The Full English Accompaniment – Question Time Chapter I

What’s piqued my interest this week?

I’d like to start off this week with a little thank you to Weenie, YFG, TI, and a welcome to all new readers. After a few discussions with YFG and Weenie on last week’s Full English, Weenie said some very kind things in her blog (1).  This combined with a mention on Monevator by TI in this week’s weekend reading has meant my readership exposure has shot up (2). When I saw the stats, my eyebrows tried to keep pace with the graph. Hopefully they’ll be return from my hairline soon.

Following our discussions, YFG, Weenie and I all appear to have set up accounts with Starling bank. If you’d like to join too, this link will act as a referral code (3). There’s no monetary reward, but I do get some little hearts in my app. Ain’t that nice. Since Martin Lewis recommended them on his ITV show the application process has slowed a little, but it’s still pretty painless (4).

Back to The Full English proper. This week I’ve been starting to develop an investment strategy. Monevator, as the doyen of passive investing UK blogging, of course started my journey with the guides to passive investing (5). Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing, Intelligent Investor and the essays of Warren Buffett are also in this list and in my reading pile.

Why don’t I just bang my spare cash in a Vanguard LS100 or LS80? Certainly the Evidence-Based Investor further supported the previous analyses that I’d expect better returns than most active funds (6). It’s too simplistic for me; I want more control.

So what about some active funds, which ones to choose? How do you pick your international exposure, and is it (should it be?) something that changes over time? I had a read through Moneywise’s first 50 funds for beginners (7), and started to build a list of active funds which contained interesting companies and investments. This is by no means finalised.

I was led to wonder should I just invest directly in shares, and cut out the middle man. After all, stocks and shares go up over time (8). Some fantastically-timed posts came out from the diy investor UK and John Kingham at the UK Value Investor (9, 10), highlighting the basics of share investments strategies. There was also a guest post over at TheFireStarter about investing outside of the UK and the FTSE100 (11). I started to build a list of companies I’d invest in, mainly in mining – a whole separate blog post.

To balance the risk of shares, I thought about bonds. Good timing as ever, in the week that NS&I cut it’s maximum bond deposit from £1m to £10k (12). I went back to Monevator again to look at corporate bonds (13). A short hop from there to P2P lending, including Ratesetter, and then through TFS again to The House Crowd for property investment (14, 15).

A lot to take in and muse on, without even getting into Cryptocurrency. Five years ago a financially savvy friend suggested I buy some bitcoin. At the time as a student my main financial concerns were the effect on alcohol prices of inflation, the corresponding waistline inflation, and how many pound-a-pint nights my student loan would stretch to.  I continue to prefer the volatility of a works night out to bitcoin valuation.

Which is where this blog ends with a question. Where did you, reader, find the information to guide your investment strategy?

Have a great weekend,

The Shrink

Side Orders


Blogs/ Opinion pieces:

What I’m reading:

I’ve recently finished When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanathi and would completely recommend it. Wonderfully written, it’s the memoirs of a neurosurgeon who sought to find meaning, fulfillment and an understanding of purpose in his work and through a masters in literature, before finding it as he approached his own death from cancer in his 40s.

Eric – Terry Pratchett – light relief

Religio Medici and Urne-Buriall by Sir Thomas Browne – the theological and psychological reflections of a C17th doctor – new to my bedside

Enchiridion by Epictetus – Bedside reading for a bad day



4 thoughts on “The Full English Accompaniment – Question Time Chapter I

  1. Well done on making it onto Monevators weekend reading! My investment strategy was not so much a strategy as a series of knee jerk decisions after reading too much for too long. Active funds back in 2001 with a lump sum. Nothing more till 2008 then drip feed into another UK active fund. Monevator helped me see the light and I have invested in Vanguard Lifestrategy since then – because I am happy not having that much control and love the simplicity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am also in LS. 50/50 split between LS100 and LS80. Starting to have doubts about the over exposure to the UK but will stay the course for now. Thanks for the reference. Don’t go anywhere near the HouseCrowd. Just look at the dragons den pitch. It’s a joke.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cheers for the shout out and hope you get some hearts for your Starling app! 🙂

    My portfolio is a mix of active and passive, mostly the latter. Monevator, DIY Investor UK and Retirement Investing Today helped shape my strategy, plus Tim Hale’s Smarter Investing book.


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