Escaping the shackles (UK)

Where are you and where are you going?
Post Reply
matt0533
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:06 am

Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by matt0533 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:52 pm

I am a long time lurker as I feel like my posting is unlikely to add any value. However, I would love to converse with the members here so I'll try my best.

I'm a 26 year old living in the UK currently trying for a kid with my partner (who is on board with the ERE philosophy). I sold my house 6 months ago and moved back in with my mum bringing my partner with me. The living situation has been ideal so far. I check in often with my mum and partner, separately, to check how they are finding it. The plan is that we will hopefully have only one kid (I guess small chance of twins and chance of no kid) and continue to all live under the same roof. Not sure if I'm being naive in thinking this will work. I just know that I don't way to pay the banks interest on a mortgage or to pay extortionate rent and bills.

Mine and my partner's assets currently consist of the following:
40k cash
35k equity in partner's property which we are trying to sell
20k UK gov't bonds
10k Global index linked short term bonds
15k Developed world equity ex-uk (large cap index fund)
10k Emerging Markets index fund
5k UK equities index fund
5k Global small cap index fund
5k Global property fund

We were blindly dumping our income into bonds and funds prior to reading ERE and prior to me stumbling across Tony Deden on this forum (I've really enjoyed reading his Edelweiss Journal issues). Jacob and Tony have me very uncertain of continuing to invest in bonds and index funds hence the large cash allocation. I feel I need to get a lot of real investment reading under my belt before investing now. Tony's writing has made me concerned about how high real inflation (not just reported nonsense) actually is hence I have looked into gold. I am leaning towards this currently:

www.wisdomtree.eu/en-gb/products/ucits- ... sical-gold

Any advise on gold investing would be greatly appreciated particularly as I am currently considering a fairly big move into gold (currently thinking 25% of the portfolio). I would then keep a cash buffer of 5% of the portfolio with the remainder being individual stocks selected (should I feel comfortable doing this after substantial reading). Any suggestions on the reading would be much appreciated.

Job wise I am miserable at my current workplace. It takes up 53 hours of my week (door to door time). This includes 45 mins for lunch and my 100 mins train journey round trip. My take home is roughly 2k a month after train cost. The plan is to get an office admin job within a walking or cycling distance (1 hour round trip commute max) where the working hours total 20-25 per week. This would give me a take home of about 1k per month. This income would have to be enough to support my partner and the potential kid for the first two years as neither of us want her working during this period. She would then go back to part time work after this period with one of us being home at all times (plan to home school).

The part time job would be equally mind numbing as my current job but I lack any really useful skills and I am currently a very specialised cog in a niche industry I don't actually like.

This plan would have the benefit of giving me time to learn about investing as well as being able to spend more time with my partner and hopefully kid. I would also like to use this extra time to learn some skills such as bicycle maintenance and food growing so that we're less reliable on job income.

We currently pay £340 a month to my mum to cover rent, utilities and council tax (this is a very fortunate deal for us I realise). My mum's monetary situation is such that this amount is highly unlikely to increase in the coming years. So for the first two years we will not be adding to the pot but £660 should be enough to cover remaining expenses without having to dip into the savings built. Again please let me know if you think I am being naive.

TLDR summary and points for me to action in order of priority:
  • Learn more about gold investing as my current view is both index funds and bonds are massively overpriced and real inflation is probably not far off 10%.

    Consider dropping down to part time office admin jobs and look to update my CV.

    Get reading on individual stock investing.
Any suggestions or input would be most helpful and hopefully future posting will be much more concise.

vexed87
Posts: 1480
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:02 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by vexed87 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:16 am

Welcome! Where abouts in the UK if you don't mind me asking?

It looks like you have accumulated nicely so far, you are in a better position than I was at your age, with similar aspirations to me. I lived with my parents for 3 years until 2 years ago in order to accumulate a house deposit. There's no way DW would have stayed longer than we did. Family dynamics!

The investment strategy you go for depends very much on your appetite for risk. Based on your desire to add gold, and willingness to hold bonds, you might be interested in the permanent portfolio, it gets some praise/mentions on this forum and there's interesting discussion on it if you are prepared to dig it up. I really enjoyed this book, it's very informative, but you have to be prepared to do your own learning, as it inevitably takes on a bit of a US slant with it's terminology etc, not a huge deal if you hang out around here anyway. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Permanent-Port ... 1118288254.

My current allocation;
25% 25 year treasury bonds
25% Very short term bonds (<5 year - AKA Cash)
25% FTSE 100 Index Fund
25% Gold (mix of paper and physical)

You can always learn about active investing on the side with a small pot of fun money without risking your entire savings. Personally, I think I'm too pessimistic, I don't put as much faith that the market economy will function as it does now when I'm 60, I'm too concerned about the long-term viability of financial independence on account of peak oil and possibility of complete market failure to spend too much life energy learning about active investing. Long term, I'm hoping to invest more in line with my values, i.e. local opportunities/community/business rather than corporations dependent on vast quantities of energy and other unsustainable practices, but that's a whole other story.

DW and I had a baby girl last year, DW made the most of her maternity benefits but it hammered our savings rate and I took a month off unpaid, but frugal living meant we didn't struggle and we got that all important time with DD. Babies come along and priorities change. We are possibly moving soon. I would have never planned that before DD arrived. Thankfully, reduced expenses and high savings rate gives us options that we might not have otherwise, I'll look forward to your updates!

Earlybath
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:43 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by Earlybath » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:57 am

Hey Matt, good to see another poster from the Uk.

That's a pretty impressive start, with lots of big changes in the pipeline.

So the caveat on my comments is that I'm twice your age and have 2 teenage children, almost inevitably I'm more risk averse or than you and the reason for that risk aversion is basically kids. As vexed87 says priorities change with kids and you may find as I did that your ability to change tack is vastly reduced. So the thing that kind of leaps out is to what extent can you reverse any lifestyle changes you make now once you have a child ?

I hear you on the mortgage aversion, FWIW I minimised it by buying a fixer-upper and refurbing during weekends and holidays, learnt a lot of skills, paid off mortgage in 4 years moved to bigger house paid off in another 4 years. It was hard work but we kept mortgage below 1 x single salary and the reason for wanting the low risk was...kids. Personally, I'd have been quite happy living in a van. So even though 1 of us was always at home and one of us is a teacher, home schooling? nfw :) YMMV.

By definition It's really not frugal but the JRF minimum income calculator gives a view of how spending changes with a family.
https://www.minimumincome.org.uk/

On inflation, the only inflation rate that matters is your own personal rate so for example our core living expense inflation rate has been pretty much 0 for about the last 9 or so years. Non core spending has gone up, mostly on kids, but could be chopped.

Gold is a tough investment, I mostly use the same portfolio as vexed87 and even knowing the portfolio trade offs as a whole, Gold is a difficult hold. Considered as a single isolated investment in a portfolio? Yikes!
I don't think gold is generally considered an inflation hedge, it's more a perception of SHTF hedge. Aside from the book that vexed87b mentions, a good place to get an understanding of gold in a portfolio is https://portfoliocharts.com . Probably the most information dense way of getting your head around it is to; understand the measures, identify the ones that are important to you and play about with the chart on https://portfoliocharts.com/portfolio/portfolio-matrix/

You might want to examine critically claims for gold and real inflation rates, people have been known to fall down expensive rabbit holes.

Active stock investing isn't for me, I did try to engage with it but just no. IRL I've met people that do it quite well but it takes a lot of thinking about and you really have to be the kind of person that enjoys analysis and modelling. I suspect that its a natural progression for people that way inclined but a really tough ask if you're not, and erm Woodford.

I did say I was way more conservative than you BUT living in parents house, having a child, giving up reasonably paid work, investing in gold, stock picking, home schooling, subsisting through low paid part time work, bicycle maintenance and growing your own food? You're scaring me, It looks like a big chain of risks, is there resilience and contingency in the plan ?

You say you have no useful skills outside a niche you don't like, have you thought about retraining into a trade that would allow you more control over your time ?

matt0533
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:06 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by matt0533 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:52 pm

@vexed87 and @earlybath Thank you both for your very warm welcomes and extremely helpful responses.

@vexed87 I'm from Hertfordshire so I am extremely fortunate with the current rent I pay to my Mum. Whereabouts are you from?

I have read your journal and can definitely see the similarities in our aspirations and views. I share a similar view on peak oil. I was definitely a believer in the God of Progress prior to stumbling upon Jacob and subsequently John Michael Greer. I love John Michael Greer's advice to "collapse now before the rush". I'm also very jealous of your bike fleet!

The suggestion regarding the permanent portfolio is a good one. It is a portfolio I have been considering. I need to get round to reading some Harry Browne. I've seen numerous glowing reviews on here for his writing.

In terms of your own portfolio is the view that if there is a complete market crash no financial asset (beside perhaps physical gold) would be worth holding? That is somewhat my stance so my portfolio aim would be with that in mind (although the logistics of holding a lot of physical gold seem to be a nightmare) and then hedging against my prediction being wrong and having to go back to worshiping at the feet of the God of Progress.

Congratulations on the baby girl. I shall be looking to your journal for advice from someone a few steps ahead of me. No pressure!

matt0533
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:06 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by matt0533 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:51 pm

@earlybath Thanks again for taking the time to write such a detailed response.

The fixer upper take on property is really appealing particularly given what tradesmen charge these day. Were your skills for this all generally self taught? And if so do you mind giving some guidance how? How useful is youtube on this front? I did seriously consider living in a van for quite a while but was put off due in part to my lack of general handy skills.

Your core living expense inflation rate is very impressive. My gripe with inflation is largely due to my view that it's a hidden tax that falls on the saver. I don't want to see my purchasing power drop even if I largely don't intend to use this purchasing power. My personal view is that the US and European politics and monetary policies (don't know enough about the rest of the world) is so corrupt that I want to be as decoupled as possible from their current policies and future decisions. However I do still want to live in the UK to be close to my family. Hence I find the idea of a part time job earning up to the tax allowance whilst learning skills to become more self sufficient particularly appealing. If you couldn't tell I probably have a slight leaning toward being libertarian and pessimistic!

Thank you for recommending the portfolio chart website. I had seen that before but forgotten about just how good it is. I was quite surprised at how frequently gold and other commodities appear in the different portfolios.

With regards to the home schooling we aren't completely set on this but the view Jacob takes that schools appear to shape kids into specialised cogs that are reliant on having to purchase the basic skills of other highly specialised cogs resonates with us both. I'd be interested to hear your stance on this given your experience parenting two children and that one of you is in a teacher.

I have though about retraining as a plumber or electrician but if I put myself into the shoes of an employer in these industries I would be picking the kids I could pay apprentice wages to for as long as possible over someone my age. Plus a cushty office admin job usually allows for sneaky reading which I enjoy.

Your point on resilience is a good one. I have Antifragile by Taleb waiting for me to pick up from the library. I do have a high level qualification at my current job (similar to being a qualified accountant with ACA) which would help me go back and doesn't expire. The industry I am in thrives during recessions so should I be cast out in a recession where the part timers are first to go I should be welcomed back to my current industry. However, going back would likely mean commuting into London and going back to full time.

Again in terms of resilience my partner works in the public sector so she would have the benefits of a generous pension scheme. Also the benefit of getting a year's maternity pay at close to full pay (with the caveat of going back for a couple of months after the year is up). Freeing up time to learn some skills to become more self sufficient should also make us more resilient.

I'm certainly open to the fact I could be way off on what I think will make a family resilient particularly due to lacking any real life experience. So again your thoughts would be most appreciated.

vexed87
Posts: 1480
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:02 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by vexed87 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:10 am

@matt I'm not sure what the housing market is like out there, I assume that prices are much higher considering your proximity to central London. I guess living with family if you can is a no-brainer. I'm based in the suburbs of Leeds, so we're quite lucky housing is more affordable, but still not cheap by any stretch, we live in a middle class commuter suburb, but luckily it's quite bikeable, so no need to worry about cars and all that expense. Having a baby to think about and getting them into good schools is expensive affair if you have to buy/rent, it may also force me down the path of getting another car, but I'll resist that as long as I can! We are also doing the whole fixer-upper thing. Hopefully once we are less location dependant, we can downsize and realise the investments in property, until that day, it sure feels like burning money. :lol:
matt0533 wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:52 pm
In terms of your own portfolio is the view that if there is a complete market crash no financial asset (beside perhaps physical gold) would be worth holding? That is somewhat my stance so my portfolio aim would be with that in mind (although the logistics of holding a lot of physical gold seem to be a nightmare) and then hedging against my prediction being wrong and having to go back to worshiping at the feet of the God of Progress.
We are very used to thinking about our economy through the lens of money. And it makes sense, because the market is seemingly universal and incredibly efficient, the vast majority of humans would miss it if/when it collapses. It makes sense that we want to shield ourselves from it's failure. Sure, gold will smooth some bumps along the way but it won't really mitigate serious fallout of market failure and economic collapse. I accumulate financial capital knowing I'll depend on it to an extent up until a new kind of economy is established. If we end up in a scenario where the PP strategy fails, I think we won't be spending too much time worrying about financial capital, we will have more pressing concerns! Just like money, gold offers a comforting illusion that we can buy our way out of the predicaments we face, so long as you can keep that in the back of your mind, I still think the PP makes a sensible passive investment portfolio.

I <3 the ERE approach, because if done right as you advance through the ERE-wheaton levels, you reduce dependency on financial capital, it is really preparing us for the economies we can expect to inhabit in 5, 10 and 25 years down the line.

Earlybath
Posts: 37
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:43 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by Earlybath » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:04 am

Well given that I was fixer-uppering 20 years ago I might have a rose-tinted view but it was actually not that hard, just time consuming. I did get help in for stuff I didn't want to risk like gas work, plumbing (pre-pex) and plastering. Everything else was a case of looking it up , planning and just getting on with it. Houses are pretty tough things - if you mess something up, you do it again... and again. The biggest mistake I made was getting emotionally invested in the place, made it tough to move on.

Yep the political / monetary system is co-opted but probably always has been, however you're living in the most long lived example of both. All the states resources are aimed at maintaining and supporting the status quo, I wouldn't bet on it going bang.

I totally agree with your premise of part-time working and skills acquisition. I did have an Epiphany that once I'd convinced myself I was FI (based on consistently quite low expenses rather than huge wealth) that perhaps the stress inducing education and stress inducing job and the stress inducing commute to London (yep me too) was a piss poor life choice. It wasn't hard to imagine a part-time skills based work life outside of the SE housing bubble at that level of expenses, but I have to reiterate that kids were a mental game changer.

Yes in the abstract that is the long term flaw in the education system, in the shorter term I think the stronger case for home schooling comes from the avoidance of the child mental health issues bought on through the testing, targets and performance related pay bullshit epidemic in education. However child rearing is physically mentally and emotionally draining, I wouldn't have had the stamina to try and educate on top of it. OH says she thinks she could home school up to age 8 but thinks that it could be very hard on the child after that. Regardless, love my kids but was selfishly happy when they went to nursery school and then school.

I really couldn't advise on family resilience because the context is 20 years different.

But In hindsight I'd say our planned positive factors were
  • getting the housing sorted before children
  • keeping the mortgage low
  • having 1 years expenses expenses on hand
  • OH being able to swap in and out of recession proof work without penalty (got to love teaching) .
unexpected negative factors
  • kids triggering financial anxiety :)
  • my job turning out to unstable and recession prone
  • commuting burn out
I don't think you're way off, you've covered most of the stuff that caught me out and well if you have children you'll recognise the bombshell when it hits :)

Sabaka
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by Sabaka » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:31 am

@matt0533

Hiya man :) Good to have another U.K guy on here, think we're building up quite a contingent!

That sounds like a really rough commute. I recently quit my job which was around a similar commute time, and I can definitely understand your frustrations with work. I think there have been studies that say that any commute distance which is over 40 minutes starts to negatively impact on happiness, so it is definitely a good idea to look for a job closer to home.

One recommendation I may make is to first look for a job a bit closer to the standard 40 hours p/w. As you are planning on having a child, this extra income might afford you guys a little more security if you decide that living with your mum isn't the best option for you. As a side effect, it will also further your progress to FIRE. Also, I feel that the commute takes a lot more out of you than just the time, and by dropping to these hours and shortening the commute I believe you would still have time to develop other skills :)

Ahh, gold, one of my favourite investing subjects. Generally, I'm a gold-bear. I just don't feel that any asset which generates zero income should be taking up such a large portion in any overall portfolio. Also, if one of your main worries is inflation, I believe that generally there is not much evidence to support gold acting as a hedge against inflation. The best way to beat inflation is generate a return which outpaces it, and historically the highest returns have been offered by equities. None of this is to say that there should be no place for gold in your portfolio, but the highest I'd ever feel personally comfortable holding in it would be 10% of the portfolio (and currently I hold none).

As to investing, I myself am totally in the passive camp. I find it best to phrase it as two separate options. Either a) You invest a lot of time and resources into learning how to invest in individual stocks (and also maintaining said investments), in the hope that maybe you can return more than the average market return; or b) You do not invest this time and resources into learning how to invest, instead simply throwing everything into an index fund and accepting the market return.

Personally, I do not feel that the possible benefit offered by option A is worth the considerably higher amount of time and resources required. That time and resources could be better dedicated towards learning the other skills you talked about!

I hope that's helpful. Disclaimer. All these opinions are those of an childless 21 yo who also lives at home, so take with a grain of salt ;)

oldbeyond
Posts: 225
Joined: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:43 pm

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by oldbeyond » Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:13 am

I guess it depends a lot on the personality of those involved, but I would treat your low living expenses as a temporary windfall and enjoy it as such. In my experience people tend to become weary of such arrangements and others perception of them, especially when children are involved. That said, if it works for your it is a very ERE thing to do, not only in that you're saving money by more efficiently using resources but also in that it builds social capital and social skill. Surveying the regions of the world that get by on a lot less net energy per capita, multigenerational living is the rule, so in that sense you're way ahead of the curve. But as JMG cautions in one of his essays, something that's well suited to the coming future may not be sustainable right now. He was talking about financial realities, but I'd say the same goes for social structures as well. I feel I'm sounding very negative, but I do applaud you for trying this approach. I would simply caution against locking yourself in to that lifestyle by for example opting for a steep reduction in income, at least before you've given it a few years.

Regarding real inflation rates, play with the number yourself a bit and see what makes sense to you. If the "real" inflation is 10% and wages rise 3%, you're losing 7% of your purchasing power per year, or half of it in a decade. And that's with some goods undeniably falling in price, for example electronics and most other "stuff", so the decline in purchasing power would be even greater in other parts of the budget. Personally, I can't see that X amount of money would have bought me two times as many goods ten years ago. Most prices are still familiar from back then, even if they've increased some. If you're concerned about the money supply, I would read up on velocity of money.

I started out with the permanent portfolio, and I very much recommend the book. That said, it was designed for the US and works best there as the USD is the worlds reserve currency, benefiting from flight to safety dynamics in times of crisis. There are quite a few people who maintain a GBP version, but it might be advisable to read up on the particulars. There's a lot of information and discussion over at https://www.gyroscopicinvesting.com/forum/index.php

I'm also an acolyte of JMG:s and thus tend to have a dimmer view on the long term viability of our economy and financial system. Still, financial capital is very important under our current arrangements, and will likely continue to increase optionality for some time yet. I live simply (even if lavishly by the standards on these boards) and try to acquire valuable skills and the surplus this generates gets split between paying down debt and buying investments (equities with a defensive slant, property and gold) because that seems like the most hedged approach. I try to not get to caught up in the numbers and see it more as a life boat, good for a couple of uses, than a fortified private island.

chenda
Posts: 1128
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by chenda » Sat Jun 08, 2019 11:54 am

@matt0553 - I think in your position I might want to consider at some point moving to a remote low COL area in the UK, e.g. somewhere with very low property prices such as Scotland, Northumberland, parts of East Anglia. You could perhaps do a self-sufficiency thing of sorts, supported by one or both of you doing some part time work.

Just an idea but if you worked in town and country planning you could in theory work in any local planning authority, which would give you location independence in the UK (everywhere has a planning department) One career idea - become an arboriculturist. You don't have to climb trees, unless you want to, but its one of the few professions left where you don't need a degree to enter (there is online NVQ training an you learn on the job) Part time office based work is not uncommon.

matt0533
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:06 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by matt0533 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:37 am

Thank you all for for such a warm welcome and for challenging my current stance.
The best way to beat inflation is generate a return which outpaces it, and historically the highest returns have been offered by equities. None of this is to say that there should be no place for gold in your portfolio, but the highest I'd ever feel personally comfortable holding in it would be 10% of the portfolio (and currently I hold none).
@Sabaka I would normally agree with this but when the market growth since 2008 appears to me to have been entirely driven by credit expansion and QE to infinity I'm not so sure this holds anymore. Whilst I'm fearful of inflation eating my cash I'm even more fearful of investing in the developed world market when the CAPE ratio is 25.4. Even MMM who professes you can't time the market stated that given his knowledge now he would have not invested in index funds at the peak of the pe ratios prior to the 2008 crisis.

I also think there's limited reprise is seeking safety in government bonds given the unfathomable amount of debt they're based on. For the UK, Europe and the US to avoid a similar outcome to Greece the only option I can see available is to continue with QE such that inflation will be about 10% for the next 10 years.

To add to my fear of investing in a broad market equity index most of them are currently made up with 20% in the financial sector. I question how much this sector provides any real growth partly because the small sector of finance I work in is entirely unproductive. My view is that this sector takes up such a large proportion of these funds because after the governments the bankers are the closest to the source of the money printing. From what I've seen both parties seem to be doing very well from this.
Last edited by matt0533 on Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

matt0533
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:06 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by matt0533 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:02 am

@oldbeyond The point made in regards to waiting to see how the living arrangements pan out before making the job leap is a very good one. I had gotten ahead of myself given how well it has gone so far. We have already had a few unwelcome comments from people who disagree with the living situation for whatever bizarre reason and I expect this to get more tiresome. Also nice to see another JMG fan.
Regarding real inflation rates, play with the number yourself a bit and see what makes sense to you. If the "real" inflation is 10% and wages rise 3%, you're losing 7% of your purchasing power per year, or half of it in a decade. And that's with some goods undeniably falling in price, for example electronics and most other "stuff", so the decline in purchasing power would be even greater in other parts of the budget. Personally, I can't see that X amount of money would have bought me two times as many goods ten years ago. Most prices are still familiar from back then, even if they've increased some. If you're concerned about the money supply, I would read up on velocity of money.
My view on the inflation rate is largely anecdotal and quite weak I admit. JMG's stance is that living standards were at their highest in the 1970s/80s when energy production per capita peaked. His argument is that during this time one working class income would be enough to raise a family, own a car and take the occasional holiday. Today one working class income would not come close to affording that. This runs true when I think of my grandparents. My grandmother worked as a school supply teacher and my grandad worked as a warehouse picker. With next to nothing inherited they currently own a 4 bed house worth £700k now and have pensions that comfortably afford the upkeep of this house and to take expensive holidays 4 or 5 times a year (this is with no mortgage and nothing paid with credit).

As a caveat I still certainly would not wish to have been born when they were. As mentioned above I think inflation benefits those closest to the source and this might explain how the difference has grown dramatically in how a banker is now able to live in comparison to a teacher as compared with the difference 40 years ago.

Your point on the velocity money is a really good one. Although from brief reading it seem this theory hasn't held empirically. It is hard for me to fathom that printing as much money as has been printed since 2008 has had no real effect on inflation. I've already showed I'm quite the skeptic when it comes to government reported figures.

I realise my journal is beginning to sound a bit gloomy but I'm really happy with my current living situation and I think a push to more or less drop out of the work force would be beneficial.
Last edited by matt0533 on Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:33 am, edited 3 times in total.

matt0533
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:06 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by matt0533 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:05 am

oldbeyond wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:13 am

I started out with the permanent portfolio, and I very much recommend the book. That said, it was designed for the US and works best there as the USD is the worlds reserve currency, benefiting from flight to safety dynamics in times of crisis. There are quite a few people who maintain a GBP version, but it might be advisable to read up on the particulars. There's a lot of information and discussion over at https://www.gyroscopicinvesting.com/forum/index.php

I'm also an acolyte of JMG:s and thus tend to have a dimmer view on the long term viability of our economy and financial system. Still, financial capital is very important under our current arrangements, and will likely continue to increase optionality for some time yet. I live simply (even if lavishly by the standards on these boards) and try to acquire valuable skills and the surplus this generates gets split between paying down debt and buying investments (equities with a defensive slant, property and gold) because that seems like the most hedged approach. I try to not get to caught up in the numbers and see it more as a life boat, good for a couple of uses, than a fortified private island.
Thanks for the recommended reading on the PP. If you don't mind could you please explain what you mean by investing in equities with a defensive slant? Is this value investing or investing in index funds when the CAPE ratio seems reasonable? Or something completely different?

matt0533
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:06 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by matt0533 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:11 am

@chenda Thank you for the suggestions. Particularly in light of the point made that long term my current living situation may not continue to work.

The job suggestions are also interesting and not something I had thought of so again thank you.

matt0533
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:06 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by matt0533 » Sat Jul 06, 2019 11:54 am

Couple of big updates. The first being I quit the job I was in a few weeks ago. My health has improved vastly since quitting. I've just found the free time and the lack of decision fatigue from working a job I hate combined with a long train commute have led to me prioritising eating better and exercising everyday. Has also been nice to actually get some sun in the week rather than staring longingly out of the office windows. The lack of decision fatigue has also meant that I haven't made any stupid purchases that I often made after a long day at work.

I've read a great deal since quitting. The influence for this has come from Naval Ravikant, his brilliant podcast with Joe Rogan was linked here. The way he describes reading as a superpower resonated with me. In the last few weeks I've finished Antifragile, The Righteous Mind and am close to finishing Thinking Fast and Slow. There is so much overlap between these three books particularly on the matter that no one is anywhere near as rational as they think (particularly me given all my failings in the self test questions throughout Thinking Fast and Slow). Simple message but something that I definitely needed to hear. I will reread these books in the not too distant future.

In terms of what I plan to do now, I'm looking at public sector roles as there seems to be way more part time roles. Hopefully my next update will have me back in employment (at a max of 25 hours a week). I'm in no rush to go back though. My spending is so low and the weather has been so good here.

I also got my investments sorted. Went with the pinwheel portfolio from the portfolio charts site. I'm aware that just because it seems to have performed well in the past does not mean it will continue to perform. However it seems like the portfolio that will least likely result in me panicking during a market crash.

Sabaka
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:41 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by Sabaka » Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:53 pm

Well done on the progress! And I can also relate to the life improvement felt with quitting work too! I've found being able to enjoy the sunlight a really cool advantage also. We don't get much sun here in the U.K, and the idea of missing due to being stuck in some office cubicle fills me with dread, haha.

I loved 'Antifragile' (and all of Taleb's other books for that matter), haven't yet read 'The Righteous Mind', and personally found 'Thinking Fast and Slow' just a bit too heavy and study based for me (I prefer stories!). What do you plan on reading next?

Good luck on the job search!

matt0533
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:06 am

Re: Escaping the shackles (UK)

Post by matt0533 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:55 pm

Sabaka wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:53 pm
We don't get much sun here in the U.K, and the idea of missing due to being stuck in some office cubicle fills me with dread, haha.
It's taken me to quit to realise this but this is spot on.

I really recommend the Righteous Mind. I agree with your comment on Thinking Fast and Slow. It doesn't flow at all. The Righteous Mind is a much better read on that front.

I plan to read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker next and the rest of Taleb's books. Antifragile was one of my favourite books of all time.

Post Reply