Good Reads

Cash management is really all about stress management
At any given time, every investor must always decide three things: 1) How to invest their new cash flow 2) How to invest their existing cash 3) How to reposition their existing investments if at all As long as enough money is coming in to cover your expenses, life is fairly good. As our cash hoard grows, there's also less financial stress because you can more easily cover unanticipated emergencies like a furlough. In general, having 6 – 12 months of living expenses in cash or cash equivalents is good enough for the average person to sleep soundly. There might come a point, however, when you [...]
Thu, Jan 17, 2019, Continue reading at the source
When I added GlaxoSmithKline to my portfolio in early 2015, the company was heading for trouble. Some of its key blockbuster drugs (such as Advair, which generated almost a quarter of the company's revenues) were going off-patent, which meant the easy profits Glaxo had relied on for years were about to vanish. In order to […] [...]
Wed, Jan 16, 2019, Continue reading at the source
A photo of a real lifeboat, often an analogy for the PPF pension protection fund lifeboat
Back in the wild old days there were few protections for pension scheme members. Long burnt into the public memory was the Maxwell pension scandal, for example, which saw around £400m of pension savers' money plundered by a cash-starved newspaper mogul. In the 1990s and early 2000s, greater consideration was given to protecting workers' pensions. However it wasn't until the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) arrived in 2005 that savers got bona fide protection. Enter the PPF The PPF – known colloquially as the ‘pensions lifeboat' – was set up under the Pensions Act 2004 to protect people's Defined Benefit (DB) pensions from being pilfered [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, Continue reading at the source
Productive things to do if you've been furloughed with back pay
One of the greatest benefits of full-time work is getting paid whether you work or not. I miss that. How awesome is it to paid when there is a snow day? How good does it feel when you're out sick for a week and the paycheck continues to roll in? When you're sipping Mai Tais on the beach thanks to your four weeks of paid time off plus national holidays, life is pretty good! Now imagine if you got furloughed for a month or more during the holiday season. What a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the people that matter [...]
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, Continue reading at the source
The fourth quarter of 2018 contained the pivotal moment of my FIRE journey so far – FIRE day. Financially it represented the transition from rapid wealth accumulation to hopefully well managed wealth decumulation or drawdown. As I write this though more importantly it also represented the start of what seems to be called the decompression phase of retirement and I'll freely admit I'm finding [...]
Mon, Jan 14, 2019, Continue reading at the source
Weekend reading logo
What caught my eye this week. Got your passport ready and your bag packed for the last flight out of Heathrow when Britain goes all 21 Days Later on Brexit Day? The good news is even I don't think that's going to happen. We'll be more in for months of Dad's Army amateurism should we leave with no-deal on the 29th March. But the reviled metropolitan elites will immediately put their brains towards sorting out the mess foisted upon them, and anarchy will be avoided.1 The bad news is Britain has slipped again in the Henley Passport Index. This ranking of how many [...]
Fri, Jan 11, 2019, Continue reading at the source
The trouble with unitising one's portfolio is there's nowhere to hide. Unitising lets you track the effects of adding money, which helps avoid the easiest gotcha in fooling yourself on returns. The Beardstown Ladies Investment Club effect. The hard earned cash you lob into the pot makes your portfolio go up, but it's not profit, or ROI, or anything like that. Unlike starting with a one off lump sum from which you draw nothing, evaluating performance gets a lot more complicated if you draw a yearly stipend from your stash. It gets a lot more complicated if you're one of the [...]
Fri, Jan 11, 2019, Continue reading at the source
It's a new year and so once again it's time to dust off my model portfolio and review (and then try to improve) its performance. This year I'm going to look at performance, sales, purchases, mistakes made and lessons learned. Short-term results are not so good, long-term results are okay but could be better 2018 […] [...]
Thu, Jan 10, 2019, Continue reading at the source
A Happy New Year to you – what are we looking forward to in 2019 then? I was out walking with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with angst – and I sensed an endless scream passing through nature.Oh. Not so much, really. Did you know there were four versions of this picture? I didn't until now, so [...]
Fri, Jan 04, 2019, Continue reading at the source
A little over 7 years ago (late 2011) I started to build a UK High Yield Portfolio (HYP). It was a much talked about strategy back in the Motley Fool forum days and today still gets plenty of attention on the Lemon Fool forums. I continued building the portfolio until July 2015 by which time I'd amassed 17 shares across multiple sectors. That included a token amount of Royal Mail Group ( [...]
Tue, Jan 01, 2019, Continue reading at the source
Even in the most carefully run and financially independent of lives, there will be some wrenching twists and turns. Friendships and businesses will fail. You or your loved ones will get sick and some of them will die. Kids will have plenty of trouble on their long road to adulthood – if they even make it. And all around you, there will be a sea of fighting and breakups and divorces and mismatched relationships that you wish would end, for your sake or that of your best friends. With all of this happening, it's a wonder that we can remain happy and [...]
Mon, Dec 31, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Well time marches on relentlessly and this is now my 6th end of year review since starting my blog in 2013. It's been quite a year...Brexit, Trump, climate change, Novichok, plastic in our seas, cave rescue in Thailand, the ups and downs of the markets and me officially becoming a pensioner...I've been practicing rattling my walking stick along the public railings...Now with my monthly flow of pension from the DWP, my focus is changing as I no longer need my portfolio to generate income. The revised plan will now re-focus on growth. I was particularly intrigued by some research by [...]
Sat, Dec 29, 2018, Continue reading at the source
It seems life over the past year or so has been chugging along like an old steam train passing through the vast plains of the old American west. Occasionally it might approach a bend, or need to stop at a dusty wooden built town, but inevitably the steam cloud starts rising again and onward the The post Well now, this changes everything appeared first on . [...]
Wed, Dec 19, 2018, Continue reading at the source
I have held FGT in my ISA for the past 7 years. It continues to deliver year after year and remains one of the top UK investment trusts in terms of net asset value and share price performance over five and ten years, its returns far outstripping those of the FTSE All-Share index. A sum of £1,000 invested 10 yrs ago would now be worth £5,014 compared to a total return of £2,385 from the benchmark FTSE All Share index.Its aim is capital appreciation and income combined, with a total return in excess of the FTSE All-Share.Long standing manager Nick [...]
Mon, Dec 17, 2018, Continue reading at the source
These last two articles have focused on how common it is for early retirees to continue making money after they say goodbye to the cubicle. I share stories like that because I've seen it happen in so many lives, including my own. Plus, if you do it right, work is fun. But the downside of all this “side hustle” talk is that you can take it too far, and people start to think that early retirement is possible only if you keep making money afterwards. To the point that I've now been hearing many thirtysomething millionaires saying things like, “Sure, the numbers [...]
Thu, Nov 29, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Good afternoon everyone, I hope you all had a lovely hot summer as we move into the cold dark winter months already. I've been AWOL a long time from this site while I focused on other things, both personally and financially, so it's time for an update on them all. Work Work continues to tick The post October 2018 Networth update appeared first on . [...]
Thu, Nov 01, 2018, 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
Quick disclaimer: I can't recommend that readers perform the actions I've taken, so be aware while reading I'm not suggesting that everyone should follow my lead here. Please don't, at least not before carefully thinking through the implications. Most people implement alternate solutions to solving their own moral dilemmas caused by index investing. (There are tons of good suggestions in the comments.) Another mass shooting here in America occurred last weekend, the worst ever, half a hundred dead, a like number wounded, all caused by one crazy asshole unleashing not exactly unimaginable horror on innocents. Of course, it's not unimaginable [...]
Sat, Jun 18, 2016, Continue reading at the source

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