Keeping Fit

One of the biggest issues with financial independence is that it has the potential to be sedentary. Sure it’s great to have all this time on your hands and to work on projects but a lot of these activities involve sitting down.

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January Financial Update

Well that was January, graveyard of New Years resolutions. By any measure the market performance in January was pretty incredible (or worrying if your world view is that way inclined). Most people are saying the market is overcooked, but they have been saying that for the last few years. I do wonder how much further it will go.

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In Which I Predict the Stock Market for the Next Five Years

No, really.

Apologies for the clickbait headline. But I thought I would run an experiment. No one can actually predict the stock market as if they could they would be richer than everyone else on the planet! You might as well just roll some dice. So that’s exactly what I did.

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It’s Not Just a US Problem

Like many bloggers in the FIRE community i’m based in the US, so sometimes it’s natural to feel that the issues around lack of saving for retirement and having enough money for a comfortable future are exclusive to the US.

As a British citizen by birth I also keep a close eye on the UK situation too. Although in the US we often think of Europe as having a larger safety net fueled by higher taxes the UK doesn’t really fall into this space. Typically people get the state pension (equivalent to US social security) in their mid sixties. For younger people currently they would be scheduled to get it at 68 as the government is changing the age of receipt due to changes in life expectancy and fallout from the global economic meltdown of 2008.

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To Diversify Further or Not

Photo by Binyamin Mellish from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/home-real-estate-106399/

You have probably noticed that the stock market has gone crazy. Last year was an incredible year with 20%+ rises in most market. So far in 2018 most markets are up over 5%,  our portfolio is up by more than my entire salary for my last full year when I worked in just 3 weeks. It’s insane.

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Issues with Language

A few weeks ago at our local pub quiz we had a question that I should have known – it was along the lines of “What important book was written by E. B. White (of Charlotte’s Web fame) and William Strunk?” I used the little “Elements of Style” book in high school and all through college and my mother referred to it so often that I was really ticked off when I couldn’t remember the title that night. As a graduate of a liberal arts college, my four years of study included dozens of term papers and essays, all of which were constantly graded not only for content but grammar and language usage as well. Over time my writing improved and eventually others came to me to review their papers and slides for grammar. All proceeded well until I came to Portland where assumptions about pronouns and grammatical accuracy required a revisit.

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Keep it Simple Stupid.

The other day I was asked if I would take a look at a family member’s 401K allocations. Nothing major, but they just wanted some clarification that they were investing appropriate to their risk tolerance.

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Gloomhaven – An Entrepreneurial Success Story.

You can’t buy the best board game in the world. A look on boardgamegeek shows that sitting at number one is the game Gloomhaven. It hasn’t been released yet, so how can it be at number one?

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Objectives for 2018

Most businesses operate under a system called management by objectives. In order to align everyone’s behavior, employees will typically have an integrated set of business objectives in order to reach a company’s overall business goals. If an individual employee succeeds with some or all of their objectives they typically get a bonus.

There is no reason why a similar set of objectives cant be set at a family level in order to focus and foster good behavior to meet the family’s needs.

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December Financial Update

So that was 2017. By any standards from a market point of view it was pretty spectacular with all major markets up by 20% or more. I don’t think this year will be anywhere close to this but clearly this is the kind of results that makes it important to be involved appropriately in the market.

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