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Weekend reading: Avoid a car crash

Weekend reading

Some good reads for the weekend.

I read two great articles from Allan Roth this week. One is in the lists below, while the second (which is actually a year old) I am calling out as my post of the week.

In Skimp or Splurge – Millionaire’s Car, Roth highlights the awesome wealth-destroying capabilities of an expensive automobile:

On average, each of the two Lexus SUVs cost $15,060 annually, while the Ford clocks in at $10,000 less.  This leaves the [Ford-owning] Thriftys with $20,000 annually to invest.

If the investments return seven percent annually, the Thriftys will have built up a $1.9 million portfolio after 30 years. Of course to get that rate, you’ve got to keep expenses and emotions out of the equation and be a rational investor.

I’ve mentioned before the big wins – from a frugality standpoint – of avoiding the three Cs: Cars, cigarettes, and children.

It’s especially true in your 20s. I once worked with a young colleague who ran a top-end car and smoked like a Cold War spy. He was always in debt. Luckily he smelt like a chimney and preferred fine mechanical bodywork to a fertile chassis, so he avoided the children that his lifestyle would have sent to the poorhouse.

But perhaps I shouldn’t preach: This post is slightly late because I’ve been assembling one of these in my back garden. Even worse, I bought it in Waitrose on a whim, and it cost me £50 more than it will cost you if you follow that link.

Still, it’s summer and the time for spontaneity. Perhaps I’ll post some pictures next week if the weather holds!

From the blogs

Mainstream money sites

  • Greek austerity looks doomed to fail – The Economist
  • The 300-year history of UK interest rates [fortnight old] MoneyWeek
  • How earnings ‘surprises’ are gamed – Wall Street Journal
  • UK investors lose £250m to tax [See our guide]FT
  • ‘Deep value’ investment trusts – FT
  • Merryn makes a contrarian case for Europe – FT
  • Risks and wherefores of investing in fine wine – FT
  • Gold ATM installed in Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush – Telegraph
  • Public sector pensions are still very attractive – Telegraph
  • Who will pay for your long-term care? – The Independent
  • Kirsty and Phil’s housebuying app – The Guardian
  • And finally, a chap who ran 66 marathons in 66 days – The Guardian

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • 1 Alex July 2, 2011, 4:07 pm

    Have you bought at the top of the market? The barbecue in summer… 🙂

  • 2 Moneyman July 3, 2011, 11:03 am

    We’ve all done that! My own purchase was one of these: http://www.elbecgardenbuildings.co.uk/Arbours/Sorrento-corner-arbour-forest
    – but I *think* I got a good deal.

    Still the underlying point is, how much money would you have to have invested to earn the purchase price – in my case it would amount to £ks. I find that thought helps me (sometimes) to control the spending urge. And Waitrose! – a perfect formula to make people pay over the odds…

    Still, thanks again for the wide range of reading – too much for just today!

  • 3 Alex July 3, 2011, 11:37 am

    Love it, Moneyman:

    “We’re betting once you take a seat on this little beauty, you won’t want to get up again.” [‘Product Description’]

    I didn’t know garden furniture could be so decadent!

  • 4 The Investor July 4, 2011, 10:56 pm

    @Moneyman — Thanks for that link, I must admit you’ve made me feel a tad better about my profligacy. And thanks too for the nod for the links… always hard to know how many to put in, a difficult balance between accessible, comprehensive, and overwhelming!

  • 5 The Investor July 4, 2011, 10:57 pm

    @Alex – Very likely if the weather is anything to go by. Ironically we had to use my old smaller BBQ, as some friends couldn’t make it in the end for the big one. Watch this space and I’ll get some pics up soon of Monevator grilling action!

  • 6 Alex July 5, 2011, 6:43 pm

    Hi TI, I didn’t think yours was that type of website. Phew, I misunderstood: you’re promising live show grills – not live show girls!

  • 7 The Investor July 5, 2011, 8:44 pm

    @Alex – Exactly. Hot flesh. Smoking! Etc.

  • 8 Stu July 13, 2012, 12:31 pm

    The Weber is a wise investment, bought a Weber one touch, though I did upgrade myself to the premium model 😉 A little looking after and it will last a life time. The weather so far this year hasn’t put me off practicing my BBQ techniques and the art of indirect cooking/smoking, just pop up the garden umbrella when the inevitable rain comes.
    Found some cheap cuts of meat come out unbelievably tasty when slow cooked and marinated, pork shoulder, brisket etc. Firing it up early on a Sunday morning and cooking some pork ‘low’n slow all day is a great way to cook – and the end results, pulled pork to die for! Damn I’m getting hungry!

  • 9 The Investor July 13, 2012, 12:43 pm

    @Stu — Nice! Is that gas or charcoal? Not sure how you’d do slow cooking with charcoal, presumably let it cook off then seal all the vents?

  • 10 Stu July 13, 2012, 1:08 pm

    It’s charcoal, the way to do slow cooking is to use the charcoal dividers that you should have got with your bbq they sort of clip in on the bottom grates and then you can just fill up one half with coals and the other empty, place a foil tray on the empty side place your hunk of meat over the non-coal side, sprinkle a small amount of wood chips on the coals, close the lid, bottom and top vents fully open, then adjust them when temp get too hot and place the vent part above the meat, that way the smoke gets drawn over it 🙂 Found that I can maintain about 200 -250 deg for at least 4 hours on around 3/4 of a chimney of coals (I’m afraid if you haven’t got the chimney to light your charcoals you will need to go and buy one, it is well worth it!) . Then leave the kettle to do its business, when temp starts to fall pop some more charcoal/briquettes on the remaining hot coals. This is pretty much the standard set up for slow cooking big tough meats like pork shoulder, briskett etc.
    Also is a good set up for the standard bbq bangers ‘n burgers as you can shift cooked/over cooked meats to the non-coal side, prevents over incinerated cooking, although sometimes you can’t beat a good ol burnt banger!

  • 11 The Investor July 13, 2012, 3:32 pm

    @Stu — Awesome tips, thanks! I’ve got a reasonable amount of practice slowing cooking tough cuts in an old slow cooker for 10-12 hours with great results. Will try the BBQ some time, if I can bust out to the chimney! 😉

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