Good Reads

Taking more risk does not guarantee more reward post image
When you're teaching somebody a new subject, simplifications can creep in. Rules of thumb at best. Outright untruths in the extreme. For example: The simile “as blind as a bat” isn't true – many bats see better than we do. (Maybe they're also better than us at similes?) Christopher Columbus didn't think the world was flat. The notion combines scientific and terrestrial exploration into a neat historical parable, but even the Ancient Greeks and Romans knew the Earth was probably a sphere. (Columbus owned books that told him so.) Teaching children the classical laws of motion wouldn't be made any easier by telling them [...]
Wed, Aug 15, 2018, Continue reading at the source
When earning $1 million a year isn't enough to retire early
We know that a $300,000/year household income is pretty middle class if you live in an expensive coastal city like San Francisco or Washington DC. However, we can all agree that earning $1,000,000 a year or more makes you rich, especially since a top 1% income level starts at roughly $450,000. No household earning $1,000,000 or more should ever struggle unless they leveraged up and their investments imploded. If you make $1,000,000 a year or more, you're free to celebrate. Just don't tell anyone lest you want an ax-wielding robber waiting for you in your living room after an evening of fine [...]
Tue, Aug 14, 2018, Continue reading at the source
😉
Or should that be Turkeys? It's not looking good for citizens of nowhere these days. Although I don't have their wanderlust, as a rentier I'm now probably part of the managerial aristocracy that's been doing okay out of the TINA world order up to now. Said world order pretty much destroyed my job by first deskilling it and then exporting it to India, but I was lucky enough to be old enough to escape the rat race by sneaking under the falling portcullis. I was never convinced by the theory of the lump of labour fallacy, and figured unrestricted low-wage immigration [...]
Mon, Aug 13, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Weekend reading logo
What caught my eye this week. Are US markets enjoying a bull run of unprecedented longevity? You might think that could be answered by looking at a graph of long-term stock market gains, but the topic is surprisingly controversial. Michael Batnick explored the debate this week, if you like that kind of thing. Now, no offence to Michael but my favourite part of his post was this quote from Adam Smith's classic book, Supermoney. Here's how he describes the late stages of a bull market: We are all at a wonderful ball where the champagne sparkles in every glass and soft laughter falls upon the [...]
Fri, Aug 10, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Investment banking compensation
If you want to get rich, you might as well focus on joining industries that pay very well. But there's more to just joining a well-paying industry to get you to a million dollar income. You've also got to perform at a high level, survive cutthroat competition, and receive lots of luck along the way. Corporate politics can be brutal on your climb to the top of the pyramid. Oftentimes, it's those who've been able to successfully sell themselves internally who achieve the greatest rewards. During my career in investment banking, I was too defiant. Despite getting promoted quickly in my 20s, [...]
Fri, Aug 10, 2018, Continue reading at the source
During the week I was asked by a family member how much we're paying for our contents insurance annually. I replied that we don't have contents insurance to which I was asked but what would you do if you were robbed or the house burnt down. I replied with as you know we don't have much stuff so I'd just buy replacements. I was looked at like I had two heads and the topic of conversation was [...]
Sun, Jul 29, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Gratuitous mid-lake selfie from yet another day of nearly-zero-dollar “motor”boating, earlier this week. It was mid July, and I had just finished a sweaty run on the trails which criscross my older sister's farm in Canada. I was overheated and heading straight for their swimming pool when she saw me walking across the lawn. “Oh yeah, please do use the pool! You'll help get my cost per use down because it's still way up there in crazy territory”, she joked. Moments like these are why I love being part of this family. The self-deprecating Spock-like humour where we can make fun of our [...]
Wed, Jul 25, 2018, Continue reading at the source
As I write this post the S&P500 cyclically adjusted price earnings ratio sits at 32.0 against a long run average of 16.9, Donald Trump is starting trade wars, the US market has been in a bull cycle for well over 9 years and closer to home we have a Brexit shambles playing out in slow motion that might just ruin the economy for a long time. Then on a personal front I'm just about to ride off [...]
Sat, Jul 21, 2018, Continue reading at the source
In my previous post on this subject a month back I said "I really believe that neither side will be served by an final outcome which is half in, half out...that would be the worst outcome for the UK". The white paper which was agreed at the recent gathering at Chequers offers exactly that - it is a complete cop out and fudge.From the very start of her time as PM, Mrs May has said Brexit means Brexit. On the day she became PM in July 2016 she stood outside 10 Downing St and said :"There must be no attempts [...]
Wed, Jul 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
As it is over 3 years since I last reviewed my investing strategy, I thought maybe time for an update on where I am going with it.Looking back to early 2013 when I started this blog, it is clear there has been quite a significant move. Back then I was focussed on a portfolio of individual higher yielding UK shares combined with a ‘basket' of investment trusts to generate the natural income I required in retirement.Fast forward to 2018 and the individual shares are all sold along with some of the investment trusts in both ISA and SIPP drawdown. They [...]
Mon, Jul 09, 2018, Continue reading at the source
May/June have been really tough months for me and so I was too busy to post an update the end of May. A couple of months ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer, initially it was just a single area however in mid-May we found out it was spreading. My parents have lived abroad for The post June 2018 Networth update appeared first on . [...]
Sun, Jul 01, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Meet “Timothy”, the new tinyhouse-style conference room at MMM HQ. One of the nicest new trends of recent years is really the revival and rebranding of something very old: the smaller dwelling. Over the last few months, I have built just such a structure, and it has turned out to be a rather cool experience. In fact, I'm typing this article for you from within its productive new confines. Technically, it's just a fancy shed. But it is functioning as a freestanding office building, a sanctuary, and would even make a pretty fine little dwelling for one person, if you were to squeeze [...]
Sat, Jun 30, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Regardless of your views on Brexit's ultimate desirability or not, it's likely to bring choppy waters to the UK in the near future. You've heard quite enough of Remainers saying that, but the view is shared by some Brexiters. Take a random look at LeaveHQ's contentAfter all, Britain is about to set up a new startup called UK PLC in the world, and we have good people like Liam Fox and Boris Johnson at the helm, what on earth could go wrong…? In my youth the British elite seemed to be able to screen for competence and eliminate buffoons [...]
Thu, Jun 28, 2018, Continue reading at the source
It's already May, the sun is shining and so what better time to take a look back at the past month. Work Work continues to tick on by with increasing predictability. I work in an open plan office but it may as well be 6ft high cubicals on some days. My work has certainly got The post April 2018 Networth update appeared first on . [...]
Fri, May 04, 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
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
On Thursday morning my boss handed me The Letter.My application for Voluntary Redundancy has been accepted and all the playing with spreadsheets and financial wheeling and dealing I've been doing over the last 2 years turns out to have been completely unnecessary. Early retirement landed on my plate, courtesy of Government cuts, and I finish on 31st March 2016.The group of us who got letters immediately ticked the box and delivered our acceptances to HR en masse. There was something of a party atmosphere going on. We're virtually all long serving older people able to access our pensions early, with [...]
Sat, Dec 05, 2015, Continue reading at the source
This time last year I finally gave in and decided to do some Christmas shopping on amazon. (I know the FiRe community is very down on "stuff" but everyone has to spend a little on it at Christmas don't they?) This capitulation followed several months of trying to do the right thing and boycott them due to their tax avoidance (their treatment of employees being allegedly none too great either.)I had been buying at local independent bookshops and feeling much better for it, but Christmas loomed, time was short, amazon deliveries are generally timely and prices competitive. I took [...]
Sat, Nov 21, 2015, Continue reading at the source

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