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Weekend reading: Twilight of the blogs

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What caught my eye this week.

Investing blogs – especially in the UK – are updating much less frequently than they used to.

Perhaps as ever more of us go passive, there’s less to write about?

Index fund-focused blogs like us are typically trying to find new ways to say the same thing (as Jack Bogle quipped about himself). It’s just not as exciting as blogging about Facebook shares crashing or small cap story stocks. Readers invariably find Monevator, read a lot and comment a little, and then vanish. Perhaps that happens with most websites. But a strategy that says “set your portfolio and forget about it” isn’t the best way to keep ’em coming back for more.

Sometimes I think about going full-time with Monevator (oh the luxury) and about what else I’d like to write here. (Apart from all the follow-up articles I’ve promised you over the years I mean!)

I’d like an excuse to dig deeper into unlisted/angel investing, for example, but the tumbleweed festooning my article this week suggests this isn’t the right venue.

Similarly I’m interested in all the new fintechs coming to market. I went to a pitch event last night featuring seven, all aiming to make the world a better place. I even chatted to the founders of Monevator reader favourite, Money Dashboard!

This area is appealing to me because it’s not well-covered elsewhere. But perhaps it’s not covered much because few other people are curious about it.

Going back to blogs, I do think the years of seeing their traffic drifting to Facebook and Twitter has eventually encouraged a lot of bloggers to throw in the towel or jump ship. I see people who used to write copiously on blogs and forums now throwing off a couple of tweets about the same thing. It has its place, but nobody is learning about investing on Twitter.

Similarly I was happy to support a financial freedom Facebook group a few years ago that has since ballooned with lots of interesting comments most days. It’s very easy to post a question or a link and to press a like button. Far harder to blog every week for year after year.

Finally, several interesting bloggers – especially in the US – have moved most of their focus to podcasts. I followed a few for a while, but podcasts are time-consuming fare to get through. For me, nothing beats the written word.

The golden age of investment blogging seems to be over. If that’s reflected in the quantity or quality of links to blogs in our Weekend Reading, now you know why.

We’re still standing though. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Am I overlooking some great UK investing blogs that are consistently posting quality content? If so let me know in the comments below. (Not so much people posting about their coupon clipping or matched betting, or personal stuff that doesn’t lend itself to sharing in a single article. Nothing wrong with any of that, but it’s not our thing here.)

From Monevator

Are ordinary investors missing out on venture capital returns? – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Investing for beginners (All about assets) – Monevator

News

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!1

UK rents fall for the first time in a decade – Guardian

How Britain’s £239bn buy-to-let bubble burst – ThisIsMoney

Santander to close 140 bank branches – Guardian

Times are tough for wannabe hedge fund titans – Bloomberg

Products and services

10-year fixed rate mortgages have never look cheaper – Guardian

Will fitting a car tracker device reduce your insurance costs? – ThisIsMoney

Ratesetter will give you a free £100 [and me a cash bonus] if you invest £1,000 for a year – Ratesetter

Estate agents give their seven top tips for selling your property – ThisIsMoney

Fancy homes in warehouse conversions… [Gallery]Guardian

…and the 20 cheapest homes in Britain – ThisIsMoney

Comment and opinion

Fickle fortune – Of Dollars and Data

“I make a six-figure salary but I’m still always broke”Whimn

Double your money – The Reformed Broker

The long-term in international [That is non-US] stocks – A Wealth of Common Sense

The reason active funds attract more media attention than passive – TEBI

The trouble with market-cap weighting funds – Morningstar

The basics of technical analysis [Funny]xkcd

A deep dive into Swensen’s Yale Portfolio [US but relevant]Value Stock Geek

Rick Ferri interviews Vanguard’s ex-CIO [Podcast]Bogleheads on Investing

A deep dive into global small cap investment trusts – IT Investor

Bill Miller in the wilderness, and loving it – Institutional Investor

Brexit

Airbus slams ‘disgraceful’ Brexit chaos, calls Brexiteers ‘mad’ and threatens to leave Britain with the loss of 14,000 jobs if there is no deal – ThisIsMoney

Kindle book bargains

Start Now, Get Perfect Later by Rob Moore – £0.99 on Kindle

Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley – £0.99 on Kindle

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull – £1.99 on Kindle

Turning the Tide on Plastic by Lucy Siegle – £0.99 on Kindle

Off our beat

Facebook, Google, and a dark age of surveillance capitalism [Search result]FT

With lifelong struggles, effort isn’t what’s missing – Raptitude

And finally…

“As I have earlier noted, the most important things in life and in business can’t be measured.”
– John C. Bogle, Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life

Like these links? Subscribe to get them every Friday!

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{ 90 comments… add one }
  • 51 Matthew January 27, 2019, 11:19 am

    Podcasts are inefficient, but in truth how often do we desperately need to absorb info at such a rate? – traders maybe, but passive, no – passive is about finding peace with your strategy

    Podcasts have a place if you enjoy hearing a voice in the background – i have radio on or listen to tv for company, but rarely actually look at the tv

    Blogs, on the other hand, serve the other social need of allowing you to converse

  • 52 Michael January 27, 2019, 11:54 am

    I was recommended your site abut 18 months ago, and have been an avid reader of your email ever since. But I almost never visit your site, and this is my first comment on it. What I’m trying to say is that I find your work invaluable and the email format (with website backup) is perfect for my needs. I just wish I had found out about your site much earlier!

  • 53 Maynard Paton January 27, 2019, 12:16 pm

    “Going back to blogs, I do think the years of seeing their traffic drifting to Facebook and Twitter has eventually encouraged a lot of bloggers to throw in the towel or jump ship. I see people who used to write copiously on blogs and forums now throwing off a couple of tweets about the same thing. It has its place, but nobody is learning about investing on Twitter.”

    Agreed, nobody learns too much about investing on Twitter. Social media can garner easy, free readers to a blog, but the readership quality can be low and the reader ‘comments’ as such are then posted on social media and not the blog. The blog author then replies on social media, which reinforces the drift.

    With my own blog, I generally do not respond to Twitter replies as I do not wish to further enhance the power of social media over an individual blog. I will of course respond to all comments posted on my blog.

    “The golden age of investment blogging seems to be over”

    Demand for well-written, thoughtful and informative content will never be over.

    Getting people to find your content can be difficult. However, traffic to my blog has increased over time purely by writing decent stuff (well I think it is decent!) and like-minded investors eventually finding me through Google.

    The hardest part of course is making an income from a super blog. Not enough people these days wish to pay for great content.

    Given the likely income to be gained from posting on social media will also be zero, that alternative becomes a much easier option than blogging.

    “Am I overlooking some great UK investing blogs that are consistently posting quality content? “

    Ok, shameless plug time. Here is my blog: https://maynardpaton.com

    My blog focuses on my share portfolio, which is dominated by small-cap shares. So, a very micro-niche audience and not for everyone.

    However, some Monevator readers may find my ‘FIRE’ journey of more interest: https://maynardpaton.com/fire/

    Maynard

  • 54 PendleWitch January 27, 2019, 12:43 pm

    Hi @TI,

    Do you gauge who arrives and who leaves by subscribe/unsubscribe numbers? On some early posts, there are very few comments. What kept you going through those ‘wilderness years’?

    Is this the golden age? Seems you have a fair few commenters, with some regulars that we come to recognise. Some informative, some humorous, some curmudgeonly 🙂

    Well, I like to read your articles and the links on a weekend – you do it so we don’t have to… If you’re happy to continue, seems that we’re happy to read. Thanks to you and your team!

  • 55 Adrian January 27, 2019, 12:57 pm

    Has Monevator considered a forum? These comments sections are not very conducive to discussion.

  • 56 Dorf January 27, 2019, 2:37 pm

    I too have noticed a reduction in frequent posts on some of my favorite FI blogs. They all hit FI and write infrequently about lifestyle issues in retirement!
    I enjoy your blog so much, especially the weekend updates. I am not in the UK but find your Brexit posts informative.
    I would be interested in hearing more about the London flat, how the decision was made to finally purchase, what critera you used to select it, and if there has been any buyer’s remorse now that prices (and rents) have fallen further.
    🙂

    Laurels upon your head (s) for this excellent blog and resource!

  • 57 Carolyn Gowen January 27, 2019, 2:44 pm

    Re investing blogs, TBH I struggle to find any UK blogs worth reading (yours being an honorable exception ) and mostly read US blogs. A new one you might like to check out (though only two posts so far) http://www.financialchieftain.com

  • 58 Gentleman's Family Finances January 27, 2019, 4:54 pm

    I would love to have the time to blog more but it’s hard to find the time and motivation and inspiration.
    Ive noticed that some blogs out there are great to read at first but have little below the surface and others are heavily marketed and it feels like dipping your reading glasses into a mlm cult than an actual blog written by a real person.

    If the mantra is earn more, spend less and invest wisely – there is precious little else to say. I would say that it is easy to say when you are starting out and have the zeal of a convert bit when you are nearing FI and have to balance a lot of priorities it is not simple.
    Plugging my blog – have a look and if you are actively interested in active trading i have a few articles on green investing.

  • 59 The Shrink January 27, 2019, 5:02 pm

    I think it largely depends on what sort of content you’re after as a reader?
    Many older sites have gone quiet, and whether that’s lack of motivation, lack of new things to say or the actual early retirement buggered-off-into-the-sunset, I don’t know. There’s always going to be some churn of sites.

    The proliferation of buzzfeed style “30 ways to” sites is tiring, but I think they’re attracting a different reader. Longform blogs are few and far between. I am somewhat stymied in my own creation of longform content because so much has already been said with such authority here!

    I attempt to keep my own weekly round-up free from those posts, pitching The Full English posts to gather and collate all UK content of substance each week, sans clickbait. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.

    You’re the biggest fish in a small pond TI, wondering where all the other fish went…

  • 60 Rowan Tree January 27, 2019, 8:09 pm

    Lucky I was, years ago, when I discovered your blog and Ermine’s blog from the comments you both posted on Mr Money Moustache. I needed some UK support and was floundering with high fees, mistakes, pension uncertainties and no confidence. All sorted now, thanks to your excellent lessons. I don’t consider myself clever enough to comment and my own financial style is boring and simple, but I do enjoy the banter of the regulars (yes, even the contentious one!)

    Way back, you quoted and linked to –
    “The word is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers”

    – and I was smitten. I will always read Monevator! Please keep writing.

  • 61 Jonathan January 27, 2019, 8:37 pm

    It’s hard to sustain the pace of quality content. The Brooklyn Investor is a great example: an incredibly thoughtful investor/blogger that only publishes maybe once a quarter these days.

    But it depends on why a blogger does it. For me it’s a way to think and a way to remember why I bought something. If you’re trying to monetize a blog then it’s going to be extremely hard to keep up the pace up and the quality.

    It’s kind of like investing itself and the discussion between active vs passive. A blogger is going to only have so many good ideas that are worth sharing.

  • 62 The Investor January 27, 2019, 10:41 pm

    @all — Thanks for the amazing string of comments — even more so as I was not fishing for them, was just struck by how dry the blog well was this past week. There’s a lot to think about here.

    One thing I can say is I don’t think Monevator is going away anytime soon. It was touch and go last summer — I have run a bit out of puff, I admit — but my co-blogger The Accumulator should be back in the saddle soon, the book is nearly done (I’m the hold up now), and the Greybeard, The Details Man, and Mark Meldon when we can get him are all contributing to the fray, too. So fingers crossed we’re past the trough for now.

    I should have written up the flat purchase months ago. Basically it turned into this epic personal history of why I did/didn’t buy at various other points. Really defensive and not very useful to readers really, being written so 1-2 people don’t pull me up on the wrong facts. (I’ve screwed up residential property enough to be left with plenty of actual facts to be pulled up on, without the usual suspects laying in on inaccurate others). This whole defensive aspect has definitely marred my writing over the past year or two; it’s almost like a stage fright or performance anxiety. The site was easier to write for when there were fewer readers, I guess.

    But that’s my problem not yours, and the fact so many people have commented here and on email reminds me I should cut myself some slack. 🙂

    We decided not to do a forum in the end, after a fair bit of development work actually. The hassle to reward factor is just too low. They take a ton of maintaining. I suggest readers look to LemonFool.co.uk as probably the best forum now in the UK, albeit populated by old TMF types (so quite a niche demographic). But it still has that old Foolish vibe.

    I’m still kicking around other suggestions (e.g. a Patreon, a membership aspect for my active stuff).

    A couple of people have mentioned de-anonymizing. I may well do this in the next couple of months, just to keep things interesting. It’s a bit embarrassing chatting to, for example, the CEO of Money Dashboard and then telling him you’re, er, Batman. 😉 Most of the reasons for staying anonymous don’t really hold any more (just my shyness and a fear of what can happen on the Internet is left).

    I do think a few people will be underwhelmed. We really are just ordinary types I’m afraid! 😉

    Anyway thanks again.

  • 63 Maximus January 27, 2019, 10:45 pm

    Speaking personally, I think a monthly email may suit Monevator’s investment style better, with perhaps just the (very useful) financial links sent out in-between-times…
    I’d also support Adrian’s idea of a forum to promote discussion.

  • 64 The Investor January 27, 2019, 10:47 pm

    p.s. “Basically” don’t comment after a Sunday evening in the pub. Comment now edited of excessive basically-s. Basically!

  • 65 dearieme January 27, 2019, 10:55 pm

    Sometimes it’s simple, practical questions that interest me. I’d like to invest in long- and intermediate-dated TIPS (the US equivalent of Index-Linked Gilts). Can I buy them in a SIPP? (TIPS themselves, I mean, not a fund of them.) If so, which SIPP providers will enable me to do so? Are they subject to any American withholding tax or would they be entirely tax-free in the SIPP? Would holding such investments face difficulties imposed by the Internal Revenue?

    Are they eligible for ISAs …. and then the same questions follow.

    Or how about holding them outside a tax-shelter? Would their interest payments by qualified to use the Savings Allowance as shelter from income tax? Is their treatment for Capital Gains Tax straightforward?

    Similarly there’s an Australian stock exchange instrument I’d like to buy. Which SIPP or ISA providers will let me buy on theASX?

    How do I open a foreign bank account – not to avoid UK tax, but to escape from any FX restrictions that a Corbyn government might impose?

    I don’t want to pay an IFA to answer this sort of question but I don’t see that it’s reasonable to expect a blogger to supply answers.

    There’s no need to sell the idea of tracker equity investments to me: I’m persuaded, save for a few exceptions – such as these topics.

  • 66 Hillbilly January 28, 2019, 1:48 am

    I could have written Andrew’s comments above pretty much word for word. Been reading Monevator for many years. Found the guidance and comments here invaluable. Never posted before probably never will again. Regular, enjoyable and educational Sunday morning reading for me without fail. Thank you for your dedication. Please keep on keeping on.

  • 67 Mr Fox January 28, 2019, 1:55 pm

    Shameless plug for myself, but my blog is gaining steady traction as the days pass. I try to post new content every few weeks.

    https://frugalfoxes.home.blog/

    It’s hard fairly good feedback thus far, the funny thing about it is for many of the more complicated questions I get asked I’ll just say ‘Check out Monevator’s post on that!’ haha.

  • 68 David C January 28, 2019, 3:12 pm

    At some point the recently auto-enrolled defined-contribution pension holders are going to have decisions to make, when their pots get to a non-trivial size or they change jobs and have to decide whether to transfer, and how to allocate. I suspect they’ll be in the market for some down-to-earth information. Their employers will tell them to ask an IFA, and then they’ll find out how much an IFA costs, and then they’ll try moneysavingexpert, which will help, but doesn’t really deal with investments. So maybe you just need to hang in there.

  • 69 dearieme January 28, 2019, 11:06 pm

    @Investor: don’t surrender your anonymity – no upside, plenty of potential downside.

  • 70 LadsDad January 28, 2019, 11:59 pm

    I’ll join the long queue of praise for this site. I’ve been reading for c.4 years and have learned so much I am eternally grateful.

    I’ve recommended the site to friends / family who have been interested, as it’s the most comprehensive and trustworthy resource in the UK.

    By the time your past, present & future readers retire, I’m sure you’ll have contributed towards many £m’s of additional wealth, through providing the confidence to us amateurs to invest (and of course save on costs!)

  • 71 The Investor January 29, 2019, 1:24 am

    @dearieme — Yes, I’ve grappled with the pros and cons for years now. There would be upside — I could interact with platforms and fintechs as a real person, I could do videos to try to reach a less sophisticated/different audience*, it’ll make publishing the book easier, I could meet the financial services industry more easily (so monetize better), it’d be far easier to do something like Patreon, and finally I could stick it on my LinkedIn page where there’s a hole where 8-12 hours a week of effort for 10 years should be… 😉

    But agree with you on the cons. Hence my avoiding it for so long.

    *Doing this site has been probably the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in terms of all the feedback I get about it helping change people’s lives, but I’m aware we’re mostly helping very well educated and decent earning people — our natural demographic. Which is fine but I’d like to reach more of those who really need help.

  • 72 Alan Points January 29, 2019, 9:16 am

    Don’t comment very often but read every week and thoroughly enjoy.

    Thanks for all you do and please keep it up. It’s well constructed, thoughtful and educational.

  • 73 Keith January 29, 2019, 2:45 pm

    Very good analysis from the EU perspective of the Irish backstop issue:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kNe8qK_-wUI

  • 74 dearieme January 29, 2019, 3:47 pm

    @The Investor: “I’d like to reach more of those who really need help.” That reminds me of Dirk Cotton’s US blog The Retirement Cafe, which is aimed at retirement planning for the non-wealthy, though you may have even less wealthy people in mind.

    In one way the US case is simpler – the basis of practically all good advice is that the principal earner of a couple should, if he can possibly manage it, defer drawing his “social security” pension until he is 70. In another way the US case is harder – the fear of big medical bills in old age means that expenditure may be difficult to predict.

    Fear of the costs of Long Term Care seem to be about as bad there as here.

    One thing is clear – the business of saving and investing for retirement is a doddle compared with the business of decumulating in retirement (as Mark Meldon has emphasised once or twice).

  • 75 agranny January 29, 2019, 5:05 pm

    I came across your web-site during the financial crisis while looking at Yahoo. You have explained SO MUCH to me without your knowing it and I’m immensely grateful. I look forward to reading whatever and wherever you write in the future. Thank you!

  • 76 The Investor January 29, 2019, 5:37 pm

    @dearieme — The Retirement Cafe, which I’ve linked to many times, is absolutely NOT what I’n thinking about. It’s basically the same as Monevator, with fewer silly jokes — Phd-level writing (seriously, stick it in a text analyser, albeit skewed by the non-standard finance words) that appeals to very well-educated types who argue with us on top of a pinhead because we didn’t put 13 caveats and sub-clauses and exceptions in when in the midst of a 1,500 word article we say “returns of 4-5%” or similar. 😉

    An ordinary person (and I mean ordinary — half the population has a less than average IQ, and they’re just as much if not more so in need of financial advice) won’t be able to make head nor tail of two paragraphs of this site, and wouldn’t have the stamina to try.

  • 77 The Investor January 29, 2019, 5:41 pm

    p.s. Before anyone calls me elitist (I’m being the opposite, really) that’s not supposition on my part. I have 10+ years of direct experience and feedback on the varying levels of financial comprehension, both here, in the real-world, and in the cross-over zone! 🙂

  • 78 Matthew January 29, 2019, 7:07 pm

    I’m not really a believer in the concept of different levels of intelligence or that people who score below average iq would be less able to understand anything, as long as they have the motivation to learn – how much you enjoy work (or not), how financially secure you feel, if you have aspirations, and how much you enjoy numbers, and how easily you can sacrifice. One of the links says how different people may be out off something (ie maths) – which may give them unnecessary dread of it, and for many working/benefits class families there is much less idea of what is possible and how trustworthy equities are, so many don’t give it a chance and so are much less socially mobile than rich kids who have been prepared for it

    The internet has democratised that information and social mobility a lot in this field

  • 79 The Investor January 29, 2019, 7:30 pm

    @Matthew — Use whatever word/term for it you like. 🙂 For example me and @TA have oodles of experience of sending fairly motivated people our simplest articles and people saying they couldn’t understand a word of it.

    I’m not saying they couldn’t get through it, with a lot of work. I’m saying practically speaking, I’d prefer to make it much easier, to reach many more. But not by changing what we do here.

  • 80 Factor January 29, 2019, 10:11 pm

    @TI (76)

    “An ordinary person ….. won’t be able to make head nor tail of two paragraphs of this site, and wouldn’t have the stamina to try”.

    I completely agree. It’s not elitism, it’s realism born of experience. You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear! (Barclay’s Eclogues c.1500)

  • 81 W Neil January 30, 2019, 3:18 pm

    @TI, Monevator is the go-to place for trustworthy content and answers. The content is good enough and useful enough to be worth paying for. But brilliantly there is no paywall, and this accessibility facilitates the trust your readership has in the content.

    I hope the book becomes a well deserved revenue stream. I will certainly buy. You haven’t given too much away as to what we can expect, but I hope it will be written with the investing rookie in mind. There are good books on passive investing and portfolio construction, but I have yet to read one which I felt I could safely recommended to anyone with no current understanding of the basic concepts, let alone the terminology. I hope the long-awaited book never assumes knowledge.

    On anonymity, it may make some practical things harder, but it makes no difference to the integrity of the writing and the information presented. Some readers may say knowing more would be “interesting”, but the content here stands on its own merit.

  • 82 Matthew January 31, 2019, 11:35 am

    @TI – Some people will be harder to reach I suppose due to psychology, although I think there is untapped potential and these individuals get stuck in a rut and tend to underestimate themselves (and society itself underestimates them) simply because the job market doesn’t [yet] demand what intelligence people have (if it ever will). Even high skilled jobs often don’t allow actual freedom of thought, we are mostly all executing a process
    But I fully get that you can’t aim to catch everybody when writing one piece

    Mostly I think of people not on a sliding scale of intelligence, but either disabled or not, since at best we only use a tiny portion of the brain’s capacity, although you could get into a grey area of that with something like memory loss where people might learn but not retain

  • 83 The Investor February 1, 2019, 9:29 am

    @Matthew — I admire your tenacity in believing everyone is essentially equally capable, and no doubt it’d be a better world if more thought that way. However solving the fact that even if it’s true they don’t arrive at my writing that way is above my paygrade. Again, what I am saying is I have hand-held graduate level people (albeit softer courses/universities) who want to know how to invest through my site (in real-life), pointed them to 3-4 starter articles, which they have read but barely comprehended.

    They come back and say things like “But can you just tell me what interest I’ll be paid” or “Wait, I’m still not sure if this can lose me money.”

    I fully accept that’s partly my “fault” — in as much as a site that clearly hits the spot for a subsection of the population is incoherent gibberish to many more. 😉 That’s why I’m saying I’d like to do something *much* simpler some day.

  • 84 Matthew February 1, 2019, 10:12 am

    @TI – people want everything handed to them without the risk! I dont think that you could’ve explained things any clearer and that the fault lies with them for not stepping up/ taking the time – which is fine if they cant be bothered.

    My motivation came from the fear of keeping up with rising house prices – when you can only borrow 75k but local houses are 150k and rising 5% a year, i realised that my saving £500 a month was going nowhere which was deeply depressing and terrifying, but I did it! – had to cough up 70k deposit (had 1 bed flat before the house which avoided rent giving a chance to save – a lot of people wouldnt be prepared to make those sacrifices). I can understand why many people give up, especially when the benefits system will pay rent but not mortgages

    I think as well that its uncertainty that makes the money, a completely foreign concept to savings – everyone wants certainty and as you know that makes a certain income much more expensive than an uncertain one, thats what I tell people

    By the way, re brexit, i was recently up in london for hospital and noticed that you have a completely different species of foreigner than us provincials – there are tourists! And high skilled foreigners! I suppose london gets the best of the best which must completely change how they are viewed, in my town I see them as hard workers but fierce rivals in the jobs and housing market, I can understand how people would gain personally at the national expense by booting them out – we have enough that we are culturally used to them and they distort the local economy

  • 85 Ben February 1, 2019, 10:37 am

    @ Matthew & TI

    You both seem to be talking past each other somewhat.

    TI is talking about financial illiteracy.

    Matthew is talking about being unwilling to make the required change.

    I believe there was an article not so long ago about motivation, which kind of addresses your point. Though I cant find it now so maybe not?

  • 86 Vanguardfan February 1, 2019, 10:50 am

    As my post FI gig I work part time as a Pensionwise guider. I see all sorts of views and attitudes to money (it’s fascinating!). I think there are some relatively innate (or at least deep seated) characteristics that drive whether you are a spender or a saver by habit – this is not always associated with whether you are a natural monitor or an ostrich, and is certainly nothing to do with how big your income is. But one thing I have observed is a group of people who have saved substantial sums (six figures) from modest incomes over their working lives – and it is all sitting in cash! There’s definitely an understanding gap about investing. Generally speaking, pension policies are the only way most people are exposed to investing, and generally without much awareness that that’s what they are doing – but arguably if they did think about it, they would probably dial down the risk too much.

    I’m fairly sceptical about the value of financial education in schools – ‘when the student is ready, the teacher will appear’ is true of most life learning. At least these days, students who are ready can seek out plenty of teachers!

  • 87 Matthew February 1, 2019, 11:48 am

    Be thankful for the unwilling and the spenders I think, as if everyone was a saver the economy would grind to a halt. Cash savers help the returns of everyone exposed to bank shares too, their loss is our gain – and if they were to gain, it’d be our loss (ie higher p/e)

  • 88 Grand February 8, 2019, 6:23 pm

    Just to let you know…. i’m still here – following along albeit passively.

    Keep up the good work!

  • 89 The Investor February 8, 2019, 10:48 pm

    @Grand — Long time! Hope life is treating you well.

  • 90 theFIREstarter February 12, 2019, 12:30 pm

    “people posting about their coupon clipping or matched betting, or personal stuff that doesn’t lend itself to sharing”

    Guilty as charged TI!!! 🙂

    The sad thing is I have loads of ideas to write about but not enough time to give them a proper airing in public. Admittedly, too much time Matched betting instead!!! It’s just far more lucrative than blogging, again it’s sad to admit 🙁

    I’ll try to cut down on the monthly update type stuff and post some more random and hopefully helpful stuff this year.

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