As I mentioned at the beginning of last month, I was thinking about pensions and decided to go the self-administered route, which meant investing in the stock market. So in April, I started to buy a portfolio. Basically, I rank the companies in the FTSE 100 and 250 by dividend yield, exclude all the tiddlers and those whose earnings weren't enough to pay last year's dividend, and see who's left over. I work down the list until I find a suitable candidate (or candidates) whose business isn't already replicated by a company I've invested in.Following these principles, I bought, through the year, shares in seven companies: United Utilities (water and electricity supply), Lloyds TSB (a major clearing bank), Bradford & Bingley (a mortgage bank), DSG International (the owners of PC World and Dixons), Tate & Lyle (the well-known food producer), Barratt Developments (a lower-market housebuilder) and Trinity Mirror (owners of the Mirror newspaper, among others). In terms of business sectors, that means I have shares in Utilities, Banking (twice), General Retail, Food Production, Construction and Media.I've been keeping records as if this were an income fund, so the performance of the capital value and the income are dealt with separately. The value of the units started in April at 100p, and had experienced a steady decline over the year to 85.29p. The income produced over the year was 4.982p per unit.The portfolio action in 2007 was as follows.Apr 07
Buy UU. (United Utilities) at 752.18p.Jul 07
Buy LLOY (Lloyds TSB) at 564.12p.Aug 07
Receive dividend 30.3p per share from UU.
Re-invest in UU. at 678.86p.Oct 07
Buy BB. (Bradford & Bingley) at 301.46p.
Buy DSGI (DSG International) at 142.11p.
Buy TATE (Tate & Lyle) at 432.85p.
Receive dividend 11.2p per share from LLOY.Dec 07
Buy BDEV (Barratt Developments) at 460.16p.
Buy TNI (Trinity Mirror) at 352.11p.