Unpopular Opinion

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Another in a series of thought experiments proposed by Saving Ninja. What unpopular opinions do you hold?


 

This is number six in the series. In Saving Ninja’s own words:

A different opinion is somewhat frowned upon in our clique based society, but some of the greatest minds of all time were outliers. They weren’t scared to go against the grain and stand up for what they believed in. So, for this Thought Experiment, I’d like you to reveal yourself: What opinion do you have that most of your peers do not share?

 

As before, the only requirement was a stream-of-conscious style post. So here goes…

 

Money

This being a FI-related blog, it would be easy to talk about the differences in attitudes to money between myself and some of my friends:

  • Invest in equities – admittedly I don’t talk to many of my friends about money, but of those that I do, none of them have a stocks and shares ISA. They’re invested in equities via their pension, but they don’t really understand it. The few of them that are interested in saving for the future are much more interested in owning more than one property and renting it out. I imagine this is due to the British obsession with owning your own property, and perhaps due to experiences renting from a landlord and “losing” so much money every month to rent! It’s interesting that this is still a popular “passive-income” idea for people my age, despite the recent government changes that make it less appealing.
  • Pay attention to personal finance – take advantage of high-interest current and savings accounts, switch accounts to take advantage of sign-up offers, seek out the best credit cards, switch utilities to get the best deal, etc. It takes some effort upfront, but this enables you to make your money work a little bit harder. Most of my friends have no interest in this and have had the same, single bank account since they were 16!
  • Avoid credit card debt – several of my friends are either in their overdraft, or are paying off credit card debt. I’m in the fortunate (and deliberate) position of not having any debt other than my student loan (and as I covered in a previous post, I don’t really consider that bad debt, more of a graduate tax). I do have a credit card, and put most of my spending on it each month to take advantage of the rewards, but I always pay it off in full each month.

 

So far, so easy…

All of the above should come pretty naturally to those who have stumbled across this blog. What about differences between myself and my peers in the FI blogging community?

To be honest, this is much more difficult:

  • P2P loans – The first thing that comes to mind is my avoidance of most P2P investments. I have £1000 invested with Ratesetter, to take advantage of their bonus £100, but otherwise I consider them too risky for my tastes. It’s well known that people generally feel their losses more than their wins, and I’m much more inclined to invest to avoid losing (e.g. invest in a well-diversified global fund) rather than trying to invest to win (e.g. taking too much risk with P2P loans).

 

  • Early retirement is not the goal – Unlike some bloggers, I don’t think I’d want to retire permanently from work, even if I was filthy rich. When I look at the people that I have worked within a University environment, some of the happiest, most-fulfilled people I’ve met are the professors who could easily retire, but they still come into the office every week or two to stay involved in the department and with their research. I think this has allowed them to keep their minds active, despite being 70+ in some cases. Of course, the difference between them and me is that they don’t need to work any more! The pressure is off, and they can just engage with the things that interest them. This is what achieving FI would mean to me; the ability to be a bit more picky about what I do, and to only choose employment that is in some way challenging, enjoyable, and avoids the things that I don’t like. Time will tell whether such a thing exists!

 

Finally

Now for something completely unrelated to the above… I actually enjoyed the final season of Game of Thrones! Although, I do wish it was longer, I appreciate the fact that I was able to see an ending at all, as I am dubious about whether George Martin will ever finish writing the series!

 

Check out what other people thought:

 

I’ll continue to update this list as more bloggers contribute in the future

 

9 Responses

  1. Oh my god, I think the game of thrones comment is an opinion you alone share :)) I’m looking forward to the prequel that he’s working on!

    Interesting with your RE point, maybe this will change as you get older and more ‘stressed’, I hope not though 🙂

    Thanks for taking part!

    • Haha. Well, I had to put something down that was actually controversial!

      Maybe you’re right? My current role is pretty stress-free, so I’m just coasting along at the moment. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing!

      No problem. Thanks for organising it once again, and thanks for stopping by!

  2. I agree with the P2P Loan and the “Early Retirement isn’t the main goal” points! For me, just having that choice not to work is the ultimate goal for me, but knowing me I would probably work a part time job in a more relaxed / atmosphere. (Believe it or not I used to work at a sky diving centre in my early days! – that was great fun!)

    I can’t say much about Game of Thrones point – I’ve never watched it! (That’s probably my most unpopular opinion :P)

    • Totally agree with the P2P as well. People completely ignore the risks associated both to the loan and the platform.

      I do not understand how platforms like Mintos can still be profitable and alive. The 10% average interest, which is risk free because loans are insured seems to be way too high for a non risky business. Why banks would not do it? Why Mintos themselves would not do it ? 10% is a huge return on investment, even for a company. I do not know where the catch is, but when it will be discovered, it will not be funny for people heavily invested there I guess!

      • Hi Frenchie. I imagine it’s like most new companies these days (along the lines of Netflix or Amazon); operate at a loss for years to try to achieve a huge market share, and then leverage that share for money. The unfortunate result of that is that several of the unsuccessful companies will go bust in the meantime, potentially losing investor money as well. Due to that, I’ve only dabbled with it. If Ratesetter do go under, I’ll be annoyed, but I’ll only lose a relatively small amount of money.

        I also agree with your logic of, if the banks didn’t want to lend to someone, should we really be lending to them instead? Something to think about before investing heavily in P2P.

        Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • Hi Jase, thanks for commenting! I agree, the ultimate goal is knowing that I don’t have to work, and that working is now a choice. Whilst I don’t know if I’d want to work at a sky-diving centre (way too scary for me!) I know what you mean. That’s the sort of job that might be a lot of fun to do, but presumably doesn’t pay much to cover the bills.

      Haha. It was quite funny at work whilst the series was airing; you had the people who were watching it asap and discussing the possibilities, and then you had those who hadn’t watched a single episode, and just sat in bemused silence whilst the discussions raged on! If you ever get the chance, it might be worth watching the first season and seeing what you think. The advantage of watching it now is that you won’t have to wait for months and years to see the ending!

  3. I agree will all of your unpopular opinions! Although I totally agree that these are not common views in society as a whole.

    I’ve done the same thing with Ratesetter as you. I’ve also put it in an IF ISA. The way that I see it is that if Ratesetter pays out the bonus then I can swallow up to a 10% loss and come out cash neutral. So far it seems to be doing fine, but I’m under no illusions that this might end up being an expensive finance lesson…

    • Thanks for stopping by, Caveman!

      Yeah, I had the same thoughts with Ratesetter. If it works, great, I get 14% return. If not, well, at worst I lose £1000. Whilst that would be very annoying, it wouldn’t bankrupt me, and I would have learned a very important (albeit, expensive) lesson!

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