Occam

What is the rebalancing bonus?

For my next post, I’m planning on having a look at how often you should rebalance your portfolio. i.e. how often you should buy or sell your investments to bring them back to your target weights. But as I was writing, I realised before we can figure out the answer, we first need to understand …

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What if my broker goes bust?

Choosing the right broker is one of the essential steps on the road to managing your own investments. It can also be a tricky one. Firstly, there’s the matter of costs. Everyone has a different portfolio, with differing levels of trading, in different tax wrappers. So finding the cheapest broker will be dependent on your …

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Against thematic funds

“Steve Jobs and I will always get more credit than we deserve, because otherwise the story gets too complicated,” Bill Gates once said. Bill Gates understands the power of stories. The success of large, complex companies like Apple and Microsoft can never have been entirely due to the actions of just their founders. Yet parsing …

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Average UK salary by age

This post explores a variety of statistics around salary data in the UK, including the average UK salary by age. As salaries vary depending on the cost of living in each region, I’ve included a breakdown of the average salaries by age in each region. As there’s most variation within London, I’ve included a special …

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Why I track my spending

This post is all about me. I always thought writing a blog required a double-whammy of intellectual arrogance – firstly in assuming that anyone would want to hear what I have to say, and secondly that I could write about it in a way people wanted to read. This post adds an additional layer of …

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New ‘Resources’ page

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed a slight change to the site over the last few days. There’s now a new heading in the top menu for ‘Resources‘. This page is a repository for any and all useful investing tools, calculators, and widgets which I’ve come across. One notable inclusion is a link to …

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Return expectations: 2021 edition

The bad news is it’s six months late. The good news is it’s only six months to wait for the next one. Just like last year’s edition, this post aims to answer the question of how much UK-based investors can expect from their investments over the next 10 years.   Expected returns   As with …

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Concentrating on active share

Earlier in my career I used to be involved in the management of a concentrated equity fund. Part of which entailed selling it to potential clients. Luckily my job wasn’t so much the selling, which was a good thing because I’m a terrible salesman. I was there to answer any of the more technical questions …

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The predictive power of fees

When Julius Caesar was 25 years old, he was kidnapped by pirates as he was sailing on his way to Rhodes. The pirates, having realised he was of some value to Rome, set his ransom at 20 talents of silver. But Caesar wasn’t having any of it. Where most people would have been keen to …

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Beware graphs bearing outperformance

“Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes” – Beware the Greeks bearing gifts  – Virgil, Aeneid (II, 49) The more articles I begin with a Latin aphorism, the more I can feel myself slowly starting to recoup my expensive ancient history degree – one shoehorned semi-relevant Virgil quote at a time. I’ll try not to overdo it. …

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Why do we buy expensive investments?

Having just opened a Native American jewellery store in Arizona, the owner was having trouble selling some of her turquoise pieces. Despite the jewellery being high quality, and it being the peak of the tourist season, they just wouldn’t sell. She’d priced the jewellery reasonably. She’d tried placing them in a central display location. She’d …

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Is investing a zero-sum game?

If you win at blackjack in a casino, you take someone else’s money. If you lose, someone else takes your money. There’s no wealth being created or destroyed, it’s just the same cash being redistributed between the players. That’s a zero-sum game – more for me means less for you. Other examples of zero-sum games …

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How much money is in the world?

Figuring out how much money is in the world is an interesting question. Not one which has any real practical value, but it’s an interesting one. And what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t answer interesting questions?   Contents   How much money is held in: Cash Cryptocurrencies The stock market Debt …

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Why do stocks go up?

It sounds like a pretty basic question, doesn’t it? We all know that, in the long run, markets rise over time. But answering why stocks go up is surprisingly difficult. Contents Stocks go up because companies make money Why will companies generate more cash in the future? If most companies die, why do markets keep …

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Is investing gambling?

About a dozen or so friends from school and I have a WhatsApp groupchat which has now been running for over 10 years. It started as a way for us all to keep in contact as we started university, and has carried on ever since. I was trawling through the hundreds of unread messages on …

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My 5 favourite books of 2020

Although I managed to avoid catching coronavirus in 2020, I did catch another virus, of sorts. Its symptoms included: Increasing levels of claustrophobia as my house was slowly invaded with bookcases Payments to ‘AMAZON UK’ metastasising throughout my spending history A virtuous feeling, shared only by vegans, which manifested itself in having the uncontrollable urge …

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Average savings (UK) by age

This brief post explores the average amounts in savings for UK households by age groups. It also looks at the average amounts in UK pension accounts, and the overall net worth of UK households by age. I’ve included links to the source data, and included my own highlights below each chart. All data is taken …

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