≡ Menu

Weekend reading: Twilight of the blogs

Weekend reading logo

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


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


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!

  1. 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”. []
{ 90 comments… add one }
  • 1 Haphazard January 25, 2019, 6:32 pm

    As a novice, I find the nuts and bolts articles on Monevator incredibly useful. And I wouldn’t look for that kind of thing on Facebook, Twitter etc. It’s one thing to decide to invest passively, another to know how to go about it in practice.

    Another Brexit link for those who are interested: Sir Ivan Rogers (UK’s former Permanent Represetative to the EU), lecture at UCL:

  • 2 dearieme January 25, 2019, 6:56 pm

    “He achieved these results by focusing extensively on moving away from the heavy allocation to bonds that the Ivy League had before the 1980s.” Good grief. British pension funds began to move from bonds to equities in the fifties, didn’t they? I suppose the likes of Yale are so stinking rich that they could afford to coast for decades.

    Keynes put the King’s endowment into equities in the twenties.

  • 3 dearieme January 25, 2019, 7:28 pm

    ” There is no law guaranteeing that long term returns should converge across asset classes”: true, but rather odd. Why isn’t the equity premium “in the price” and therefore averaging about zero? Why doesn’t arbitrage work?

    “10-year fixed rate mortgages have never look cheaper”: how can I take advantage of that? Equity release? (Which would also be a defence against inflation, I suppose.)

    “The Reformed Broker”: some reformation! His diagram uses as a comparison case a lovely smooth exponential growth for equities.

  • 4 bb January 25, 2019, 9:33 pm

    I feel bad for not commenting more now!

    I thought the Angel investing article was interesting and would be interested in a follow up. I’ve never found a way in to that type of investing so some sort of pooled vehicle is definitely of interest. Also the fintechs… would dearly love an aggregator that worked across investment accounts as well as bank accounts.

  • 5 Mike January 25, 2019, 10:10 pm

    I like the articles and like that you take the time to provide weekend reading links – but I hate the podcast articles that other sites use. I’d much rather read an article than listen for several minutes.

  • 6 Norfolk January 25, 2019, 10:18 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about the longevity of your site, any apathy will funnel those who have the interest, to you, thereby concentrating the niche population who want to learn for themselves. Those so easily lost to social media were never serious in the first place, rather like window shoppers or tyre kickers, you lost no real audience, rubber-neckers are just vaguely curious passersby. You were never going to educate people who want to interface with the world via a few characters and cat videos; someone with the attention-span of a housefly can’t learn anything of significance.

    For those interested in self-improvement or exchange with others genuinely interested in mutually helpful cooperation, they’ll always be around because life always changes. New things will definitely come along and that will be an opportunity for analysis, indulging our curiousity and seeing what happens, did the theory work? We’re hugely overdue a crash, all the warning light are flashing like the start of a grand prix now, so I don’t think we’ll have to wait long. As people start hurting in their everyday lives when tough times bite, it’ll no longer be self-indulgent, hobbyist, navel-gazing to hone your financial situation, and your time will have come.

  • 7 Fremantle January 26, 2019, 12:26 am

    I’ve got a reasonably settled passive strategy, so have less interest in the technical/strategy articles.

    Where Monevator continues to have value is in the glimpses it gives into the investing stories of others. There is a strength to be gained in witnessing the doubts, fears and triumphs of others you can relate to.

    And I like the Brexit stuff, even if I have a different opinion. I discuss politics elsewhere, and it has been interesting to be in a secular finance space discussing both actual politics and practical approaches to dealing with uncertainty.

  • 8 Chris January 26, 2019, 6:29 am

    I understand that digital content producers like Huff Post and Buzzfeed are struggling to make it work – perhaps in part because their content is so generic and/or manipulative? There will always be room for high quality niche content if the blogger is content with a niche audience (which I appreciate doesn’t always pay the bills).

    I once heard that people write for fortune or glory. I’ll add fun and/or learning to that list. Write to please yourself I say.

    As with your other content, I enjoyed your angel investing post but didn’t feel I had anything useful to say.

  • 9 Fatbritabroad January 26, 2019, 7:12 am

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

    Should be attract. Not being picky just trying to be helpful!

  • 10 JimJim January 26, 2019, 8:39 am

    Echoing Chris above and others, the Angel investing thing was interesting, all areas of investment interest me, this one I have, like most small investors, no experience of. (hard to comment ) It can be exclusive due to minimum investment requirements. A friend of mine invests through VCTs. That is basically due to tax advantages in his circumstances. We need to know more before we may look upon it as part of a diversified portfolio. A follow up article would be greatly appreciated.
    The weekend always starts with your blog for me. I am a creature of habit. On that note, I’m off to shoot some targets.

  • 11 James January 26, 2019, 9:45 am

    As a newbie to investing, I found my way here whilst researching “financial independence” a few months ago. I’ve stuck around because I particularly enjoy your weekend collation.

    As for the decline of financial blogging, Facebook Groups might be the way forward. Facebook are investing heavily in Groups at the moment with a number of recent improvements/features. I would make the most of your existing group and use this blog as a supporting feature for added depth…or vice versa. Just bear in mind that this blog is your turf, but your FB Group belongs to Facebook and they can change things as they see fit.

  • 12 MrOptimistic January 26, 2019, 9:58 am

    @dearieme. Here’s someone else pondering on mean reversion

    Doesn’t work for individual companies or sectors ( eg Kodak or coal miners).
    In terms of blogging, I think it’s difficult to continuously produce sharp concise natty discussions as subject areas are limited. Other sites, eg theretirementcafe do deeper dives supported by narrow research or modelling. These inevidont appeal to a wider audience.

  • 13 Ben January 26, 2019, 10:12 am

    I assume it’s the mention of The Motley Fool, last week that prompted this post? They always have things to say now 😛

    You do raise a good point though. Passive investing is inherently, well, passive. You could go the FIRE route and expand into lifestyle type stuff?
    Messers Monevator Mustache?

    To be honest I like the writing here. It doesn’t get too caught up in statistical thickets, whilst still being informative, Brexit articles likewise are well written.
    I wouldn’t object to something completely different, I concede that that might put more people off than it attracts.

    Maybe TA is a closet potter, or TI a flower arranger, and Shakespeare Am Dram? Surprise us 🙂

  • 14 Ben January 26, 2019, 10:36 am

    The VC article was great but few people feel qualified to comment. There’s no no brainer like trackers. I’d encourage you to discuss as many asset classes as you can, even if the conclusion is (say it with me) buy trackers.

  • 15 LukeM January 26, 2019, 10:39 am

    I like pithy quotes as much as the next man. But when Bogle says “the most important things in life and in business can’t be measured”, and others say “what gets measured gets managed/done”, you’re left scratching your head!

  • 16 Ben January 26, 2019, 10:54 am

    Re …and the 20 cheapest homes in Britain:

    I’ll pick on the Bradford example because that’s my neck of the woods.
    £13000 for a flat that by the looks of it is very near the centre, and the train line into Leeds, that distance from any other station on that line would add a zero and a half at least. If you lived in it for a year it would still be cheaper than renting.
    Unfortunately its in the centre of Bradford. Bradford where someone was stabbed outside a Pub on a weekday lunchtime. Where payroll cash was taken in an armed robbery 2 doors from the office I worked in. This was 10 years ago, I don’t think its changed much though.

    How do London up and coming boroughs manage it?

  • 17 Nearly There January 26, 2019, 11:04 am

    Radio 4’s Inside Health had a good semi-rant about diet books last week, and I thought of the crossovers with investing. Especially bits about diversity, the cult of the personality and the fad, there being no best seller potential in the basic sound advice that everyone should follow for a core diet, having a good mix of protein and carbs, etc etc. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000254c

  • 18 The Investor January 26, 2019, 11:05 am

    Thanks for the thoughts all. Appreciate of course the comments on the ongoing usefulness of Monevator — and glad to hear the VC article wasn’t quite as far off base as I feared — but really I was thinking of other sites. I’d just noticed this week site after site hadn’t updated. I reluctantly concluded several are indeed dead, and wondered what it meant that others seemed to be going that way…

    Re: The conversation on social media, I think those people can be serious and might have blogged before — or at least posted in-depth articles on forums. Indeed I know several of them used to! 🙂 I suppose the incentives have changed. On say a forum (and I am thinking of the old TMF forum here mostly, but not entirely) people posted long articles/responses to build their standing in a community. On Twitter, its short and often empty soundbites by force and the more the merrier for growing your ‘community’. (i.e. Followers). (I suppose this is why the online world is worse than ten years ago, part gazillion, actually.)

    Re: Bogle’s quote, I truncated it to fit, perhaps excessively! Here’s the full thing:

    “As I have earlier noted, the most important things in life and in business can’t be measured. The trite bromide ‘If you can measure it, you can manage it’ has been a hindrance in the building a great real-world organization, just as it has been a hindrance in evaluating the real-world economy. It is character, not numbers, that make the world go ‘round. How can we possibly measure the qualities of human existence that give our lives and careers meaning? How about grace, kindness, and integrity? What value do we put on passion, devotion, and trust? How much do cheerfulness, the lilt of a human voice, and a touch of pride add to our lives? Tell me, please, if you can, how to value friendship, cooperation, dedication, and spirit. Categorically, the firm that ignores the intangible qualities that the human beings who are our colleagues bring to their careers will never build a great workforce or a great organization.”

  • 19 The Investor January 26, 2019, 11:05 am

    p.s. Thanks for the typo spot @fatbritabroad, and they’re always appreciated!

  • 20 Norfolk January 26, 2019, 11:24 am

    @TI, if you’re interested in the psychology of why people are continually shifting to internet use mainly through the lens of the likes of facebook, (and hence why content providers feel pressure to follow them) check out this analysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmXcjvL9VSc

    Sam Vaknin is a diagnosed narcissist but many regard him as a genius, either way, this session made a lot of common sense and was fascinating if you’re into this kind of stuff.

  • 21 faithless January 26, 2019, 11:35 am

    Blogging week in week out must be hard work. I think most blogs in any sphere have an average shelf life, and most bloggers stop when their motivation for blogging recedes.

    I assume some think they will make it big and be able to give up the day job (e.g. The Frugalwoods), and quit when that doesn’t happen; some blog as they are learning about savings and investments and the path to FI, and once they get the hang of it, don’t need the accountability/positive reinforcement any more; some were presumably blogging because no-one in their real world understood, but now FI and passive investing has become more mainstream, maybe they don’t need it any more.

    I still enjoy Monevator, despite being a committed Vanguard Lifestrategy direct debit-er. I found the VC/angel investing article interesting, but like everyone above, didn’t comment as I had nothing to add, and it’s unlikely to be relevant for me in the near future/ever. I also enjoy reading about other people’s active investing adventures.

    Re: passive investing just resulting in the same articles telling you to buy indexes, some of the most useful Monevator posts to me have been the guest posts like the insurance guy who wrote about family income benefit.

    Also, come the next downturn, you’ll have lots to write comparing the current period to historical periods and reminding everyone to hold their nerve, that the sky isn’t falling, and arguing with goldbugs!

    The different viewpoints increase my understanding of finance/other people/the world. Same reason I enjoy FirevLondon’s blog, although his problems are quite different to mine.

    Apart from The Escape Artist and Simple Living in Somerset, most of the blogs I follow are US. I pretty much read everything Morgan Housel puts out at Collaborative Fund, which isn’t too US specific.

  • 22 LukeM January 26, 2019, 11:43 am

    About Bogle’s quote: Aha!

    About Facebook: Terry Smith explains why he’s an investor in it in this year’s letter to shareholders: https://www.fundsmith.co.uk/docs/default-source/analysis—annual-letters/annual-letter-to-shareholders-2018.pdf

  • 23 xxd09 January 26, 2019, 12:02 pm

    I take your point re Financial Blogs dying for various reasons but
    As a former clinician I noted early on how even when you have given good advice and it is taken-after a while people get bored and relapse. You have to start all over again!
    The Bogleheads Forum goes from strength to strength-passive investing only
    Newbies constantly appearing who are at the beginning of their investment careers and need to learn-there are going to be a lot more of these as Pensions become self managed
    Things change over time -structure of Pensions,ISAs etc Advice needed
    Experienced investors need to keep sharp even with a passive strategy-interesting articles required
    You are doing a great job keeping us all up to the financial mark
    I do feel Politics should be kept on the back burner except as it affects our finances-my only slight quibble
    Hope these are some reasons to keep going
    Do you measure “hits” -you have a larg3 body of “lurkers”!
    Keep up the good work

  • 24 Mike Rawson January 26, 2019, 12:05 pm

    Obviously blowing my own trumpet, but I’m still posting four articles a week – and I cover esoteric stuff like Angel / VCT / EIS investing.

    Of course, I’m not 100% passive – I would struggle to write four times about how great Vanguard are.

  • 25 Ben January 26, 2019, 12:08 pm

    “Also, come the next downturn…..”

    You raise a good point, we are 10 years into a bull market. The most recent bubble seems to have avoided mainstream finance. There just isn’t that much going on.

    Maybe that’s why there isn’t much writing going on.

  • 26 Anonymous lurker January 26, 2019, 12:15 pm

    I will always read your site, it’s always interesting regardless whether if I agree with it or not. I personally would not really take social media advise for investing anyway, anyone can come up with cliche quotes and catchy FIRE phrases to draw in people; but when the going gets tough and it really matters I doubt their catchy phrases will save them in a downturn. It’s real information and experience that will help one navigate through such situations at best. Which is what your site provides.

    As long as you still enjoy blogging, I still think it’s a fruitful endeavour, maybe not for income but for your own personal enjoyment perhaps. All the best.

  • 27 liberatedotlife January 26, 2019, 1:18 pm


    > …an aggregator which worked across investment accounts…

    I’m just about to launch the beta for my new portfolio management app (aiming for 4th February).

    If you’d like to try it out, just grab the contact details off my blog and drop me an email.

    Sorry again to Monevator chaps for the second instance of self promotion in as many weeks (and please delete this if you don’t want it in the comments!), but I’m building exactly what bb is asking for so thought it relevant.


  • 28 Marco January 26, 2019, 1:24 pm

    The truth about passive investing must be told and retold constantly to counteract the lies that industry write about it and the benefits of active investing.

    I am certain you have helped many people have better lives through your blog.

    If passive investing enthusiasts retired even a short time I’m sure active investing would make a come back as their VId pour money into marketing.

    Never stop please!

  • 29 hosimpson January 26, 2019, 1:32 pm

    Thank you for the link to The Basics of Technical Analysis, TI, it made my morning 😀

    P.S. Never, ever (like, ever, man) kill this blog. It has been – and continues to be – very helpful to me, as well as many others, judging from the comments folks have been leaving here. So before you get to the ripe old age of Jack Bogle, RIP, make sure you have a succession plan in place, or perhaps even incorporate like Dustin Rowles of Pajiba 😉

  • 30 devonico January 26, 2019, 2:06 pm

    I have been following your blog for the last 4 1/2 years, and has helped me a lot in order to organise my retirement strategy. It is understandable that people blogging about a matter they are experts on can become bored of repeating the same stuff, but in this case I think that you make a difference. Your blog is probably the best source for individual financial advice in the UK, and it is written with warmth, wit and a general understanding of how fate can alter the best laid out plans. In a word you are the opposite of an evangelical or a snake oil salesman as some other bloggers come close to be. For me the philosophy of “good enough” is accurate. So even if I do not post comments often I value your time and effort . Please continue as your writings and links are a big part of my weekend leisure time.

  • 31 FI Warrior January 26, 2019, 2:07 pm

    You obviously take pride in your creation with this site, so you should see that quality is often the opposite of quality, most people don’t care about thinking about their own finances although they dictate every aspect of their lives, even if only indirectly sometimes. If you want to appeal to intelligent people, the price is that it will have to be a niche activity. Most people appreciating your site won’t comment if they feel they have nothing to add, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hugely value it, I bet most check it out weekly as I do.

    This is probably the best known non-state sanctioned, factual, investment site, which is a compliment in my book because it implies non-commercially compromised, (trustable) in the UK. I actually see the fact that you were the first (with the advantage that entails) in the field, like Amazon in theirs, as a massive plus and if the others fade away, surely a compliment; Monevator’s the real deal when the tide recedes to reveal the Buffet-naked.

  • 32 BigPat January 26, 2019, 2:49 pm

    Perhaps a few words from Dylan Thomas would be appropriate Monevator?

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  • 33 Ric January 26, 2019, 2:58 pm

    Since you ask…
    I’ve been a Monevator reader since way back when you used to write about active investing. I really enjoyed those articles and still do if & when they occasionally crop up, but then as someone who has a mixture of active (including many AIM shares) and passive investments and lives of my portfolio’s natural yield, I don’t think I’m your typical reader. Nevertheless yes please to anything investing related either passive or something that is off the normal path. Even if I find its not a good fit for me I’m always interested in articles that challenge my perception of the investing world.
    Also yes please to the long form blog posts. The bite sized content found on social media rots the brain – although I’m not qualified to make such a statement on two counts, one being I don’t have any social media accounts.
    No thanks to video posts, like you say they take too long. Even when played at x1.75 I find myself getting fidgety and wanting to jump forwards.
    Sorry I’ve no suggestions for your blog round-up. I once fancied giving blogging a go myself (I once wrote for a PC magazine part time). However two major issues have stopped me, I can’t write that well and I can’t be bothered. So hats off you you & the Monevator team for working endlessly to provide us with the UK’s premium F.I blog, I really appreciate it. Thanks.

  • 34 The Details Man January 26, 2019, 4:14 pm

    I echo the kind sentiments above. This website is excellent. It’s helped me immensely over the years. And it’s such an immense honour to be able to cobble together articles for it too!

    Blogging about personal finance can be tough after a while. I think it can be boiled down to a handful of inalienable truths. As Jason Zweig puts it: “My job is to write the exact same thing 50-100 times a year in such a way that my editors and my readers will never think I’m repeating myself.”

    That said, I don’t think there’s a twilight for the coupon clippers. It’s easy money. As a whole, I’m dubious of their value. Some would argue these types of blogs do more harm than good. A distraction from the things that really move the wealth needle. That’s the preserve of blogs like this.

  • 35 Sara January 26, 2019, 4:17 pm

    Appreciation is a funny thing isn’t it? We kinda feel as adults that we shouldn’t be like a 5 year old demanding approval. And yet it is often the reason that people give for leaving jobs and partners saying “they never appreciate me”. [Feeling this way about my own job at the moment.]
    So I am going to add to the comments and say I do appreciate the site a great deal so please don’t stop. You are also often the site that people send others to on MSE so you must be doing something right.

    I read the angel investing article though your regular email and it was interesting but seemed riskier that I am comfortable with on a personal level.

    I am interested in fintech though – happy to read more about that.

  • 36 the Ig January 26, 2019, 4:56 pm

    ‘Readers invariably find Monevator, read a lot and comment a little, and then vanish. ‘

    Can’t speak for others but I’m the first three; however now I check in every week for your thoughts and links – as part now of my Saturday morning routine as doing my Mbetting.

    As someone else said – don’t go down the podcast route – find them irritating in the extreme – I want to read info and copy/bookmark if I wish – not easy to do with Audio. Plus people generally write more informatively than they speak, as they have time to edit until happy with the results.

  • 37 Matthew January 26, 2019, 5:05 pm

    What passive bloggers need i think is some way of automatically reposting random old articles to look like new posts without actually rewriting them, that way age old (but relevant) advice keeps resurfacing to teach those that need it

    Once readers have learned it always will be hard to hold onto them, like you wouldnt keep rereading a book, but there will be a continous new supply of audience

    Active investing/ a naughty corner in investing media clearly has more potential to update

    Encouraging people to invest is good for society I think but if they dont (as more blogs close) then as a conselation at least assets might be a shade cheaper

  • 38 Andrew January 26, 2019, 5:11 pm

    Monevator is the only blog I read regularly. I haven’t found a more balanced source of UK-based hands-off investing information. Most sources talk about 401k and IRA so not directly relevant to the UK investor. I thoroughly read every article aimed at beginners when I was setting up my own portfolio and I now read most of the linked articles weekly (again I like the balance). I don’t think I have ever posted a comment on any site until now but I suspect I am not alone in just coming for the information.



  • 39 Dazza January 26, 2019, 5:20 pm

    I have been reading this site for many years and find the articles incredibly interesting and informative. This site is my go-to for all things personal finance and passive investing and just wouldn’t get the depth of insight from social media. Hope you keep up the good work!

  • 40 Meine Finanzielle Freiheit January 26, 2019, 5:39 pm

    I am not sure whether the golden times of investment blogging are over or whether a weaker capital market has just frustrated away some bloggers.
    I strongly side with you view, that neither Twitter/Facebook/Instagram (?) are suitable alternatives and that nothing beats the pleasure of a well written and maintained blog. My statement and 30+ comments to this article of yours should give you comfort 🙂

  • 41 old_eyes January 26, 2019, 6:43 pm

    @The Investor – Concerned by your comment about cobwebs and tumbleweed on your previous article on VC/Angel/unlisted I went back and commented. Wouldn’t want you to think these things are not interesting!

  • 42 Craig January 26, 2019, 7:24 pm

    I only found this site about a month ago and can honestly say it’s the best personal finance site I have seen. You have identified a very clear niche and serve it extremely well. Your are the number 1 UK investors website of choice, keep up the excellent work.

    I cannot encourage you enough to just keep going, I can’t wait for your book to come out. I think you stand to make a significant amount of money from your site in the future. I’ve read about blogs (pro blogger) who posted on photography tips giving away lots of valuable free content and then eventually wrote an ebook priced at £10 which netted him £180,000 in one evening. I think you are close to that you are genuine and your add value. I for one cant wait to by your book and show my appreciation for all the excellent content you provide.

    Have you considered telling people more about who the ‘Investor’ and ‘accumulator’ are your could always share more about yourselves, I think people are genuinly interested and it would give you a wider subject to write on.


  • 43 dearieme January 26, 2019, 7:49 pm

    @LukeM: if it can be measured it can be managed by a computer.

  • 44 Bb January 26, 2019, 8:10 pm

    Cheers, will take a look

  • 45 weenie January 26, 2019, 8:21 pm

    Like others, I enjoyed the angel investing post but didn’t have anything to add.

    I read all posts (yes, even the Brexit ones!) and also go back and look at some of your older posts, some of them several years old because I’ve based part of my investment strategy on them and refer to them often to make sure I haven’t strayed! Enjoy checking through the links you include too.

    Along with the Details Guy/YFG, your active investing posts, the Accumulator’s and Greybeard’s (plus that insurance guy), you all provide a great mix for people doing different things with their investments.

    Not a fan of podcasts or vlogs – give me something which some find “TL;DR” any day and please never go down the week-in-week-out listicle route!

    @Mike Rawson – I try to read your blog regularly but some of your interesting stuff is behind a paywall and well, all content on here is free!

    [using IE as my Chrome still not working!]

  • 46 AncientI January 27, 2019, 12:19 am

    The reason investing blogs are quiet is because the outlook for equities is glum and most people still think the “bear market” is about to continue at any moment and a recession is right around the corner.

    We just had a very painful drop in December and although there has been a bounce the sentiment is still doom and gloom.

    Ive been invested for 2 years now ( mixture of active funds and individual stocks ) and my portfolio is -2% . Theres nothing exciting to write about.

  • 47 tom_grlla January 27, 2019, 1:10 am

    I do love a blog, and Monevator is outstanding in how comprehensive and well-written it is, as well as being one of the few to have a sense of humour.

    As a serial blog reader in a few different genres, it feels like there’s an initial glory time when there’s just a small number of very passionate people, and a network is created. And then a ton of people flood in.

    A number of the initial generation use their blog to leverage up, and move on to bigger things whether at a magazine, doing a more professional website etc. The overall quality lowers, and when the rest realise they’ve missed the boat, things slowly tail off.

    I think you’ve seen this in music blogs, then food blogs, and while I don’t know that many Finance blogs have ‘made it big’, I’d expect there to be a similar path, and so maybe this is why things are tailing off.

    Or it’s just January, and people are hibernating and can’t be arsed to write at the moment.

    p.s. I do still find it extraordinary that there are all these people at mostly terrible publications (Moneyweek, Investor’s Chronicle, Citywire, InvestmentWeek etc. etc. I see you) who get paid, and Monevator is not part of the bigger picture – though I appreciate they cover more varied ground.

  • 48 Andy S. January 27, 2019, 10:10 am

    Ok I’ll take the bait.

    “Readers invariably find Monevator, read a lot and comment a little, and then vanish.”

    I’ve been lurking here reading a lot for quite a few years. I’ve never commented. The new content and archive of articles had helped me greatly.

    I found Monevator when I was wondering how best to use a stocks and shares ISA allowance. Then realised I could improve my pension by managing my own SIPP. The Monevator articles and comments, and links to other blogs have all helped my financial education.

    Alas I’ve probably not made you any money in this time, through clicking links or signing up to ratesetter, but i will buy the book!

  • 49 ermine January 27, 2019, 10:35 am

    podcasts are time-consuming fare to get through. For me, nothing beats the written word.

    Amen to that sentiment. The dumbing down towards everything being video or podcasts is dire – I can read about ten times faster that the data rate of the spoken word, and while some practical things are done well in video they are few and far between. Not only can I read faster than speech, I can go back and forth.

    I suspect audio and video are on the rise because they lock you into their slow and somewhat linear narrative and there’s no decent podcast adblocker.

    Long live Monevator, in written form 😉

  • 50 FitandFunemployed January 27, 2019, 10:40 am

    My tuppenth worth: Monevator is *the* best financial/FI blog, bar none (sorry MMM. Only livingafi holds a candle, and he’s sadly long departed the blogosphere). I only wish I’d found this place a decade ago instead of two years, natch… I read every post, but I comment only infrequently because following the wisdom of TI and TA, and all the other auspicious commentators, I genuinely don’t have anything useful to add.

    FWIW my very favourite articles, and those which I have read more than once, are those in which TI talks about his father, his formative years, his outlook on life, his house purchase etc. The ‘origin story’ some might say (*vomit*). I’d love to see more of that type of content (please!).

  • 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/


  • 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.


    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:

  • 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.

Leave a Comment