Good Reads

Image of a 1990s music hit to represent the buy-to-let boom
You're too late to get into buy-to-let. It had a good run, but the party's over. I graduated from university in the early 1990s. I got a job in The City, moved down to London, and shared a rented house with a few friends. After a year of renting – and spurred on by a combination of parental pressure, MIRAS1, and (ludicrously) a mortgage interest subsidy from my employer – I bought a house. Did I have a big inheritance? No. I saved up for the deposit in my first year of work. Okay, that's not actually quite true. I also had some profits [...]
Wed, Jun 23, 2021, Continue reading at the source
The housing market is hot, hot, hot! Even though I think with 80% certainly that the housing market will continue to go up every year for the next three years, there's still a 20% chance it could correct. Let me share what happens if you buy a home at the top of the market. If you decide to buy today, make sure you following my 30/30/3 home buying rule! Posts: [...]
Tue, Jun 22, 2021, Continue reading at the source
Investigating an ESG index illustrated by an image of scientists in a lab
This dissection of an ESG index is by The Scientist from Team Monevator. Check back every Monday for more new perspectives from the Team.People like to throw the ‘ivory tower' label at scientists like me. And it's true, we can be guilty of making what we do inaccessible to everyone else. But for inaccessibility of language made into a true art form, nobody beats the financial industry. Environmental, Social and Governance investing (or ESG for short, because acronyms always help…) is not a new fad. Nor is the concept very complex. Yet I had no end of difficulty digging into the [...]
Mon, Jun 21, 2021, Continue reading at the source
It's June, another 12 months has rolled by so it must be time to review my SIPP drawdown portfolio at the end of its 9th anniversary. Here's a link to the previous update of June 2020.The original plan when I started drawdown in 2012 was to generate a rising natural income from which I would withdraw 4% income which I calculated should be sustainable over the longer term without depleting the capital. This would bridge the 10 year gap between early retirement at age 55 yrs and state pension. Three years back and my state pension kicked in - currently [...]
Mon, Jun 21, 2021, Continue reading at the source
In this half-year review I outline my portfolio's performance, take a brief look under the covers and run through each major buy or sell trade of the last few months. A new name and a new all-time high I'll get the gritty details out of the way first. After ten years I've decided to change […] [...]
Wed, Jun 09, 2021, Continue reading at the source
I've been investing since the late 1980s when I received my free shares in Abbey National BS following their demutualisation. I started this blog in 2013 after moving into early retirement a few years earlier and have since written and self-published several books. Of course, like most small investors, I have had mixed fortunes along the way...last year was my best for actual returns with just over 50% from my green portfolio...this coming year could well be shaping up to be my worst year! But my long term average over the past 20 years is 9% p.a. which, whilst not [...]
Wed, Jun 09, 2021, Continue reading at the source
Diversification is a decent principle with bank accounts and the like, particularly given the tendency of financial organisations to freeze people's accounts without due process due to the money laundering regulations. Then there's the Madoff risk of the unknown unknowns cratering a business. So much to worry about. 1+1 redundancy is a good principle in … Continue reading "The Coming Gilded Age and Vanguard's mustelid indigestion" [...]
Tue, Jun 08, 2021, Continue reading at the source
The retirement philosophy you follow will determine whether you agree with the 4% rule or the Financial Samurai Safe Withdrawal Rate Rule. Posts mentioned: Two Retirement Philosophies To Think About The Proper Safe Withdrawal Rate [...]
Thu, May 27, 2021, Continue reading at the source
In this article I calculate a Buy Price and Sell Price for Dunelm's shares based on a review of the business and its potential future dividends. Dunelm has a long history of dividend growth Dunelm Group PLC is a leading (actually the leading) homewares retailer in the UK, selling all manner of soft and hard […] [...]
Tue, May 25, 2021, Continue reading at the source
LivingCheapinLondon gave us a great tip from recent post about a fine source of modest decadence, and Mrs Ermine was on it immediately. We were going to dine at the Crab House cafe, where Chesil beach starts to leave the mainland at the southern end. This took place is the sort of intermediate phase of … Continue reading "Crab House Cafe, Dorset" [...]
Wed, May 12, 2021, Continue reading at the source
Little MM and me self-educating with some Orson Scott Card, way back in 2017. We've come so far together since then! So it looks like my 15-year-old is officially a high-school dropout. Halfway through ninth grade, emboldened perhaps by the taste of freedom that Covid-era remote learning had provided, he realized that the whole system was just too slow and inefficient for him, and was “Getting in the way of his work.” So as it looks now, he'll probably never return to any sort of in-person schooling, and I will be surprised if he ever attends college. Yes, he is technically [...]
Sun, Apr 18, 2021, Continue reading at the source
“A Nation Which Forgets Its Past Has No Future” Those were the words on a 20-foot-long banner that “Mr. Slick”, my high school history teacher, kept carefully pinned across the width of his classroom for the entire four years I had classes with him. “That makes no sense at all”, I thought to myself when I first read it at age fifteen. “The past is just a fuzzy black-and-white era, with big crude steam-powered factories and tragic wars with brutal low-tech weapons. The future is a land of ever-glossier technology and a peaceful society like the one I'm sitting in today.” It was [...]
Fri, Mar 26, 2021, Continue reading at the source
I've had a difficult time finding a way to create a new entry on a blog that has essentially been dead since 2015. Yet, I have had a persistent feeling that I owe my readers an update. Consider this an effort to encapsulate the last five or six years into a single post containing fewer than seven eight nine ten thousand thousand words so you can hopefully finish reading it in under half an hour. 2015 I retired early on a shoestring, something called lean-FIRE as dubbed by the early-retirement geeks: a sub 4% withdrawal rate (appx 30Kish a year spend — [...]
Wed, Mar 17, 2021, Continue reading at the source
Usually at this time of year I publish a year in review which covers a little of the qualitative and a lot of the quantitative. Given the year we've just had, along with quantitative needs now being significantly lessened given the stage of my FIRE life I'm currently in, I feel it's worthy to flip that weighting as it really has been a year to both remember and to forget. Additionally and [...]
Fri, Jan 01, 2021, Continue reading at the source
I'm not sure if it's the COVID-19 lockdown affecting me, or whether this is really a thing, but over the past month or so I've started to really notice companies stretching their take on integrity. Maybe I was just in a bubble before but for me if you don't have integrity I don't want to be anywhere near you. Let's look at a few examples that I've personally come across. BT this week [...]
Fri, May 08, 2020, Continue reading at the source
Peckham Spring Water
It's that time of the year when ridiculous consumer spending seems to prevail and dominate most peoples lives. This year like others I've tried to avoid unnecessary spending and instead focus on spending quality time with family and friends and giving thoughtful gifts where appropriate. I thought I'd take the time to share a recent story from the office of consumerism gone mad. I recently stumbled into a conversation at work where some colleagues were discussing the saneness of one particular gentlemen in the office. He'd just taken delivery of a bottle of water to his desk from the internal postal [...]
Wed, Dec 27, 2017, Continue reading at the source
To pay off the mortgage or to invest? That is the question. It's an often debated question in the world of financial independence and one thats been done to death in blogsphere several times over. In this article I won't go in depth into all of the pros and cons of each side of the argument but instead focus on describing what I do and why. If you're currently debating this issue internally here's a good look at the subject from the ever reliable Monevator. For the lazy amongst you here is a quick summary: Arguments to Overpay Your Mortgage It is equivalent to [...]
Thu, Apr 27, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Full quote: “When we win on Nov 8 and elect a Republican Congress, we will immediately repeal and replace Obamacare. ” Made during many, many speeches, a tremendous number of huge speeches, the very best speeches, by U.S. president-elect Donald Trump. You can't always believe what candidates running for office say as they slog through their campaigns — gross exaggeration, pandering, and outright lies are to be expected by all involved — but when it comes to Obamacare, surely it is safe to believe that some real changes are in store for us. Why? Well, it's because the Republican party [...]
Fri, Nov 11, 2016, Continue reading at the source
Edited post:This blog has been moved from Blogger to WordPress.The new website can be found at Quietly SavingThanks for stopping by. [...]
Sat, Dec 12, 2015, Continue reading at the source
Unbelievable yes, but I got another premium bond win, my second this year! Yay!Ok, so I only won £25 but prior to my win in February, I hadn't won anything in years!It could well be just a massive coincidence that I've started winning ever since I've been regularly buying more premium bonds - my holding is tiny though, only £2,135 and according to this premium bond calculator, if I have 'average luck', I would expect to win just £25 over a year. Let's hope I'll be VERY lucky at some point in the future! In the meantime, I will chuck [...]
Wed, Dec 09, 2015, Continue reading at the source

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