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Everything posted by Orbital

  1. Or maybe markets just don't conform to rules? Of course if they do, we are all gonna hit the jackpot!
  2. Is there a front line in Iraq? I thought that one had, officially at least, finished. I'm not sure that they do "do it". There have been a few reality telly programs highlighting the plight of these national treasures (the castle, not the lords !) and mostly it seems like they are in a big struggle to hang on to them. Very difficult to sell on and cost millions to look after. In fact it seems like a burden to me, I'd rather be handed a suburban detached 5 bed house. I don't think people can possibly be held responsible for their ancestors. I'm sure we all have some shaky relatives a few branches up the tree. And I doubt any of us would hand back the Western privileges we started off with (remember that compared to 90% of the world we were actually born into castles). If you want to play that game then really you need to give up all your worldly possessions and education to ensure an equal start so that you can be judged against the billions of people who can only dream of your life - one that you were born to. imo it is not worth being bitter about this, we live in a merciless world of random cruelty and I'm thankful for what I do have. Could be worse.
  3. I know a chap who works for a month and spends the rest of the year in Thailand!
  4. I would go for the house option, assuming you want and need one.
  5. Nothing of interest here in the S.London 'burbs. There hasn't been a single new thing I'd want to even view come on since we first started looking back in May last year. We bought the best house available (at a nice price too!) at the time and I am happy to admit I was concerned there would be lots of new things coming on in the 2nd half of 2009 and then into 2010. But so far Im glad I didn't wait, of course that may change....! Thanks to locking in at a low IR it's hard to see that waiting would have made financial sense if rates start to rise (even if prices fall) but only time will tell I can only guess that any good places that do come on are sold instantly? The house next door changes hand in Sept and we never saw it go through right move. I think this is a big problem for arm chair observers on HPC - they never seem to understand that the nice places at good fair prices never hit the internet. When I sold my place is went to the first viewer at full asking, I made a good 20k on it having invested no money! Such is the market right now, yet according to right move followers all you see is the dross that doesn't sell. Still - guess it leaves the nice places to those that make the effort to do proper research !
  6. Doesn't it depend on the specifics of the role? If the job involves helping people print and installing word then 15k seems fair. Anyone can do that? If it involves setting up a complex corporate environment then they will struggle to find a qualified person at that price! The technical support service desk peeps where Ive worked in London have never been on great wages, but they get good experience and go on to manage complex networks and server environments - but generally we wouldn't recruit someone with no experience into the higher paid roles. The tech support role generally takes people looking for a route in. They normally stay a year or two and either get promoted internally or go to a better role. Everyone wins. In London I would expect that starting wage to be more like 20k - which is more than I started on, yet 10 years later earn plenty more than that by working the career ladder (not in that way !)
  7. It would be surprising to see a decline given that the lottery gives relatively good returns by current investment standards !
  8. Surely many of the arguments thrown at House Prices are also valid here? Gold price can't keep going up for ever, it's a market like any other ? The only question is whether it is the "biggest" bubble but how is that defined? The most people caught up in it, the biggest top to bottom change, the most amount of cash lost, etc? I'm with Buffet on this one, always invest in something you'd be happy to hold even if the value dropped away over night (which may or may not happen - no one knows that for sure!). At least a house provides one of the fundamental requirements to sustain life (although perhaps in a Mad Max style world it might come in handy - but you'll still be using it to buy from my vegetable patch !).
  9. Yeah I have to agree with the sentiment that it really does seem business as usual in many respects. Well educated people with meaningful degrees will continue to find work and do well. My 24 year old cousin is prospering nicely, but then she got a 1st class degree in a well regarded subject from a leading Uni. So no change there. I think labour's plan to get lots of extra people into uni will lead to a lot of disappointment in those trying to better themselves. The old problem of social mobility. But again this is nothing new. Those at the lower end of the scale are, at least according to the lovely MPs, better off than ever with central heating, car ownership, and other things we take for granted generally on the up. Someone with a 21 year old is going to be about 45? Therefore born in the 60s and grew up in the 70s and 80s. Bit before my time but there were some pretty desperate periods during those decades weren't there? A property boom, strikes, inflation, blah de blah. I'm a little older than 21, but not so far off. I can remember begging my dad for a video player, I come from a middle class background but I remember not being able to afford one for years. And then dad, bless him, went for a betamax lol. Soz but I really believe we are much better off now. No, we haven't solved the problems of social mobility and for some employment is hard to come by. But these aren't new problems, nor are they unique to the UK. If I emigrate, it will be for the weather ! Yikes!
  10. Education isn't pointless, it needs to evolve. Education is still the biggest separator between the developed and developing world. However in the UK for example our education is still centered around an outdated system of values founded 100 years ago. For example it is still common (even on this forum) to value topics that were important to Victorian Britain - science, maths etc. Although I think we all agree there are certain foundations that need to be taught it is clear to the forward thinking among us that things need to move on. It is unfortunate that many are still stuck in the past but I am confident we will (eventually) find a way through. Here's a good starter:
  11. Yeah, a few people are "working from home" here today. I don't have a massive issue with it but it does kind of sum up the work shy attitude of some of us. "Blah blah I can't afford a house" - but can't be quite arsed to work for one either. Ho hum. Merry Xmas !
  12. Been a few stories like this. I saw a different one on the news when the "hard done by" investors were complaining about how they have been treated unfairly and "swindled" out of tens of thousands of pounds. I watched in disbelief. They wouldn't be complaining if the flats they signed up to had indeed rocketed in value as "promised". I don't know the specifics of any of these but if it's true that someone has bought off plan and agreed a price then unlucky darts. I don't see the unfairness. But like I said, I don't know the specifics of any deal so appreciate the some people might have been caught up in unfair contracts etc.
  13. The mistake seems to come when we think it is HPC that sets house prices and not the market. We can all sit here and say we think prices should be x y and z but ultimately it is the market that decides this. It's a casual observation but I have noticed that many posters here seem to be similarly perplexed by the conflict between reality and what we think should happen. Maybe, just maybe, some of the more vocal posters here are quite simply wrong. Don't get me wrong, I don't support or want for high prices neither do I think they will keep rising. However I do think people need to open their eyes to reality!
  14. Time will tell, but who is to say you are right? I bought a house in the UK in 2006. Did nothing to it and sold it this year for a 15k profit. A fair return on the initial investment. My point being that there were (are) plenty of HPCers who thought doing such a thing was "financial suicide" and were prepared to argue the same until their eyes bleed. Yet they were wrong. As HPC favourite Warren Buffy pointed out, always invest in something you are happy to hold should the market collapse. If he's done purely speculatively to "make a buck" then I agree he might well regret it!
  15. Fully paid up member of Gen Y here ! I still maintain that, for many (but not all) it came down to choice. I went to a normal school, I chose to work hard I chose to go to university, I supported myself by working and Student Loans I spent as little as I could when others around me were chomping through their cash I chose to do a degree with some value I decided to pay off my student loan as soon as I could I lived with my parents and later in the cheapest rental accommodation I could find I didn't drink (heavily !) and shunned unnecessary consumerism I was as efficient with money as I could be without compromising "living life" I saved as much as I could each year from the time I left uni until the second half of my 20s I used this money to fund a house (circa 2006) I continued to save and overpay my mortgage as much as I could Got married - all bills halved! Partner was also a hard worker and saver, so with double the income and equity and now with a need to upgrade... I sold my first place for 15k profit (so much for HPC advice!) we bought a family house (2009)! I am a graduate, but not a big earner and never will be (my career ceiling is about 50k and I'm not there yet!), I really do understand that not everyone has the same start in life that I had, but these chats are about people like me, people who did have a shot at education and a relatively stable upbringing. And in these cases I really don't understand what the difference is between me - who now has a 5 bed house in London - and those that seem entirely disillusioned and stuck. I don't mean to be funny about all this, I just genuinely don't get it. Surely those that wasted the opportunities must know that it was down to choice? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying we live in a world of wonderful opportunity, but what I am saying is that without putting the work in from day one this was inevitable. Is it, as OP stated, my generation were "sold" a lifestyle by their parents but no one bothered to explain how much that lifestyle would "cost"! I look at some of my friends who seem to be very hard done by. Yet when I look at the detail: Maybe they weren't all that engaged at school, only realised too late that they missed the only opportunity for an education they'll ever get Went to uni, but picked an "easy" course so that they didn't have to work all that hard or had no choice because they fluffed their A-levels Drunk and smoked their way through uni. My sister lived at home whilst at uni in the pre-fees days. Yet still came out with 20k of debt!! Seriously, come on! More interested in socialising at uni than educating, didn't get a 1st (or even a 2:1) I have friends who moved out of their parents into £1000 a month accommodation. I rented a room for £60 a week! That's a deposit right there! I have friends who have smoked since the age of 15. That's also a deposit in some parts of the country! A younger colleague just blew 5k on a "once in a life time" trip. Fair enough, but understand that might impact on the "once in a life time" chance to buy a family house! I could go on and on. And on. Perhaps you recognise some of those things? They are all valid choices - don't get me wrong - but just don't be surprised by the consequences of these choices. My teachers/parents made it very clear that education was valuable. I used good old fashioned common sense to work out that to afford a house and stay out of debt I had to get working and saving as soon as I was able. Whatever, some how I managed to get a life together. Sure it meant my 20s were harder than some of my fellow Y'ers, but now I can relax. I should be mortgage free in my 40s and can start to allow some luxuries into my life when some of my peers are taking stock and wondering how they can fund a family. Part of me feels sorry for them but then I remember back to the times I said I couldn't go out because I was saving money, the times they boasted about their new cars when I was catching the bus, the continuous mentions of that trip to New York, or that week in the sun, the jokes about my M&S cardi when in their designer gear etc, etc. And then I realise that I shouldn't be embarrassed about my achievement. I've done what most people on HPC celebrate - I've spent wisely and invested intelligently to purchase the things that I value the most. No shame in that. I've done it through honest hard work and sacrifice. So I'm sure, on that basis, you will celebrate my achievement too as we continue to poor scorn on those that got into debt irresponsibly. And finally, I say it again, of course I am only referring to my own background. Those that had a good shot at education and a stable upbringing etc. Of course many people never had those breaks, and those that didn't and still built a life for themselves, are the people I really admire !
  16. I agree that low flate rate of taxes are better in the long run. The wealthy already pay vast sums more than most of us. Good luck to them. If I were wealthy I'd make good use of the money too. And don't forget that many rich peeps also engage in a great deal of philanthropy. We want these people in our society. I learnt in economics 101, and you'll have to take this up with Mr. Regis if it's not so, that economics is not a zero sum game. ie Everyone can be wealthy and happy. Every winner does not need a loser and all that. I wasn't that interested in school, but the economic books I have read recently tend to put forward the same view.
  17. Throw enough mud and some of it will stick! The thing about predictions is that people tend to remember the times they are right and forget the 1000s of times it is wrong. Having been on the site, in various guises, since almost day 1, I've seen a lot of failed predictions! One big one springs to mind... something about a house price crash ! Apparently this is happening "next year" and has been for almost 10 years! Of course one day, we'll be right. Yay! On that note, I definitely call "next year". You read it here first !
  18. Surely there must be another downward twist on the way? But yes, no one here should be surprised by the slow moving nature of things, the people who got it wrong were those that believed there was a big cliff face style plummet on the way (down 50% by next Thursday, and all that!). But I think even they will now accept they got a bit caught up in HPC spin and propaganda. I was one of the many who expected some long term up and down movement dragging this out for a while. But really, who knows - anything could happen lol! The people I feel sorry for are the ones that wanted to buy a house but decided to put it off 10 years ago. It will be another 10 before they are back to square one by which point the benefits of owning a house (the chance to build a home for your family etc) are probably lost (because surely HPC regs aren't buying to invest in the next wave - that would just be greedy!). It's unfortunate that some of us had to buy at less than optimal market positions but then money can't buy back time so, depending on how much each of us value all these things, either route is probably fair enough .
  19. I wonder if any of the "I escaped the UK to the amazingly sound shores of Dubai" brigade are considering moving on...?! !
  20. geesh, reminds me of when I was looking 6 months back. For every 1 house that seemed "realistically" priced there were another 2 that were living in dream world. One poor older EA seemed to have a lot of these on her books and each time she met us on the door step we could see the "why am I bothering you will never buy this at this price" look in her eyes. Some of them were taken off the market, others dropped, and some are still up at the same price. Once again, I feel strongly that the EAs are not behind this. I wonder how many viewings that lady has now conducted on some of those houses, is it really in her interest to keep showing people round with no prospect of a sale and therefore zero commission. Dropping the price by a few 10 thousands only costs hundreds in commission and 2% of a sale is infinitely better than 2% of nothing! Nope, I think it is deluded owners that are the problem.
  21. There are plenty of places around london with shorter commutes and lower prices. I've always lived on the Surrey/London border and my commute has varied from 15 mins to 35 mins. Ironically I now have the longest train ride I've ever had, yet live the nearest to work I ever have! I have plenty of friends who live much nearer than I do but have a longer commute. The problem I found that even the nice places on the faster lines weren't much cheaper than the Greater London borders so moving further out didn't save you all that much but your commute expanded massively. Before my last move I researched Sussex and went to visit a few places, tried out some of the train rides, etc. I went round a couple of new build estates with the tiniest of 5 bedders on sale for £500k. You know the place, no storage, tiny garden, 50 houses squeezed into the estate. The kitchens and bathrooms were nice though ;-)! But ended up buying a 5 bed 100 year old house within the M25 for less. The house is so much bigger and so much more attractive it is hard to believe those new builds could ever sell (I think they have). I guess my point, as always, don't rule out "London" just because a quick search on rightmove shows up some overpriced dross. The well priced nice places never even hit the website! Some of the overpriced rubbish is still there 8 months after I first viewed - this should be of no surprise to anyone. Unfortunately getting a nice place at a good price is much harder work but it is possible, even I've managed it and I don't know what I'm talking about ! I love commuting too. Since buying a very low cost portable PC, you know, one of those netbook things, I can do work for myself in and on the way out of London. That's 1hr a day I can put towards building my own sites that have and will continue to produce a passive income, not only that but it's great fun and a great challenge too! Right now I am actually using the time to educate myself, further reading around my career, economics etc, and even some of the great classics. You can't do this whilst stuck in traffic ! The trick is to chose a line where you can get a seat, and get a direct line too. I've always tried to work by the terminals (eg London Bridge for the City). I'd never go any where that needed the tube. I was consulted out to Canary warf for a month - what a 'mare.
  22. I like the idea of a flat rate system, cut all the bureaucracy, everyone just pays a flat rate of income tax. The savings made from scrapping the entire tax system and the stimulation achieved from the reduced rate makes us all better off. We all pay the same rate, so low income people pay a small amount and large income people pay a large amount. Seems fair. Didn't the lib dems put this idea forward. I wonder if the sums add up though. Nice post though, people do seem to forget that the wealthy pay more tax in a year than some of us do in a lifetime! They are often (but not always !) the people who make the wheels go round, the people we want to encourage.
  23. As someone who bought a 5 bedder for not much more than 400k this year in a nice SW London suburb I really can't agree with that! But yeah, me 'n' the Mrs are a fair few pay rises away from a combined income of 100k but certainly live comfortably here. Certainly don't feel rich but we can afford what we want/need.... But perhaps that is the key to my success, the difference between what I want and what I *need* is almost nothing.
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