Saturday, 6 August 2011

We're Moving!

It has been just over a month since I started this blog and I am so glad I did - mainly because it has enabled me to make contact with some very nice and knowledgeable people in the personal finance blogosphere.

Before I wrote my first post on this blog, I promised myself that after the blog attracted a certain number of visitors, I would get a new website. That was vanity.

In hindsight, the promise proved to be a good move as more than a few visitors to this blog have fed back that the comments system isn't as easy to use as they would like. I think our new website will make commenting much much easier.

Please take a look at the new website and let me know what you think. All feedback, positive and constructive, welcomed.

Many thanks
The Money Grower (formerly GMO)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

What to Do When Fire Rages?

At this time of economic uncertainty and stockmarket turmoil, I thought about the following. It may not be immediately obvious why I am writing about a SATs paper from years ago but I hope it will become apparent.

Years ago there was a reading SATs paper entitled ‘Fire: Friend or Foe’.
In my opinion, it was one of the more interesting SATs papers. I base this on no more than its contents stuck in my head and inspired me to learn more.

One of the sections of the paper was about how certain forests and bush areas rely on fire to keep them regenerating – burning off the dead wood and allowing new seeds to grow, if you like.

Since reading the paper for the first time, I sort of think of it as a metaphor for major investing cycles. Yeah, I know that’s arty farty but it helps me understand things.

The idea is that certain habitats occasionally get destroyed by fire. Devastating you would think, but actually, not necessarily so.

High Street Slashers: The Real Time Observations of a Shop-a-holic (GUEST POST)

Numbers and graphs are great. I love them. But I do concede that they have their limits. That's why I like to keep it real by walking the floors and talking to knowledgeable people that love the products they are buying.

Company reports have their place and I like to look in the rear view mirror as much as the next person but when I want to hear a real time report from the bad lands of the fashion retailers, I like to hear my friend Tara's take on things - she's got her finger firmly on the pulse.

I'll hand over now.

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Rucksack Strikes Back: There's No Accounting for Fashion!

'Never think you've seen the last of anything.'
Eudora Welty, Author

Conventional wisdon has it that very few new ideas are created:- sometimes ideas evolve, sometimes ideas are given a shine up and recycled but precious few are totally new.

Rucksacks, so beloved of European students and Japanese tourists, seem to be making a fashion comeback.

Cool people seem to be wearing rucksacks! More shockingly, the wearers seem to be wearing their rucksacks on BOTH shoulders.

Whoever persuaded the buying public that these duel shouldered darlings are a must have accessory is, in my opinion, a genius. Or maybe the humble rucksack symbolises the 'no frills' reaction to our current economic situation.

Ra-ra skirt or split caps, anyone?

Never say never.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Why I Save and Why You Should Too - Even if you aren't saving for anything.

I was asked recently why I bothered to save and invest and why it was so important to me.

Some people are saving for a specific one-off expenses like a wedding or new car. Others are saving for ongoing expenses like school fees or university funds. Others are focussing on retirement or on buying a plush pad somewhere hot and exotic.

The reasons why people save are as diverse as a bag of pick 'n' mix. Reasons depend on priorities and life stage, amongst other things

My reasons are somewhat less obvious but I will try to explain them as best I can.

Friday, 29 July 2011

If the goal can't be changed, change the focus.

A few days ago, some friends invited me on a day trip to a huge lake in the Peak District.

My pals, rather strangely, enjoy activities like jogging and going to the gym. I've never understood it myself, but each to their own. I like to think my body is finely honed for short bursts of intensive activity but the truth is my pals are just fitter than me.

When I am asked the question, 'Shall we go for a walk?', I usually reply 'Why?' followed quickly by a politish, "No thanks."

I do not enjoy 'walking for pleasure'. Lots of people do it, I know, but it's not my thing. I don't mind walking when there is a purpose like a carboot sale or a treasure hunt or scrambling over rocks to find rockpools. But I can think of more enjoyable ways to raise my heartbeat than 'going for a walk'.

When I was invited, the plan, on arrival at the beauty spot, was:

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

7th Day Growing Pain - Prove I'm wrong. (Funds and Bundlers)

I invest monthly via a very large UK discount broker. I invest in a variety of unit trust and OEIC funds.

Some of the funds I invest in are specialist and some are not. The money goes out of our bank accounts on the 7th of every month and the new units appear in my account between one and four days later.

There is something I think I have noticed and it has been a source of bemusement for a while.

I'm looking to be proved WRONG on this because I sincerely hope I am.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The Perfect Way to Queue Jump?

I like observing human behaviour. Occasionally, I will do little experiments just to test a prediction or see what happens.

These little experiments are in no way scientific because they are done 'on the hop' and not under laboratory conditions.

In this post, I would like to share an observation from this morning.