Showing posts from 2013

What the "Rich" own vs. the "Poor"...

Fantastic graphic showing very simply the "magic formula" of becoming rich(er):

Want to be in the poorest 80% of the Western world? Put most of your money into your house and borrow money to fund a lifestyle (cars, holidays etc.)

Want to be in the richest 20%? Start your own business and spend money on investments (stocks / shares / bonds etc.). Keep borrowing to a minimum.

Fantastic explanation of the economy and the debt cycle...

Pay attention to this - it's more relevant now than it's been in the past 30 years...

Pension vs. ISA...

Here's one of the reasons I prefer putting my retirement savings into an ISA instead of a Pension: you never quite know what the government is going to do with the money in your pension...

Already in my lifetime, the rules have been changed on pensions meaning that I can no longer access "my" money until I'm 55. It used to be 50 and I suspect it will be higher still by the time I finally retire.

UPDATE 30th Sept 2013:

Another excellent article from Merryn @ MoneyWeek:

Q1 2013 UK House Price Update...

Mixed results this quarter for house prices. In real terms, (non-seasonally adjusted) prices reported by Nationwide fell by £700 this quarter for the UK as a whole. For Halifax, the same figure is an increase of £800.

For Northern Ireland, the average of Nationwide and Halifax figures show an increase of £2600! One swallow does not a summer make, so I await to see if the trend remains for more than one quarter. You can see from the long-term graph that price changes tend to be slow and that trends can only be established over periods of years, not months.

I've updated the graph a little to show current house price "crash" vs. the previous one in the 90s. In both cases, "crash" is an exaggeration - it's really just a long-term correction and only visible if prices are viewed in real terms.

I'm still waiting to see what happens with the government's various house price supports ("Funding for Lending" and "Help to Buy"). Interest r…

More fun with demographics...

Just a quick graph of the number of people born in the UK (shifted 42 years - e.g. the value for 2013 is actually the number of people born in 1971) and house prices.

Presented without comment.


Q4 2012 UK House Price Update...

Halifax have just today released their Q4 update for UK house prices, so I can combine them with Nationwide's to formulate an average, real price for both the UK and Northern Ireland (where I currently live).

Remember my hypothesis is that house prices are primarily driven by demand, and that demand is primarily driven by the number of people able to buy (not wanting to buy, but able to buy). The grey line on the graph is the number of people in the segment of the population I consider most likely to be in this category and you can see how well past prices have correlated with this line.*

Remember also that this graph is real prices. When dealing with time frames any longer than about a year, the corrosive effects of inflation on the value of money must be taken into account. As I outlined previously, it's more honest to discuss inflation in terms of the falling value of a currency than the rising cost of goods and services.

Since the start of the downturn (Q1 2008), houses ha…

Quick, lazy tip for dieting in 2013

Super lazy post because I've been insanely busy since my last post!

I'm currently in a hotel in Belgium chowing down on some salad that I bought from a petrol station because it's part of my new "how to stay lean while travelling overseas for business" plan.

Here's a handy tip for you to manage dieting without needing to count every calorie:

Take a look at the food label - if it contains less then 100 calories per 100g, you can pretty much eat as much as you want. If it contains over that, proceed with caution.

The reason for this is caloric density, which I believe is the major cause of the Western world's obesity problem. Food these days is simply so readily available and filled with calories. The human body evolved on foods like vegetables, berries and meat (think fish, deer, bison, mammoth), hence why I'm also a big proponent of "paleo" style diets. All of these foods contain either a lot of water, fibre, vitamins or protein. They fill …