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Everything posted by StainlessSteelCat

  1. I too have some Malaysian connections and it is surreal to see adverts for london property over there. It's not a currency exposure I'd be keen to put myself on the hook for. I vaguely considered investing the other way a few years back as a retirement bolthole, but the price of houses compared to local salaries seemed nearly as insane as over here.
  2. The Telegraph has always hammered the Tories despite being pro-tory. I guess like the Guardian, they know their readers are filled with self loathing.
  3. Foreign aid budgets are a mixture of subsidies for big business and projection of soft power. Given the billions wasted on war and it's limited ability to change minds, it's probably quite good value.
  4. High unemployment is always preferred by governments as it provides a handy scapegoat, keeps wages down and keeps the work force fearful of losing their jobs so making them more compliant. Unusual for a politician to be truthful though.
  5. People have to demonstrate their status somehow. Houses are out for young people, so cars it is - and hence financialisation of that. Once that's been blown up, it'll likely be bicycles next.
  6. Hard to do if you aren't able to produce sprogs. Actually there's not. You can get caught in the too qualified/out of work too long trap. Missus returned to work a few months ago after 18 months of unsuccessful applications, interviews and even one try out. Entry level jobs are near impossible to get if you have any decent qualifications, history of serious illness and/or past a certain age. The guy from wheverstan is likely leveraging local contacts and will be employed because he will be seen as someone who can be pushed around due to ignorance of the system. Unemployment in BME is often very high so perhaps your assertion doesn't hold true.
  7. Indeed. A friend of mine often tells me about his Dad's life as a journalist in the 50s and 60s. The guy would go to the office, drape his jacket over his chair and then go out - and start work at another newspaper. Liquid lunches were not uncommon either.
  8. Yeah, it's a good book - and one I took to heart when designing my lifestyle.
  9. Yes, I while I've always put a little into my pension - I realised too late one year just how much of a tax break it is. I didn't make that mistake again. I have a decent company pension with low charges so have stayed in that for now. It was probably also a mistake to concentrate on saving to buy a house outright rather than a mix of investments. Probably wasted some time/money that way. While I'd argue nearly everyone can save something for a rainy day, earning more will make the most difference to your wealth - providing your lifestyle doesn't inflate alongside it. I'm at the stage where I could FIRE if I wanted to, but I'm waiting to see how things pan out at work later this year. My ideal would be go down to 3 days a week.
  10. The principle is a good, if old, one. Clearly doesn't apply to the too poor to buy lattes & iPhones group. Personally, I'm of the view that selective consumption is better. If you really enjoy your daily coffee, then keep doing it - and try and find another area of life to cut back on. When I was heavily into saving, I always had a decent computer, but was happy to forgo holidays.
  11. Or have a section of the forum which is configured so it isn't indexed by Google (i.e. only logged in members can view it) and perhaps funded by some kind of user patronage?
  12. Good luck actually finding Band A properties in some areas. When I lived in east London, the crappy 1BR flat I had was Band B. I used to joke to the missus that Band A must be a dog kennel.
  13. That's right. It's a similar situation when we go back to the missus' home. Any babies and kids are watched over and looked by the entire longhouse - so the parents are never as exhausted as many parents I see in the UK. Missus occasionally has some her Filipino friends to stay (she's not Filipino herself, but knows a lot from church). One time, we had nearly a dozen staying and it was great. I'm not sure I'd want it all of the time, but I don't think humans were meant to live alone/in tiny groups.
  14. Caravans don't tend to be that warm in the winter unfortunately. Also, if I had grandchildren, I'd worry what kind of message it sends to them that they and their parents are living in a caravan, while their grandparents live in the warmer, more secure, more spacious house.
  15. Have no kids, and my parents weren't exactly fond of their parents - but I personally quite like the idea of living in a house full of people. I always enjoyed living in house shares, now it's just the missus and I in our place. Missus is asian - and there's something rather comforting about kipping on the floor of a long house surrounded by nearly 20 other people. If my parents, sibling or their kids ever needed a place I'd be happy to accommodate them.
  16. Good points. I don't think they have all the answers figured out, and I suspect there's an element of whackamole with the emerging problems. I guess they figure that if people are working during this transition period, then they might as well keep doing so rather than have them retire as at least it's cheaper. Mass immigration, I think that's mostly a "got to keep GDP up" kind of play.
  17. I don't hold out much hope for a buyers strike because it requires rational action, and most people are not rational when it comes to houses and enough are doing OK out of it. It's not impossible. I don't think it's as difficult as universal suffrage. But it would require a highly motivated group of people. Stainless Steel because I have enjoyed the Rat's contrary take on the world including: I think the gaps in our society are still quite large so it doesn't take a very smart rat to find them and nor do you need to be a criminal. Cat because cats win the internet.
  18. Given that you occasionally quote one of my posts on this topic, I reckon you probably know my view on this. No-one has to participate (and those that do need to take responsibility for their own choices). Prices are high because enough people want them to do be. It still baffles me that people chose to voluntarily put the shackles of large sums of debt around their own neck, but I won't lose any sleep over their freely chosen circumstances (except through posting at 3.30 am!).
  19. It's not that it's too weird, it's that employers simply don't want to invest anything in employees if they can help it. It used to be that reduced mobility and job for life, meant that employee you invested in training would likely stay for life or until obsolescence making it worth while. Now a globalised job market means you can socialise those costs, and commercial pressures mean you often have to do if a competitor is already doing the same.
  20. The sums in London are astronomical and I don't know how FTB sleep at night. Almost a decade ago, I was looking at 2BR houses in a less than salubrious part of east London at £160K-180K and I felt like buying was like looking into the abyss. I got the same feelings of being pulled off a edge and rising panic as if I was actually walking a narrow cliff top path with a 3000+ ft drop on one side. The sub £100K I eventually did pay way outside of London still felt like a breathtakingly large sum of money - especially given how long it had taken to save it. How we have normalised such horrifically large sums of debt I will never fully appreciate. It is as close as most of us will get to enslavement in modern day society.
  21. Quite, you can be academically bright - but still useless in the workplace. In fact, a recent PhD may even be a strong marker i.e. you are very specialised, but have never worked in anything like a normal workplace, had to demonstrate emotional intelligence etc. On what to do with the "useless eaters", it's clear to me that the existing benefits system is designed to help manage the transition to a work-less society, starting with those at the bottom of the skills pyramid. The trouble is tptb have clearly created some perverse incentives, and the education system and wider society has no clue to how educate these individuals to help them have a meaningful life. Goodness knows, post religion we all struggle with it, but take away work as well - and most have no clue what to do except watch telly or play on the gaming machine all day (assuming you can afford the electricity). What a waste of human potential.
  22. That's my belief too. My "research" suggests that probably 80% of BTLers don't pay any tax. I suspect the average accidental landlord is wilfully ignorant of the need.
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