Friday, 28 August 2015

Just a few toughts

1. Market is down, All shares are falling. Do not despair. Take 70% of your cash stock and buy. Now it is the time. Look for shares that paid good dividends in the last 10-20 years and increased the dividend amount regularly. For example one of my favorites is Pearson (click on PSON.L for more info)

2. Take a look here and have a good laugh. The link is . True and funny, if it is not about you. If it is about you, then you need to do something, right? Positive cash flow ring a bell?

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Think big... And just do it!

One friend who is very good in practicing the art of abundance teached me this. Look for the highest note of the money you use in your country and always have 2 of this notes in your wallet. Whatever happen. If you spend them, put another 2 back. Usually you will be reluctant to spend on small items just because you will get a lot of change. But, if some opportunity appear magically in front of you, you will have a decent amount of money to seize it.

My idea on his idea. On your way to financial independence you need to think big. Do not invest £20 every day of the month. The fees will just eat your profit, or even if it is a free fee thing, the time lost will not justify it. Instead of this, put all the money in the box, for example, and at the end of the month add it to your cash account. Invest in big amounts. £1000, £5000, something that it is significant for you. Sometimes if you invest more than 1000 you get a good cashback. 5% or more. Sound much better than that 3% fee, right?  This could mean 100k more money for you in 10 years time.

And added bonus, it will make you feel good, efficient, serious about the bussiness. Emotionally and physically better, Dopamine and oxytocin will be released. We could talk about the quality of life that will increase too. Just by doing something aparently irrelevant. Try it and tell me how this worked for you. Because it worked for me. Good luck.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Hint of the day - One myth about eating healthy and organic - it is not so expensive as you think.

Myth: It’s too expensive to eat healthily

Why it’s rubbish: Ready meals and frozen food will cost more than if you bought the ingredients and made it yourself. Likewise, a banana or an apple is a cheaper snack than a chocolate bar or packet of crisps. Also, homemade meals can easily be spread over more than one meal, saving you even more money in the process!
Than why to go for the obvious unhealthy choice, especially if some long term research showed that over time we pay more in health bills than we would pay for healthy organic food ?

An international team of experts led by Newcastle University has shown that organic crops are up to 60% higher in a number of key antioxidants than conventionally-grown ones.
Analyzing 343 studies into the compositional differences between organic and conventional crops, the team found that a switch to eating organic fruit, vegetable and cereals – and food made from them – would provide additional antioxidants equivalent to eating between 1-2 extra portions of fruit and vegetables a day. The study, published today in the prestigious British Journal of Nutrition, also shows significantly lower levels of toxic heavy metals in organic crops.  Cadmium, which is one of only three metal contaminants along with lead and mercury for which the European Commission has set maximum permitted contamination levels in food, was found to be almost 50% lower in organic crops than conventionally-grown ones. Newcastle University’s Professor Carlo Leifert, who led the study, says: “This study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals. You can find more about this here.

Another approach can be found here, and the results were that eating organic cutting meat in the same time will cost similar to eating normal or GM food.

Dreaming about FIRE

Everyone got motivated in some way to start the journey to financial independence. Some want to spend more time with the children, some want to avoid 9-5 working hours. Some want more time to follow their hobbies. Me, i am dreaming about a time when i will not need to use the alarm to wake me up. When i was still a child i discovered something that changed me completelly. It is called lucid dreaming. It is an amalgam of techniques that allow you to do whatever you want in your dreams, once you become aware that you are sleeping. I was fascinated by the complexity and the results that i achieved. In your dream you can fly, you can have Marvel-like superpowers, you can treat your phobias in a controlled environment. You can do anything. But my newly gained abilities decreased over time, until they completely dissapeared, thanks to 17 years of working on shifts, mostly during the night time. The delicate balance that allowed me to do all that incredible things was destroyed, and i never recovered. So this is my reason. This is my motivation. 
I want to dream more, not only when i am awake, but when i am sleeping too. A world without alarm clock. This is making me to go forward. 

I am just curious, what is the reason behind your financiar independence dream?

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Just complaining a bit... (US vs UK)

I never complain too much usually, but reading most of the US financial independence blogs, seems that in the States this FIRE stuff is a much bigger thing than in UK. I was looking around without any real success to find some equivalents for, or, just to say about 3 of them. What i am looking for is a solid, reliable and safe UK program or website to track all my profits/interests/dividends/expenses and investments over time, being it automatic or with a manual input. I found some of them, most in beta test, but they are covering only partially what i want to check. Until then i will use my old school Excel tabs, but i just got this brilliant idea that i probably know what i need, and i can ever help and support a project/app if someone want to start a collaboration. Anyone? (This could be a game changer in the UK FIRE planning, i feel it.)

Added 19.8.2015: At some friend suggestion, I will use, even if he do not want to recognize one of my cards. What the heck, i wanted to stop using that dodgy card, anyway. I will update you after some time.

Monday, 17 August 2015

How to became financially independent in ten steps - midnight story

When you just start on your way to financial independence, is usually a very personal choice. You want that! You get enough of a life behind the desk! You can do it! And you start the tenuous process of learning, the journey from the absolute beginner to glorious expert that can finally retire from "that" uneventful job because he/she just mastered the secret technique of the middle finger.
There are some steps, and you can follow them or jump over a few, depending on how fast you learn. Hint: there are so many others that already did the research, made all the mistakes and reach the final goal, so any clever person will study the Chosen Ones that are already retired very very early, by all means. And i know that you are clever enough, because you want to become a FI fighter.
Step 1: You heard about some strange people who were so lucky that managed to retire at age of 40, or even 30. Maybe they won the lottery.
Step 2: You are curious to find more, and you discover that not one of them was a lottery winner, but they just saved the money they needed for this. Must be some amazing people with hundreds of thousands as salary.
Step 3: You realize that they are normal people, on average salary, and they managed to save 50-80% of their monthly wages. How seems to be that 5% of your savings now?
Step 4: Still not believing, you start to ask yourself, if they did it, maybe i can do it too. This is the moment when you start reading about everyone and you will find that this is a modern trend followed by many, and a lot of people around you already achieved financial independence.
Step 5: You act and start saving like a mad, but the numbers will show that you will need some 10-20 years of savings until you get there. Start checking even more,
Step 6: You will find that some of them are better than others, and you realize that the difference is made by a solid plan. You understand that you need simultaneously to reduce your expenses and to find alternative ways to gain more money in order to invest regularly.
Step 7: You made your plan. You are now at 5-7 years away from FIRE (financial independence/retirement early).
Step 8: Your work became a pleasure, because you know your final goal. Your quality of life increase even when you try to teach yourself discipline and motivation. Your savings are increasing steadily every year.
Step 9: You reach your goal. You can stop working for the money.
Step 10: Your life as a free human being begin now. A new adventure. Are you ready to enjoy it? Of course you are, you trained for this in the past years.

P.S. I can share my story and i can help you with relevant links if you are ready to start. (He he! The links are already here in this post, by the way, did you see it?)

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Early retirement - 1 August statistics

Just few of my relevant financial statistics:

Money from interests and dividends this year (up to 1.08.2015) - 272 pounds
Month average (first 8th months of my early retirement project) - 34.08 pounds
Yearly ROI percentage prediction - 14.24% (It is very good, but mostly a combination of luck and hours of study.)
Retirement fund percentage achieved : 5.20% (still a small number but at least it is greater than zero, right?)
Security fund investment: 51.74%
Risk fund investment: 48.26% (is my idea about safe and risk approach, i will increase a bit the risky ones, i think)
Total investment: 5712.15 pounds
Total debt: 780 pounds
Net worth: 4932.15 pounds

I am open to answer to any common sense question about mine or yours retirement project.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The perfect formula for very early retirement - the four pillars of the financial independence

I remember a story about the four pillars that are holding the temple roof. Thinking about that, I can easily create analogies to my financial independence/early retirement project.

And the four pillars of financial independence are:
1. The most important is Health. We need to take care of us physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. If we are not in perfect health, in a peak state, everything else doesn't matter so much, right?
2. Investing regularly is second as importance, every week, every month, without a break until we reach our goal.
3. Dividend and interest reinvestment will make us to achieve results faster, based of the compounding rule.
4. Dividend growth is equally important, giving us an uncanny advantage on the road to financial freedom.

And as a bonus,inspired by Maximum Mustache March challenge, i was just thinking at one extreme technique of saving and reducing expenses. I recently meet some spiritual tradition exponents that are usually having a period of lent, not eating anything for a whole day, also known as fasting. After i talked with them i started reading about the benefits of fasting (not eating anything for 12 or 24 hours). See about this here and here and here.
Doing this for one day a week will result in 52 days over one year, almost two months of no expenses for food. Add the health benefits, longevity, faster metabolism speed, fat gain dramatically decreased and so much more. I am almost convinced to do this.

Have a good night!

Mr G.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The compounding process and my newborn nephew

OK. Let's define what compounding is. You heard this work before. Almost on every early retirement or financial independence website or blog. You think you know what is it. And probably you are right. So, what is this mysterious compounding?
If you want a fancy definition then i will tell you. Compounding is defined by a nonlinear growth in dividend income. Too much even for me. Just in case, i will have an example here. Not necessarily for you, but you can see it too.
Today i become an uncle. I just got a one day old nephew. I have no merit with this, it's all my brother's work.  By the way, welcome to the family Gabriel! The accountant in me took the reins and instantly did a plan for his financial independence.  I will presume that my brother, in his infinite wisdom, will take care of his baby until the age of 20.
My expenses at the moment are 715. I will go for something like this. Maybe a bit more as a 20 years old will what to relax a bit more. Let's say 10K per year. Seems good enough. It is something like 833 per month. Enough to cover your house expenses, transport and food, but not enough to live without work. At least you can choose a work not thinking about how much they pay, but how much you like it.
My initial plan was to start with 8750 (offering an amount of 350 as dividends in the first year). Will reach 1000 as dividends in 11 years, 2000 after another 5 years and another 1000 will be added every 2 years. 11+5+2+2=20 years. Sadly that is only 4K per years. Not enough. I did another simulation and i found that if i invest 17500 for dividend growth income, and reinvest everything for the next 20 years (yes, the miracle of compounding), i will reach my goal of 10K payed in dividends per year.
Is too easy, but really! You can give you child the most important gift ever. To start in life being financially independent. Of course, now i am thinking at some side projects. Imagine that, to offer this to an 20 years old. What can happen? So i decided that some financial education is a must, as it is reaching some numbers in savings and failing at least 5 times in different business projects. What if you don't fail, you will say. Than is even better, that mean that you are ready to be free.

I will definitely do this for my children too.
What do you think?

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Companies that i start using on my early retirement plan

As i was asked with which companies i work on my plan, i will talk about them here.
As person to person lender i use Is very simple and intuitive to use it and what i like more is that you can make the process completely automatic. Set the direct debit, set what percentage under or over the interest level you want to lend the money and that's it. I tried to use as they can add even the interest in this miraculous process of compounding. The only problem, or advantage, depending how you see it, is that you need to wait 30 days to move some money in your bank account.
As for online share dealing platform i use from AJ Bell. I tried too but seems to be too tricky for me. On i can sort of automatize the process. Direct debit and automatically buy of shares every 10th of the month at £1.50 per transaction. But the inconvenient is that  i need to buy the mutual funds and trackers manually at £4.50 per transaction.
As for property crowdfunding i use I also tried but first one is more straightforward and is offering better rates than second one. Even if the minimum amount is £500 instead of £50 for propertypartner website.
As cash bank account i use TSB, because of the 5% interest for the first £2000.  They also have a saving account with 5% interest for 12 months.

This is what i use for the moment. I will update my plan again probably in December or January if is the case.

Acorns and Digit - a cry for help!

For any UK investing developer/start-up investor/angel/fairy/dwarf and others like this, i just readed those two blog posts of Jmoney and i want something like this here in UK. I already checked, they are only for US at the moment.

1.Acorns is an app that is rounding up change and invest it. At the moment is asking for a symbolic fee every month and some annual charge. Link here.

2.Digit is a free service that is saving small amounts of money analyzing your spending habit. All you have to do is to attach your account and they will do the rest. Link here.

Sadly we still need to wait until they will cross the ocean. If somebody else will not do something like this here before they come.

Have a good night! And see you.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

I start planning...

So i start planning, and i got to this monthly expenses:
Rent 350
Bills 165
Food 120
Transport 0 ( i moved 2 miles from my new work place)
Total basic expenses £635
Clothes 25
Luxury 122
Total actual lifestyle £772

Rate of savings 45%
Savings at end of July '15 £5200

Time until retirement 12.5 years

My investing strategy will be something like:
1. £2000 cash on TSB account with 5% interest as a buffer
2. £10000 on online p2p lending with an average 6% interest
3. £ 195000 on a mix of mutual funds and tracker equity funds from UK, Europe, World equity and corporate and government UK bonds. Dividents percentage 3-7%
4. £75000 on real estate crowdfunding with average 8% interest

I am open to suggestions if i can improve in any area.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Motivation and income

As someone said to me:
"If you earn only 100$ you can save only 100$, if you start to make more than that you can be even more successful in your journey!"

Motivation and the right mindset are two of the most important tools in our way to early retirement,
For today i have for you two blogs/podcast that helped me to start and keep going.

1. James Altucher

2. Timothy Ferris

Monday, 3 August 2015

Blackrock, Vanguard, cooking from scratch and other travel hacks

I start with the brainy stuff.
I just look at few of the Vanguard and Blackrock funds as some article from raised my interest. What was my research and my conclusions?

Fund name      NAV 31/7/2015      12 months yield   Fund charges%    Performance

Vanguard FTSE Developed world
Accumulated     2.23                        1.71%                        0.15                Good
Income              2.02                        1.74%                        0.15                Good

Vanguard Investment Grade Bond
Acc                   0.82                         3.20%                       0.15                  Good

Vanguard Investment Gov Bond
Acc                  1.44                         1.90%                         0.15                 Moderate - Good
Inc                   1.22                         1.92 %                        0.15                Moderate - Good

Vanguard Short Term Grade Bond
Inc                   1.00                          2.06%                        0.15                Moderate

Vanguard FTSE Developed Europe
Inc                   1.62                          2.59%                        0.12               Good

Blackrock Corporate Bond
Acc                 1.22                           3.34%                       0.17                Good

Blackrock UK Equity A
Acc                55.69                            2.86%                     0.52                Good but too big charges

Blackrock UK A
Acc                3.29                              1.80%                        1.67                WTF happen with
Inc                 4.48                              1.77%                        1.67                 all those charges?

I would definitely go for Vanguard 40% (FTSE Europe and Developed World, Bonds and Gov.Bonds) and Blackrock 60% (mostly UK and 100 UK Equity tracker - 0.07 charges and some Corporate Bonds)

Saving hacks time, what i discovered lately?
1. Cooking from scratch. I just realized that i got enough food for a week, so i decided to just make a kind of meal plan to use everything and just after i finish it to go for shopping. I will tell you later what is the result of my experiment.
2. Travel hack no.1. If you go by train, but not so often to justify a yearly or monthly pass, you can just buy a Network Railcard. The cost is only 30 pounds, is valid for 12 months and you can save 33% from the cost of your trip. Plus you can take up to 4 children and save 60% on child fare. As a result, if you spend more than 100 per year on your train tickets, go to the station and make yourself a service. Network Railcard.
3. Travel hack no.2. If you are not from UK, but you would like a holiday here, or even if you live locally and have the time to travel across the country, National Express is offering a Brit Xplorer pass, and you can have unlimited travel 7 days (for 79 pounds), 14 days (for 139) or 4 weeks (for 219). I was imagining myself going around, choosing 7-8 hours trips just to sleep during my journey, and exploring every little corner on UK. I also heard that is some very cheap alternative for train and boat to go to Ireland, but i didn't look for it.

Wish you a perfect week! I'm out.

On a Monday

I just start a new job, working for the same money like the previous one, but only 37 hours instead of 60. So i gain some "me" time, an extra time of 23 hours weekly. Not bad for a new beginning. Like i said, i will work on my FIRE plan this week. I will say more about this later.

An interesting post to read for today here:

And for the next time i will write, i have two companies to check: Blackrock and Vanguard, to see which one is better at the moment to choose as my starting ER funds.

Sunday, 2 August 2015 seems to be a very professional and well informed website for UK based investors. I highly recommended.
And talking about other ideas. I will need do a earning income plan soon. At least for what is left of this year. Starting small, but thinking big. And we will deal with other problems as they appear.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Investment posibilities

For today will explore two possibilities belonging to the risk and growth portfolio, as opposed to security portfolio.

First we will talk about that is  is the world’s leading investment crowdfunding platform. They enable anyone to invest alongside professional investors in start-up, early stage and growth businesses through equity, debt and investment fund options. You can invest from as much as 10 pounds per project. You just look around and if you find something that you like you can invest in it.

Second i found a decent REIC - real estate investment company. It is called and seems to have some good options to invest. The minimum amount here is 500 pounds.

I will try to find more idea and expose them here. See you.

Economic principles 101

An interesting little video tutorial for beginners and not only.
I present to you Economic principles 101, by Ray Dalio, all in 30 minutes.

Click here to see the tutorial

Mr Money Moustache

Hello world! Wandering around i found an interesting blog on personal finance. Hundred of articles. I will have one busy day reading it. Just look and wonder. Could be The One blog that will change you life? Try here: zero to hero
Good luck with it!

Early retirement extreme

And looking around i found a brilliant guy who did what i still have to do for the next 9 years in just 5. It is a bit technical but you can understand it. I could not see to many website like this one in UK, so i need to adapt all this USA oriented knowledge, but anything is good as long as i improve my odds.

The website is called, and the guy did it at the age of 30. Impressive, isn't it?

Financial independence reading list

As i was inspired by Mr. Money Moustache , i am writing my past, present and future reading list for the year 2015. It is a long one, but i hope to inspire you. Let's start!

Investing and finance books:

The intelligent investor - Benjamin Graham
Money - master the game - Tony Robbins
The 100$ startup - Chris Guillebeau
Business adventures - John Brooks
Financial shenanigans - Howard M Schilit
The 4 hour workweek - Tim Ferris
The battle for investment survival - Loeb
The Dhando investor - Pabrai
Contrarian investment - David Dreman
The opposite of spoiled - Ron Liever
Thrive - Ariana Huffington
Splitwille - Jason Zweig
Financial statement analysis - Martin Fridson
The financial number game - Charles Mulford
Zero to one - Peter Thiel
Fastlane millionaire
The richest man in Babylon - George Samuel Clason
The greatest salesman in the world
The only investment guide you'll ever read - Andrew Tobias
Naked economics - Charles J Wheelan
Guide to economics indicators - The economist
The four pillars of investing - William Bernstein
How the economy works - Roger E A Farmer
Scratch beginnings - Adam Shepard
Plenitude - Juliet B Schor
7 laws of money - Mike Philips
Choose yourself guide to wealth - James Altucher
Economics explained - Robert Heilbroner and Lester Thurow
A random walk down Wall Street - Burton Malkiel
The intelligent asset allocator - William J Bernstein
Toward rational exuberance - B Mark Smith
The little book that beat the market - Joel Greenblatt
Early retirement extreme - Jacom Fisker
I will teach you to be rich - Ramit Sethi
Your money or your life - Joe Dominguez
The millionaire next door - Thomas Stanley and William Danko
The automatic millionaire homeowner - David Bach
Rich dad, poor dad - Robert Kiyosaky


Guide to the good life: the ancient art of stoic joy
The magic of thinking big - David J Schwartz
The life you can save - Peter Singer
Against thrift - James Livingston
Choose yourself - James Altucher
Abundance - Peter Diamandis
The gospel of wealth - Andrew Carnegie
How to be successful in life and make friends - Dale Carnegie
Unconventional succes - David K Reynolds
The most important thing - Howard Marks
Life is what you make it - Peter Buffet
Vagabonding - Rolf Potts
We learn nothing - Tim Kreider
The long tail - Chris Anderson
Linchpin - Seth Godin
Quality - John Galsworthy
Macroscope - Piers Anthony
The art of peace - Morihei Ueshiba
Odd John - Olaf Stapledon


The Snowball - Alice Schroeder (Warren Buffet)
Dreams from my father and the audacity of hope - Barack Obama
The power of myth - Joseph Campbell

Applied math/General science

Struck by lighning - Jeffrey Rosenthal
The selfish gene - Richard Dawkins
What technology wants - Kevin Kelly
Nudge -

Is the time for your early retirement now?

Wandering around i found a very interesting calculator that will tell you exactly when you can retire. What do you need to do? Just input your numbers and test different alternatives. Use this link and enjoy the process (If you can. I just find that i need to do a bit of extra work in order to get there when i expect to.). Very useful if you do not have a plan yet.

The link is: .

(special thanks to MrMoneyMoustache for this)

New posts on blog

Waking up at eleven, eating something light and going to gym. This is a good start. Writing a bit on the blog (in fact i will just move some of my oldest financial posts from my creative blog today). Tweaking my ER plan, writing a bit on my new book. Watching a movie. A walk in the park and a movie with a friend. A cheesecake and a relaxing evening. This is my kind of a day. Only once or twice per week for the moment. But today i got reason to celebrate. I reach 5% on my way to financial independence. I will keep you posted about this. One first step towards my early retirement.