How was your current portfolio balance achieved?

I’ve seen some pretty big portfolios posted on here over the last few months. Sometimes into the tens of thousands, maybe more - so my question is:

How did you achieve it?

  • What is your balance? (ballpark figure)
  • How long have you been adding to it?
  • How much do you add to it each month?
  • Were you fortunate enough to be given a lump sum at some point, or did you start from scratch?
  • What is your strategy? ETFs, individual stocks?

Personally, I’m currently at around the £2k mark, having put in about £150 on average per month since I started investing. Luckily enough to have been promoted at work and now able to put in £350 a month, but even then it will still take me years to achieve even double figures thousands.

Do i need to get lucky and have a distance Aunt leave me some inheritance, or do I just continue to ramp up the payments and watch the eighth wonder of the world compound interest do her thing? (Rhetorical…)


The most important thing is increasing your income. This means more room for large savings.
The average UK gross salary is roughly 30k, which translates to 2k net a month. Spending ca. 750 on rent and 750 on other living costs already leaves you with £500 to save each month. Just raising your salary to 40k already gives you an additional £500 per month.


£350 a month is a great amount to invest. Even £1 a month is great. Compounding and your monthly investing should see fantastic returns :+1:t3:
I’ve been investing for 5 years and I’ve been constantly trickling money in. Though it felt like it was a mountain to climb because of high fees with the previous broker. Freetrade have really supercharged my returns and enthusiasm with low / no fees. I’m in ETF’s and 1 investment trust currently.
Does anyone have government bonds in their portfolio ? Thinking about adding.


Just add what you can religiously every payday.

I contribute £200 a month every payday and whatever is left at the end of last month follows it. I’ve been able to add about £500 a month total this way so my portfolio is growing nicely.


I am lucky enough to be debt free, so I took a chunk of my savings and put it into FT as I was fed up with just 1% on a savings account.

I have a selection of ETFs and Stocks…I will be consolidating my ETF positions for more stock picking. I put £1000 in a month, generally either topping up (probs will wait for fractionals) or buying £500 each of a stock, till I get to my preferred stock count,


These are great questions. So for me:

  • What is your balance? £10,100 or so as of this week (took a while to finally crack 5 figures)

  • How long have you been adding to it? Hard to say really - I had a number of false starts along the way (liquidating portfolios when I mismanaged cashflow), but I suppose around the middle of 2018 was when I made a determined effort to keep it building (at the time using OEICs on Charles Stanley). I also have some EIS investments, including FreeTrade and Money Dashboard

  • How much do you add to it each month? This varies as I’m currently building up a cash buffer for a relocation to Sweden, but I’d say anywhere between £200-£750 at the moment. Once the cash buffer is complete I hope to put basically all savings cash into the portfolio each month. This could be up to £2k pm if I’m disciplined (and am conscious how fortunate I am to be able to do that).

  • Were you fortunate enough to be given a lump sum at some point, or did you start from scratch? Started entirely from scratch. Spent 10 years building my career to the point where I’m fortunate enough to earn well, but the long bull market has helped enormously too.

  • What is your strategy? ETFs, individual stocks? I operate a core/satellite strategy. The core is VWRL (approx £8,200 of the portfolio) and Emerging Market Govt Bonds, with a little Gold. I then add individual satellite ETF and stock picks primarily for interest but also just to add bit of an active tilt on themes I like (e.g. Water).


Vanguard Lifestrategy funds may be of interest to you for an investment with a mixture of shares / bonds. eg Lifestrategy 80 has a mix of 80/20 shares / bonds.


Great answer - thank you! You’re very fortunate to be able to put away so much each month. I’ve done the same career wise, and now in a position where my monthly cash/stocks/pension savings are above £1,000 a month. Tempted to transfer my £250 cash saving pm over to FT as well, given how easy it is to withdraw.

  • What is your balance? around £180,000
  • How long have you been adding to it? I invest around 6 and a half years
  • How much do you add to it each month? around £1,000, my salary is less than £40,000 ).
  • Were you fortunate enough to be given a lump sum at some point, or did you start from scratch? started from scratch
  • What is your strategy? ETFs, individual stocks? *I look for undervalued markets and sectors with high margins/growth - the best positions last year: Alphabet, Facebook, Apple, Gazprom, Polish gaming companies

Based on that data you made roughly 37% return every year. That would make you one of the worlds best investors.

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I have no idea how you get to these numbers. I was earning money and adding to my portfolio on the way. Let’s say £10-15,000 each year. But my TWR is around 15-20% during these 6.5 years.

Check the returns of the stocks I mentioned in the last post and you will understand more.

Starting point: £0
Monthly addition: £1000
Future value: £180000
Time: 6.5y
Even with an extremely gracious quarterly compounding period, the return is 28% p.a. which is incredible. You should do this professionally! That beats most professional investment managers.

Ok, I think when I started I had around £4,000 which I saved during my studies (I worked the same time). First year after studies, I saved around £1000 per month, 2nd year I saved £0, then around £800, £1000 and the last 2 years around £1,100 - 1,300.

Cheers Seb.
That is why I started applying for a job in Investment Banks. So far, no positive response. But I do not give up. I started my YouTube channel too but it is growing very slowly. On YouTube cryptocurrencies and fear (gold, 10 years of bull market etc.) are selling well.


With a starting input of £4K plus £1k per month, the internal rate of return is over 20%. As a comparison, Fundsmith clocks in at an annualised 18%.

You did really well actually! Do you share your portfolio in your youtube channel?

Yes, I share my transactions. Check it:

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Government/corporate bonds make up 50% of my portfolio. Last year they really helped make a massive return.

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Typical investment banks do not do very much stock picking. I would suggest the Wealth Management sector is where you want to try and apply.

  • What is your balance? (ballpark figure) 1619, one hundred bucks of gain for now (5-10% gain).

  • How long have you been adding to it? I start in July 2019 from scratch.

  • How much do you add to it each month? Inconsistent amounts. Some months a lot, other less.This is because I don’t have a regular salary, I am a student with two jobs (part-time/zero-hour contract) trying to start my own small business. Also, cat sitting or dog walking when I can. Thus, amount of money available each month differs and cannot plan in advance. I also have a life time ISA with my bank where I keep the majority of my saving.

  • Were you fortunate enough to be given a lump sum at some point, or did you start from scratch? Start from scratch. Recently I won a bursary and I have invested about a third (£300 in total).

  • What is your strategy? ETFs, individual stocks? My strategy is keep striving for financial freedom £0.01 at the time. A bit of both, around 40% dividend paying EFTs; 10-15 % cash; 30 % grow stock company; 10 % high dividend stock; 5-10% short-term trade or company about to go ex dividend.

My insight below:

At the moment a bit unbalanced because I sold few shares today (beyond meat, IQE, Vodafone ) and I have £250 available to invest.