A round up of interesting or cool stuff I’ve read.
New Year Goals
I’m rather late to the party, but a number of bloggers have been ruminating on new goals for 2021 over the past few weeks.
I haven’t set any new year’s resolutions, per se. I’ve learned, both from my own experiences and from reading others, that setting a big goal is not a recipe for success.
Instead, it’s better to think about what you might want to achieve, identify the steps you can implement to help you achieve it, and then make following those steps the goal, rather than the end point itself.
For example, you might decide that your 2021 goal is to run a half-marathon. If you’re fairly out of shape, then that is going to feel like a huge, insurmountable task. However, if you instead commit to just run for 15-20 minutes 2-3 times a week, that is much more achievable and thus more likely to stick.
With that said, here are some of the habits I’d like to maintain this year. You’ll notice that most of them are actually pretty easy! I’m going with the logic that the hardest part is getting started. Once I’ve started the task in question, I find that I usually end up doing it for longer than planned.
- Blog once per week
- Read 25 pages, three evenings per week
- Go for a 20 minute walk with Ms FIRE every day
- Study for 30 minutes for three days per week
- Save 20% of my income per month.
This one may be tricky. As I’ve mentioned before, my contract is due to finish in a few months, and I’m then planning to take a few months off to study. Difficult to save anything with no income! Still, it’s something that I can do for the next few months at least.
Feel free to share your new goals/routines/habits for 2021 in the comments below.
Interesting links that caught my eye this week:
Monevator – Weekend reading: Opinions, like markets, will fluctuate
Whilst Monevator is always a great read, I actually wanted to highlight this comment by The Investor. It’s interesting to see how much time and effort has gone into Monevator, and the different options he is considering to help make the site more sustainable.
- Mad Fientist – A Better Alternative to Resolutions and Goals
The best way I’ve found to make progress on the things that are important to me is to focus on mastery instead.
Mastery is simply making sure you can answer yes to the question, “Are you better today than you were yesterday?”
You’re not concerned with outcomes…you only care about putting the time in and making sure that time is spent effectively.
The Finance Friday – Silver vs Gold: 9 Differences That Matter to Investors
An interesting take on investing in gold vs silver.
- My Quiet FI – Young FIRE Bloggers Remind Me Of Good Will Hunting
Don’t pursue [Financial Independence] to the ends of the Earth like an obsession because your echo chamber is telling you this is what you must do. Live the possibilities as they unfold and choose willingly and conscientiously the path that is right for you.
- The Frugal Cottage – My Word of the Year for 2021
Similar to Mr MedFI, Nicola, from The Frugal Cottage, sets out her theme for 2021
- Lesley Gregory, via Evidence Based Investor – Everything in one place
Highlights the importance of having all your essential documents in one place, and how to go about that.
- Wallet Hacks – What You Should Do With All the Financial Advice on the Internet
The internet makes financial information accessible to a lot more people, which is great. But it also comes from generally unknown sources which means you have to do your homework. As they say, you can’t believe everything you see on the internet.
- Mantaro Money – Automation is king
Building wealth involves good habits being performed consistently over time.We as humans are flawed, emotionally-driven creatures – which is great for some things and terrible for others.Unfortunately good habits can easily be derailed by our emotional state.
- Indeedably – Simplistic
Indeedably takes on the common FI topic of compounding and puts his own unique spin on it.
Compounding is a powerful tool in our financial toolbox. However, if we fail to minimise the fees and taxes that we incur, the effectiveness of that compounding will be greatly diminished.
- One Million Journey – 2020 Recap + New Habits & Goals For 2021
Highlighting this for two reasons. First, Tony smashed almost all of his 2020 goals and that’s awesome. Second, some of the only goals that he failed to achieve were those that were out of his control (achieve a networth of £X, which relies on the stock market giving specific returns). A useful reminder that goals are better if they are dependent only on your own efforts. There’s a hint of Stoicism in this conclusion as well:
“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
- Behavioural Investment – Behavioural Lessons from 2020
It is not the bear market that matters, but what we do during it
- Aussie Firebug – A Firebugs Guide to Moving to London Investing Overseas
This is a mammoth guide for those who might be considering an international move to the UK.
- Can I Retire Yet? – 5 Lessons From 3 Years of Early Retirement
Priorities Won’t Magically Change. […] If there’s anything that you think you will do in retirement that you’re not doing now, I’m going to be brutally honest. You probably won’t.
OECD: Lockdowns here to stay, even with vaccine plan – BBC.
Looks like it’s going to be a long year…
Coinbase cryptocurrency traders continue to face frozen funds for weeks – This Is Money
This is one of the biggest things keeping me from starting to dollar-cost-average my way into Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Everything is just a little too uncertain.
- Sign up to Trading212 via this link and we both receive a free share.
High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It – Harvard Business Review
- Why it’s time to stop pursuing happiness – Guardian
Ultimately, you might adopt the old adage “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and be unsurprised by everything in between”. As my mother tried to teach me all those years ago, ease the pressure off yourself, and you may just find that contentment arrives when you’re least expecting it.
- Sovereign Quest – A new personal finance curation site launched by Indeedably. It’s already off to a great start. Definitely worth checking out.
Amardeep Parmar – 20 Realistic Micro-Habits To Live Better Every Day.
Easy habits for most people. Personally, I’ve adopted #5, “stand on one leg whilst you brush your teeth.” Sounds like a good way to maintain/improve your balance as you get older, and actually makes brushing my teeth kind of fun! (Simple pleasures for simple minds).
- Money Saving Expert – Working from home due to coronavirus, even for a day? Claim a year’s worth of tax relief. I’ve mentioned this before. It only takes 2 minutes and could net you £62/year or £124/year for basic/higher rate tax payers, respectively.
- Money Saving Expert – Martin Lewis: What happened to my pledge to give £10m to charity – 2021 update
Amazing, inspiring stuff from Martin Lewis.
Thanks for reading. Hope you all have a great week!