Good Reads

Things Worth Spending Maximum Money On
It's good to be frugal. If you are, you'll likely never get into financial trouble. I was very frugal saving between 50% – 70% of my after tax income until about age 35. Then I decided there was no point saving so much money if I wasn't going to live a little. Instead of trying to walk the entire city of Budapest, I ponied up 30 Euros like a baller to get on the Hop On Hop Off bus. Instead of just having lemon water with my rib-eye steak, I started ordering a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. As I pushed [...]
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Weekend reading: Recency bias, standard deviation, and cumulative gains post image
What caught my eye this week. One of the most easily spotted and ever-repeated psychological errors we make is recency bias. This is the tendency to believe that what has happened lately will continue forever. You see it all the time in comments here. To give just three examples: In 2008 and 2009, loud commentators called me irresponsible for saying it was a good time to invest while markets were cheap and fearful. They urged other readers to keep their money in gold and/or under the mattress. When emerging markets were doing well a few years ago while developed world shares were in the [...]
Fri, Nov 24, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Budget 2017: Can building more homes be a shot in the arm for slow-growth Brexit Britain? post image
Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. Fiddling while Rome burns. Or even – if you're still somehow giddy with the possibilities – gilding the lily. To say Brexit was the elephant in the room overshadowing the 2017 Budget is a bit like saying Harvey Weinstein has a weight problem. As we continue to careen towards the cliff edge / sunny uplands, whatever is agreed in the Brexit trade talks – or lack of them – over the next 18 months will dwarf any tweaks Phillip Hammond made to the nation's steering. Long-suffering readers know I am not positive. Nor we now learn is [...]
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Special Surprise: Did you know there is now an MMM Android App? It's really good. Beautiful offline reading. Alerts you to new articles automatically, if you want. Thousands of users already. Free. Many more features (plus an Apple version) to come. It's on the Google Play Store. —- About two years ago, I switched from taking my personal car to the airport, to hailing Ubers and Lyfts. The math of it was pretty simple: Uber was cheaper than paying for my driving and parking*. And that was before the considerable joy and time savings of not having to park in the airport [...]
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, Continue reading at the source
The Chancellor's credibility was severely dented after his first budget in March when he had to backtrack on national insurance rises for the self employed which were at odds with a manifesto pledge not to increase NIC levels.Shortly afterwards, the PM called a snap election which failed to deliver the increased majority and left the Government without a majority and now relying on the DUP. Added the this is the well-documented Tory in-fighting over Brexit which is creating a very unsettled feel at the top table.Against this difficult backdrop, Hammond has to balance the books and continue the efforts [...]
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Be unapologetically fierce about pursuing your dreams
Remember that annoying kid in school who made fun of you for getting a good grade? The goal was to make you feel bad at doing well so he wouldn't feel so terrible about himself. I had plenty of encounters with such kids growing up at my public high school. In the end, I brushed their mockery aside and decided to be the best student possible to get out of Dodge. I thought the mockery would slow down as I got older, but it seems to have amplified due to the internet. Most recently, I was criticized for my idea of [...]
Mon, Nov 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source
I first started reading about personal finance and early retirement just over 5 years ago. At the time, my partner and I were living in a tiny 1-bedroomed house, desperately trying to save up for a house deposit while seeing a large chunk of our earnings disappear each month on rent, food and transport. DuringThe post The Problem With Good Personal Finance? It's Boring As Hell appeared first on . [...]
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Well, despite Mr. Money Mustache's outrageous optimism, I think we all saw this coming. I opened up my premium renewal email from Kaiser and saw this: Figure 1: My new insane medical insurance premiums for the minimum available “Bronze” program, with a $6500 deductible. My family's monthly health insurance premium, which had already more than doubled in the last few years to $674 per month, was going up a further 44% for the coming year. For no good reason, other than perhaps the the current government's attempts to kill off the Affordable Care Act. (By cutting various parts of the structure, the [...]
Sun, Nov 05, 2017, Continue reading at the source
For the past year or so I've really struggled to get my income/expenses reports done in time. The truth is i found them incredibly dull to calculate and produce as everything is pretty much just on autopilot these days as far as salary & expenses go. The only real variable is the Matched Betting incomeThe post October 2017 Networth appeared first on . [...]
Sun, Nov 05, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Scottish Mortgage is an actively managed, low cost investment trust, investing in a high conviction, global portfolio of companies with the aim of maximising its total return to its shareholders over the long term. The managers aim to achieve a greater return than the FTSE All World Index (in sterling terms) over a five year rolling period.It joined my SIPP portfolio at the start of the year at my initial purchase price of 338p. The share price has advanced 35% over the year to currently 457p which is naturally very pleasing.The trust has today issued results for the halfyear to [...]
Fri, Nov 03, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Dear readers, feast your eyes on this, which is a new development in Nine Elms in London called Versace Tower. Now the first thing you need to know is that Nine Elms is south of the river, and anywhere sarf of the river is infra dig for the cognoscenti, it's just not the place to be seen. inside London's Versace Tower. You need to view this full size to take in the true horror… I confess at first I thought the things on the side were urinals, but did wonder why you'd put a dining table in the bog. The only way [...]
Thu, Oct 26, 2017, Continue reading at the source
The Ermine has two retirement resources. One is my DB pension, which is easily enough to live on at the moment – it is deferred for only a couple more years, because the Ermine is grizzled of fur and will reach normal retirement age for most of that pension accrual, some time after Brexit, sadly. But it's denominated in pounds, and there's an inflation cap on it. Neither of these had been a particular concern until June 2016. The other is my stock market holdings, which are in two ISAs for platform diversification. I hold equities and ETFs with TD Direct, [...]
Fri, Oct 20, 2017, Continue reading at the source
10 years ago I took a step back and looked at where my life was going. Family life was great for which I was and remain incredibly fortunate. However when I looked at my career I saw an industry that was being hollowed out, was being outsourced to the lowest cost country and where all the stuff that was fun was slowly being weighed down by stuff I disliked. I was also 34 years of age and by [...]
Sat, Oct 14, 2017, Continue reading at the source
...and the pounds will look after themselves. A reasonably well known proverb that simply means if you focus on saving many small amounts of money you'll soon amass a large amount. It's also a proverb that in the circle of people I associate with both at work and in my personal life seems to not get a lot of attention. I'm a little different and so it's a proverb I've lived throughout my [...]
Sat, Oct 07, 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
Fruits of some night time labour
Deep down inside i'm a procrastinator. A phaffer. A delay artist. I like to take my time so much so that I usually take far too long. However as I've found out over the last couple of years, once you have a child you suddenly find yourself running out of time altogether. A friend once described kids as being ‘time sponges'. If you're aiming to do a good job at his parenting thing then that's a pretty accurate description. Trying to be a truly excellent parent and devoting as much non work time as possible to the task means I've had to [...]
Fri, Mar 31, 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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