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Even Keel

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About Even Keel

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  1. The whole point of capitalism is that the effective use of capital doles out rewards to the owner of that capital. I don't make a capital investment in my business without estimating the returns I will get from it.
  2. This story has many layers, and each one is more entertaining than the next. In his case, the contingency plan was to get his letting agent (otherwise known as his brother) to refuse to hand over the keys to the receivers, and just continue collecting the rent. There is a court judgement about that case for anyone who gets a laugh from reading legalese.
  3. This is exactly why banks use a more general " affordability" calculation now rather than an income multiple. They still set a limit on the maximum a household can borrow - the things you mention may make those who are more cautious not borrow up to that maximum, but if there is a less cautious borrower making an offer on the same house, they are likely to get the house and set the price. The system we have rewards recklessness with houses (in an attempt by the banks to maximise their profits), and unfortunately I can't see that changing in the near term
  4. I just can't see how banks are ever going to go back to assuming there was only one significant income per household when giving out mortgages, so it's a never from me. Does anyone know if there is any historical data on the ratio of average household income to house prices? To me, that seems like a more useful long term measure. Prices are determined by who can get the biggest mortgage. In the past that used to be single earners. More recently it has been BTL speculators. Going forward it will be most likely joint incomes or possibly lifetime/multiple lifetime mortgages with BOMAD deposits..
  5. Just google "15% P2P lending" and you'll find a few websites offering miraculous returns. Why not borrow some money at a lower rate and lend it out at 15%.... what could possibly go wrong? I'm off to pen a seminar so I can sell this innovative idea to canny investors....
  6. They will simply ask for 150% of the 2017/18 figure to be paid in January 2019. They will also ask for another 50% of that figure to be paid in July 2019. If you think you are going to be paying less than they want you can get the payments reduced, but if you are wrong there are penalties. Once you start paying substantial sums directly to HMRC they certainly aren't willing to wait until the January after the end of the tax year to get their money. I always complete my tax return by the end of July to make sure I am not overpaying with the second payment on account. If they are already making payments on account it wont be quite so bad. The January payment will just be the amount of 2017/18 tax not collected by the 2018 payments on account plus 50% of the total 2017/18 tax bill.
  7. Do you convert your profit to BTC or hard currency, or just keep it in the alts? If it is cheaper to mine alts and convert to BTC than it is to mine BTC directly then that seems a bit odd to me.
  8. Can anyone explain what all these altcoins are anyway? The drop in bitcoin dominance in 2017 and emergence of the altcoin markets was an exciting new way to do things with your bitcoins. A boom and bust duly followed. (A bit like the boom and bust in 2013 when people thought using bitcoins might be a good way of paying for goods and services) The only reason bitcoin is going to boom (and bust) again is if there is another fun new way to do stuff with them. The only reason it is going to stay above $1000 is if the altcoin market really is an alternative investment market rather than pump and dump heaven. By its very nature the value of bitcoin is related to its utility. By its very nature it is also highly unstable and will boom and bust every time there is a significant new use for it. Is that really likely to happen again?
  9. This date may be more significant than many landlords expect. For those who have a larger than previous tax bill, HMRC will also expect a payment on account for the subsequent 2018/2019 tax year on this date. Rather than just having to pay just the first year's section 24 increase, they will end up having to pay 150% of the first year's section 24 increase. This will also make July 2019 a significant date in the countdown. https://www.gov.uk/understand-self-assessment-bill/payments-on-account
  10. Local storage is certainly the next stage of making micro-generation a sensible option, and mass production of electric cars is going to make big batteries much cheaper than they have been. I think there is likely to be a strong market for second hand car batteries once they no longer give the driving range they used to, but still operate perfectly well at a reduced capacity. If you can make sure you use all the electricity you generate at the time when it would cost the most to buy, and only ever buy at off peak rates, then feed in tariff subsidies might not be needed. I doubt if off peak pricing alone would justify the purchase of a household battery, but if you can fill it with some of your own energy or drive around in it when you're not at home then owning one becomes much more desirable.
  11. Electric cars only make sense if you can charge them when parked at home or at work. That way you save all those wasted 5 minutes taking a diversion to the nearest filling station at the cost of an occasional 20-30 minute stop. They are perfect for a suburban commute, but if you don't have dedicated off street parking with power available or regularly take cross country trips then I can't imagine them being a good choice anytime in the near future. They would make even more sense if you plugged them in every night and used what was left in the battery to power your house during peak electricity usage times and recharged the battery using off peak or self generated power. Once there are enough batteries parked around the country big enough to power the average house for a few days there is going to be a big change in the way the electricity grid and peak electricity generation needs to work. Your car could even feed into the grid if needed, making additional peak generation unnecessary and providing cover for intermittent renewable generation. This is what Tesla is looking to enable - to think of them as just a car company in competition with BMW and the like is to take a rather short sighted and petrol headed view. The major disruption will be to power generation, not the auto industry.
  12. I'm not sure I agree with you about private ownership. Rush hour is not going away even in a self driving world, and it may still make sense for those who will need to use the cars at peak times when rentals would be highest to actually own the vehicles to guarantee they will get a ride to work. But then if every car that is used for a rush hour commute can become a taxi for the rest of the day (and night) the difference between peak and off peak prices will be orders of magnitude, making the gains for renting the car out at off peak times pretty marginal. Personally I suspect Uber will go spectacularly bust at some point and most self driving cars will be bought on finance and spend 95% of their time parked just like good old fashioned cars do now. Though I also suspect the law of unintended consequences will make rush hours twice as long and congested as people send their cars home again to avoid city centre parking fees. Not everyone wants to share...
  13. There's no indication Uber want to actually own any driverless cars, they would still just be an intermediary. Instead of driving my car into work and paying for parking, my car would drive me into work and I would then send it off to earn a bit of extra money as an Uber. So long as it makes enough to cover the additional running costs I'm quids in. Of course I would then probably spend the next couple hours having to clean crap off the seats since I can't imagine passengers treating them well, but there will probably be some other app on my phone that lets me find someone else to do that for me before it comes back to take me home. This ideal Uberized world may not actually happen though, especially if they go spectacularly bust.
  14. That comment is true in one way - a decision was made back in July when a judge reviewed the written case and decided exactly the same thing. The hearing (demanded by our friends the landlords) was simply a show to make it look as though there might be an argument worth considering. There wasn't.
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