It’s An Exciting Time for Investors

man successfully plants a flag

It’s an exciting time for investors, when we have less tax, better savings and investment opportunities, and greater freedom over our pensions all being (potentially) given to us in the space of a few hours on a Wednesday afternoon. Yes, of course, I’m talking about the budget. I certainly felt pretty pleased with what George Osborne is wanting to do, should the Conservatives get elected in May’s general election. And to be honest, I can see just by looking around me that things do look genuinely better for people. I know there’s a lot of talk of foodbanks and the like, but to be honest, I have huge doubts over who is using them, what their financial situation is like, and whether what they really is a foodbank or some free lessons in how to manage their money properly. Speaking from experience, I know what it is like to live off less than £8000 p.a. in a high cost of living area. Once, I even had to sell my old guitar to buy food for the next fortnight – due to my own errors of money management. It’s not that I’m boasting about being able to survive on such a low income, or that I’m now looking down on anyone that does use a foodbank, but I do see how people live around me and what colleagues spend their money on, and yes – a lot of money is wasted on things that are nowhere near necessities.

But anyway, back to the week that was. The budget wasn’t the only major financial event we experienced over last week, as the long-awaited 7,000 point barrier was finally crossed by the FTSE100. This, of course, followed on from the optimism surrounding the budget and some relaxing in the oil markets – which sent Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB)‘s share price back up again after recent falls. Oh well, I guess I won’t be adding to our position in this month’s regular investment purchase. Now, don’t go thinking this means that shares are overvalued, just because some random number has been crossed. I think the UK market has a lot of value in it, and there are certainly a fair few stocks that I wouldn’t mind investing in right now, as I highlighted in my recent potential purchase list post.

Last, and most certainly not least – we had the UK FI/PF blogger’s meetup in Stratford-Upon-Avon. Organised by Huw, of Financially Free By 40, he ensured that we all had an interesting time in the Bard’s town, talking about shares, side income, and monkeys! We are all really grateful to him for coming up with the idea – and we’re looking forward to the next meeting, which will be in the Summer.

P.S. We also had that little thing called ‘the solar eclipse’ – and although not an explicitly investing related event, I am sure some people do look at eclipses and other very rare astronomical phenomena as a kind of omen. In the old days, it was usually seen as a bad omen, but since it occurred on the same day as the FTSE crossing the 7,000 barrier (7 being a perfect number), I think it’s probably a GOOD OMEN!

How was your week? Let me know, leave a comment below. It doesn’t even have to be about investing 😉

photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net/bplanet

10 Comments

  1. Hi M,

    I’m inclined to agree with you. I think we’re in a better position now than we have been in the last 3-5 years. I feel it is an exciting time for investors. Although to be honest, I find investing exciting most of the time!

    I must also confess to not paying too much attention to TV, politics and subsequently the budget. I usually wait for everything to come out and usually check Blogs and websites for summaries on how we might be effected. I agree with you on your budgeting point nonetheless, I think people are potentially in a worse position now than they have been previously. Zero % credit cards are longer, borrowings easier (wonga.com and alike), interest rates are lower, there are so many things to buy in order to keep up with the Joneses, and I think my/our generation and the next generation of humans are getting softer and softer. Generally speaking, we seek convenience over hard work and satisfaction.

    Budgeting is very simple to do and hugely effective, but in our modern society it’s regularly overlooked and I think a lot of people suffer unnecessarily as a consequence.

    I’m so pleased you enjoyed the Gathering. It was great to have you and your family there. Thanks for coming! I look forward to meeting you again soon.

    All the best
    Huw
    Huw recently posted…UK Gathering Spring 2015 – The Round UpMy Profile

    1. Huw,

      thanks for the extensive reply. I basically agree with everything you’ve said. I do think our (you’re only a bit younger than me!) generation is definitely soft. And as you say, there are so many objects and so many ways to ‘finance them cheaply/at 0%’ that one’ money could be gone before it’s even hit your pocket.

      I hope that the coming financial education in schools will be decent enough to at least help the youngsters.

      Cheers

  2. Hi M

    This is the first time that I will be taking an interest in the elections from the view point of an investor, so yes, these are exciting times.

    I too get the feeling that people are doing better, but that may just be from the circles I mix in and from a work point of view. The company I work for is back in growth mode for the first time in years, which has resulted in caps on recruitments being lifted and people getting pay rises and bonuses.

    Anyway, it was great to finally get to meet you and hopefully, will see you at the next gathering!
    weenie recently posted…UK FI/PF Bloggers GatheringMy Profile

    1. fab. looking forward to drinking your bevvy, I had to have a German beer tonight as part of a planned German dinner, so probably tomorrow night will be the night of reckoning!

      I do think on the whole the economy and many people are getting better, but I do see so many of the same old mistakes being made. I do think there is a terrible lack of financial awareness and ‘general financial knowledge’ as one might call it, which leads to all sorts of problems and mistakes being made like easily slipping into credit card debt and the like. Anyway, I don’t want to ramble on about that, but just agree with you that it is actually an exciting time for investors and savers, and I do hope that many more people will take up the good savings habit that these new measure may encourage.

  3. I take your point about the fact that a lot of people aren’t great at budgeting but why do you think the use of foodbanks is on the increase? I wouldn’t have thought people’s basic ability to budget was getting worse? Anyway, here’s the Trussell Trust take on things. Apparently benefit delays account for over a third of visits which might be quite hard to budget for if you’re surviving on a very low income.

    I’m glad to hear that the meet up was such a success and I’m looking forward to the next one as hopefully this time I will be able to attend.

    btw we did actually get to see the eclipse in the Midlands – quite an eerie experience 🙂
    Cerridwen recently posted…Pension Fund FuryMy Profile

    1. I basically think that people are getting worse with budgeting. It’s a combination of things I think, mostly lack of self-discipline because they want to have what they want, and have it now. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking these people for having troubles with their money, but even people on above average salaries are making the same kinds of mistakes that lead to sudden hardship coming upon an otherwise unlikely family to suffer financial hardship.

      I literally come across it all the time, people who even admit it themselves, that they ‘should know better’ about not wasting money and the like, and yet they still repeat the same patterns of behaviour that got them into money problems in the past (and some of these things are still occurring/being dealt with after years). Also just the little things too, like colleagues I see buying sandwiches and snacks for breakfast AND lunch… they’re literally spending £25-£30 per week just on that… I worked out it was an average of £120 per month… not including going out for lunch at local restaurants about once a month… and yet these are the same people who say they can’t afford £150 to be taken out of their (pre-tax) income for the company pension scheme.

      It just kind of maddens me, because I was brought up with a mother who would never, EVER buy on credit and would save up for everything. The mortgage was the only thing ever borrowed, and that was even paid off early during the ludicrous interest rates of the 80s. But many of these people I speak to at work and round about also grew up with old-fashioned families, but they often sort of lament about getting sucked in with credit cards or loans and whatnot, but then they do it again, and again, and waste money on the bought out sandwiches and then complain about not being able to save for retirement/pay for childcare. I’m like, HELLO IN THERE!!! WAKE UP!

      I do think benefit delays are a HUGE problem, but I think the main problem in society is the atomisation, where people would have previously relied on friends, family, and neighbours to help them out a little if they needed it, and we don’t really have that anymore… that is the saddest thing in my opinion.

      I do hope to meet you at the next meetup!

    1. omg, congratulations!!! please keep us updated on what you decide 🙂 sad you missed the eclipse, I thought it was kind of cool. much better than the one we had in 1999 anyway

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