Part 156

Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE.  This week I look ahead to 2023’s investment income goal.  Also, thoughts on the latest Tory Shambles.  

This Week’s Tory Shambles

It looks like the lettuce won.  If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, it’s the Daily Star’s campaign to see what would last longer, an iceberg lettuce in a blonde wig, or Liz Truss.  In case you’ve been living under a rock, Liz Truss resigned as Prime Minister hours after stating she was a “fighter, not a quitter.’  

I’ve got to hold my hands up at this point because when it came down to Sunak or Truss for PM, I said I’d rather see Truss because I felt she was too stupid to be truly dangerous.  All I can do is admit I was wrong.  She was both stupid and dangerous, and her actions have damaged our country so badly that it could take years to repair.  On the plus side, she may have irrevocably broken the Tory party.  

It’s hard to understand how these people get to the positions they hold.  I didn’t think I’d find myself agreeing with any element of the Russian government, but their foreign ministry hit the nail on the head when it referred to Truss as “catastrophically illiterate”.  Let’s not forget the time, just prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, when Truss met Sergei Lavrov and confused regions of Russia (where they had troops stationed) believing they were part of Ukraine.  It’s gross incompetence.

Speaking of which…

There are reports Boris Johnson may attempt to regain the office of Prime Minister.  It will not come as too much of a surprise to regular readers of this blog that I’m not a fan of Boris Johnson.  I’m not saying he’s a totally incompetent skidmark on the reputation of this country; he’s worse than that.  

There’s a website devoted to the lies Boris Johnson has told, which you can find at boris-johnson-lies.com.  Lying seems to be a way of life for this man, and I just don’t comprehend how any working-class, or even middle-class, person would support him.   If the previous website about his lies doesn’t float your boat, then check out another dedicated to his lack of integrity; costofjohnson.com.

I mean, just look at the state of some of the things this guy has come out with? 

Johnson doesn’t give a single, solitary fuck about anyone but himself.  Why, WHY would anyone publicly declare that they support him? 

My only hope is that there are enough decent Tory MPs out there to mean that Johnson has no hope of forming a new government.

Fake History and Fake News

We attended a talk by journalist Otto English to promote his new book, Fake History.  I’ve followed Otto on Twitter for a while and listening to him in person was great.  He’s articulate, and seems to share many of my political opinions, mainly that Boris Johnson is a deceitful shit who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a position of power or influence.  It was amusing listening to Otto take apart lie after lie from Johnson, but after a while it’s like beating a dead horse and he moved on to other areas of fake history.  

One thing that he discussed, which I think is a lesson many people would do well to learn, is that the first thing you hear is not necessarily always right.  Whilst this may seem like common sense so many people fall victim to this cognitive bias.  For example, you call your bank to ask about a process or policy.  You are given an explanation.  You then call back to follow through on that process, only to be told that it doesn’t work that way.  The tendency is to reply, “well the other person said I could.”.  The implied meaning is that the first person was correct, and the second person was not.  

Why is this important?

In our political climate it often doesn’t seem to matter what is true and what is complete fabrication.  All that matters is who speaks first.  There are many variations on the phrase, but there seems to be some truth to the argument that “a lie travels halfway around the world whilst the truth is still putting its boots on.”  The point is that if you speak first, people will believe you and no matter how many times the point is refuted, it doesn’t seem to make a difference.  Case in point; Jeremy Corbyn.  I’m not Corbyn’s biggest fan simply because there are areas of policy I disagree with him on.  However, many of the stories about him in media when he was Labour leader were simply false.  The points were refuted, but when the vast majority of our media is owned by Tory donors or supporters, it should be clear to see why the truth is not always easy to spot.

Weekly Update

I recently mentioned that I’d spent £520 on Lego parts for my Rocinante model.  Well, I’ve gone and done it again.  I’ve bought a Lego Star Destroyer.  It should have cost around £620 but due to a limited time offer I was able to get it with over 30% off.  I don’t have room to display the model, as it’s over a meter long but the price was too good to pass up.  I’ve wanted a Lego Star Destroyer for ages and the detail on this model looks incredible.  It’s strange in a way that it’s the Empire’s ships from Star Wars that tend to be more iconic.  I would guess that if you asked people to list the most iconic ships from Star Wars you would get plenty of responses for the Millenium Falcon, but possibly more for Star Destroyers or TIE fighters.

The Star Destroyer was not the only Lego model I received this week, as I also took delivery of Lego’s Starry Night.  I’ve been fortunate enough to see the original Starry Night twice, and it’s my favourite painting.  I could stare at it for hours and still find new detail.  Once I’ve assembled it I’ll post pictures in the following blog.

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2022 Goals – to be achieved by 31/12/2022

1 – Reduce weight to 90kg.  (Current weight 124.3kg).

2 – Complete 10 “classic” books (4/10)

  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)
  2. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville (1851)
  3. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897) ✅
  4. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (1961)
  5. The Iliad by Homer (8th century BC) ✅
  6. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (1844) ✅
  7. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (1867)
  8. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)
  9. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo (1862)
  10. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1605) ✅

3 – Read 10 authors I’ve not read before (22/10)

  1. John Birmingham ✅
  2. Nicole Perlroth ✅
  3. Sabine Durrant ✅
  4. Luke Smitherd ✅
  5. Max Skittle ✅
  6. Harlan Coben ✅
  7. Jo Spain ✅
  8. Kate Elizabeth Russell ✅
  9. Kiersten White ✅
  10. Rob Hart ✅
  11. Edward Aubry ✅
  12. Marina J. Lostetter ✅
  13. S. J. Morden ✅
  14. C. J. Tudor ✅
  15. Greer Hendricks ✅
  16. Clare Mackintosh ✅
  17. Stephen Baxter ✅
  18. Pete Wharmby ✅
  19. Devon Price ✅
  20. Nick Jones ✅
  21. Nathan Hystad ✅ 
  22. J. P. Pomare ✅

What Am I Doing?

Reading: Fake History by Otto English.

Listening: Battle for the Falklands by Max Hastings.

Watching: War of the Worlds (2019) series.

We’ve abandoned our MCU marathon after getting burned out with it following Moon Knight.  We’ve started the series based on H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds.  It’s a joint UK/French production and has a few interesting twists on the original story.  We’re only about halfway through the first season and it’s been entertaining so far.  There was one part that made me shout out “bullshit” though.  Mild spoilers follow:The aliens have these robot dogs (yes, similar to that Black Mirror episode) which are hunting down survivors of the initial attack.  These robots have gone up against squads of soldiers armed with rifles and grenade launchers and won.  So, when two pensioners are able to dispatch one of these robots by closing their eyes and spraying it with machine gun rounds, all the while not hitting their partner who is wrestling with the robot on the ground… Yeah, bullshit is the word.

Financial Update

Assets

Premium Bonds: £8,340.00 (-£1,360.00). 

Stocks and Shares ISA: £58,713.30 (-£188.26). 

Fuck It Fund: £1,625.00 (+£575.00).

Pensions: £51,703.20 (+£834.85). 

Residential Property Value: £233,989.00 (no change). 

Buy-to-Let Property Value: £150,993.00 (no change). 

Total Assets: £505,363.50 (-£138.41).

Debts

Credit Card: £0.00 (no change).

Residential Mortgage: £180,898.62 (no change). 

Buy-to-Let Mortgage: £105,279.23 (no change). 

Total Debts: £286,177.85 (no change). 

Total Wealth: £219,185.65 (-£138.41)

Investment Income in 2022: £4,640.26 (target £6,000).

I cashed in some of my bonds to pay for a few unexpected things but the balance will increase again in time.  With our property plans on hold for the time being, there’s no major pressure to have funds in place immediately.  I suspect that stock market investments, such as my ISA and pension, will continue to fluctuate until our government has some stability.  Unfortunately, I can’t see any stability until a general election takes place, so we might be waiting a while. 

The cost of living crisis, which now encapsulates the rising cost of energy, food, and sky-high mortgage rates (relative to recent years) means that there will be less money from our earned income to allocate to investments.  The investments themselves will have to do much of the heavy lifting in terms of compounding.  This means the FIRE plan will slow down, but not stop altogether.  The beauty of compounding gains is that once momentum builds it is very difficult to stop.

With just two potential rent and dividend payments due before the end of the year, it’s pretty much impossible that I’ll hit the £6,000 income goal for this year.  It’s looking like I’ll end up with around £5,300.  It’s still a solid increase from last year, and I’ll soon start work on projections for next year.  Assuming that I end the year on £5,300, that would represent a 40.5% increase on 2021.  Using that increase as a goal for 2023, I should be aiming for £7,446.  To achieve that, I’ll need two properties that are generating rent.

The most interesting part of this is what will happen to the mortgage and housing markets.  Rates have increased much faster than many thought, but that’s par for the course for this Tory government; always finding new ways of fucking things up.  I doubt there will be any major change in house prices this year, but the first quarter of 2023 will be interesting.  

Disclaimer

The views and opinions in this blog are my own, and do not represent the views or opinions of my employer, nor should they be considered advice.

If you want personalised financial advice, seek an appropriate professional.  If you are in financial difficulty, seek advice via the resources below:

StepChange

MoneyHelper

Biolink and other links

You can now find all my social media pages by checking out my Biolink:

bio.link/davidscothern.

Also, check out Darren Scothern’s blog which talks about autism, being autistic, and general mental health:

www.darrenscothern.com

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