We’re almost two-thirds of the way through a year that seems to have disappeared. Memorable for COVID-19, lockdown and, if you’re that way inclined, the fastest bear market and reversal on record. We’re now back where we started in February/ March. Sports, bars and shops are re-opening. US markets are reaching all time highs. Almost like those six months didn’t happen and COVID has disappeared.
It certainly didn’t feel like that working in the NHS in March & April.
I’m finding it quite challenging to reflect on the past six months. It’s been a blur of lurching from hypothetical crisis to crisis in the news, averting potential problems, while simultaneously blending mundane existence. One of the consultants I work with has managed to squeeze in cheap holidays to Venice, France, and now Ireland, completely missing all quarantines. I envy him. Most of us have gone to work, gone to a food shop in a mask, watched Netflix, switched off. I wonder if this is what the routine of dementia-inducing retirement feels like?
The media has been commenting on ‘revenge spending’ – people splurging after they’ve been forced to save by lockdown (1). Apparently it’s driving lots of new car sales (2). Why the hell is it called ‘revenge spending’. “I’m sticking it to the ‘big man’ by dropping 20 large on a new Corsa”. What a load of dung.
Personally I think these are all attempts by people to do things worth remembering. ‘Remember that time we went to Zante during lockdown’. ‘Remember when we came back from holiday on an overbooked TUI flight and everyone got COVID’. ‘Remember when we replaced our three year old car with a new car’. Mentally marking the passage of time with big events.
Others seem to be taking comfort from doing the same old thing. Going to the same places. Visiting favourite restaurants previously shut. Spending £300/month on clothes you wear once (3). Publicly grumbling on an anonymous blog. We take pleasure where we can.
From a ruminative Shrink, have a great week,
- Ice sheets are melting at the worst prediction rate – Independent (4)
- House prices reach an all-time high – BBC (5) – Is this even news any more?
- The Gov has confirmed plans to delay access to private pensions to 57 – FT (6)
- Tech stocks got a bit hammered at the end of the week (7)
- The first in a series of blogs postulating/ proving that we’re in a bubble, and we need to ride it out – Seeking Alpha (8)
- Regarding a potential impending collapse as a ‘Minksy moment’ – CNBC (9)
- More on ‘the end game’ with a particular focus on Berkshire Hathaway – Forbes (10)
- “Goodbye to the ‘Pret economy’ and good luck to whatever replaces it” – FT (11)
- “Tesla’s nickel quest highlights metal’s environmental burden” – FT (12)
- Nils Pratley on SMT in the current market- Guardian (13)
- Finumus gives reasons why you shouldn’t currency hedge your equity exposure (14)
- ERN comments on an ongoing US FIRE debate following a post from Financial Samurai who reckons the SWR should now be 0.5% (15)
- Michael at Foxy Monkey covers the good old All Weather Portfolio (16)
- The Banker On Fire looks at the money making potential of the stock market (17)
- The IT Investor explores why you’d invest in a Commodities Trust (18)
- Fire Musings considers whether we should chunk retirement into different spending phases (19)
- South Wales FI on the old rent vs buy argument (20)
- Life After the Daily Grind has a selection of good free landlord apps (21)
- I’m not the only introspective one, as Sparklebee reflects on 2020 so far (22)
- And TEA chats with Andy Hart of the Maven Money podcast on the same topic (23)
- GFF continues his prolific posting covering, among other things, the all time high house prices (24)
- The eagle is getting a conservatory (25)
- DIY Investor UK has full year results for Mid-Wynd (26)
- Indeedably is thinking about how far we’re come in 50 years (27)
- Playing with Fire looks at a fancy coffee machine as a way of saving money (28)
- TI @ Monevator breaks down our K-shaped recovery in the weekend reading (29)
- While TA looked at the ISA allowance this week (30)
- It’s the end of the month, so there’s a host of portfolio updates. First from Tony at One Million Journey (31)
- The Savings Ninja has made it to Sweden (32)
- Weenie updates with her savings (33)
- September Aims from The Frugal Cottage (34)
- A P2P portfolio update from The Obvious Investor (35)
- Can’t Swing A Cat has their August income (36)
- Early Retirement Guy has a new worth update (37)
- There’s an August review at A Simple Life with Sam (38)
- Average Money Man updates their Freetrade diary (39)
- A Way to Less have their August monthly spending (40)
- And A Path to Life 2 reflects on their first year of the FI journey (41)