Good Reads

Living a middle class lifestyle on $300,000 a year
In order to comfortably raise a family in an expensive coastal city like San Francisco or New York, you've got to make at least $300,000 a year. You can certainly raise a family earning less as many do, but it won't be easy if your goal is to save for retirement, save for your child's education, own your own home instead of rent, and actually retire by a reasonable age. Although $300,000 is a lot compared to the median household income in the United States of ~$59,000, it's not an outrageous sum of money once you look at the realistic income [...]
Mon, Mar 19, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Last year I was helping a friend to construct a diversified multi-asset portfolio. She wanted a low volatility, low cost, diversified asset mix and decided on a blend of Vanguard Lifestrategy (20 & 40) as a core of the portfolio with a smaller allocation between Personal Assets Trust, HSBC Global Strategy Cautious and Royal London Sustainable Managed Growth. I have followed the fortunes of this portfolio. I already hold the Lifestrategy funds - 40 & 60, however I have been impressed with the RL fund in particular and decided to add it to my own portfolio earlier this month. The [...]
Sun, Mar 18, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Weekend reading: Where are all the billionaires? post image
What caught my eye this week. How many more billionaires would there be if the millionaires of yesteryear had embraced passive investing1 and saved themselves a bundle? That's the provocative opener in this short video from Robin Powell, the man behind The Evidence-based Investor blog. Robin's subject – Victor Haghani of fund manager Elm Partners – makes plenty of sensible points about keeping costs low and investment aims simple. The video is a nice five-minute introduction to the case for passive investing. However the class warrior in me is rather glad that the super-rich continue to pour billions into expensive hedge funds. If we're to [...]
Fri, Mar 16, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Real estate will always be more desirable than stocks
For most of my post college life, I've had a drastically larger exposure to real estate over stocks. I needed a place to live so I figured it was better to pay down a mortgage than to pay someone rent. When it was time to buy another property, I simply rented out my old place for positive cash flow, and enjoyed my new place until it was time to rent it out again and buy a new place. I've gone through this buy-rent-buy cycle three times now, and it's been by far the easiest way to make and save several million [...]
Thu, Mar 15, 2018, Continue reading at the source
A dice where one side is a skull
Consumer champions like ThisIsMoney and Money Box regularly report on people who've come unstuck with an investment scam, pseudo-bond, or other moneymaking scheme. These media outlets do a good job highlighting dodgy financial advice – and outright scammers and crooks. But too often it appears that neither the punter nor the journalist is aware of the investing risks that were being taking by these hapless members of the public, even when a particular scheme was legal. Typically the victim – Phil, a 52-year old school teacher, Camilla, a 33-year old care worker, or Basey, a 19-year old student – doesn't seem to have [...]
Wed, Mar 14, 2018, Continue reading at the source
It is now 3 years on since my initial purchase of this UK income index fund.The Vanguard fund tracks the FTSE UK Equity Income Index. The concept is fairly simple - to give investors access to a broad range of dividend-paying securities from across the FTSE 350, while reducing the risk of being overly invested in a small number of high-yielding shares or particular industry sectors by limiting the percentage of the index invested in any one company or industry.The Vanguard fund holds around 120 companies - the top ten holdings include all the usual suspects - Vodafone, Glaxo, Lloyd [...]
Mon, Mar 12, 2018, Continue reading at the source
It's not always sunny on The Med The past few months have seen me pass through my annual work performance review, my annual salary review and a new HR initiative which seems to have been designed to suppress salaries (read suppress the salaries of the highest performers). The results of all that for me were that despite my strong work ethic (first into the office, last out of the office and [...]
Sat, Mar 10, 2018, Continue reading at the source
So, I'm assuming you are here reading this because you want to get yourself some more money. And since this is Mr. Money Mustache and not a standard financial publication, you're willing to think about the bigger picture: Not necessarily “Maximum money at all costs so I can have a nice, spendy retirement!” More like “A good, fun amount of money so I can walk outa this cubicle with confidence and never look back.” Making that mental leap is a huge one. It takes you from a life of permanent pursuit of the unattainable, to one where you get to the “Enough” stage pretty [...]
Fri, Mar 09, 2018, Continue reading at the source
… because they're young. Young people generally don't have savings, and it beats me where the idea came from that they should have. H/T to Monevator, who introduced me to the idea that people in FT land are feeling troubled that only one in six millennials have £100,000 in savings. My personal reaction to that was WTF, what do these guys know that I didn't? I was in my late 40s before I ever saw an account with six figures to my name. Apparently you need a deposit of £100k to buy a house in London. Housing has always been expensive [...]
Thu, Mar 01, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Wow, first post of 2018 and it's already March. I apologise to anyone who follows this tracking every month for the large gap in networth and post updates so far this year. I've had alot going on which caused a big disruption to my finances and so I didn't think it worthwhile to post any The post February 2018 Networth and life update appeared first on . [...]
Thu, Mar 01, 2018, Continue reading at the source
Well it looks like asset prices don't always go up. Of course I'm not surprised by this revelation but the mainstream media did seem surprised with headlines such as “Dow loses 7 million points in the session” and “Worst market performance since dinosaurs roamed the earth” but then of course they need sensationalism as they're attention seeking. The market action even meant that it made the [...]
Sat, Feb 10, 2018, Continue reading at the source
There have been some interesting studies of work of late, and I took a read of some of these because the general picture I am getting is that the world of work has been steadily getting more and more horrible since I quit the workforce in 2012. A gem of a book that explains a lot of what is happening to work and what happened to my job is this book, which I discovered while web-ratholing via George Monbiot's recent column. I was always going to be a sucker for his lede It's untenable to let salaried work define us. although perhaps [...]
Thu, Feb 08, 2018, Continue reading at the source
It is pretty well known at this point that Mr. Money Mustache is enamored with solar power. Besides the obvious Sci-Fi coolness of it (Electricity, Satellites, Futuristic Robots!) and the eco-friendliness of it (energy with zero noise or pollution), in the last five years the money side of things has finally matured, so that solar power is now the cheapest way to make electricity – even before you account for the added bonus of any available subsidies and the benefits of pollution-free living. A Watt of Solar Panels: From $100+ to under fifty cents (2017) in less than my lifetime (image [...]
Thu, Feb 08, 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
This past month has pretty much been on auto-pilot, which is ironic considering my recent thoughts on how boring personal finance can be. I spent quite alot of time speaking with my accountant trying to get my tax liability finally sorted. HMRC seem to have a real problem with me switching jobs during the last The post November 2017 Networth appeared first on . [...]
Tue, Dec 05, 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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