Category Investing

The Art of Wealth Preservation

OK, it looks like you made it to financial independence. Well done! You’ve spent the last decade or two with your spending locked down and your saving rate up at 50+%.  You’ve amassed a Freedom Fund worth 25x or more your annual spending.  That will probably be enough. This is sometimes known as “Fuck You Money”. […]

Do you even know what’s going on in your pension?

Here’s a question for you: Who is responsible for your pension? Now, if you answered “errr, don’t know” or “my financial adviser” or “I think its an insurance company”, then that’s pretty normal.  But its the wrong answer. The correct answer is that YOU are responsible for your pension! I’ve noticed that even people who […]

There’s a major market crash coming…

Crashes are a fact of life. The housing market and the stock market are both prone to crashes. It’s just that these crashes look different. In a housing market crash, prices are “sticky” and slow to adjust downwards as sellers resist price cuts.  Transactions dry up, people stay put and it can take years for […]

What if you know nothing about investing?

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to give a talk to the support staff at a company about their workplace pension choices…now that pension auto-enrollment is being introduced. Everyone there was female…other than one token male and The Escape Artist.  Some knew a lot about investing but most didn’t. And being women, they were […]

International investing is Easy

Whatever your views on the EU referendum, last week was a reminder of the value of international diversification. Despite the scary headlines, a UK based investor with a sensibly diversified portfolio would have ended the week richer (measured in £) than they started. Below is an updated post that I originally published last year.  It’s as […]

P2P Lending : A warning from The Richest Man in Babylon

Today’s post is taken from the classic personal finance book The Richest Man in Babylon. Arkad was a wise man who lived in the ancient city of Babylon over 6,000 years ago. Arkad learned the ancient laws of money and, as a result, became The Richest Man in Babylon. Now you may be wondering what […]

Cohort analysis for active investors

Warning!  This week’s article is geeky and technical. Like The Investor over at the excellent Monevator site, I invest actively via stockpicking. But most people are probably better off investing on autopilot, dripping money into index trackers each month and getting on with life. As I’ve said before, investing can be made really simple.  Cohort analysis for active […]

Financial independence

Get unstuck : The freeze response in finance

Why do so many people get “stuck” when trying to invest? And how can we get unstuck? Everyone is different, but a common problem with investing is that when people are anxious, they often “freeze”. They stop taking action and then get stuck.  In my coaching I help those people get unstuck. This may seem strange for investing ninjas, but […]

What if Vanguard gets nuked?

As low cost index trackers become more and more popular, one question I often get during financial coaching is: What would happen to my money if Vanguard went bust? I worked in corporate finance and saw enough companies go bust to know that it’s a good question. And it’s worth sharing the answer with readers. But The Escape Artist doesn’t […]

Hey everybody! The Emperor is butt naked!

In Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes, two fund managers tailors promise an emperor a new suit of clothes made of the finest and most expensive fabric. They explain to the Emperor and his advisers that the fabric is invisible to people who are stupid and don’t understand tailoring. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in […]