What caught my eye this week.
The idea of trading money for time underpins early retirement, although it’s not often put that way.
But the day you leave work and never intend to go back – however you got to that point – there’s no argument. You’re by definition turning down the chance to make more money.
You are swapping money for time.
There are excellent reasons to quit work ASAP. Nobody lolling on their death bed ever wished they’d spent a few more years at the office and all that.
Personally, I see downsides, too, especially to very early retirement. As a result I expect to keep doing some work indefinitely.
But you don’t have to go totally cold turkey to swap money for time.
More flexible working – especially from home – can kill your commute and give you the freedom to work around you, instead of an employer. Or you can try to work fewer hours at a conventional job.
Either way the pay-off is a double whammy, because they don’t tax free time.
In contrast early retirement back loads all the extra time into one initially distant but eventually never-ending block. It’s a slog to get there, but in theory a coast thereafter.
For some, it’s nirvana. For others it can lead to boredom, ill-health, social isolation, and a life more ordinary if it cuts down your options.
As Harvard Business School professor and happiness researcher Ashley Whillans noted this month:
Over and over, I find that prioritizing time over money increases happiness.
Despite this, most people continue striving to make more money.
For example, in one survey, only 48% of respondents reported that they would rather have more time than more money.
Even the majority of people who were most pressed for time – parents with full-time jobs and young children at home – shared this preference for money over time. […]
Research shows that once people make more than enough to meet their basic needs, additional money does not reliably promote greater happiness.
Yet over and over, our choices do not reflect this reality.
True, plenty of people strive to survive. Work isn’t optional for them.
But many regular Monevator readers do have choices – or at least they can create them.
Time to choose.
Apple Card, fintech, and the future of good money habits – Monevator
From the archive-ator: The Devil’s Financial Dictionary: An ABC for passive investors – Monevator
Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view you can click to read the piece without being a paid subscriber. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing if you read them a lot!2
First house price fall in England since 2012 – BBC
Investors face ‘unacceptable’ delays to switch platforms [Search result] – FT
UK households spend above their income for longest period since 1980s – Guardian
Why investors are worried about the yield curve [Search result] – FT
Mobile eWallet usage surging around the world – ThisIsMoney
Households’ stark net borrowing position has been partly financed by non-secured loans – ONS
Products and services
Five ‘favourite’ cash ISA options – ThisIsMoney
Ways to own gold: Raising the bar into a safe haven [Search result] – FT
Ratesetter will pay you £100 [and me a cash bonus] if you invest £1,000 for a year – Ratesetter
One in 14 used cars for sale have had their mileage tampered with – ThisIsMoney
Moneyfarm offering up to £600 cashback if you open its ‘Brexit ISA’ with £20,000 – ThisIsMoney
Investing platform Willis Owen retrospectively identifies top performing funds [I’d also point out active investing is a zero-sum game, so you can also safely ignore the comments about when active funds do better than passives et cetera] – ThisIsMoney
Comment and opinion
When everything declines at once – Morningstar
The myth of average returns – The Evidence-based Investor
Nothing is safe – Of Dollars and Data
You probably don’t want another ‘generational buying opportunity’ – Bona Fide Wealth
Better than golf – Humble Dollar
Pension Calculator: How much money do you need to retire? – The Humble Penny
Never confuse luck with smart investing – Bloomberg
Different kinds of information – Morgan Housel
Will Nutmeg’s crowdfunding plans cut the mustard? [Search result] – FT
Five years into the slog and not bored yet – Quietly Saving
Pensions, doctors, and the NHS crisis caused by the tapered annual allowance – Young FI Guy
The 4% rule is dead? No it’s not! – MoneyMaven
How to increase the odds of owning the few stocks that drive returns [PDF] – Vanguard
What went wrong at Interserve? – UK Value Investor
Five personalities who can boost the value of your professional network – Financial Samurai
MPs reject all possible Brexit solutions. What now? [Excellent videos] – TLDR
The obscene moral spectacle of Theresa May’s resignation – Politics.co.uk
Brexit: What the fuck is going on? [Video, week old but still relevant] – YouTube
The humbling of Britain – The New Statesman
Game of Thrones, hamsters, and other things that didn’t last as long as Brexit – BBC
When even the BBC turns to swearing [Video] – YouTube
Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have never been less appealing – YouGov via Twitter
Kindle book bargains
How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back by Sally Helgesen – £0.99 on Kindle
The Talent Code: Greatness isn’t Born. It’s Grown by Daniel Coyle – £0.99 on Kindle
The Complete Guide to Property Investment by Rob Dix – £0.99 on Kindle
Winners and How They Succeed by Alistair Campbell – £1.99 on Kindle
Off our beat
Man stole $122m from Facebook and Google by sending them random bills – Boing Boing
Life After Facebook: The second act of billionaire co-founder Eduardo Saverin – Forbes
How to share a bed and be happy – Guardian
“The two greatest enemies of the equity fund investor are expenses and emotions.”
– John C. Bogle, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing
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- Financial Independence Retire Early. [↩]
- Note some articles can only be accessed through the search results if you’re using PC/desktop view (from mobile/tablet view they bring up the firewall/subscription page). To circumvent, switch your mobile browser to use the desktop view. On Chrome for Android: press the menu button followed by “Request Desktop Site”. [↩]