Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on F.I.R.E. This week I will discuss the inauguration of President Joe Biden, highlight a UK based artist and provide a further update on my BTL. First, the Quote of the Week:
Quote of the Week
The man is clearly an idiot, and now the circus has left the White House some semblance of normalcy should reign in the United States. It feels as though, since 2016, the world has just gone batshit crazy. We have had Trump in the US, Brexit in the UK and Covid-19, not to mention the storming of the Capitol and the proposed invasion of Area 51. All you can do, when you look back, is shrug your shoulders and sigh, “covfefe”.
The covfefe thing is brilliant, and something I missed the first time around. For those who do not know, a few years ago, Trump tweeted, “despite the negative press covfefe.” We have actually been very lucky with the last twelve years of US Presidents because they have all been the subject of quality memes.
The vaccine roll out seems to have stalled and there are reports that supplies earmarked for Yorkshire, where I live, have been rerouted to the south. I cannot say I am surprised; it often feels as though the south views the north as some untamed wilderness full of uneducated peasants. The map I have taken from Reddit and posted below illustrates how many view the UK.
If I was in charge of rolling out the vaccine, I would prioritise those working in healthcare first. We need the front line workers to be protected. Once complete, I would then look at vaccinating those working in essential areas such as supermarkets, public transport and teachers. I would then turn my attention to the vulnerable; the elderly and those with significant underlying medical conditions. Arguments can be made for all sorts of variations for rolling out the vaccine, and there is merit for several of the alternatives. This is just my opinion coming from a perspective of zero expertise.
It would be impossible to go through this week without mentioning the Bernie Sanders meme that has gone viral. I love memes almost as much as I love coffee, and this meme has really made me laugh.
I have completed my first full week back at work, on reduced hours as I continue to get back into the routine of employment. According to some rough calculations, I have approximately 187 days to work in 2021. Yes, I will be ticking these off day by day.
I do not want you to get the wrong idea; my employer has been fantastic in their support during my absence. My line manager especially has been amazing and has made my return to work as painless as possible. This has been a huge help in facilitating my return.
I mentioned last week that it was my girlfriend’s birthday and one of her presents was a painting I commissioned from Laura Slade, an artist based in the UK. The painting was of our cat, Sweep. Below are some pictures of the painting, and the photos it was based on. Laura was friendly and prompt in her replies. It was a pleasure dealing with her, and I would happily order more art from her in the future. You can reach her on Instagram here.
I am delighted with the finished painting, as is my girlfriend. Sweep is such an important part of our life, and we both love him very much. He is old now, but there is still so much love in him for us. He loves to sit in our lap and purr, occasionally bumping heads with us. He is the best.
Across the pond it was a relief that the inauguration went ahead without any disturbance. I felt bad for President Biden that he did not get the full, normal experience, that any incoming President would expect. I am sure that he will be a stabilising influence on the US and will hopefully repair much of the damage Trump did to the image of the country around the world. From a personal point of view, I am hoping for more quality memes now that Biden is the President and not just the VP to Obama.
2021 Goals – to be achieved by 31/12/2021
1 – Reduce weight to 92.8kg.
2 – Finish 104 new books.
3 – Complete RO3 for my DipFA.
4 – Complete RO4 for my DipFA.
5 – Complete RO5 for my DipFA.
6 – Complete RO6 for my DipFA.
I have been making some progress towards losing weight. I started the year at 119.9kg but I have reduced that to 116.6kg. It is still a long way to go to get to a healthy weight. I need to try and remain focused on slow, steady progress. The last few years have been awful for my health, and part of my mental health struggles have been down to my weight. It was only a few years ago that I was under 95kg and exercising regularly. I can do it, but I need to realise on an emotional level that it is going to take time.
Looking at my goal to complete 104 new books in 2021, I am on track so far. I have finished four books and you can see my readings lists here.
Premium Bonds: £3,150.00 (up £500.00 from last update).
Stocks and Shares ISA: £16,251.30 (down £540.34 from last update).
Fuck It Fund: £550.00 (up £125.00 from last update).
Residential Property Value: £194,909.00 (no change from last update).
Buy-to-Let Property Value: £125,775.00 (no change from last update).
Total Assets: £340,635.30 (up £84.66 from last update).
Credit Card: £2,464.57 (up £236.93 from last update).
Residential Mortgage: £141,383.76 (no change from last update).
Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £93,049.67 (no change from last update).
Total Debts: £236,898.00 (up £236.93 from last update).
Total Wealth Figure: £103,737.30 (down £152.27 from last update).
Investment Income in 2021: £0.00 (target £5,000).
The stock market continues to tumble with three of the last four weeks seeing a drop in the value of my investments. I was hoping the market would be steadily recovering by now, but the surge in Covid cases has brought the nation back into lockdown. I suspect we will not see any major improvements in the market until the majority of the population is vaccinated and life returns to normal.
I have not yet received the funds to pay back towards my credit card but I am hoping to have that money in time for it to reflect in next week’s figures.
I wrote last week about a potential tenant who would be paying six months up front. Unfortunately she was unable to find a guarantor, and so I declined her application. Even if she paid six months up front, there is still the uncertainty about her ability to pay the rent from that point on. I was told the woman was unemployed with bad credit and had two kids. I hope she finds somewhere to live, but as a business decision it just did not make sense.
We have had several other viewings in the past few days, but I have not had feedback yet. There has been an issue with the electricity supply which has been frustrating to resolve. The previous owners had a prepayment meter and there was residual credit left on it. That credit has now expired, which means when people are viewing the property in the late afternoon or evening, there is no light for them to see what the property actually looks like.
I have never had to deal with a prepayment meter before, so this was a learning curve, but I have managed to get the account transferred to my name. I just need to get back to the property for the electric key so I can top up the supply.
It is frustrating that we do not yet have a tenant, but these are strange times. Whilst the property is empty we are having to pay the mortgage, council tax and utilities. Despite all this, it is still a good investment for the long term with the property value already having risen slightly.
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My Instagram is @david_scothern and my Twitter is @advisoronfire. You can also email me at email@example.com.
Also, please check out my cat’s Instagram @sweep_the_kelham_island_cat
Finally, have a look at Darren Scothern’s blog at darrenscothern.com.