Status and Progress – March 2018

In this post I discuss my virginity.

1 Bank Balance

Due to the stock market being a bit dippy this month our overall NW has decreased.

I’ve recently paid myself a small amount into bank accounts that don’t feature in NW calcs so as a result the graph has made a move in the wrong direction due to those stock market dips.  Of course, I still hold the same number of units and shares in my funds and individual equities as before so there’s no real change in my position because nothing needs to be sold.   April sees some dividend payments from Vanguard holdings and I expect to use that money to buy more units.  I don’t know what in yet but I’m erring towards VHYL or VFEM.  These are both held in pension so their short-term performance is irrelevant.

In other financial news, I’ve had a busy month at work and this has helped my confidence levels in the plan to a) slice a chunk off the mortgage in mid-year b) squirrel c6 months worth of spending away so that I can enjoy the feeling of a cushion, and work in the knowledge that all (most) earnings for a while will be going towards building NW rather than servicing life’s spending needs.   The great thing about this is that as I pay down the mortgage, my monthly overheads drop, and the faster I move into profit every month for use  increasing net worth.  That statement was brought to you by the Ministry Of The Bleedin’ Obvious but it’s factual nature doesn’t stop it being cool!

The biggest thing I’ve noticed when it comes to spending as a self-employed dude is that because money is less guaranteed than it used to be, we spend it more mindfully.  Mrs MB3 has never been an expensive date and I’m reasonably frugal, but we’ve cut even more un-necessaries from our spending.

1.1 A note on stock markets falling a bit

These continue to be interesting times for me as a holder of funds and individual stocks – truly interesting.

I didn’t have any money in 2008 when the crash happened as a result of the Global Financial Crisis.  At that time therefore my holdings reduced by a large %, but by approximately fuck all in £ terms.  So what was happening was  interesting but also kind of irrelevant to my wealth position.  I wasn’t worried about losing my job (naively) and I didn’t have kids to sponsor.  So all in all it was something I observed but didn’t experience.  I’ve built my portfolio in the good years since. So even though we haven’t had a crash, there’s plenty of talk of storm clouds gathering and the recent movements from c7700 to under 7000 are not insignificant.  I’ve done enough reading to know what I should do (pray for a massive crash and hoover up all that I possibly can) but am being tested by the prospect of actual loss at the same time, because I have more in funds than I have in cash.  Liker anyone who has started investing seriously in the last decade, the next proper crash will be their first emotional test as an investor.  I’m happy with how I’m doing in this year’s mini-test so far.  My reaction to the underwhelming performance of markets in 2018 has been  – so far – to do nothing.  I haven’t felt any urge to sell anything and my dry powder remains dry.   I’m basically a stock market crash virgin but pleased to be well-read and prepared for a crash if one happens.  But maybe this time it will be different…….

1.3 Crypto update

Glad I didn’t put much in.  You were right.  Move along now.


2 Body

I’m continuing to run a lot.  I’m very happy about this and am posting times, distances and paces that seemed impossible even last year.  Like making money, getting fit and getting better at anything really is subject to the snowball effect.  I run more, and I find running easier, and then I enjoy it more, so I do it more.  Marvellous.

The running has made me crave carbs significantly more than I have in a long time and I’m curious about what to do about this.  I’m sure that just because I’m exercising more, carbs are not suddenly a good idea.  Maybe I just need to eat more.  I will look into it.

Another consequence of the running kicking up a gear is that booze is out.  I do like to get smashed every now and again, but the desire to be good at running currently outweighs the urge to drink.  This is another virtuous circle that I’m pleased about.

I know weight isn’t a very accurate or important measure of health, but let’s just pretend it is for a moment and be pleased that my weight has come down in the last few weeks and I’m pleased about that too.

3 Mind

So here’s the thing.  I’m a bit bored with work.  There – I said it.  I’m doing well and getting paid for things I’m good at.  The problem is as it turns out,  work is still work when you’re self employed.  It’s still not quite as much fun as fun.  I enjoy what I do, but I have to say that given a choice I’d do it a bit less.  Being my own boss is great and it would take a lot for me to go back to a job-job now.  But – let’s face it I’m still a worker bee.

What’s happened is a bit of hedonic treadmill effect if I think about it.  I’ve ridden the euphoric wave of setting up shop and being my own boss but remain in a situation where I still have to get up and put in a shift at the coal face (in this case the coal face is usually a luxurious office where it’s rare to face any danger but you get the picture – sometimes there aren’t biscuits immediately available).  I’m still a financial in-betweener and have to suck it up a bit longer until I can put my feet up a bit more.

One way I’ve squared this away in my mind to make this decision:

2018 is the year of saying Yes.  2019 will be the year of saying Maybe.

 It’s a well known fact that in the early days of a business we do stuff. We get busy and we just launch.  I’ll do that and gather the dosh and cushion in 2018 (and pay down some mortgage so the overheads are manageable) so that in 2019 I get to be more selective.  Remind me in 2019 that I wrote this if I’m still running around like a blue-arsed fly please.

This attitude / decisions is, I believe, a good bit of self management.  When I’m busy in 2018, I’ll know why I’m doing it.  It’s what some people might call a mindful decision.

In summary

Body – great shape.  Well done me

Bank balance – dropped but only on paper

Mind – a bit bored


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