My regular Saturday musings, plus a roundup of interesting blog posts and money-related articles.
Curiously, we saw two very different market anniversaries this week:
- The new bull market is now a year on from touching those incredible stock market lows back in March 2009.
- A decade ago, the ten-year bear market began as tech stocks started to slide. The NASDAQ is still less than half its peak.
I can remember where I was both times.
On March 11th 2009, I was writing a blog about the stock market lows, partly to remind myself that these things happen and not to panic! You can read about stock market crashes, but until you’ve got most of your net worth riding through one you can’t really know how it feels.
As for the ten-year bear, way back in late March 2000, after the first wobbles, a much younger version of me happened to be in Silicon Valley on business in the heart of the tech bubble.
As I remember it, people with jobs suspected the game was up, but it was like when Wiley Coyote runs off a cliff yet hasn’t looked down. Technology stocks hadn’t followed logic for such a long time that nobody knew what would happen.
At SFX airport I met two young people who’d flown in to join or start a dotcom company. I wonder what happened to them? People were walking around wearing ‘will code for food’ clapperboards in ironic fashion six months later.
Blog post of the week: An interview with me!
Sticking with the theme of ‘me’ rather than the markets, my blog post of the week is an interview I gave to Daniel of Sweating the Big Stuff.
I’m not being totally egotistical – since Daniel was kind enough to interview me, it seems rude not to mention it. (Plus Daniel is in the Yakezie!)
The interview was posted on Tuesday, the anniversary of the first birthday of the new bull market, and I recall:
I was well over 90% invested by the March 2009 lows, despite all the gloomy talk from bloggers and the mainstream media alike. Once I ran out of cash, bonds, REITs and so on to sell to buy stocks, I started selling my real world possessions to try and put more money into the market.
(This isn’t including my emergency fund, which is larger than normal because I’m self employed, and which everyone should have and consider sacrosanct).
I didn’t know the market would go up anytime soon – you can never know that. But I did judge it would do someday… stocks were just too cheap, and everyone was panicking like it was Doomsday. If the worst predictions had come true, cash would have been worthless anyway!
Fear not, modesty fans, I do go on to explain my big mistakes have cost me dearly, particularly not buying a house in the early Noughties. That’s cost me at least £200,000!
If for some reason you want to hear more from me (perhaps there’s mental illness in your family?) then Daniel’s interview is the place to go.
Some other interesting money blog posts
- A bad example of the millionaire next door – Bad Money Advice
- Sell your house with Tesco – Money Watch
- $3 million to retire? – Consumerism Commentary
- ETF investing – The Digerati Life
- The art of the interview – Financial Samurai
- Record yield curve says buy stocks, REITs, but not gold – Stock Tickle
- What’s your magic number? – Eliminate the Muda (by Financial Engineer)
- The price of a dying loved one – Darwin’s Finance
- A night at the Oscars [Not about personal finance!] – Len Penzo
A few good financial articles from the big boys
- Betting on the blind side [This is a must read!] – Vanity Fair
- The U.S. economy is back to normal-ish – The New York Times
- The new Forbes Rich List – Forbes
- Dire UK export figures coming – BBC
- Shining a harsh light on Lehman’s bankruptcy – The Economist
- Bootle: More quantitative easing to come – The Telegraph
- How much stress can the banks take? – Peston on the BBC
- Switch out of long-dated gilts – Fixed Income Investor
- How to be positively passive – FT
- UK privatisation shares up 419% since 1980s – FT
- Mortgage lending halves as tax break ends – The Independent
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