Saturday, 31 October 2015

Millionaire mind intensive day 2

Huh, my second of 3 day training is starting now. Funny enough, they got a programme called ' Never work again' that it is available for only £4945. Yes they got quality informations, but i could read some blogs that got at least same if not better quality. For free.
I will come back with a later post about what i agree and do not agree in their financial freedom training.
What i want to say, we often have access to some invaluable advice through our blogs-network. Value it!

See you soon.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Trick or treat?

In the spirit of Halloween, i would tell you about my experiment. The trick is that if you always pay with real money, not with 'virtual' ones using the card, you are much less likely to waste it. The treat is like 600 pounds extra in my account this month, after i did this for the last 30 days.

You can try it!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Hints and bits and random data

* Side hustle for children (and not only): this one is very easy, that even one 11 year old can do it. Ideal if you have clever kids? Check the link here. Selling cryptografically secure passwords.

** They just developed something interesting at Oxford, a language understanding intelligent service that can even use SIRI or Cortana. I think this can result in a (r)evolution in phone AI in the future. Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) offers a fast and effective way of adding language understanding to applications. With LUIS, you can use pre-existing, world-class, pre-built models whenever they suit your purposes -and when you need specialized models, LUIS guides you through the process of quickly building them.

What this language can do, you will probably ask?Here is the list:
-Create language understanding models
-Create models for your application to better understand intents like "turn on the lights", or entities such as "start a new jog/walk/hike/bikeride". Tune your model with in-depth performance visualizations.
-Use pre-built, world-class models from Bing and Cortana
-Use the pre-built, world-class models to recognize entities like places, times, numbers, temperatures, and to also handle common requests like "set an alarm for 8 AM". Immediately enable personal assistant functionalities by using a selection of Cortana understanding models.
-Deploy your models to an HTTP endpoint
-Deploy models to an HTTP endpoint with one click. LUIS returns easy-to-use JSON.
-Activate models on any device
-Activate your language understanding models from your application on your phone, tablet, or any other device that has access to the Internet.
-Maintain models with ease
-Review commands spoken to your application to spot and correct errors. LUIS automatically suggests the most important commands to label.

If you buy shares, not only mutual funds, the future seems to be bright in the phone app sector. But i will let you to look for the companies that will use this technologies soon (hint: Apple is one of them)

*** Meanwhile i will tell you what i noticed in the world economic news and market most recent changes. Eli Lilly ex chief Sidney Taurel will become Pearson's new chairman. That is a good news, as S.Taurel can provide strong ties with U.S market, being one of the most knowledgeable experts at the moment. Aberdeen Asset Management is having the third consecutive year of negative new flow on both income and equities, What a shame coming from what was once Europe largest listed fund (in 2013). Philips is on his way to get rid of his lighting business, trying to sell his major stake in  the company Lumileds. I think Hitachi should take lessons from them, having now 9 business divisions, with the possibility of providing major profit returns if the will just close the two divisions with the biggest loss. But who am i to tell them what to do. Apple is to announce his profit soon, with the experts predicting a low performance next spring, first time in years. What to do? Maybe an aggressive campaign is not the answer, but this is a far away future at the moment. 

**** London financial independence real estate tip. I've seen some very good prices for studio and 1 bedroom flat in Hounslow, around 199.000. Given that i found on internet that the average rent for one of this is 1818/month, meaning 21816/year, that's a whooping 10.96% ROI, sound good to me. You should easily get that rent with some money invested to give a luxury make-up appearance to your flat.

That's it for today, enjoy the rest of the week, see you soon.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The 30% rule, the rule of 25, the rule of 20/80, the 4% rule and many others.

Today we gonna play with numbers. There are a lot of arbitrarily set rules, but right know i will talk only about the ones that are essential for financial independence.
The 4% withdrawal rule:  It's a rule of thumb used to determine the amount of funds to withdraw from a retirement account each year.
The rule of multiply by 25:  This rule estimates how much money you'll need in retirement by multiplying your desired annual income by 25.
The rule of 30% : State that you should pay no more than 30% of your monthly income for your rent.
The rules of house end price: This area is a bit murky, but the experts agree that mortgage should be no more than 28-36% of your monthly income, i think we can safely apply the rule of 30% here too, and, here it comes, the house price should be no more than 2.5 x annual income. Where i can find a 45 thousands pounds flat, God only know!

Oh, and i leave it for last, the rule of 20/80. This rule state that we get 80% of our happiness and satisfaction from a mere 20% of our daily activities. Do them first, i'd say!

Thursday, 22 October 2015

My two cents about financial advice

Sometimes you ask yourself if you can do it or you really need professional help? I was lucky enough to study economy for many years, but not all are so fortunate. Of course, every skill can be learned. The problem is that a lot of the people i know lack basic financial education. And they need some advice. Here is the trick. Everybody got an opinion. My uncle Paul try to give me advice all the time, yet he is barely end his meets every month. My postman told me he know a lot about investing. Everyone know. But not every one apply. As Cicero said "Advice is judged by results, not by intentions. If we listen to some others much more clever than us, here are the financial advisers not to be trusted on the long term.
1. People who lack necessary qualification and proven results.
2. Someone who build his wealth in another business or real estate, because stock investment is something different.
3. Authors and writers, because they are better at writing, not investing.
4. Academics, because they have some interesting theories, but their experience lack the practice , and real life is reacting in a surprising way sometimes.
5. Someone who is selling investment products, because the inherent conflict of interest that biases the advice you receive (true for most stock brokers and financial planners).
6. A person who made his wealth through marketing investment advice instead of actually investing

The best recommendation is given to you by proven actual results, and often you can see the FIRE in their eyes. I hope this helped you now, as it would helped me 10-20 years ago, when i did so many mistakes. The trick is to always check who are the best in the field, and to learn from them. Aim for the stars. If your adviser will tell you how can you lose your money first, before you find how you gain more, then he/she is a good one. If is telling you about the risk management and preserving capital, personalized to your needs, you already feel like winning the lottery.

 Questions to ask first, before you ask someone to help:

1: Is the adviser already successfully doing exactly what he is advising you to do?

2: Is the adviser still “walking the talk”, or is he just “marketing the talk?”

3: Will the adviser provide documented proof that his advice works?

4: What is the adviser background, education, training, skills, and experience?

5: Has the advice been tested and proven successful through multiple market cycles?

6: Does the advice provide a balanced viewpoint with both positive and negative attributes or is it a one-sided sales job?

7: Does the advice over-simplify the inherently complex nature of investing in an effort to make the sale?

8:Is the advice personalized to your needs or is it generic?

9: Is the advice a complete investment process or a half-truth?

10: Does the advice focus primarily on risk management and capital preservation?

11: How is the adviser compensated? What are his conflicts of interest?

12:  Is the advice based strictly on facts or does it include meaningless opinions?

FIRE-getting physical

It is normal for everyone to want to enjoy his hard earned newly achieved financial independence for as long as possible. In order to do that, we need to do more than have the money. As many of us will start to live the life after the age of 30, or even 40, we will need to take care of our health, physically, emotionally, mentally, and to exercise minimally to stay in shape.
My resolution:
1. I will try to go to sleep at 22:00 and wake up around 6:00.
2. I will try to cook and eat healthy, avoiding to much salt and sugar.
3. Running sessions 2-3 every week, at least, and freeletics exercises, at least twice a week.
That is  is for the moment.
See you around!

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Quote of the day

“The stock market should not be viewed as a way of making money. Working is how money is made—saving and investing is how it’s kept.” —E.J. Smith

Is that true? Or is just a reminder of another time, and another world? Who will agree with what is said here? Personally i think that the previous quote is not one of actuality , and this wise man used to have the pattern of thinking that we need to work for 30-40 years and then retire, when we are old and we cannot work anymore. So much changed, so much dissipated to make place for the newcomers. I like all this trend of FIRE (financial independence/retire early) and i hope that our number will grow, and more and more will start their search of a happy independent life.
Me, for this year i will just try to pay my last credit card, and reach 6k new wealth. And run 5k. If we are to speak in thousands. Only 3 months left, such eventful months for me. And my side hustle at the moment: work overtime. Not too clever, but effective.
Felling hopeful, isn't it?

See you soon.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Mind games

I feel like taking a kind of break next week, after i just finished and 80 hours/workweek, a far cry from Tim Ferris 4 hour workweek. Compared with my last one, my next 37 hours work week look like a walk in the park. But i hope i reach my goals with this, as i will go in a well deserved, and seemingly expensive, holiday. I need to, it is my little brother wedding, so a bit of mayhem is welcome. Anyway, this is scheduled for mid november, i still have time for a side hustle until then.
Meanwhile i try to work on my second book, and despite my slow progress, i will estimate i am at 50% completion. I also try to invest a bit of my time in my development, as i booked a 3 day training with T. Harv Eker, something that sound interesting enough, fancy named Millionaire Mind Intensive.

On top of this, i would like, hmm, poor choice of words, let's try again, I MUST finish this month and the other 2 months left from this year on a positive monthly balance. I am doing my best at the moment, working hard and relaxing even harder. We will all see what the future brings.

P.S. I miss a little market value jump of Bitcoin, as i sold everything on the last month high and i forget to buy it back when was low enough. Eh, no need to worry, i will do it next time. I said to me, but something is still there inside of me, almost crying for the lost opportunity.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Shave like your Grandpa(and save doing this)

I am willing to try this as a new ( old) method of save money and have a great shaving experience. Seems that all i need for a top experience is one badger hair type brush, one safety razor, one soap and stainless soap bowl and 100 razors. Estimate cost - £50-60. At the moment i use Gillette Proglide with razor cartridge - annual estimate cost - £120. I know that i save (only) 60 pounds, but friends of mine that already used this method told me that it is all about the shaving experience. Beware: it will take 1-2 weeks to learn this new skill.

Bonus: Times is money! What is this saying make you thinking? Because most of the readers of this blog probably are interested in early retirement and financial independence. Working hard now in order to save time later. But what about the other point of view? How do you treat your time? What is your average ROI for let's say one week of your life? Make a journal and track this. You will be surprised. Hint: there are some things money can't buy, and one of them is health (probably). Looking from this point of view, sleep is the most awesome time investment. Confusing? I just started. Do you want to do to much, but you do not have enough time? You know how to deal with money debt, i presume, so why to not do the same with your time debt? Because in the end all you need to remember is that Time is money, and the most amazing thing money can buy is Time. My most important goal (and yours i'd like to believe) is for me to be happy, and to do what is the most fulfilling, pleasure giving experience in life. And in order to do this i need Time. So, why not to give it the same importance as we give to Money, and realize that what we want to achieve doing this is Freedom and a happy life, because why not to admit it, sometimes we forget Bruce Le advice to watch the Moon, not the finger that point to it.

See you soon. Have a good night.


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Active vs passive

At the moment most of my monthly money are coming from active sources, something like 95% of it, with only 5% coming from passive income. I do not know what others think, but even after my early retirement, i still see myself as having at least 20-25% of my income coming from active sources. I know, in theory the best option is to have 100% passive, but this will be very boring, isn't it? Now, related to other ideas i had this week, as i was thinking that i am going at a very slow pace, and i wanted to work more in order to reach my goals. Somebody reminded me that in the end not money and early retirement, but our happiness is the goal, money are only the instrument we use for achieving more. And if this journey is a marathon, not a sprint, so be it. Make no sense to exhaust myself or to worry too much about missing some deadline, as they are not set in stone. I was assured that once i will start enjoying life, my productivity will increase and my goals will be achieved faster, using Mr. Bruce Lee own strategy. In order to become faster we need to slow down. I will keep you posted about this.

Added later: As a big joke from Universe, after this post i checked my accounts, I've seen that the markets are recovering the percentages lost in the last months. So i am growing after all. Hip-hip-hooray!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Choices, choices and choices

This week i faced a hard choice, but in the end the rational part of my mind took a break, and i decided to work some extra 40 hours in order to achieve what i was planning for the current month. I checked and i really, really wanted to earn more than i need to spend for what is left of this year. So, if i am not clever enough (yet) to gain more money for the same amount of time (as Ramit Sethi would say - by the way, go fast to his blog, he is giving his book "I will teach you to be rich" for free at the moment, some good ideas there), coming back, if i cannot gain more money for the same amount of time, than i will work more time for more money. But i will keep the promises done to myself. We will see how efficient this step was at the end of this month. And year.

Meanwhile, market is rising, soon will be a good time to sell some of the shares i want to get rid off, right?

And to finish the post with some nice tips, if you are looking for a new hobby like building off-grid houses, here is a blog post with some free plans links.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

So many projects, so little time...

*As my brother wedding came close, i just worked some extra hours. So i found that one of ours bigger expense is taxes. Now, this seems to be one interesting domain, and i will start to take a look at the problem, in the other UK blogs. If you know some great blog that i do not have it at my blog roll, just leave a comment. Thanks.
**My running was amazing until now, but i reach a moment where motivation is important. My total time decreased a bit, 1.07 hours versus 2.19 hours last week, but the week is not finished yet. I would say, even if i know that i will add maybe another 30 min to this week time. My running sessions are something like this:
Week 1 - 1 session
Week 2 - 2 sessions
Week 3 - 5 sessions
Week 4 - 2 sessions
In conclusion, i need to add some additional exercises to this, if i want to be more effective. Idea: i can challenge myself and run tonight and tomorrow. The magic of going out of my comfort zone. I said it. After finishing this post i go to run. Ha,ha!
***I managed to reach a nice number for food expenses last month, i will continue the experiment this week. It is called Do Not Be Lazy And Cook At Home Instead Of Fast Food (i consider pre-packed food fast food too). Last month i was buying fast food only twice, and i eat out 3 times, but i ordered some good proper food every times. October look good too, only one McDonald visit during working time - so i do not know if i count this one. Hmm, i eat it, it count. But it is really good for me to see what a difference make to buy the ingredients and cook your own food. (hell, yeah, i can cook).
****I have seriously progressed with my second book about healthy eating, i would say i am at 50% on my way to publish it. First book - that is so funny, but it was a test - is about poetry, in my native language, so as you can guess is not proving to be a hit, Yet. But i learn how to do it during all that experience of publishing it, so it did the job. I must add - income stream no.7- royalties. So proud of me now. Plus - childhood dream done - publish poetry book. We're good.

See you my friends, i go to run now.

Added later: I did it! I did it!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

FIRE first aid or as i said FIRE crash course 1.0.1.

Ok. New post coming. But before i start i want to point to some very pertinent blog post of FI fighter. I just find it interesting and it is worth to take a peek on it. Another good post i found is about th Roseto effect - how to live longer, better and healthier. It is a simple solution, but a very effective one.

Now back to my story. One friend was asking me how can he learn to do what i do? As a close friend he could see the changes on my personal finance and net worth, and as we have at least 20 years from the time we first meet, he realized that i did in this year more than i did in the previous 36 of my life.
But here come with the catch. How can i learn somebody about FIRE in only 2 hours if i just start with the basics after 18 months of study of this phenomenon.

So i made a plan. Emailing books to read on the subject, 1 per week. Record every expense for 3 months on a notebook named with the fancy name of FIRE ESCAPE (i must to admit that i was inspired by Huw with this one). Categorize them after every month. Learn about your money before you start saving. Start budgeting expenses and food week by week, Stick with that amount. Download a running app. I use Runkeeper or Freeletics. A bit of physical preparation. Depending on the person i would recommend some supplements. At least when you start running again after 20 years. For him it was Multivitamins, Multiminerals, Magnesium, Fish oil to burn the extra fat, Melatonin to adapt faster to the new situation and some other things, Joints stuff - the one with condroitin. Make a blog. Put every link i provide on your blogroll. I give him most of the blogs i know. Set up to show the last post. Read them regularly. Now i have 2 Excel spreadsheet that i use. One to record the plan. With 4 pages. Risk. Safe. Dreams. Costs and strategy. Another one is using different pages, one for every income sources like dividends, interests, full time work, royalties, profit, capital gained and rental. Set up accounts. Start small and get bigger at some pre-set periods of time. He started with 8% for risk investment, 4% for safest ones and 4% for achieving childhood dreams (i used this as a helping hand as it is known that achieving childhood dreams can have as a result a dramatically improvement of your motivation. I have the full research on one of my journals,
Setting up the accounts. I went for one P2P account, one property crowdfunding, one for buying shares. He agreed to make a new bank account for this with TSB for the 5% interest, where he will save first a buffer cash sum, ideally 6 months expenses. Then we will set up direct debits for the investments options mentioned before, going with the option pay yourself first, worry about an eventual shortcoming later. As in automatically pay your rent, bills, transport (train pass) and savings first after you are getting paid your wages and make a budget for the remaining amount for food and any other expenses. Took us 3 hours at first and an additional one later instead of 2 planned, but we did it.

What would you do different? I am listening.

P.S. The blog just reach the 1000 readers bar, it is time to celebrate!

FIRE first aid

Let's say your good friend see that you are doing something, see the results and it is interested in doing the same. What are the lines of conversation and the information that you can give him? How will you explain FIRE if you have only 2 hours available before he will go to a far away country? How i did it? You will find out in my tomorrow blog post (as i still need to go to work at the moment).

Side Hustle - October 2015 - Travel club

As you probable have seen (or not) a new link appeared in my websites list. What is it about? It is a travel club that i use to travel around the world, with very good offers and conditions. I like them because they will return you 150% the difference if you find a cheaper alternative in the next 24 hours. And they have a interesting system of balancing the price, meaning that if they find a better alternative, they will send you back the saved money even without you asking for them. Although this option i have it as a member, so you will still need to check if it is available to non members.
The link is here.

Disclaimer: It is a referral link, so i will benefit if you will use it.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Quote of the day and a bit more.

A river cut through rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence. (Watkins)
This is something i need to remember every month, as it seems that my saving rate is going down lately. A need to reconsider my planning at least. And a bit of motivation. And more time. And more sleep. And stop travelling for one month. Really. I would never think i would say this last phrase. But it is late. Night time. And i work. And i am just talking nonsense. Or maybe not.

Talking about side hustles. I am seriously thinking to plant like 160 trees from a bamboo like family. Sel it in 4-5 years. 4-5k to do it. Sell it through futures contract. At 40-45k. So is like 10 times more in let's say 5 years. If i do the work. A bit less if i put someone else to do it. I got the land provided. And the good part. The trees need daily care only for first 6 months. After that just weekly checks.

Also there is a possibility to change the main job and jump from 18 to 35k. But to move in London. And work my **s out a lot. And pay the living expenses in London. I do not know what to do. I need to check out the expenses. Hard to decide. At the moment.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Financial independence and London

Not much for today's post, just some very interesting map that i found in newspaper. It is a map of the average price of a one bedroom flat within 1 mile of a specific tube station. For one FIRE adept (i like how cool this sound, FIRE adept, make me think at something magic), you can see than only moving few Tube station away you can really shorten you early retirement plans with few years. I presume everyone can do the math, so i will not bother you with the numbers. You can see it very clear in the picture. Just zoom in or save the picture and study it carefully. I got some ideas myself. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

September statistics

The relevant financial statistics at the end of September:

Money from interests and dividends this year (up to 1.10.2015) - 332 pounds (+12)
Month average (first 9 months of my early retirement project) - 36.66 pounds (+6)
Yearly ROI percentage prediction - 7.61% (-2.88)
Retirement fund percentage achieved : 5.14% (a depressing -0.06% due to market situation)
Security fund investment: 47.38% (-0.98)
Risk fund investment: 52.62% (+0.98)
Total investment: 5696 pounds (-66)
Total debt: 740 pounds (-40)
Net worth: 4982.09 pounds (-36)

Wages  - 1470
Investments - 12
TOTAL: 1482

Expenses: 1791

Seems that this month i just forgot the Rule No.1: Never ever spend more than you earn. Shame on me. I will need to focus even more on recovering last month deficit, but is still harder to do it than say it, as i will still have 2 more months with a lot of extra expenses. After October and November, a blissful period of accumulation and sound investing will follow, until April next year. Apparently. If nothing else happen. At least i reduced a bit of my debt, even if is by not such a significant amount. I need to study September seriously and see what i can learn from this month experience. I admit.

I am open to answer to any common sense question about mine or yours retirement project.