Full English Accompaniment – Embracing change

I am increasingly frustrated by state and institutional approaches to long-term planning. Working in the NHS means I’ve long known the government takes a quick fix strategy, rather than actually calculating the most effective long-term solution. I naively assumed that this would not be the case for industry, or industrial planning. Proper industrial & financial planning has worked for so many countries, surely we would look at five-ten year plans in the UK. I was wrong, and it makes me sad.

What brought this to the forefront of my thinking? Government announcements this week about strategies to help with housing. Since the 1950s there has been low levels of housebuilding in the UK, and much of the UKs property market is underutilised. What is the Governments strategy? Fanfare-laden ‘Generation Buy’, a tagline for a plan to remove the financial risk restrictions imposed after the 2008 housing bust-up (1). 95% mortgages here we come. BoJo told the Telegraph he wanted to “create a “Generation Buy” of young people enabled to engage in the world of capitalism by investing in their own home” (1). I mean the only reason they can’t invest in their own home at the moment is the disequilibrium of house price/ earnings, but much easier to create further debt and financial risk than either a) increase earnings or b) decrease house prices. Plus the tory bedrock are satisfied as their house prices continue to increase after the COVID lockdown uptick (2).

All the while the world burns. Literally in some places. You’d be forgiven for missing the massive toxic waste spill that’s occurred in Kamchatka this month (3). Huge swathes of seabed sterilised. Only coming to light after surfers come ashore blind due to chemical burns. That doesn’t matter though. Much more important things going on that deserve column space, like mineral firms potentially becoming pawns in geopolitical battles (4).

Thankfully a few people pay attention to natures warning signs. Crusty suits and stuffy politicians may be avoidant of new ideas, but the market isn’t. Plenty of investors and companies, including among the FI community, are putting funds into change. DIY Investor UK is a great example, investing in a fossil free portfolio that follows his convictions (5). Gentleman’s Family Finances documents his experiences with Abundance, a platform that enables you to invest in bond/loan-type products for sustainable projects (6, 7). Both Abundance and rival Clim8invest are currently raising money through Seedrs/CrowdCube (7, 8). Where the is interest, there is a market.

I am left with a speck of hope. People will vote with their feet, and if enough people invest or spend sustainably then progress will follow the money, not Governmental plans. Change will happen.

Have a great week,

The Shrink

N.B. This is likely to be the last Full English for some time, for NHS/ personal reasons. The UK FIRE Blog RSS tracker will remain here for your weekly fix of posts: UK FIRE Blog Feed


Opinion/ Comment/ Blogs:


  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-generation-buy-mortgage-deposits-b754599.html
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/07/uk-mortgage-approvals-at-12-year-high-as-house-prices-keep-rising
  3. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/07/asia/russia-kamchatka-toxic-marine-life-death-intl/index.html
  4. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/10/04/us-invests-british-miner-fight-chinese-control-rare-metals/
  5. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/10/fossil-free-portfolio-update.html
  6. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/10/05/literally-investing-in-abundance/
  7. https://www.abundanceinvestment.com/
  8. ww.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/10/04/us-invests-british-miner-fight-chinese-control-rare-metals/
  9. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/timeseries/dgd8/ukea
  10. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-8786339/Rate-cuts-come-fast-brutal-NS-blow.html%E2%80%A8
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/27/bank-of-england-rate-setter-backs-negative-interest-rates
  12. https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/cineworld-close-cinemas-after-no-time-die-delayed-b772792.html
  13. https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-bans-sale-crypto-derivatives-retail-consumers
  14. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/money-makeover/money-makeover-33-nine-buy-to-lets-can-retire-40/
  15. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54370026
  16. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-54432739
  17. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/achieve-financial-independence-170047857.html
  18. https://earlyretirementinuk.blogspot.com/2020/10/end-of-month-report-september-2020.html
  19. https://sparklebeeblog.wordpress.com/2020/10/01/monthly-update-sep-2020/
  20. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2020/10/03/september-2020-plus-other-updates-2/
  21. https://firelifestyle.co.uk/2020/10/03/financial-update-19-summer-is-over-october/
  22. https://playingwithfire.uk/september-2020-big-spending-alert/
  23. https://awaytoless.com/monthly-spending-september-2020/
  24. https://www.onemillionjourney.com/savings-september-2020/
  25. https://firevlondon.com/2020/10/04/sep-2020-update-on-a-zero-month-and-on-q3/
  26. https://pathtolife2.com/2020/10/05/financial-independence-update-september-2020/
  27. https://sassenachsaving.home.blog/2020/10/05/september-net-worth-and-goals-update/
  28. https://www.moneymage.net/2020-september-savings-report/
  29. https://www.thefrugalcottage.com/dividend-income-september-2020/
  30. https://thesavingninja.com/savings-report-27/
  31. https://adotium.co.uk/2020/10/03/autumn-2020-report/
  32. https://moneygrower.co.uk/third-quarter-dividend-income-2020/
  33. https://obviousinvestor.com/p2p-lending-portfolio-update-september-1st-2020/
  34. https://southwalesfi.co.uk/2020/10/09/fees-and-fire/
  35. https://averagemoneymanagement.wordpress.com/2020/10/09/cost-vs-value/
  36. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/10/10-years-of-fundsmith-equity/
  37. https://bankeronfire.com/office-puppet-show
  38. https://indeedably.com/millionaire/
  39. https://moneybulldog.co.uk/do-you-really-need-pet-insurance/
  40. https://littlemissfire.com/how-to-get-paid-to-walk/
  41. https://lifeafterthedailygrind.com/lifestyle-inflation-how-luxuries-become-necessities/
  42. https://sassenachsaving.home.blog/2020/10/11/the-true-cost-of-having-children/
  43. http://eaglesfeartoperch.blogspot.com/2020/09/conservatory-design-build-part-3.html
  44. https://www.ukvalueinvestor.com/2020/10/best-and-worst-performing-stocks-through-the-pandemic.html/
  45. https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2020/10/09/padawan-recency/
  46. http://fiukmoney.co.uk/21-year-old-net-worth-and-fire-plan-update-2/
  47. https://diseasecalleddebt.com/what-are-the-financial-concerns-of-relocating-for-love/
  48. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/10/02/month-end-september-2020/
  49. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/10/07/home-improvement/
  50. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/10/09/will-covid-affect-your-future-spending-patterns/
  51. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/10/ocado-portfolio-addition.html
  52. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/09/ceres-power-full-year-results.html
  53. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/09/green-homes-grant.html
  54. https://asimplelifewithsam.com/2020/10/01/your-future-self/
  55. https://monevator.com/the-slow-and-steady-passive-portfolio-update-q3-2020/
  56. https://monevator.com/low-cost-index-trackers/
  57. https://monevator.com/are-you-ready-to-spend-all-your-money/

The Full English Accompaniment – Negative interest rates

Life’s turning into a real tough place to earn a return. Lots of talk from the BoE over the last couple of weeks about the potential for negative interest rates in the UK (1, 2). I’m not fully sold on negative interest rates. Japan has been trying it for several years with minimal effect (3). Feels slightly like a last roll of the dice from desperate men. This video from The Plain Bagel has a good explanation of how and why they’re supposed to work (4):

Couple that with NS&I, the last bastion of inflation-beating/equalling interest rates on savings announcing a cut to it’s interest rates, and things aren’t so rosy (5). Premium bond rates are also getting a haircut (6). Can’t really blame NS&I. They were tasked by the government with raising money through national savings. They were so wildly successful their IT systems have failed to keep up (7, 8).

So savings interest is getting chopped, and the stock market is looking bubbly. Speculation and individual stock manias appear to be driving at least a proportion of portfolio returns (9). The sustainability of the current run is debatable. Taken together I have concerns about the viability of my FI plan. There was an interesting article in the Telegraph this week, discussing whether the 4% rule for pensions will stack up in the era of low interest rates and volatile returns (10). Plenty of FI-ers plan using the 4% rule, based upon those ‘long-run averages’, to return necessary FI goal numbers. If we’re heading into a further decade of 1% returns on bonds/ savings, people will have to take more ‘risk’, diversify into property or equities to try and maintain their required 4%. Will house price increases or BTL supply those returns, or will it all come down to bull markets? The future is looking murky, and we continue to live in interesting times.

Have a great week,

The Shrink

P.S. I appear to be particularly miserable/ morbid/ grumpy today, so sorry about that.


Blogs/ Opinions:


  1. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/sep/17/bank-of-england-keeps-interest-rates-at-01-but-warns-on-economic-outlook
  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54314971
  3. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/markets/080716/why-negative-interest-rates-are-still-not-working-japan.asp
  4. https://youtu.be/pX3_3NMZa0k
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/sep/21/nsi-savings-rates-premium-bonds-prizes-direct-saver-investment-account-isas
  6. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54232018
  7. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-8775437/NS-plunges-meltdown-Delays-rates-tumble.html
  8. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ns-amp-i-says-sorry-for-poor-customer-service-as-it-slashes-rates-2bmk7pvsl
  9. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4375276-macroview-newton-physics-and-market-bubble
  10. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-low-interest-rates-killed-magic-4-retirement-rule-vbbvvdt3c
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/20/leak-reveals-2tn-of-possibly-corrupt-us-financial-activity
  12. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-8750989/Nvidia-hits-bid-block-deal-tech-giant-Arm.html
  13. http://astrobiology.com/2020/09/phosphine-detected-in-the-atmosphere-of-venus—an-indicator-of-possible-life.html
  14. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237839
  15. https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/44999445?_set_bev_on_new_domain=1600083186_IvH1VwA96IkDx8UK&source_impression_id=p3_1600083186_IFtPoKvH1zXUopRm
  16. https://www.winkworth.co.uk/properties/sales/goldhawk-road-shepherds-bush-w12/SHE121014
  17. https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-83955202.html
  18. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2020/09/15/milestone-reached/
  19. https://www.firemusings.org/updated-cost-of-coffee-cake-cookies/
  20. https://pathtolife2.com/2020/09/17/financial-independence-update-august-2020/
  21. https://southwalesfi.co.uk/2020/09/18/why-dividend-stocks-arent-as-good-as-they-sound/
  22. https://moneygrower.co.uk/10000-in-cumulative-dividend-income/
  23. https://asimplelifewithsam.com/2020/09/18/ideas-for-meal-planning/
  24. https://www.moneymage.net/6-reasons-to-batch-cook/
  25. https://www.muchmorewithless.co.uk/ration-challenge-meal-plan/
  26. https://playingwithfire.uk/living-and-working-abroad-can-you-get-to-fire-sooner/
  27. https://www.onemillionjourney.com/millionaire-interview-series-6-educatorfi/
  28. http://thefijourney.co.uk/wp/2020/09/20/project-2235-september-2020-update-a-new-normal/
  29. https://indeedably.com/explain-money-to-me/
  30. https://sassenachsaving.home.blog/2020/09/26/musings-on-turning-fifty/
  31. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/09/plug-power-portfolio-addition.html
  32. https://averagemoneymanagement.wordpress.com/2020/09/25/blocking-out-the-noise/
  33. https://www.foxymonkey.com/beat-inflation/
  34. https://drfire.co.uk/the-long-tail/
  35. https://bankeronfire.com/build-wealth-with-the-80-20-rule
  36. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/09/19/trading-up/
  37. https://medfiblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/24/flight-distance-a-p2p-story/
  38. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/09/worldwide-healthcare-trust/
  39. https://www.mouthymoney.co.uk/beware-dodgy-sellers-targeting-wannabe-influencers-to-peddle-rubbish-goods-online/
  40. https://sparklebeeblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/23/september-activities/
  41. https://monevator.com/should-you-use-cash-to-bridge-the-gap-between-your-isas-and-your-pension/
  42. https://monevator.com/weekend-reading-daddy-what-did-you-do-in-the-great-pandemic/

The Full English Accompaniment – Spectres of our past

Just when you thought it was safe to peak out from under the covers, 2020 brings back that myopic decision to smash you in the face. A tetherball hit with venom and fury smacking the back of your head.

Image Source: The Thick of It

No, it’s not the impending second lockdown due to people getting too boozed up and handsy…

Brexit’s back in the news baby (1, 2).

Let’s distract the news cycle from that second wave and The Thick of It level of government with another joyous occasion. Spinning how the government has signed deals it’s not read and agreed to things it now wants to renege on. I mean mother beeb can put out good news articles about future trade deals (3), but it doesn’t detract from the fact BoJo& Co are looking at violating international law and breaking up the union. It just distracts.

Image source: The Thick of It

I’ve more or less tried to keep Brexit off these pages. I never thought it was a good idea, but there were glimmers of hope amongst the dung shovelled by greedy media-hungry political dilettante’s acting as the face of out. Maybe it could have been a grand vision. I had hoped we might see a Commonwealth trading block, bound together by shared history, serving to both compensate for our historic violence and crimes, and build prosperity for the future. Instead we’ve got this shower-of-shit government.

So I’ve started re-stocking the larder with long dated food. We’re re-tightening the proverbial household waistband; should MrsShrink lose her job. We’re parking cash for the rainy day and not sinking it into the vagaries of the market; expanding our emergency fund. 2020 has been a tasty warm-up for 2021. It’s going to be a long ride.

Image source: The Thick of It

Have a great week,

The Shrink

News/ Blogs/ Opinions:


  1. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-54099257
  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54093220
  3. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54116606
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/10/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html
  5. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/06/tesla-could-be-the-most-dangerous-stock-on-wall-street-investment-researcher-says.html
  6. https://www.reddit.com/gallery/ioyq50
  7. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-09-06/big-tech-bubble-could-be-rivaled-by-china-s-food-and-beverage-sector
  8. https://www.joe.co.uk/comedy/someone-has-used-freddos-to-prove-that-minimum-wage-in-the-uk-should-be-18-hr-248521
  9. https://www.onemillionjourney.com/portfolio-update-21-august-2020-105404e/
  10. https://zerotofreedom.org/my-portfolio-review-september-2020/
  11. https://firevlondon.com/2020/09/06/august-2020-eat-tech-to-help-out-your-returns/
  12. https://www.thefrugalcottage.com/dividend-income-august-2020/
  13. https://www.moneymage.net/2020-august-savings-report/
  14. https://firelifestyle.co.uk/2020/09/10/financial-update-18-is-it-september-already/
  15. https://sassenachsaving.home.blog/2020/09/12/august-2020-net-worth/
  16. https://www.ukvalueinvestor.com/2020/09/selling-xaar.html/
  17. https://thehumblepenny.com/how-to-start-a-business
  18. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/09/china-investment-trusts-come-of-age/
  19. https://indeedably.com/business/
  20. https://bankeronfire.com/higher-taxes
  21. https://medfiblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/exam-hustling/
  22. https://gettingminted.com/dividend-cut/
  23. http://www.cantswingacat.co.uk/2020/09/11/low-interest-premium-bonds/
  24. https://theescapeartist.me/2020/09/12/when-you-want-to-help-people-you-tell-them-the-truth/
  25. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/09/11/tesla-bubble-bubble-bubble-pop/
  26. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/09/09/from-dinky-to-sitcom/
  27. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/09/bg-positive-change-fund-update.html
  28. https://monevator.com/put-150-years-into-your-retirement-calculator-and-smoke-it/
  29. https://monevator.com/dont-wait-to-open-your-stocks-and-shares-isa/
  30. https://monevator.com/weekend-reading-what-gives/

The Full English Accompaniment – The Lost Year

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,


Blogs/ Opinions:


  1. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/womens-style/rise-revenge-buying-means-uk-luxury-retailers/
  2. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/09/01/revenge-buying-drives-surge-sales-70-plate-new-cars/
  3. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000m4bz
  4. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-crisis-ice-sheets-melting-global-warming-greenland-antarctic-a9699921.html
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53995878
  6. https://www.ft.com/content/26b91aac-8c73-44cc-b8d7-1aae371ab951
  7. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-8698877/Technology-stocks-hammered-day-two-sell-off.html
  8. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4372406-u-s-stock-market-is-bubble-plain-and-simple
  9. http://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/03/markets-are-facing-a-potential-minsky-moment-collapse-strategist-says.html
  10. http://www.forbes.com/sites/investor/2020/09/03/the-crash-of-2020-into-the-end-game/
  11. https://www.ft.com/content/d8eb62ef-a1cb-4597-867b-15a79dbdcd5d
  12. https://www.ft.com/content/5d6fc188-2b9c-4df7-848e-a6c1795dc691
  13. https://www.theguardian.com/business/nils-pratley-on-finance/2020/sep/03/scottish-mortgage-wont-be-too-bothered-about-the-nasdaqs-wobble
  14. https://www.finumus.com/blog/do-not-currency-hedge-your-equity-portfolio
  15. https://earlyretirementnow.com/2020/08/31/the-half-percent-safe-withdrawal-rate/
  16. https://www.foxymonkey.com/all-weather-portfolio-uk/
  17. https://bankeronfire.com/magic-money-making-machine
  18. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/09/commodity-investment-trusts-are-all-the-rage/
  19. https://www.firemusings.org/should-we-consider-chunking-up-retirement-into-different-phases/
  20. https://southwalesfi.co.uk/2020/09/04/renting-v-buying-from-a-fire-standpoint/
  21. https://lifeafterthedailygrind.com/best-free-landlord-apps/
  22. https://sparklebeeblog.wordpress.com/2020/09/04/2020-reflections-so-far/
  23. https://theescapeartist.me/2020/09/06/the-what-did-we-learn-from-2020-chat-with-andy-hart/
  24. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/all-time-record-house-prices/
  25. http://eaglesfeartoperch.blogspot.com/2020/09/conservatory-design-build-part-2.html
  26. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/09/mid-wynd-trust-full-year-results.html
  27. https://indeedably.com/50-years-early/
  28. https://playingwithfire.uk/did-someone-say-coffee-could-you-save-money-with-a-sage-bambino/
  29. https://monevator.com/k-shaped-recovery/
  30. https://monevator.com/annual-isa-allowance/
  31. https://www.onemillionjourney.com/portfolio-update-21-august-2020-105404e/
  32. https://thesavingninja.com/savings-report-26-we-made-it-to-sweden/
  33. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2020/09/04/august-2020-plus-other-updates/
  34. https://www.thefrugalcottage.com/september-aims-7/
  35. https://obviousinvestor.com/p2p-lending-portfolio-update-september-1st-2020/
  36. http://www.cantswingacat.co.uk/2020/09/02/august-income-report/
  37. https://www.earlyretirementguy.com/september-2020-networth-update/
  38. https://asimplelifewithsam.com/2020/09/05/august-review-2/
  39. https://averagemoneymanagement.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/freetrade-diary-8-august/
  40. https://awaytoless.com/monthly-spending-august-2020/
  41. https://pathtolife2.com/2020/09/05/my-fi-journey-one-year-on-how-did-i-do/

The Full English Accompaniment – Wheat from chaff

I stepped away from the blog for a few weeks. Clinical work got busier, home life got busy, and I had a short break away. In that time everything and nothing has changed.

Day-to-day life continues in a sort of limbo. Never quite knowing what you’re allowed to do or not. Constant slight thrill of risk, if you’re so inclined. Constant irritation if you’re not.

The markets are still bonkers. While tech companies run rampant, the rest of the market is stagnant. The NASDAW/ S&P500 are concentrating in a small number of very valuable companies. Tesla is doing a 5:1 stock split (1). AirBnB plans to float on the stock market, along with a host of other IPOs (2). Meanwhile high street stalwarts like WHSmith are cutting staff left, right and centre (3).  The UK has seen a GDP fall of 20% for the last quarter (4). Not unexpected given furlough etc, but how many of those jobs will come back? Furlough is coming to an end and the Gov can’t keep footing the GDP bill, even if it does foot your cheeky Nando’s bill (5). I’ve finished reading The Intelligent Investor, and Jason Zweig’s comments on the dot-com crash relating to tech IPOs ring prophetic.

Image Credit: A person on reddit (6)

Doom, doom, the end is nigh!

Always an easy call to make. This was a reckoning of our own making.

As a fellow member of the UK Finance community put it, the UK Government made a Faustian bargain, trading low unemployment numbers for zero-hours contracts and underemployment of the individual. UK productivity has been crap for years. In the last decade it’s been the worst since the industrial revolution, and it continues to fall (7, 8). Output per hour fell dramatically during the last quarter, and not just due to furlough (9). There’s been talk for the last decade of the benefits of improving productivity, but no clear routes to that goal (10).

The growth of the last decade has been bought through cheaper tech, offshoring, zero-hours contracts and credit. Zombie companies have continued to function thanks to cheap credit. MrsShrink works for one. They were told if the site shut down with COVID-19 it would not return, so they worked through and went cap in hand to investors. Now if I was one of those CEOs, and I had staff on furlough with low productivity, I would be very tempted to use the end of the furlough scheme as a way to cut the dross. The move to homeworking has shown who was really working in the office. It’s also a hell of a way for companies to cut overheads. Giants like BP are talking about slashing their real estate bill (11). I would not want to be in REITs.

Likewise, if I was an investor in one of these zombie companies I would be quite tempted to let it go to the wall. Ploughing millions into a staid institution with minimal innovation into changing markets? Sorry Debenhams, House of Fraser, WHSmith (though their airport/ hospital/ petrol station arms are doing a killing), etc.

Households have been able to buy new cars and new furniture due to cheap credit. Shares rose on Wall Street last week as the Fed said it will tolerate higher inflation (12). I’ve said before that inflation is probably the way out of the insane COVID government debt, but it’s not good for consumer credit. Higher inflation means higher interest rates. Amigo and other sub-prime lenders are sounding warnings due to the COVID payment holidays (13). Banks are setting aside massive sums to cover projected bad debt (14). The UK Government is mooting removal of the triple lock on pensions (15). Warning signs of increases in interest rates in the medium term.

So we may lose the zombie companies, the unproductive companies, and the unproductive individuals at companies. It probably won’t make much of a dent in tax receipts. The companies are unproductive, and the top 1% of UK earners account for a >1/3rd of income tax (16, 17). The death of bloated companies leaves markets for lean new ones. There’s the potential for a big boom in new industries (18). Maybe this is what the stock market is pricing in. Ultimately it feels like we’re on the precipice of a period of great financial change, after a couple of decades of stability. That change will bring opportunity, but also plenty of downsides. Exciting times.

The Shrink


Opinion/ Blogs:

There’s been too many UK finance blogposts in the past month for me to condense them all here. My RSS feed for UK finance bloggers can be found here.


  1. https://www.barrons.com/articles/tesla-stock-split-today-what-to-expect-51598620837
  2. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-8648013/Airbnb-pressing-ahead-floating-stock-market.html
  3. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53661767
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/aug/12/uk-economy-covid-19-plunges-into-deepest-slump-in-history
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53675467
  6. https://i.redd.it/zj5u6myjmnh51.gif
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/03/uk-productivity-slowdown-worst-since-industrial-revolution-study
  8. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49971853
  9. https://tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/productivity
  10. https://www.cityam.com/tackling-uk-productivity-crisis-could-yield-83bn-a-year-for-economy-says-pwc/
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/aug/12/bp-mulls-radical-reduction-of-office-space-in-move-to-flexible-working
  12. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/aug/27/wall-street-shares-rise-after-fed-announces-soft-approach-to-inflation
  13. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/aug/28/lender-amigo-profits-dive-as-covid-payment-holidays-extended
  14. https://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/3004265/writedowns-banks-covid-19
  15. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-8666859/amp/Triple-lock-guarantee-state-pension-increases-curbed.html
  16. https://www.ifs.org.uk/election/2019/article/how-high-are-our-taxes-and-where-does-the-money-come-from
  17. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/nov/13/richest-britain-income-tax-revenues-institute-fiscal-studies
  18. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/12/depression-backdrop-will-spark-a-wartime-boom-market-bull-jim-paulsen.html
  19. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/business-53534922/why-stock-markets-are-defying-a-shrinking-economy
  20. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-03/boe-avoids-repeat-of-2008-schism-for-now-even-as-split-widens
  21. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-08-06/goldman-says-time-to-think-about-a-shift-in-market-leadership
  22. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/05/nikolas-entire-quarterly-revenue-of-36000-was-from-solar-installation-for-the-executive-chairman.html
  23. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/aug/12/dr-martens-repays-uk-furlough-cash-after-strong-lockdown-sales
  24. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/aug/14/partys-over-airbnb-restricts-under-25s-in-uk-france-and-spain
  25. https://i.redd.it/jskjkodg3se51.png
  26. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53781515
  27. https://www.reddit.com/r/wallstreetbets/comments/i1u3rm/the_dollar_standard_and_how_the_fed_itself
  28. https://www.reddit.com/r/UKPersonalFinance/comments/i42of0/anyone_else_having_major_issues_with_premium
  29. https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/obsessed-with-fire-movement-wasnt-right-for-me-2020-8?r=US&IR=T
  30. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/investing/article-8651885/Baillie-Giffords-Scottish-Mortgage-Investment-Trust-soars.html
  31. http://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3099052/beware-us-china-technology-war-about-burst-tech-bubble
  32. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/investing/article-8675409/Why-Buffetts-investment-philosophy-cause-celebrate.html

The Full English – The Working From Home Collapse

A big theme among the associated press/ copywriters this week has been working from home. Indeedably provided us with a fab view take on what’s going on, and what it’s like to be in That There London (as opposed to us provincial capitals) (1). When lockdown first kicked off and people moved to working from home I believed it was a flash in the pan. As a species we’re primed to dislike change, especially as we get older and higher up the ranks. It would be a few months, and then we’d all be back. But the longer this ‘new normal’ goes on, the more I think that we’re seeing a transformative change.

Neither I or MrsShrink have worked from home. It’s difficult to work from home as a Doctor. You can’t perform a physical examination. As a psychiatrist, I can’t assess the subtle interpersonal behaviours which form part of our reviews. The NHS, notoriously slow in it’s monolithic tech, won’t allow most IT solutions for security reasons. MrsShrink meanwhile, off in manufacturing, is managed by gammon-types with grey suits, grey hair and grey skin. They struggle to understand the role IT plays in their zombie company on a good day, never mind working from home. Reminds me of the Japanese IT Security Minister who had never used a computer and didn’t understand the concept of flash drives (2).

My view is therefore coloured by my experience. For most professional office jobs the story is different, and the narrative coming out of press offices says so. Google and Natwest have both told staff to stay home until next year (3, 4). Barclays are a bit more old-fashioned, but have still said a return to office will take time (5). BoJo & Co of course want everyone back in the offices, because a large proportion of our economy is structured upon those offices and the surrounding service infrastructure (6). They don’t want that to change. But people do. Commuting is miserable, and working from home means less spent on the commute and more time with family (7). For the top brass it’s an opportunity to flex/ impress with your home environment (8).

The Agrarian Revolutions, Inclosures Act and Industrial Revolution all saw massive shifts in the way people lived and worked. We’ve gone from serfdom, through shifting to villages and working on manorial lands, to living in cities/ towns working in factories/mines. The last century has seen industrial production offshored, and those productive factories replaced by service factories. Transport infrastructure has improved, but we still travel to hubs of work. Is that about to change, and if so, what’s the fallout?

For companies it offers the opportunity to lay off layers of staff and automate (9). For the worker it cuts the commute to a crawl, enables greater family time, saving cash, and geoarbitage. As an NHS worker we geoarbitaged early. I get paid the same wherever I am in the UK, so why live somewhere with a high cost of living. Now more people get that opportunity.

The fallout? House prices outside of the South East skyrocketing, as people move to lower cost of living, less polluted, less commuted areas. Commercial property? I wouldn’t touch REITs right now. If all those offices close what will the buildings become? And then there’s town and city centres. Most high streets were already hearing the grim reaper’s call. Will they transform, shorn of their officeworkers into shopping and nightlife centres. Or is this the final call? That service infrastructure left empty, sandwich artists placed on Universal Basic Income. If we’re about to see wholesale change in our working lives it’s worth thinking about what will happen to what is left behind.

Have a great week,

The Shrink


Opinion/ Blogs:


  1. https://indeedably.com/ghost-town/
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/15/japan-cyber-security-ministernever-used-computer-yoshitaka-sakurada
  3. https://www.wsj.com/articles/google-to-keep-employees-home-until-summer-2021-amid-coronavirus-pandemic-11595854201
  4. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53484767
  5. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53579428
  6. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jul/31/coronavirus-companies-defy-boris-johnsons-planned-return-to-work
  7. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53580656
  8. https://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/3004187/bankers-lifestyles-pandemic
  9. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/29/lots-of-companies-are-saying-they-have-operating-leverage-thats-just-code-for-firing-people.html
  10. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-8560157/Now-City-watchdog-tells-banks-reject-loans-took-break.html
  11. https://www.businessinsider.com/bernie-sanders-calls-elon-musk-a-hypocrite-over-stimulus-tweet-2020-7?r=US&IR=T
  12. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/28/worlds-largest-nuclear-fusion-project-under-assembly-in-france
  13. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53563601
  14. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/07/30/monzos-losses-rise-114m-banking-app-warns-slowing-growth/
  15. https://www.forbes.com/sites/vineerbhansali/2020/07/29/what-locust-swarms-tell-us-about-robinhood-kodak-and-covid-mania-in-the-stock-market/
  16. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/comment/article-8552729/Five-key-areas-capital-gains-tax-reform-impact.html
  17. http://thefirestarter.co.uk/3-months-in-thoughts-doubts-panic-perspective/
  18. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/07/31/vcts-for-financial-independence-part-3-making-it-work-for-you/
  19. https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2020/07/29/holidays-in-the-sun-are-not-a-human-right-people/
  20. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2020/08/01/july-2020-plus-other-updates/
  21. https://firevlondon.com/2020/08/02/july-2020-shambles-and-zombies/
  22. https://moneygrower.co.uk/july-stock-purchase-a-polarised-market/
  23. https://www.onemillionjourney.com/income-expenses-savings-july-2020-1869-saved/
  24. https://earlyretirementinuk.blogspot.com/2020/08/end-of-month-report-1st-of-august.html
  25. http://www.cantswingacat.co.uk/2020/07/30/july-income-report/
  26. https://pathtolife2.com/2020/07/30/financial-independence-update-july-2020/
  27. https://averagemoneymanagement.wordpress.com/2020/07/31/freetrade-diary-7-july/
  28. http://fiukmoney.co.uk/july-20-net-worth-and-monthly-update-23-569001-36-89-fi/
  29. https://monevator.com/freetrade-how-to-build-your-portfolio/
  30. https://monevator.com/the-agony-of-alpha/
  31. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/07/tesla-new-addition.html
  32. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/07/smithson-closes-in-on-2-billion/
  33. https://bankeronfire.com/not-fade-away

The Full English – Tesla doesn’t need advertising

I covered Tesla’s share price last week briefly. This week I will continue to be a fanboi, demonstrating exactly the point of my title. I’ve been idly browsing electric cars on the usual motor sites, and I’m now bombarded with adverts for the Renault Zoe, Honda electric thing (I signed up for the mailing list for that to be fair), and the VW E-Up (Yorkshire accent engaged). No Tesla adverts though. They just don’t need them.

For one, they’ve got Musk, who is a law unto himself. My considered view is that he is a maverick genius, gifted of the unique talents required to truly become a world-leader; self-belief, intelligence and funds. I think his self-belief, once confidence and always bordering on arrogance now oscillates into narcissism. He has got too high on his own supply, spent too much time reading his own hype. That does not stop him being successful.

Nor does it stop him leading a company in a disruptive direction. Which leads to hype, interest in the media, and first-mover advantage. Musk and Tesla generate their own hype by moving in ways the rest of the auto industry do not, and continuing to do so. There are parallels with Steve Jobs in the Ipod and Iphone era. There’s been a swathe of copy written this week trying to justify or make sense of this for the old guard. Arguments that Tesla is still undervalued (1), that it represents the start of a new era (2). Tesla is true capitalism at work, identification of a new disruptive direction and completely shifting the commercial conversation in that direction; to use quasi-management speak (3). People believe the hype generated. They buy the hype, in equity form and in material motors. Tesla’s profitable (4). But does that hype justify it’s inclusion in the S&P 500 and a greater valuation than Toyota. That is pure speculation and gambling.

If you fancy a shot at a free Tesla share, sign up to Freetrade with this link,

The Fire Shrink

Blogs/ Opinion:


  1. https://www.investmentweek.co.uk/news/4018198/value-remarkable-tesla-underappreciated-markets-fund-managers
  2. https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-autos-tesla-newera-insight/how-tesla-defined-a-new-era-for-the-global-auto-industry-idUKKCN24N0GB
  3. https://unherd.com/thepost/is-tesla-all-that-remains-of-real-capitalism/
  4. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jul/22/tesla-profit-shares-fourth-quarter
  5. https://www.wsj.com/articles/everyones-a-day-trader-now-11595649609
  6. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53201204
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jul/21/robinhood-cancels-uk-launch-of-its-investment-app
  8. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/24/zooms-marketing-chief-on-the-companys-rise-through-the-pandemic.html
  9. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53528653
  10. https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2020/07/generational-wealth-inequality/
  11. https://medfiblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/24/pay-rise-half-truths/
  12. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2020/07/20/lockdown-dogs-of-the-ftse/
  13. https://firevlondon.com/2020/07/20/what-has-lockdown-done-to-my-finances/
  14. https://drfire.co.uk/lockdown-impact-on-finances/
  15. https://indeedably.com/pandemonium/
  16. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-carbon-budget-introduction.html
  17. https://www.ukvalueinvestor.com/2020/07/ftse100-sp500-cape-ratio.html/
  18. https://thesavingninja.com/employee-share-scheme-which-option-to-take/
  19. https://tuppennysfireplace.com/how-to-save-money-without-a-budget/
  20. https://playingwithfire.uk/air-bnb-diaries-side-hustle-or-not/
  21. https://www.crackingretirement.com/retirement-isnt-static/
  22. https://earlyretirementinuk.blogspot.com/2020/07/life-in-times-of-cholera-just-kidding.html
  23. https://www.foxymonkey.com/jobs-vs-robots/
  24. https://moneygrower.co.uk/robinhood-cancels-uk-launch-similar-app/
  25. https://thefifox.wordpress.com/2020/07/21/how-much-money-should-you-have-in-your-savings/
  26. https://lifeafterthedailygrind.com/the-ikea-effect-why-diy-brings-happiness/
  27. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/07/debt-investment-trusts-for-the-brave-only/
  28. http://bankeronfire.com/zeroing-in-on-your-workplace-pension-returns
  29. https://www.mouthymoney.co.uk/how-my-simple-thumbprint-trick-can-stop-you-becoming-a-victim-of-identity-fraud/
  30. https://monevator.com/cash-versus-bonds/
  31. https://monevator.com/weekend-reading-just-the-links-maam-4/
  32. https://www.moneymage.net/7-thoughts-low-cost-living/
  33. https://www.finumus.com/blog/how-to-sell-a-house
  34. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/more-agony-of-woodford-investors/
  35. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/stamp-duty-cut-property-frenzy/
  36. https://youngmoneyblog.co.uk/here-are-5-apps-to-upgrade-your-post-lockdown-finances-spon/

The Full English Accompaniment – Uncoupled from earnings expectations

I wish I had bought into Tesla in March. So does everyone who didn’t. Well… most people. From a low of $361, it’s now up around $1,500. I seriously considered it, but stuck to my portfolio plans, and have now missed out. Meteoric doesn’t quite cover it.


Image Courtesy of Google Market Summary

So I missed out, and I’m disgruntled. Fear Of Missing Out, FOMO, has been cited as a major reason for moves in the Nasdaq over the past few months. Entitled millennial’s wanting to not miss the bandwagon with their US stimulus cheques, so the trope goes. There’s a nice piece in this week’s Wall Street Journal (1), demonstrating that FOMO ain’t a new thing. From the tulips to the South Sea Bubble, most generations will get a little FOMO. We tell ourselves we’re intelligent investors, and we won’t get caught up in this hype.

Instead, we will try to intellectualise a position. Tesla does make sense in our head, as well as our gut, because reasons. It justifies a $300 billion dollar valuation, the greatest of all automotive manufacturers, at >60 times it’s earnings, because reasons (2). It’s beating sales expectations, and expanding it’s factories (2). It’s piggy-backing a rise in Chinese EVs, following a move in China towards a predominantly electric vehicle market (3). We must be right, as (confirmation bias) Piper Sandler, a proper legit firm, reckons that Tesla is worth $2,322 (4). We can make it make sense.

Last week I mentioned the TQQQ in my news. For the uninformed, the Invesco QQQ (ticker: QQQ) is an ETF that tracks the Nasdaq 100 index (5). It’s done very well with the rise of tech, thank you very much. TQQQ is a Powershares ETF triple-leveraged QQQ, just in case your risk tolerance wasn’t sated. The QQQs and the Nasdaq are again interesting this week, as following their colossal climb, we’ve seen a short, sharp drop. The options market is looking pretty negative. Valuations have been climbing, creating larger and larger multiples on the price/earnings outlooks. As the earnings come home to roost, there’s bets that the valuations are too high (6).

So, on the one hand, FOMO and other psychological biases and influences are pushing certain stocks higher. On the other, people are betting against these biases continuing, and reality (whatever that is), asserting itself on stock market prices based on valuations.

The Gestalt Market

This is basically the core philosophy of the Efficient Market Hypothesis (7).

“…asset prices reflect all available information. A direct implication is that it is impossible to “beat the market” consistently on a risk-adjusted basis since market prices should only react to new information.” (7)

Either some of the people amongst those on the bandwagon know something the others don’t, and the out-sized pricing is justified, or they don’t, there’s no info, and market forces will re-assert themselves via a fall in price.

This theorem has plenty of criticism laid on it, by lots of big names. It doesn’t account for behavioural psychology. It doesn’t account for the various anomalies caused by small neglected stocks, or bubbles. The claims of Paul Samuelson, that the market is “micro efficient”, not “macro efficient”.

As I’ve been slogging my way through The Intelligent Investor, a comment from Benjamin Graham has laid this bare:

“Corporate accounting is often tricky; security analysis can be complicated; stock valuations are really dependable only in exceptional cases.” (8)

If corporate accounting in the ’70s, when Ben Graham wrote, was “tricky”, corporate accounting in 2020 is downright shady. My mate is effectively the CFO of a moderate SME. He’s an honest man. He’s spent the last three years tearing his greying hair out as he uncovers deeper and deeper accounting errors by his predecessor and relays them to the owner. How many companies out there are sitting on mis-carried noughts and odd write-downs? This is stuff the market cannot know.

Instead I find myself thinking of the market as the sum of all knowledge and cognitive biases. The sum of wisdom and collective financial thought. Not just knowledge, but also hunches, gambles either way, suspicions and beliefs. You can gamble for or against Tesla or TQQQ. There is likely to be someone out there doing the opposite. Given money and investment follows interest, science imitates and replicates art, we end up at the sum total of belief. We may like to intellectualise and make the company financial data (the science!) echo or challenge the news, but ultimately that is our own bias. The gestalt market doesn’t care. Your beliefs are gristle to it’s mill.

Have a great week,

The Fire Shrink

Fancy a free share? Sign up to Freetrade using this link, and we both get one.


Blogs/ Opinion:


  1. https://www.wsj.com/articles/from-1720-to-tesla-fomo-never-sleeps-11594994422
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jul/18/tesla-valuation-elon-musk-profit
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltaylor/2020/07/16/tesla-inc-share-price-boom-might-not-be-all-it-appears-to-be/#478ac7272a28
  4. https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/tesla-stock-price-street-high-target-piper-sandler-raise-musk-2020-7-1029393184
  5. https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/061715/what-qqq-etf.asp
  6. https://seekingalpha.com/article/4358915-qqq-selling-may-only-begun
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efficient-market_hypothesis
  8. Benjamin Graham. The Intelligent Investor (Revised Edition). 2003. Chapter 12, page 318.
  9. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/p-epr070220.php
  10. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53392148
  11. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-8535085/230bn-commercial-property-crash-Treasury-watchdog-sounds-alarm.html
  12. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53400721
  13. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-8530101/Government-faces-17bn-bill-fix-age-discrimination-pension-blunder.html
  14. https://www.forbes.com/sites/soonyu/2020/07/14/how-one-fintech-unicorn-became-a-fashion-destination/
  15. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nathanlewis/2020/07/10/modern-monetary-theory-goes-mainstream/#5fdf246621e5
  16. https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/jul/14/nespresso-coffee-capsule-pods-branding-clooney-nestle-recycling-environment
  17. https://southwalesfi.co.uk/2020/07/17/5-tips-to-f-i-r-e/
  18. https://igniting-fire.com/2020/07/17/why-you-need-a-raspberry-pi/
  19. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/07/17/2-year-blogging-anniversary-and-38th-birthday/
  20. https://monevator.com/find-the-best-online-broker/
  21. https://monevator.com/weekend-reading-is-cash-kaput-post-covid-19/
  22. http://eaglesfeartoperch.blogspot.com/2020/07/garden-update-summer-2020-six-on.html
  23. http://bankeronfire.com/the-low-effort-high-impact-way-to-do-well-at-work
  24. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/07/personal-assets-trust-full-year-results.html
  25. https://theescapeartist.me/2020/07/19/every-time-you-see-a-small-business-someone-made-a-brave-decision/
  26. https://asimplelifewithsam.com/2020/07/19/june-review/
  27. https://sassenachsaving.home.blog/2020/07/13/june-2020-net-worth/
  28. https://www.thefrugalcottage.com/30-frugal-living-tips-that-will-save-you-thousands/
  29. https://www.moneymage.net/5-reasons-childfree-and-happy/
  30. https://playingwithfire.uk/covid-19-in-the-uk-its-still-an-emergency/
  31. https://theenglishinvestor.com/and-the-english-investor-is-back/
  32. http://www.cantswingacat.co.uk/2020/07/16/neverspoons-boycotting-wetherspoons/
  33. https://thefifox.wordpress.com/2020/07/16/fail-to-plan-plan-to-fail/
  34. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/07/mello-virtual-welcome-to-the-new-age/
  35. https://earlyretirementnow.com/2020/07/15/when-can-we-stop-worrying-about-sequence-risk-swr-series-part-38/
  36. https://www.finumus.com/blog/bye-to-let-its-not-1994-any-more
  37. https://indeedably.com/deliberate/

The Full English – User error

Sadly this a bit of a limited Full English, as my long-suffering phone, on which the draft was stored locally, decided on Thursday it would prefer to emulate a house brick. Minimal news links, no wafty text, mainly UK blogs.

Have a great week,

The Shrink


Opinions/ Blogs: (After last week’s craziness it’s a bit briefer today)


  1. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-09/triple-leveraged-tech-etf-has-exodus-after-200-surge-from-lows
  2. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-8506319/House-prices-forecast-fall-5-year-11-2021-Cebr-warns.html?_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D&amp_js_v=0.1#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thisismoney.co.uk%2Fmoney%2Fmortgageshome%2Farticle-8506319%2FHouse-prices-forecast-fall-5-year-11-2021-Cebr-warns.html
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/jul/12/precious-metal-the-gold-standard-investment-when-a-crisis-hits
  4. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/07/mystified-tesla-bears-on-wall-street-admit-there-appears-to-be-nothing-that-can-stop-the-stock-right-now.html
  5. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/07/h1-2020/
  6. http://moneybulldog.co.uk/is-it-worth-booking-a-holiday-in-2020-or-even-2021/
  7. https://www.ukvalueinvestor.com/2020/07/ted-baker-disaster.html/
  8. http://www.cantswingacat.co.uk/2020/07/09/coronavirus-stamp-duty-changes-what-do-they-mean-for-you/
  9. http://bankeronfire.com/the-really-boring-and-highly-effective-way-to-get-rich
  10. https://simplelivingsomerset.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/fancy-fintechs-fishy-fun/
  11. https://medfiblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/10/emergency-fund-2-0/
  12. https://tuppennysfireplace.com/change-investing-gold-mutual-funds-investing-habits-financially-frugal/
  13. https://lifeafterthedailygrind.com/brainwashed/
  14. https://monevator.com/weekend-reading-corona-crisis-round-two/
  15. https://monevator.com/the-uks-worst-stock-market-crash-1972-1974/
  16. https://moneygrower.co.uk/second-quarter-2020-dividend-income-importance-of-dividend-cover/
  17. https://playingwithfire.uk/fire-101-financial-independence-retire-early-in-the-uk/
  18. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.wordpress.com/2020/07/11/1859/
  19. https://gettingminted.com/returning-to-normal/
  20. https://theescapeartist.me/2020/07/12/youre-only-as-strong-as-your-weakest-link/
  21. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/07/ishares-msci-world-sri-fund.html
  22. https://monethalia.com/matched-betting-mistakes/
  23. https://firevlondon.com/2020/07/12/how-much-should-you-save/
  24. https://indeedably.com/instinct/






The Full English Accompaniment – Why a seismic economic shift won’t happen.

The end of the month fell since the last Full English. That means a link-fest below. To save time for all the other writer’s out there I only have a few short thoughts today.

A YouGov/ New Economics Foundation poll published in the Guardian this week demonstrated that 31% of people want to see big changes to the global economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with only 6% wanting no changes (1). I take any poll or news-worthy statistic with a pinch of salt, especially those espoused to support lefty claims in a lefty rag. However it makes sense, we’ve all experienced big changes through lockdown:

  • Less commuting and more working from home
  • Supply chain changes, less in the shops, more available locally
  • A push to support local businesses
  • Less spending for the sake of it on consumerist tat (because the shops have been shut).

Why not take this opportunity to change things? The Government is already bankrolling huge sectors of the economy. Now is the perfect time to do the big rejig. Perhaps switch towards:

  • renewable, green energy and policies (2)
  • home-working supported by massively improved infrastructure
  • on-shoring industries to support rapid supply chains.

But we won’t. For two reasons.

  1. Inertia (3)
  2. Management.

People do not like dramatic change. Individually we may find it exciting and exhilarating. The potential. The opportunities.

That requires you to get up and do something about it. And we’re fundamentally lazy, stupid, panicky animals. We are much happier doing things the same way we’ve always done than having to learn something new. It requires effort, and motivation. Motivation on a national scale is a challenging construct.

The top level management are also not going to be on board. They have a vested interest in the status quo, it’s how they got there, it’s how they get power/money/fame (delete as appropriate). Why would they risk that?

Plus when have top-down restructures worked well? The Government’s management of the COVID tracking system says enough here.

So, like Soho’s pubs, we’ll soon be back to where we were before. Minus a few tens of thousand dead.

Have a great week,

The Shrink


Opinions/ Blogs:


  1. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/28/just-6-of-uk-public-want-a-return-to-pre-pandemic-economy
  2. https://www.forbes.com/sites/joanmichelson2/2020/06/30/how-to-rebuild-the-economy-and-create-jobs-with-clean-energy-innovation/
  3. https://indeedably.com/inertia/
  4. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53222765
  5. https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2020/07/04/a-latin-american-economic-tragedy
  6. https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-8475855/No-road-tax-cheaper-run-E-car-recharge-finances.html
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/30/tesla-shareholders-urged-to-oust-elon-musk-over-55bn-pay-deal
  8. https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/jul/01/uk-annual-house-prices-fall-for-first-time-since-2012-coronavirus
  9. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/29/central-banks-could-face-political-pressure-to-allow-high-inflation
  10. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-28/the-future-of-inflation-is-the-biggest-question-in-finance?amp_js_v=a3&_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQFKAGwASA%3D#referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bloomberg.com%2Fnews%2Farticles%2F2020-06-28%2Fthe-future-of-inflation-is-the-biggest-question-in-finance
  11. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-53272411
  12. https://www.moneymage.net/2020-june-savings-report/
  13. https://www.onemillionjourney.com/portfolio-update-19-june-2020-100347e/
  14. https://firevlondon.com/2020/07/04/june-2020-disadvantage-month/
  15. https://awaytoless.com/monthly-spending-june-2020/
  16. https://thesavingninja.com/savings-report-24/
  17. http://quietlysaving.co.uk/2020/07/01/june-2020-plus-other-updates/
  18. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.com/2020/07/01/month-end-june-2020/
  19. https://playingwithfire.uk/june-2020-life-spending-and-investment-update/
  20. https://www.thefrugalcottage.com/dividend-income-june-2020/
  21. https://moneygrower.co.uk/june-stock-purchase-the-new-economy/
  22. http://fiukmoney.co.uk/june-20-net-worth-and-monthly-update-22-569037-13570-89-fi/
  23. https://sparklebeeblog.wordpress.com/2020/07/03/monthly-update-jun-2020/
  24. https://pathtolife2.com/2020/07/02/financial-independence-update-june-2020/
  25. https://www.moneyforthemoderngirl.org/i-did-an-antibodies-test-plus-saving-side-income-and-learning/
  26. http://eaglesfeartoperch.blogspot.com/2020/07/investment-review-june-2020.html
  27. https://firelifestyle.co.uk/2020/07/01/financial-update-16-june-2020-going-up-up-and-away/
  28. https://earlyretirementinuk.blogspot.com/2020/07/total-portfolio-37113-1688-debt-0-0.html
  29. http://www.cantswingacat.co.uk/2020/06/30/june-income-report/
  30. https://monevator.com/the-slow-and-steady-passive-portfolio-update-q2-2020/
  31. https://drfire.co.uk/q2-2020-report/
  32. https://igniting-fire.com/2020/06/29/2020-q2-update-long-days-short-weeks/
  33. https://firevlondon.com/2020/06/29/help-wanted/
  34. https://www.firemusings.org/time-to-change-the-car-part-1/
  35. http://thefirestarter.co.uk/dont-faint-its-a-blog-post/
  36. https://thefifox.wordpress.com/2020/07/05/why-everyone-should-start-a-blog/
  37. https://hustleescape.com/anchoring-and-adjustment/
  38. https://gentlemansfamilyfinances.com/2020/07/04/8-great-things-about-working-from-home-during-the-lockdown/
  39. https://playingwithfire.uk/hi-im-the-new-girl-expat-financial-mistakes-learnt-the-hard-way/
  40. https://monevator.com/financial-planning-software-wide-of-goal/
  41. https://youngmoneyblog.co.uk/apprenticeships-are-we-failing-disadvantaged-young-people/
  42. http://bankeronfire.com/hunters-farmers-and-financial-independence
  43. https://indeedably.com/better-days/
  44. http://diyinvestoruk.blogspot.com/2020/07/powercell-portfolio-addition.html
  45. https://www.foxymonkey.com/day-trading/
  46. https://earlyretirementnow.com/2020/07/01/passive-investing-bubble/
  47. https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/06/blue-whale-growth-fund-the-next-big-thing/
  48. https://www.muchmorewithless.co.uk/lockdown-spending-habits/
  49. https://www.finumus.com/blog/school-fees-are-now-very-expensive-or-are-they