Bankai's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
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Re: Bankai's Journal

Post by ertyu »

To whom it may concern, I don't always comment, but I read also

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Re: Bankai's Journal

Post by guitarplayer »

Bankai wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:56 pm
Thanks for reading! I was considering discontinuing this journal for some time now so it's good to see that it's still useful for someone.
Now that would be a shame!
Bankai wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:56 pm
And yeah, no salt/sugar for a couple of weeks changes the taste dramatically!
Yup same here. I think I overdo it with salt, partly because it seems to me that South America is big on using salt and DW is from there.
Bankai wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:56 pm
re: spark - this is actually quite important and it took me a decade to understand this. I spent a decade working shitty jobs before I got into analytics. For most people analyzing data would be boring as hell but I like it for numerous reasons - mainly because it agrees with my personality (highly analytical & introverted). If I was to give myself from 12y ago one piece of advice, it would be to get a job that I like and that challenges me rather than drift aimlessly between jobs that were a bad fit.
Funnily enough, I spent nearly a year working as a market research analyst a few years ago and totally could not carry on. I really liked the analytics bit, and it was researching if the new products of the big corp (our clients) could get them even bigger market share. So in principle quite cool, we were coming up with various projections of the future profits based on data from customers. But then I was working on air fresheners and my colleagues would do laundry liquids, tampons and chocolate bars... Sometimes I think about working in analytics again, but maybe in the public sector to look at demographic changes or something along those lines. What analytics do you do?
Bankai wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:56 pm
re: buying a flat - Glasgow is definitely much more affordable - you can buy a nice 2-bed within walking distance from the city center for £100k. With current mortgage rates, your total housing cost can be as little as £600/m (mortgage, council tax, energy, factor fees, broadband). That's another thing that took me forever to sort - for a decade I was resisting buying because I wanted to keep flexibility. But flexibility has a massive opportunity cost (easily a few hundred £ per month) and you can always sell if you decide to move, especially that transaction costs in the UK are very low compared to the US for example.
Yup I struggle with this now. Although we do not need a flat at the moment, once we move on we will. And it just feels a bit awkward to sign up for such a huge loan for someone who has been debt free throughout life! By the way, if you have any tips on 'up and coming' parts of Glasgow, let me know! I think I have similar criteria to yours, whenever I use I look through 'crime' filter first.
Bankai wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:56 pm
re: pay - they did and offered me an increase halfway through between their original offer and my counter-offer. I agreed to it and I'm quite happy I did - it's more interesting and challenging now and I'd probably do it even for the same pay so extra money is just a bonus. Having said that, it was one of the rare occasions where risk: reward ratio for asking was very good, i.e. nothing would happen if they refused (unless I chose to do something i.e. quit) but on the other hand the potential upside was a few £k per year for just a short chat with my manager. I was never good at asking for what I want so I now make a conscious effort to a) ask when I want something & b) be on a constant lookout for these rare low risk/effort: high reward opportunities.
Happy to hear that and yes, asking for stuff does not always come naturally but sometimes is definitely worth the effort.
Bankai wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:56 pm
Your current job/housing situation sounds really cool and you seem to be quite happy with it - is there any reason why you think of changing it? Do you have in mind what you'd like to do next? Is it something similar to what you do now or something else entirely?
Yes we like it at the moment. It is more that I am trying to come up with some contingency plans, especially because DW is less keen on the job than I. I have some background with research and so thought about pursue it as an alternative (also, I like to research stuff). It also feels to be a very tightly coupled system with the job and life(style) being very interconnected. I would like to loosen it up a bit perhaps. I am thinking about doing a degree with OU which would be part time and funded by SAAS, partly out of curiosity and partly as a potential gateway to something new.

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Re: Bankai's Journal

Post by Bankai »

@ertyu: thanks for reading!

@guitarplayer: OU sounds good, although it's by no means mandatory requirement to change career. Unlike in many other countries, in the UK experience or often even just the potential employer can see in you is more important than credentials. I guess it's similar to states in this way. Another thing is that getting a degree takes a long time while getting minimum experience/knowledge required for a job can be obtained much quicker. An alternative approach might be something like:

1. find a job you want
2. list all the requirements (technical/systems/soft skills etc.)
3. work on them starting with essential ones until you can convincingly demonstrate at least basic level of competence
4. get an interview and if not successful, ask for feedback and back to point 3.

Of course, some employers insist on a relevant degree, but many do not nowadays.

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Dec - Mar update (money)

Post by Bankai »

OK an update is long overdue so here it is


£2,038 / £1,019 per person / 1.75 JAFI
Excluding the capital part of the mortgage payment £1,822 / £911 per person / 1.56 JAFI
Main expenses: new laptop £750

£1,216 / £608 pp / 1.04 JAFI
£1,000 / £500 pp / 0.86 JAFI

£967 / £483 pp / 0.8. JAFI
£741 / £375 pp / 0.64 JAFI

£1,095 / £547 pp / 0.94 JAFI
£879 / £440 pp / 0.75 JAFI


Dec 59% / 63% including the capital part of the mortgage payment as savings
Jan 75% / 80%
Feb 80% / 85%
Mar 78% / 82%

2019 70%
2020 YTD 82%

Expenses in 2019 were the highest on record at £19.7k / £9,850 pp. The main contributors were: stuff (2 new laptops, 2 new smartphones, microwave, dehumidifier, smartwatch and bunch of small stuff), clothes, travel, eating out, alcohol i.e. all the non-ERE nonsense. However, we still managed to keep our combined expenses below £20k (£17k excluding the principal part of the mortgage payment*).

*I'm tired of typing this phrase over and over so going forward I'll use PPOMP instead of 'the principal part of the mortgage payment'

On the other hand, 2020 started really well with SR at 82% in Q1. This is mainly due to the current pandemic as most non-food places are closed so opportunities to waste money are scarce. I expect Q2 to be similar baring another unexpected event. Expenses will probably go up again in Q3-Q4 once places reopen unless we decide we don't need anything after doing without for six months.



I checked my retirement accounts first time since the crisis started and I'm actually down 3.5% of NW due to the current bear market. That's OK though as it's less than 2 months of savings. More importantly, my investment accounts are all in cash so I avoided this massive hair cut.

Monthly passive income (@4% WR) after paying off the mortgage and bills - £68

Financial plans for 2020

1. Open new investment ISA with meets the following requirements:
- low or no fees & commissions
- mobile app
- good charting tools
- access to US markets

2. Move £20k from cash into investment ISA before the deadline (6th April)

3. Continue saving at the current rate for as long as lockdown is in place; once lifted, resist shopping/eating out/traveling, etc.

4. Achieve massive returns in the new bull market

I'll post other bits separately as this post is already getting too long.


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Re: Bankai's Journal

Post by Sabaka »

Hiya Bankai,

Well done on maintaining a good savings rate despite the purchases! Most of those purchases seem to be multi-year items items, so you are well set up for the next few years! :)

I am also hoping that the quarantine will help to keep my own expenses down, but the library has also closed and I'm reading much more, so who knows? :lol:

As regards to an Investment ISA, one you might like to have a look at is Trading212. I believe it meets your four requirements, although I've not used their charting tools previously so I am not sure as to their quality. More information can be found here if you are interested: ... ns?tab=ISA

Good luck for the future, stay healthy! :)

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Re: Bankai's Journal

Post by Bankai »

Thanks Sabaka!

Yeah, all the big items should now be good for the next few years, unless something in the kitchen breaks. I hope to continue with high SR considering that there are not many ways to waste money nowadays and we're unlikely to go abroad this year. But then again that's what I was thinking each of the last few years and there was always something coming up so let's wait and see.

Re: books - the open library is a great free source:

I did consider Trading212 but in the end, I opened an account with IG. So far so good, their platform is better than anything I used before and commissions are quite cheap (£3 for UK stocks and free for US stocks) if you make enough trades, which I intend to do.

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Dec - Mar update (health)

Post by Bankai »

2019: 361/365 I missed two days due to flu and the other two just forgot.
2020Q1: 82/91 I missed 8 days after having wisdom teeth extracted (working out with a mouthful of blood is no fun) and forgot once.

2019: 4.1M (11.25k a day)
2020: 530k (5.5k daily) - can already see the adverse impact of lockdown and WFH. Still, plenty of time to make it back.

I had another dip early in the year when the dentist messed up with my routine. However, due to the pandemic, I'm WFH since early Mar and have much more time and energy for heavier workouts and the weight is going up nicely. However, it's not all lean so I need to tinker with my diet a bit.

Health & fitness goals for the year
  • Never miss a workout for the remainder of the year
  • Weight up to 80kg (currently 76kg)
  • BF down to 10-12% (unsure what the current level is, online calc suggests 17-19% but I think way less than that)
  • 5k below 20 minutes (last year PB 22:51)
  • 25 pull-ups (PB 18)
  • bench press 125% bodyweight (PB 107%)
  • Murph below 1 hour (haven't done any yet but probably would need 1h20m)
If I achieve all of those I'd be amazed and very satisfied, but even getting halfway there will be good.

Edit: I also ditched coffee and alcohol c. 3 months ago. So far so good, don't miss them at all, but I still expect to have an occasional beer on a hot summer day.

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