SIPP PROGRESS

Current Value (As at 4th September 2017) = £154,107 including cash
Target for 31st December 2017 = £170,000 (was £153,000)
Value at commencement of this blog on 1st August 2012 = £51,684.02.
Monthly contributions since commencement of blog = 36mths @ £300 plus 24 months @ £750 = £28,800
Capital Growth = £154,107 less (£51,684.02 + £28,800) = £73,623+

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Portfolio Review 5th September 2017

BAE Systems PLC (BA.)
This companies SP (share price) has been consistently growing since September 2015 when the SP was under 450.  In mid-June this year the SP peaked at 675. By mid-July the SP had dropped below the 50-day MA (moving average) and had I noted that, then I would have been on the alert to sell off before (or just as) the SP dropped below the 200-day MA - which is what happened on 20th July whe the SP was at 612. The recent weakness seems to have "bottomed" at 575 which the SP closed at on 8th August. If I had sold at 612 on 20th July, then I would not be looking to move back into the company until the SP closed above the 200-day MA, which is currently at about 618. I'm not sure why the SP has been weak recently as the company has a massive forward order book and, with the current issues in the World, it would seem to me that demand for the company products will increase, and with it will increase the company profits. I remain a holder.

Blackrock Smaller Companies IT (BRSC)
I acquired the majority of the shares held between March 2015 and October 2016.  Unfortunately, when I "re-balanced" the SIPP Portfolio in January this year, I sold off 221 shares at an SP of 1000.80 which (in hindsight) with the SP now at 1245 (and having hit a year high of 1265) was a bit silly. The SP is currently at a discount of 13.70% to the NAV (Net Asset Value), and that discount is slightly better than the average discount of 15.14% for the past 12 months. I'd like the discount to narrow, but that is unlikely to happen, as the discount has only been below 12% on a couple of occasions this year, and has been as large at 20%. When I started building the stake in this company, it was to represent 10% of the total value of the portfolio, but with the holding valued at £14,700 it is a bit light and (again) in hindsight I should not have sold those shares in January. I remain a holder and (probably) a buyer when funds become available to return it to 10% of the portfolio value.

G4S PLC (GFS)
When I bought shares in G4S in the early summer of 2016 it was as a recovery play. My initial purchase on 10th May '16 was 620 @ 194, and my next purchase was another 345 @ 173: all-in-all 965 shares at an average price of 190. I continued to buy throughout the recovery, with my final purchase on 9th August this year of 352 shares @ 313. That purchase was possibly one too many, as before the ink was dry the SP dropped to under 300 and then on the 31st August (last week) dropping below the 200-day MA of 283. The SP is still in the 284-286 range and my dilemma is which way is the SP going to go next? The recent scandals in the domestic market are not good for the image of the company, but the fundamentals are sound. Revenue is growing, and so are profits, and the dividend is being maintained. Their work may be under scrutiny, but by far the majority of the workforce do a great job. I remain a holder and will likely increase the holding if the SP drops below 270.

Glaxosmithkline PLC (GSK)
This company has been a part of my SIPP portfolio since August 2014 (3 years), and - to be honest - I don't know why I continue to hold it. I sold a large portion of the holding in July 2016 when the SP was at 1660, and right now I wish I hold sold the lot. The SP has topped 1700 four-times since July 2016, the most recent occasion being on 23-26th June this year, but the SP has also dropped below 1550 on four-times in the same period, the most recent being when it hit a low of 1480 on the 21st August. The SP looks almost impossible to predict, but when the SP dropped below the 200-day MA of 1610 on 21st July that was a bad sign and I really should have sold then. Right now, I don't think the SP will drop below 1500 and if it closes above the current 200-day MA of 1519 in next week or so and shows some strength then I will hold and set a target price of 1650 at which to sell out.  If it wasn't for the dividends I would have moved-on from this company a long time ago.

GVC Holdings PLC (GVC)
On of the success stories of the SIPP.  Yes, GVC is involved in the gambling industry.  I bought my entire holding (bar reinvestment of dividends) in 2015 at an average SP of 450. I wish I had kept on buying as on 1st December 2015, the SP hit a low of 372.  Apart from a period of weakness between Oct'16 and Feb'17 when the SP slipped from 760 to 610, the company has remained on track and very profitable. Revenue is growing very quickly and all broker forecasts suggest an SP of between 875-1000 is possible within the next 6 months. Very much a hold, and I would be very surprised if we ever see an SP below 700 again.

Lancashire Holdings PLC (LRE)
I bought 1000 shares in LRE in Jan-Feb 2015 at an average SP of 623, and the increases in the holding to 1209 shares today have been made through the reinvestment of dividends. It is disappointing that the current SP of 665 is so far below the year-high of 775, but then the SP does swing considerably during the year.  The company can make enormous profits, and there have been large special dividends paid in each of the past 5 years. The devastating hurricane in Texas this summer will have had an effect on the SP, and the company increased its "disaster" insurance with exposure to hurricanes this year.  So, the depressed SP is almost certainly due to this increased exposure.  However, LRE is one of only 3 specialist "Lloyds" insurers listed on the London Stock Exchange and it would be no surprise to see a bid if the SP stays at this level (below 670) for much longer.

Legal & General Group PLC (LGEN)
I purchased most of my holding in July-August 2016 at prices under 206, so the strength of the SP in the past 12 months - reaching a year-high of 279 on 9th August - has been very welcome. The 200-day MA is at 254.50 so the SP (which has retreated recently) is very close to that. Given the very buoyant half-year results which reported a 27% increase in profits, I can't understand the recent weakness in the SP and I'd expect the strength to return during the autumn. Again, this remains a hold.

Paysafe Group PLC (PAYS)
The bid finally came but, at 590p per share, it wasn't as generous as expected. I've trimmed my holding by 1000 shares to use the proceeds elsewhere and await either conclusion of the bid process or a potential new bidder arriving on the scene.

Sage Group PLC (SGE)
Although I'm sitting on a small profit with most of my holding bought at around 650 earlier this year, I'm not expecting major movements in the SP. Sage looks a slow-burner, and therefore remains a hold.

Segro PLC (SGRO)
I love this company. Even since I became involved way back in August 2014 (3 years ago) with the SP at 356 this company has done nothing wrong. The market, however, makes up its own mind - and this is why you should form your own opinion and follow it. I decided to buy up to 410, and my last purchase was at 407 in July 2015 - and I have had plenty of opportunities to increase my holding since then, but I've invested elsewhere. I don't think having multi-holdings is a good idea, as this is the concept of risk mitigation - and if you mitigate your risk, you limit your opportunity. This company remains a very strong hold, especially in this age of Brexit and in the knowledge that Segro has a virtual stranglehold on storage space around Heathrow Airport. Imports will become very important soon - I will leave it at that...

Senior PLC (SNR)
A recent addition to the portfolio in April this year at an ave price of 207 - I bought into this company as it is involved in aerospace and defence and I thought it was oversold at below 200 after hitting a high of 354 in April 2015. I admit I was heavily influenced in my purchase by the Investors Chronicle and I haven't looked back. I doubt there is much further growth in the SP above 300, and it may be that I'm about to sell out and move on.

XBT Provider (XBT-BIT)
I am sure anyone reading this will have a "Marmite" feeling. With crypto-currency you either love it or hate it - you will not be sitting on the fence. I think - sorry that's wrong, I know (as far as my knowledge will allow) - that crypto-currency will completely revolutionise the entire economic make-up of the modern world. I am not saying that "traditional" currencies will cease to exist - they won't.  The entire world will not - it cannot - be modernised. I think (it's just my opinion as I will be long dead and gone before it's realised) that the "modern" world and the introduction of artificial intelligence will see a resurgence in "traditional" ways of life. How will it be financed? Society will reject the current situation that has dominant companies: Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, etc making enormous profits, and then just sitting on the money as the amounts are just too huge for individual companies to manage. Taxation of corporations and the use of "universal credit" will see people move away from stressful, computer-screen based jobs, to occupations that require hands-on skills and will form a new leisure industry.
How will crypto-currency benefit? Before we get there, banking as we know it will break-down, because the banking model doesn't work in the modern world, it is too slow and expensive. It's not just me saying this, there is a lot of information on the internet but, like when the horse-less carriage was introduced (the motor-car to you and me) change takes time to be accepted.  
I've bought 800 units in XBT-BIT which is equivalent to 4 Bitcoin. I think that bitcoin will eventually be the basis of all international currency transactions (unless something else comes along which is better), and the cost savings use of bitcoin (and the like) will allow for the increased taxation of profits and the instigation of universal credit that will transform society. Bitcoin is currently valued at between US$4000 - US$5000 but I can see this value increasing 10-fold within 2 or 3 years as knowledge and acceptance occurs. It really would not surprise me to see Bitcoin attain values of over US$500,000 per coin within my lifetime - assuming that I live another 20 years or so.   As such, it should be no surprise that I intend to hold on to by Bitcoin.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Holdings 4th September 2017

The current holdings (as of today 4th September 2017) are:
1) BAE (BA.) : 1115 shares valued @ £ 6,746 (UP £184 from £6,562)
2) BlackRock Smaller Co IT (BRSC) : 1181 shares valued @ £14,632 (UP £354 from £14,278)
3) G4S (GFS) : 2410 shares valued @ £6,873 (UP £90 from £6,783)
4) GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) : 396 shares valued @ £6,001 (UP £16 from £5,985)
5) GVC Holdings (GVC) : 1031 shares valued @ £8,160 (UP £47 from £8,113)
6) HG Capital Trust (HGT) : 220 shares valued @ £3,742 (UP £22 from £3,720)
7) ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) : 730 shares valued @ £5,431
8) JPMorgan Emerging Markets (JMG): 625 shares valued @ £5,325 (UP £204 from £5,121)
9) Lancashire Holdings (LRE) : 1209 shares valued @ £8,227 (down £623 from £8,850)
10) Legal & General (LGEN): 2860 shares valued @ £7,384
11) Pacific Assets (PAC) : 1931 shares valued @ £4,866 (down £63 from £4,929)
12) Paysafe (PAYS) : 6000 shares valued @ £34,950
13) Sage Group (SGE): 931 shares valued @ £6,428 (UP £93 from £6,335)
14) Schroder Asia-Pacific (SDP) : 1252 shares valued @ £5,471 (UP £69 from £5,402)
15) Segro (SGRO) : 1607 shares valued @ £8,670 (UP £65 from £8,605)
16) Senior (SNR) : 1574 shares valued @ £4,312 (UP £200 from £4,112)
17) XBT Provider (BIT-XBT): 800 units valued @ £13,499 (UP £5,012 from £8,487)
Cash @ £3.390 (was £669)
SIPP Value = £154,107 (UP £4,597)

The main increase has been in Bitcoin with my holding (200 units is equivalent to 1 Bitcoin) increasing in value by 59% and this is over 10% below the peak value.  Bitcoin is the future of financial transactions.  This will be an anathema to many who are professionals in the banking world, but the onslaught of crypto-currency cannot be halted. It may come as a bit of a surprise to many traditional investors to learn that with the sabre-rattling missile firing of North Korea last week, while stock markets wobbled, Bitcoin rose to a record high of almost US$5,000 per bitcoin. The price has slipped since Saturday 2nd September to just over US$4,300 as I write this, but I cannot see it dropping more than 30% below that all-time high. Where will it end up?  I can see Bitcoin hitting US$10,000+ before the end of 2018.

Friday, 4 August 2017

PAYS recommends accepting offer


The current holdings (as of today 4th August) are:
1) BAE (BA.) : 1115 shares valued @ £ 6,562 (down £258 from £6,820)
2) BlackRock Smaller Co IT (BRSC) : 1181 shares valued @ £14,278 (UP £283 from £13,995)
3) G4S (GFS) : 2058 shares valued @ £6,783 (down £187 from £6,970)
4) GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) : 393 shares valued @ £5,985 (down £410 from £6,395)
5) GVC Holdings (GVC) : 1031 shares valued @ £8,113 (UP £168 from£7,945)
6) HG Capital Trust (HGT) : 220 shares valued @ £3,720 (UP £50 from £3,670)
7) ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) : 470 shares valued @ £3,492 (UP £59 from £3,433)
8) JPMorgan Emerging Markets (JMG): 625 shares valued @ £5,121 (down £9 from £5,130)
9) Lancashire Holdings (LRE) : 1209 shares valued @ £8,850 (UP £180 from £8,670)
10) Legal & General (LGEN): 2489 shares valued @ £6,767 (UP £187 from £6,580)
11) Pacific Assets (PAC) : 1931 shares valued @ £4,929 (UP £9 from £4,920)
12) Paysafe (PAYS) : 7000 shares valued @ £41,300 (UP 490 from £40,810)
13) Sage Group (SGE): 931 shares valued @ £6,335 (down £85 from £6,420)
14) Schroder Asia-Pacific (SDP) : 1252 shares valued @ £5,402 (UP £56 from £5,346)
15) Segro (SGRO) : 1607 shares valued @ £8,605 (UP £417 from £8,188)
16) Senior (SNR) : 1574 shares valued @ £4,112 (UP £325 from £3,787)


Shareholdings total = £140,359 (UP £1,280 from £139,079)
17) XBT Provider (BIT-XBT): 798 units valued @ £8,487 (UP £329 from £8,158)
Cash @ £669
SIPP Value = £148,846 (UP £1,609 from £147,237)


In early July, I decided to sell-off my holding in Imperial Brands Group (IMB) at 3422-pence (recouping £5,842) and - in hindsight - that looks a good call.

I’ve invested the proceeds of that sale in crypto-currency Bitcoin (BTC) via XBT-Provider tracker fund (BIT-XBT).  I’ve accumulated 798 units in the fund at the equivalent of approx. US$2,455 per BTC. The value of BTC has remained between $2,700 - $2,800 this past week, and the expectation is that if the value can crack US$2,800 then there is likely to be a strong surge of pent-up support that will push the price to over US$4,000.

The news today is that the Paysafe board of directors have accepted (and recommended to shareholders) the US$3.70bn, 590-pence a share, offer from Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners. Now that we have a formal bid on the table if there is an alternative offer being prepared then we will see it soon. I was hoping that the 590-pence offer would be rejected by the board of directors, but I suppose the CEO Joel Leonoff wants to see a return for the efforts he has put in building this company up, and he holds nearly 10 million shares worth about £57 million – a nice “retirement” fund!

My problem – when the sale goes through – is that I will have to find somewhere to invest the proceeds. The Paysafe holding represents 27.50% of the total value of the SIPP and even if I rebalance with a minimum of 5% of value with each holding, then I’m still going to have a fair percentage in cash.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Super Friday


The current holdings (as of today 4th July) are:
1) BAE (BA.) : 1115 shares valued @ £6,820
2) BlackRock Smaller Co IT (BRSC) : 1181 shares valued @ £13,995
3) G4S (GFS) : 2058 shares valued @ £6,970
4) GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) : 393 shares valued @ £6,395
5) GVC Holdings (GVC) : 1031 shares valued @ £7,945
6) HG Capital Trust (HGT) : 220 shares valued @ £3,670
7) ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) : 470 shares valued @ £3,433
10) JPMorgan Emerging Markets (JMG): 625 shares valued @ £5,130
11) Lancashire Holdings (LRE) : 1209 shares valued @ £8,670
12) Legal & General (LGEN): 2489 shares valued @ £6,580
13) Pacific Assets (PAC) : 1931 shares valued @ £4,920
14) Paysafe (PAYS) : 7000 shares valued @ £40,810
15) Sage Group (SGE): 931 shares valued @ £6,420
16) Schroder Asia-Pacific (SDP) : 1252 shares valued @ £5,346
17) Segro (SGRO) : 1607 shares valued @ £8,188
18) Senior (SNR) : 1574 shares valued @ £3,787

Shareholdings total = £139,079
19) XBT Provider (BIT-XBT) : 798 units valued @ £8,158
Cash @ £669
SIPP Value = £147,906

When I wrote my last blog on 4th July, it was with the news that Worldpay had received and offer (which was successful) and that Paysafe (PAYS) would fit the bill as a follow-up target.  Here we are, not 3 weeks later, and Paysafe is the subject of a US$3.70bn, 590-pence a share, offer from Blackstone and CVC Capital Partners.

I’m hoping that the 590-pence offer will be rejected by the board of directors as insufficient as, in my opinion, PAYS is worth a lot more than that. I’d be more comfortable with a bid that values PAYS at about US$8bn (which would be 800-pence a share). Apparently, Blackstone & CVC first approached PAYS in May but that initial offer was rejected – since then the PAYS board of directors has received 4 offers! This could be interesting.

In another major development since early July, I’ve decided to sell-off my holding in Imperial Brands Group (IMB) at 3422-pence, recouping £5,842.  Since investing £6,500 into the shares in March at an average of 3840-pence, the SP of this company has done nothing but go down.  There has been a flat-line of the SP through July, but the outlook is difficult to understand. There is a bid expected from Japan Tobacco International (JTI) – however, as the SP of that company has also been in retreat in 2017, any bid may be a long time coming.

I’ve taken the proceeds of that sale and bought the crypto-currency Bitcoin (BTC) via XBT-Provider tracker fund (BIT-XBT). This week, I’ve invested £7,540 into Bitcoin as that represents approximately 5% of the value of the SIPP. Approximately 200 units of BIT-XBT buys one Bitcoin, and I have accumulated 798 units. So, I’m in at a £1,890 per BTC (approx. US$2,455 per BTC).  The price of Bitcoin fluctuated a fair bit this week, from a low of US$1,863 to a high of US$2,940. As I write, the price is at US$2,740 and as more and more “legitimacy” is given to BTC (this week the London Stock Exchange started accepting BTC) in my opinion those negative fluctuations will reduce, and a long-term positive outlook will dominate.  It would not surprise me to see BTC trading at over US$4,000 before the end of 2017.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Worldpay bid, and the onset of Crypto-coin

A change in direction this week on the SIPP, and it could lead to a significant future investment strategy. First though, early today there was strong speculation (later confirmed) of a bid for the Worldpay Group by the US-based payment processing and technology provider Vantiv Inc and JPMorgan Chase Bank. The SP is up over 20% this morning from Monday’s close of 320 to 390 as I write this (noon on Tuesday 4th July). That a major bank is starting to take the internet payment processing system seriously enough to put together a bid for Worldpay is extremely significant. To me it signals that banks (some of them at least) are beginning to come to the conclusion that the internet (combined with other technology such as smart-phones and pads) is bringing an end to the banking industry as we know it.   

For my SIPP, there has been some strengthening of the SP of PAYS (up 9 to 515) and I can see that should the Worldpay bid prove successful, and Worldpay is swallowed-up and removed from the FTSE100, then we could see other banks looking to find their own similar target.  PAYS would fit that bill well and, at only 35% of the Market Value of Worldpay, would be a very cheap option. Not that I’d expect a bid at 515-520 for PAYS to be successful, we can look forward to a significant premium on that SP should a bid occur.

I've long been of the opinion that banks as we know them are coming to the end of their shelf-life and a new form of finance-house will take their place. It will mean "adapt or die" for the major banks, and it looks like JPMorgan Chase is the first bank to take that step to protecting and preserving their future.  Hopefully, my strong position in PAYS which forms 25% of my SIPP value will see that opinion bear fruit.  However, I have been growing in awareness over the past 12-months of another financial development that is undermining the foundations of the banking industry - crytocoin.

The major "player" of crypto coins is Bitcoin which currently have a total market value of US$43bn which is approximately 40% of the total value of cryto coins in circulation.  Yes, cryto coins have a total market value in-excess of US$100bn (see coinmarketcap).
There was recently an article on the Crypto Coin phenomena published in the Investors Chronicle and I expect we will see more written about crypto coin in the next 6 months as the banking industry starts to get it's head around just what the future does (or rather, doesn't) hold for their businesses. The big advantage of something like Bitcoin is that international financial transactions using bitcoin "side-step" the need to pay commission and fees to the banks - and banks make considerable profits from the movement of currencies in business around the World. That profit is in serious danger of being lost to the banks, unless the banks do something about it - and that (in my opinion) can only be by taking a serious interest in the cryto coin market.
With much of my funds tied-up in the SIPP, in order to take advantage of cryto coin I've bought some units in the XBT-Provider tracker fund (BIT-XBT) which trades in "notes" which tracks the movement in the Bitcoin currency. My intention is to build-up a position equivalent to 5% of the value of the SIPP over the next 6 months, and my initial purchase is £1,250 worth of units.      
The current holdings (as of today 4th July) are:
1) BAE (BA.) : 1115 shares @ 654
2) BlackRock Smaller Co IT (BRSC) : 1170 shares @ 1175
3) G4S (GFS) : 2058 shares @ 341
4) GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) : 393 shares @ 1710
5) GVC Holdings (GVC) : 1031 shares @ 775
6) HG Capital Trust (HGT) : 220 shares @ 1680
7) ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) : 470 shares @ 743
8) Imperial Brands (IMB) : 170 shares @ 3454
9) JPMorgan Emerging Markets (JMG): 625 shares @ 791
10) Lancashire Holdings (LRE) : 1209 shares @ 705
11) Legal & General (LGEN): 2489 shares @ 262
12) Pacific Assets (PAC) : 1912 shares @ 246
13) Paysafe (PAYS) : 7000 shares @ 515
14) Sage Group (SGE): 931 shares @ 678
15) Schroder Asia-Pacific (SDP) : 1252 shares @ 409
16) Segro (SGRO) : 1607 shares @ 487
17) Senior (SNR) : 1574 shares @ 235
18) XBT Provider (BIT-XBT) : 129 units @ 986.82

Cash @ £531

SIPP Value = £140,140

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Some changes to the SIPP Portfolio

There have been a few changes this week. I decided to take advantage of the share price of Paysafe (PAYS) breaking through 500, and sold-off 1000 shares @ 518 resulting in £5,170 available for new purchases.
I have recently become aware that Private Enterprise IT's have been doing well and, together with the fact that some 50% of the corporate wealth of the UK is tied-up in private equity - that is companies that are NOT quoted on the Stock Markets - that has made me look to diversify into Private Equity funds. The 2 that I've chosen are:-
HG Capital Trust (HGT) and I've bought 220 shares @ 1604
ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) and I've bought 470 shares @ 748

The current holdings (as of today 22nd June) are:
1) BAE (BA.) : 1115 shares @ 660
2) BlackRock Smaller Co IT (BRSC) : 1170 shares @ 1195
3) G4S (GFS) : 2058 shares @ 333
4) GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) : 393 shares @ 1714
5) GVC Holdings (GVC) : 1031 shares @ 786
6) Imperial Brands (IMB) : 170 shares @ 3579
7) JPMorgan Emerging Markets (JMG): 625 shares @ 806
8) Lancashire Holdings (LRE) : 1209 shares @ 709
9) Legal & General (LGEN): 2489 shares @ 256
10) Pacific Assets (PAC) : 1912 shares @ 259
11) Paysafe (PAYS) : 7000 shares @ 516
12) Sage Group (SGE): 931 shares @ 712
13) Schroder Asia-Pacific (SDP) : 1252 shares @ 419
14) Segro (SGRO) : 1607 shares @ 493
15) Senior (SNR) : 1574 shares @ 237
16) HG Capital Trust (HGT) : 220 @ 1625
17) ICG Enterprise Trust (ICGT) : 470 @ 747

Cash @ £1,683

SIPP Value = £142,500


Considering the SIPP value on 1st November 2016 was £112,631.16 and since then I have only made a further 8 contributions @ £750 totalling £6,000 the SIPP has made startling progress. My target for the end of the year is £153,000 and (with luck) that should be met - and the SIPP could top £150,000 by my 58th birthday on 8th November.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Dividend reinvestments on 14th of June 2017

Dividend reinvestments on 14th June were:-
BA. - 20 shares at a cost of £134.38
LGEN - 93 shares at a cost of £246.18
GFS - 35 shares at a cost of £116.84
SNR - 14 shares at a cost of £34.41
GVC - 14 shares at a cost of £110.05
SGE - 6 shares at a cost of £42.24
Total dividends reinvested = £684.10

Here are my top 5 investment ideas for you to consider.
1) Start your portfolio early
The earlier you start investing, the more time you have to compound your gains into a substantial sum. If you start investing early, the more likely it is you will accumulate a large share portfolio. Also, when you start investing early (say in your mid to late 20's) as you will initially be investing relatively small values, any major mistakes will be limited in value. This time you spend investing (before you start earning at your peak) will be educational and invaluable for when your pension fund is at it's largest.

2) Save continuously to invest
Be careful with your expenditure. Try not to be profligate, and spend large amounts only on useful items. That way you can save the money not spent and invest it in your portfolio.
What I do is empty my bank account into my savings account on the day before I collect my salary cheque, and live on my monthly salary. That means (home made) sandwiches and re-heated leftovers for lunch; making my own ground-coffee at work rather than paying £2.50 per cup from the nearest coffee-shop; buying good quality and practical clothing (especially for the winter months). Consider finding a "look" for yourself, and building a smaller wardrobe around it.

3) Choose the investment method suitable for you - and stick with it
There are inumerable investment books on the market, but the one factor that keeps being repeated is finding great companies and holding-on to them - for years if necessary.
Great companies start small, so don't be afraid of investing in a small company if it is a strong business. Great companies also maintain their position by being well-run and profitable over long periods, so don't be afraid of investing in a great company even if it has been the market leader for 30 years - it may continue to be the market leader for another 30 years!

4) Put your money where your mouth is
When you find an investment opportunity that looks too good to be true, then back your judgement.
I try and keep my portfolio below 15 shareholdings as, when you own more than this, management becomes increasingly difficult. As such, I don't think you should have less than 5% of your portfolio value in a shareholding - and you should be prepared to invest over 20% of the value of your portfolio in a single shareholding.
Put your money where your mouth is - be bold.

5) Use every investment opportunity available
I own the house I live in - and I also own a property that I rent out.
I have a SIPP (Self Invested Pension Plan) - and I also invest the maximum annual allowance into an ISA.  Having a "rainy-day fund" is a good idea, but keep it realistic at no more than a maximum of a months earnings. If you want to own an expensive watch, buy a "vintage" watch at an auction. It will cost a fraction of the new price and, if you need to sell, you know that you will get back what you have paid