A round up of interesting or cool stuff I’ve read.
At the end of June, I wrote a post about coming to a career crossroads. My current contract is coming to an end early next year. I decided to write a post detailing my options and thoughts on each – Double Down, Pivot, or Start Over
I had a number of helpful replies, both as comments to the post and as private messages. If you did leave your thoughts or give some advice, thank you!
I’ve mentioned it in passing a few times since, but I thought it would be good to document my decision properly, and set out what my plans are for the next year or two.
I ultimately decided that, YOLO, might as well follow my gut. So I’ve decided to plow on ahead, ‘start over,’ and train to become a financial planner.
Turns out the training is much harder than anticipated! I thought I’d be able to bash out an exam every two months. In practise, making time to study after a full day of work, household chores, and the desire to relax and unwind, is easier said than done.
Nonetheless, I passed the first exam in November. What a relief! I ordered the next module soon after, but haven’t looked at it yet. I needed a breather before starting the process again.
My plan is to take it easy and try to get this module finished in a similar time frame. That should just about line up with the end of my contract.
I’ll then take some time to study without the distractions of a 9-to-5. Once I’ve passed the remaining exams, I’ll be ready to dip my toe into this new field. Realistically, I will probably start looking and networking (one of my least favourite activities) before I finish the exams, but I won’t want to start a job until I’m qualified.
In terms of keeping up with the costs of living, the ol’ emergency fund is healthy enough to keep us afloat for a year or so. Even better, Ms FIRE was recently offered a job, so she’ll be able to share the burden.
Of course, now I’m thinking my emergency fund is too big, and I should’ve stuck more in my ISA… But no matter, the peace of mind it has brought over the last few months is more than worth it.
As for ‘why?’ Why go through all this effort to retrain?
The biggest reason is that I’m really interested and passionate about this subject (as if running a money blog for two years didn’t give it away!). And I’m not remotely passionate or interested in my current job.
So I decided, why not give it a go? Worst case, I don’t enjoy the work and, after a few years, I move on to try something else. Best case, I find a new, rewarding career that makes the journey towards FI more fun.
After all, life is short. I may as well enjoy the ride!
Interesting links that caught my eye this week:
- Crypto, stocks, real estate… So many options. Where should one begin to invest? FI Scribbles gives his view on the most important and effective investment of all.
- An interesting post from Ad Otium – There is no leisure for slaves.
- I posted a short piece at the end of last week – Three questions to ask yourself before retirement.
- Pursue Mastery, Not Status by More To That.
“Do away with status. Choose mastery instead.”
- Steve Webb from This Is Money answers a reader’s question regarding whether saving in a cash account is better than in a pension… This might be obvious to anyone reading this blog, but Steve gives a very thorough answer.
- Using “Enough” to Find Contentment – Retirement Field Guide. Ashby Daniels talks about the chapter he contributed to the recent book, How I Invest My Money:
“For me, enough is acknowledging the line between satisfaction and excess.”
- Continuing on from last week’s discussion on FIRE, Banker on FIRE gives his views. I agree with his conclusion that financial independence is worth pursuing, but you shouldn’t forget to enjoy the journey! (Which, as I said above, is precisely why I’m planning a career change).
- A thought provoking piece by Of Dollars and Data – Rich as I say, not as I do:
“For example, if diversification is so great, then why does Harry Markowitz, the pioneer of modern portfolio theory, not use it? If we should invest in index funds/ETFs, what does it say when Michael Kitces, one of the most knowledgable financial advisors in the industry, invests most of his money in his own businesses?”
- Personal Finance Blogs has a good interview with Quiet-FI. It has also introduced me to a few new blogs that I wasn’t aware of. They’ve been added to the never-ending time sink that is my Feedly app.
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to be rolled out in the UK from next week – BBC. Maybe this good news will counteract the bad news above. Could the end be in sight?
Bitcoin peaks at record high close to $20,000 – BBC. Exciting stuff, huh? I’m intrigued to see what it does next. I feel like there isn’t much hype this time around, so I think it will continue to rise. Despite that, I have no skin in the game; as I said a few weeks ago, I haven’t bought any and don’t intend to for a while yet (if at all). On a related note, Ben Carlson of A Wealth of Common Sense gave his views – The Best Case Scenario for Bitcoin.
- Price of first class stamps to rise 9p to 85p – BBC. Inflation in action!
- Break up UK’s big high street banks, say cross-party MPs – Guardian. Interesting proposal. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but I think it’s helpful to be aware of the possibility.
- Sign up to Trading212 via this link and we both receive a free share.
- u/pflurklurk gives a detailed answer to the question, “where does the Treasury put all its money?” on the UK Personal Finance subreddit. Very interesting to read some history of the Treasury and the Bank of England.
Thanks for reading. Hope you’re all having a good week.