Wealth update – 30/09/2021

Deposit drama

Not much progress here. I think we’re now just waiting for a letter to confirm our court date.

Driving license

I finally got my driving license back on the 13th of September. I posted my address renewal application (with my original driving license enclosed) on the 21st of June. Therefore it took almost 3 months. I guess this is good enough for government work.

Health

There’s been very little progress here. My cough is still ongoing. I was prescribed some antibiotics (after a GP consultation) and after 5 days of taking them things didn’t change much.

So, today I had another virtual GP consultation and was referred to a respiratory physician, even though the GP said my cough will probably just go away on its own.

She might be right, but the thing is I’m getting worried. The cough has been lingering on for 7 weeks already… This type of thing is out of character for me as I usually bounce back from a cold etc quite quickly. I’m unable to live my life normally and I just want to put this annoying cough behind me.

I also got my normal flu-jab a week ago.

To top it all off I also went for an eye check at SpecSavers earlier this week. This is because work provides a voucher for this once a year – therefore the eye check was free for me (costs £30 out of pocket).

I didn’t have anything to complain about my eye health but figured it’s been around four years since my previous check. The good news is that my left eye has perfect vision but the right eye was a little bit worse in terms of my vision. However, in summary, my vision is very good and I don’t need glasses. No other problems were identified either. So, that’s all good.

I felt a bit dumb doing the eye check… I mean ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with me. However, I’m glad I did it as it’s good to know that my eye health has not deteriorated in the last four years.

Counting my beans

September was a negative month. My net worth as of 30/09/2021 was £254,532 – it’s a decrease of -£29,278 or -10.3% from the end of August 2021. This is after me making a £1,633 GIA top-up, £452 pension top-up (deducted from salary + employer contribution) and £575 top-up to my cash balance.

This drop is the largest I’ve ever had in terms of a monetary amount… however I feel OK with this. It can’t always go up and pullbacks are expected.

Wealth update – 31/08/2021

Another month, another update.

Deposit drama

It seems I posted the court claim and paperwork/evidence to the correct address. Yay!

A few weeks after posting it I was contacted by somebody from the County Court to take payment of £308 to process my claim against my previous landlord. Three weeks later I got something in the post confirming that the case “has been issued under Part 8 of the CPR”. The previous landlord now has 2 weeks to respond (ends next week) and then I suppose I will need to wait until the actual court day.

It’s all taking longer than I thought… but I guess that’s good enough for government work.

Driving license

As I moved house at the beginning of June, I had to renew my driving license – it’s not allowed to have a wrong address on it. I was not able to do the address update online because the identity verification process did not find my brand new UK passport (which I got in April when I became a British citizen).

So, I had to use the paper form and post my original driving license off to Swansea. You may have read in the press about massive delays in processing times at the DVLA. I posted my stuff on the 21st of June and currently – 10 weeks later – they are processing stuff that was received on 18th June.

It may take a few more weeks I suppose…

I got a raise

I had my half-year appraisal and walked out with a £5K raise (9% increase). I didn’t expect a raise and didn’t ask for one. My manager started the meeting with “some good news” and I went along with it. Who am I to argue with a good thing?

They backdated the raise to take effect from 1st July. It’s nice to get paid more. 🙂

Health

This hasn’t been good. We’re both double vaccinated against Covid-19 but we’ve developed flu-like symptoms. Our symptoms are mild and nothing serious. I’ve had two PCR covid tests taken 6 days apart, which came out negative. My girlfriend’s PCR test was also negative. We’re feeling better now but continue to have a cough. We’ve been sick for about 3 weeks already. I think it’s very unlikely that all 3 tests were false negatives…

So, we’re unwell but not with Covid. I guess that’s the glass half full way to look at it.

By the way, it’s now possible to register for the normal flu-jab via Boots, which we’ve done. Our appointments are towards the end of September. I noticed some inflation here, last year the jab cost £13.99, this time it was £14.99 – that’s +7%.

Counting my beans

August was another positive month. My net worth as of 31/08/2021 was £283,810 – it’s an increase of £34,017 or 13.6% from the end of July 2021. This is after me making a £1,620 GIA top-up and £492 pension top-up (deducted from salary + employer contribution).

It’s been a good month.

Jobs that will be in demand in the near future

I remember a while ago I wrote that if your job is to drive a car/truck/bus (cab/Uber etc) then you need to start looking for another career really fast. Full-self-driving will become a thing sooner than you think. Ignore the news about the lack of drivers (due to Brexit) to move goods to our supermarkets – that’s only a temporary problem.

So, I did some thinking to put together a list of industries/jobs, which I think will probably do well in the future (in the UK):

  1. Anything to do with heat pumps. There will be huge demand as the UK aims to be more green and energy efficient etc. There’s hardly anybody able to do this sort of work these days.
  2. Solar and wind energy production. Similar reasons as above – we’re all going green.
  3. Technology – quite predictably – AI, machine learning, data analytics etc. This one isn’t really for the masses as this is hard work and only for the curly-brained ones.
  4. Games – developing PC/console/mobile games will grow. Have you ever heard of eSports – it’s bigger than you think? However, salaries aren’t as good in gaming as in other areas of software development.
  5. Electric cars and charging infrastructure – because Elon says so! Don’t bet against Elon!
  6. Nurses. The UK needs more nurses. However, salaries and working conditions/hours aren’t great.

Personally, I’m thinking about pivoting into technology – AI and stuff.

Good luck!

Wealth update – 31/07/2021

The market has closed for this month and I have counted my beans. Here’s my update for July.

Deposit drama

It seems we are legit taking our previous landlord to court over their failure to protect our tenancy deposit in time. They never responded to our letter before action (other than acknowledging it).

I prepped all the forms and evidence etc and we posted that to the local county court more than a week ago. However, we haven’t heard back. I don’t really know whether we should give the courthouse a chaser? I’d rather avoid that. Let’s wait and see!

Other

The month has been relatively quiet:

  • I’ve been to the office a few times but mostly work from home. I even met a client or two face-to-face.
  • The family (including the puppy) went to Dover and more recently to Broadstairs. Nice little day trips!

Counting my beans

July was a positive month and not too bad. My net worth as of 31/07/2021 was £249,793 (sadly it dipped below £250K) – it’s an increase of £17,203 (more or less my annual expenditure) or 7.4% from the end of June 2021. This is after me making a £1,600 GIA top-up and £411 pension top-up (deducted from salary + employer contribution).

All in all, a decent month!

The curse of the bearish case

Markets are at an all-time high. Everybody is making money and I just had my best month ever (see previous post). Now what?

A critic would say that this is not sustainable and the markets are in a bubble. They can’t possibly go any higher as the PE ratios are so high, earnings are too low, insane valuations, interest rates are about to increase, inflation is coming, governments will raise taxes to pay for their Covid-19 expenditure etc.

Bears strike downwards with their claws which is why it’s said that markets are bearish when they go down.

Yes, there’s lots to be concerned about.

A bull strikes upwards with his horns which is why it’s said that the market is bullish when it goes up.

The positive spin would be something like this: the world is re-opening, the pandemic will be over or we will all learn to live with Covid-19, mRNA and CRISPR will be used to treat countless other infections and diseases, a cancer cure will be found this decade, we will all transition to sustainable energy production and battery storage technology will make many breakthroughs, automation and AI will significantly improve our quality of life, the 4-day work week will be the norm, anybody anywhere on the planet will have access to 5G internet speeds (Starlink), the future will be spectacular and the stock market can only go up.

You are probably thinking that the bearish case sounds more reasonable than the bullish case. And that, my friend, is the curse of the bearish case – it always sounds smarter.

The bullish case sounds a bit like pie in the sky and is just too rosy. It doesn’t sound that smart and is harder to believe.

If you listened to the media and got out of the market whenever someone said a crash is coming, you’d most likely be broke. Or, at the very least, you’d be significantly worse off.

I remember reading an academic study into the profitability of the clients of a brokerage company. Collectively speaking the best performers were accounts of deceased people or people who forgot their logins and weren’t able to make any investment decisions. Most people don’t know what they’re doing and they are shooting themselves in the foot when they trade. Investing is like any other skill – you need somebody to teach you, otherwise you can make very expensive mistakes.

I’m a believer in passive investing (buying index-trackers) but know that there’s a place for active investing and hedge funds etc as well. You do you. There’s millions of ways to make a profit – find out what works for you and do that.