case you missed it, I wrote a piece on why anyone would invest in bonds with negative interest rates back in December. Give it a read as well.

Portfolio Update – December 2019

So… What about December?

It was a pretty good month, even though I did not add any funds to the portfolio, as the order for buying TIPS didn’t go through the market until beginning of January. Anyway, my asset allocations are quite close to ideal, and I will soon be adding to the equity side next.

The total portfolio value is now up to € 3,745.64, which is up from € 3,698.28 by end of November. This gives me the following splits in euros:

Since inception, my All Seasons Portfolio is up 5.28%, with a bump last month after a brief decline in November. Commodities and Gold saw a great increase this month, together with equities, while other assets were more or less flat or slightly declining.

As for dividends, this portfolio is still not a money machine that will let me retire any time soon. € 4.64 was paid out during the month.

Last, but not least for this time, here is table of my current holdings in my portfolio as at year end 2019.

AssetCategoryISINNovember 30, 2019December 31, 2019
iShares $ TIPS UCITS ETF USD (Acc) (EUR)TIPSIE00B1FZSC47397.76 €392.66 €
Vanguard EUR Corporate Bond UCITS ETFCorporate BondsIE00BZ163G84377.72 €377.30 €
iShares € Govt Bond 3-5yr UCITS ETF EUR (Dist)Govt Bond MidIE00B1FZS681173.82 €173.49 €
Invesco US Treasury Bond 3-7 Year UCITS ETF USD Dist (EUR)Govt Bond MidIE00BF2FNQ44265.02 €259.49 €
iShares J.P. Morgan EM Local Govt Bond UCITS ETF USD (Dist) (EUR)Govt Bond LongIE00B5M4WH52379.61 €388.78 €
iShares $ Treasury Bond 7-10yr UCITS ETF USD (Dist) (EUR)Govt Bond LongIE00B1FZS798370.60 €362.02 €
iShares $ Treasury Bond 20+yr UCITS ETF USD (Dist) (EUR)Govt Bond LongIE00BSKRJZ44282.61 €267.86 €
Invesco Bloomberg Commodity UCITS ETF (EUR)CommoditiesIE00BD6FTQ80321.74 €344.88 €
Xtrackers Physical Gold ETCGoldGB00B5840F36470.18 €499.22 €
SPDR® MSCI Europe Small Cap Value Weighted UCITS ETF EUR AccEquityIE00BSPLC298182.10 €191.75 €
SPDR® MSCI USA Small Cap Value Weighted UCITS ETF USD AccEquityIE00BSPLC413477.12 €488.18 €
Total3,698.28 €3,745.64 €

So this concludes my first year with the All Seasons Portfolio Strategy. I would call it a success with steady growth and I have been able to zone in on the right percentages between the assets.

And if you have a bulk of money to start your All Seasons Portfolio with, instead of just beginning with smaller amounts on a monthly, I believe 2020 will be a good year for you to follow this blog. I will be posting numbers for both Year to Date and since inception in 2019.

I will also follow up with a month by month summary of my 2019 in one blog post. That will be a simple format to get a clue of how my first year was like, and I will share what I have learnt along the way as well. I’m hoping to have that post up in a few weeks.

In the meantime, please feel free to let me know in the comments what you think, and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter for direct updates when new posts are uploaded. No spamming. You’ll find the form in the website footer.

That’s all I had to share for 2019, looking forward to having you with me in 2020 as well!


This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Carlo

    Hallo Nicholas. I will be one of your followers for this 2020. This website was a gem when I found it because like you I have an all seasons portfolio, even if my allocation is a little different. About asset allocation: I would like to know your opinion about the one used from a new risk parity Etf. One of the founder worked at Bridgewater. You find the info at If you take a look at the website and share your opinion about the asset allocation used in this Etf, it will be useful for everyone. Thanks

    1. Nicholas

      Ciao Carlo! Happy to have you on board! Looking forward to further discussions also in the new year.
      It looks like an interesting ETF that could simplify quite a lot for many retail investors. It appears, however, that this ETF will not be UCITS certified, so it will not be available in Europe.
      I took a quick look at the assets in the ETF by downloading the spreadsheet available on the website.
      Maybe I am missing something, but I do not get the percentages to match, because the sum of all holdings exceed 100% (they are around 130%), which makes it difficult to assess the splits properly.
      Nevertheless, by calculating actual holdings (as at 12 January 2020), the ETF seems to hold 35% treasury bills, 24% TIPS, 20% Equity, 8% Gold and 13% Commodities (+2% cash). Interestingly, they track the commodity share with just 1.2% futures, and the rest are stocks in 80 commodity related companies (mining, energy, food, etc.) so the commodity portion will have a bit more correlation with the Stock part as well, but still with lower beta. This is probably why the Stock share is somewhat below the ASP strategy, while the Commodities take up 13% instead of 7.5%, so in the end, risk parity is kept the same as in the all seasons portfolio. I see that they have a bit more TIPS than I do as well (24% vs 10%).
      As I see it, this RPAR ETF could be a good alternative for an investor who wants a pre-packaged solution, but bear in mind that the management fee is 0.5% p.a., while if you do the work yourself and pick for example 5 ETFs to mimic these splits, you can lower the fee down towards and below 0.2%. I am currently at about 0.25%, but do have some more expensive ETFs which give me exposure to Emerging Markets. So I think that the RPAR works, but is a bit more expensive than getting your hands a bit dirty.
      You could look at this the other way as well, that it sort of validates the concept of the All Seasons Portfolio strategy that these professional players with a lot of experience and a good background, take the same approach as the strategy that you and I both have chosen to pursue. Would you agree?

      1. Carlo

        Thanks for the answer, detailed as always. I can tell you why the sum of holdings is more than 100% because I asked to them. It is because the 15% of cash (100% minus every other asset) is invested in treasury with futures. So because of the leverage the actual holding in treasury is 35%. I read about leverage in the bond part of the all season portfolio on a lot of other sites, and leverage in this portfolio is another interesting topic. I understand why they have a little less stocks and I agree with your explaining. Anyway the big differences in TIPS % and the absence of emerging bonds are other important differences. Also I do not understand how they split intermediate and long term bonds. Too big differences to ignore. It would be nice to understand their reasons about that. Anyway for sure the asset allocation in Robbin’s version of Dalio portfolio (similar but not identical to yours) is not the original one for sure, at least for what I read. Personally I like the use of the futures for treasury, not sure about the right percentage of TIPS and emerging bonds. Personally my TIPS % is more than 10% and I also have emerging binds. For commodities I find simpler for a retail investor the use of Etf instead of a lot of stocks. Thank you again. Your comment is always aporeciated

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