Category Investing

The Ten Commandments of Index Investing

Cease thy sniggering heathens and pray silence at the back…for I bring you The Word of God. Right…I’m not religious myself but there is a school of thought that says that Western society is suffering from a God-shaped hole. People are disorientated, so the theory goes, by the lack of clear moral guidance. Most people […]

The problem with market timing

Wayne and Gary had the worst suits of any company management team I’d ever met. Wayne was the CEO and had a green suit and a mullet hairstyle. Gary was the CFO and had a brown suit. They mismanaged a loss-making internet company that, at its peak, was briefly valued by the stock market at ~£1 billion in the dotcom […]

I’m happy using electricity without understanding it

We often hear that you shouldn’t invest in something you don’t understand. And there is some truth in that. You should do your own research. But how much research to do? It’s probably less than you think. Perhaps less than you’ve done already? That’s because you don’t need to understand everything about investing to do it effectively. There are many […]

You can’t control The Outcome, you can only control The Process (Part 2)

Aristotle said: We become what we repeatedly do. This neatly summarises the transmission mechanism between actions, routine, habits and, eventually, identity. Actions are things we do. Maybe once. Maybe everyday. Frequency and repetition are the magic ingredients that change actions into routine and then eventually into habits. Eventually habits sink in so deeply that they […]

You can’t control The Outcome, you can only control The Process (Part 1)

Getting to financial independence is a bit like cycling to Paris or running a marathon. Other people have done it, so we know that it must be possible. But it seems like an intimidating distance if you haven’t done it before. The Outcome is reaching Paris or the finish line. What is The Process? Well […]

There is no such thing as 100% safety, there are only trade-offs

Like many other people, I get emails. One thing I noticed about these emails in 2020/21 is that many of them ask whether I am “staying safe”? Sadly not…I have been involved in that dangerous activity called “life”. Scientific studies show that 100% of lives end in death. Perspective At primary school we learned about […]

Choosing a global equities tracker fund

The financial media and the financial services industries bombard us with marketing, jargon, junk data and misinformation. The result is that people new to investing who need to make a sensible fund choice in their workplace pension or their stocks & shares ISA get overwhelmed with information overload…leading to confusion and procrastination. With interest rates […]

The 3 Flavours of Investment Risk

This post was first published in September 2019 and updated in December 2020. Most people think that investing in the stockmarket is dangerous. This is not really true. Catching Ebola is dangerous. Juggling chainsaws is dangerous. The stockmarket just contains some risks that you need to know about. And if you buy and hold a […]

The stock market is a supercomputer and the news is already in the price

In online financial discussions, there are bears and bulls, boomsters and doomsters. The curse of investing debates is that the bear case often sounds smarter. This has been particularly so during 2020 during which there has been no shortage of apocalyptic news. For example, how can a global tracker be down only ~5% year to […]

Victory is Inevitable (Part 2)

It’s always darkest just before the dawn. It may not feel like it but we are already through the most dangerous time. What do I mean by that? We are certainly not through the health impact of COVID-19. Nor are we through the economic aftershocks which are coming down the road towards us. These will […]