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Every Thursday I will be bringing you another instalment of my guest series, Money Talks. I’ll be featuring bloggers from all walks of life giving their answers to money related questions. Hopefully you will find a new blog to read and learn more about other people online. Money Talks will be live every Thursday and I’ve got some absolutely fantastic bloggers taking part! Hope you enjoy it. If you’re a blogger and want to take part then get in touch. This weeks instalment features 7 Circles. You can check out the 7 Circles website here.
When did you start blogging?
I actually began in 2014, but I had a false start a couple of years before that, when I set up a local WordPress server and started writing articles. I got bored after a few weeks and stopped.
I retired early in 2012 and after a couple of years, my girlfriend insisted that I find a constructive hobby that would take up the majority of my time. Blogging to the rescue.
What inspired your blog name?
The title of the blog comes from Dante’s inferno – in which Dante journeys through Hell.
There are actually nine circles of suffering in the poem, but seven circles of investment Hell was all I could come up with.
Seven also sounds better, and let’s me use a rainbow in my logo.
The 7 Circles are:
Understanding the Problem
Cash and Debt
Fire and Frugal
Costs and Taxes
Passive investment (buy and hold, asset allocation)
Active investment (heuristics, systems and rules) Trading (the short-term, shorting and leverage)
How to Spend it – the decumulation phase (retirement)
What is your attitude to money – are you a spender or a saver?
I’ve been both, twice over. I didn’t have much money when I was young, so I had to save up for anything I needed. That stuck with me all the way through college.
A few years into my career I was earning a lot more than my friends, and there wasn’t much in the way of incentives to save. The ISA hadn’t been invented, and pension contributions were restricted by age, so young people couldn’t hang on to much.
So for a few years – maybe ten – I was a big spender.
Then I started to save again. And in 2005 Gordon Brown relaxed the pension rules and I could finally save a lot., and get serious about investing.
Within seven years I had enough to retire. Which means I am now a spender again.
What is the best bargain you have ever purchased?
Looking back, it would have to be my house, though it didn’t seem like it at the time.
I’ve had it for 22 years, and it’s worth eight times what I paid for it. I could see that the area was going to improve, but the way things have changed is ridiculous.
What is the biggest splurge you have ever made?
I bought a fancy car brand new when I got divorced. That was a big mistake.
I used to spend a lot of money in restaurants, but nowadays I stick to an overall annual budget.
If you had £100,000 right now what would you do with it?
Well, I do have £100K right now, so I can confidently state that I would just carry on as normal. If you mean an extra £100K in an envelope – I would just drip feed it into my ISA.
I have everything I need.
If you could go back 10 years & give yourself one piece of money related advice what would it be?
Ten years ago is the financial crisis, which I weathered pretty well, so I wouldn’t really change anything. My advice would be to think long-term, not short-term.
If I could go back 20 years, I would have bought a lot of buy-to-let property.
What was the last item you purchased?
Last night I went to a lecture by Branko Milanovic, one of my favourite economists. He writes a lot about global income inequality.
He was signing copies of his book, so I bought one for him to sign. I think that was a good purchase.
What is your favourite ever blog post?
I’m assuming here that you mean by me, so I have lots. Interestingly they aren’t the ones that the public likes best.
I guess I should say my first one, but instead I’ll say my most recent one – you’re only as good as your last blog post!
What is your biggest money regret?
Not having any money when I was young. That made me chase an income, so throughout my life I always took the best-paying job.
As a result, I didn’t enjoy the majority of my roles. I’d like to have a more enjoyable career to look back on.
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