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Tiger Woods?

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  1. Been following HPC since 2004, joined in 2007. Bought first house from deceased relatives estate in Australia (home country - returned there from the UK in 2009) in 2012 at age 43 which was close to the bottom of the dip after the GFC. Executors had been trying to sell the house for a year for a modest price and failing. No one wanted it, even though it was very close to the beach. Unexpected third child led us to sell in 2014. It took less than 24 hours with multiple bidders willing to pay 25% more than we did less than 2 years earlier! Bought a house that had been on the market for 6 months in another area. A few months later and smaller houses on smaller blocks in the same street were going for 15% more than we paid in a matter of days. Completely bonkers! House prices here are completely out of sync with local wages. None of this would have been possible if family hadn't sold their cane farm to developers, so we overpaid for our housing, but then my family were overpaid for their land. Was also helped by the exceptional economic analysis on this forum back in the day - I was short the GBP against the Yen for a large part of 2008 and bought gold. Wish I'd gone in even heavier. Also wish I'd bitten the bullet and started mining bitcoin as was suggested here in 2009. A lot of good ideas have been floated on this site well before they hit mainstream consciousness. Lovely house, no mortgage, and we are in a good position, so can't imagine moving from here anytime soon. Glad to be settled, as regularly moving with 3 children would be a nightmare; I'd moved 26 times in the preceding 28 years, often due to landlords selling up underneath me,
  2. As an Australian I find these sizes so laughably small that, indeed, I do not see why you bother having them. 8 people in 117sqm?! I've seen larger **** fighting pits.
  3. Money is a relatively modern concept whilst the other mechanisms have hundreds of millions of years of natural selection behind them. I doubt evolution has quite fine tuned our reactions to money just yet - it is somehow unnatural. My point was, as hotairmail suggested, that the illogical behaviour is due to a long evolutionary history of dealing with resources that have almost zero marginal utility beyond a certain point because of perishability or other factors causing large discounting per unit time. Most resources in nature do not depreciate at the snail like pace of 2% a year.
  4. Satisficing rather than maximizing. I suspect it is the hunter gatherer brain in action. No point getting more food as it will rot, so a good day allows us to go home early and avoid te risk of being eaten by a lion.
  5. Nope. It'll all be held in trusts. There will be almost zero inheritance tax, as the owner of the property, the trust, will not have died.
  6. Did you pay it? Was the venue full? If so, then you didn't overpay, and possibly underpaid. That's what the market is.
  7. I think you are being quaintly naive. These conditions will be unilaterally changed once enough people are on the hook for one reason or another, say in a decade or so. Expect shortfalls to be made up from people's estates...I'm sure they have the poster children for the media campaign already lined up. They've already changed loan conditions after students have signed, as detailed here: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/martin-lewis1/student-loan-hike_b_8988212.html Iirc, back when these new loans were introduced, it was a feature of them that, unlike previous student loans, payback conditions could be altered unilaterally. This, obviously, wasn't discussed much at the time...
  8. This ^ We were able to import Volvo parts from the US for 40% of the price that retailers could buy them from the distributor.
  9. I didn't think it was possible to cram so much financial illiteracy into one sentence.
  10. If you buy silver from somewhere like Bullionvault, then there is no VAT payable (as it is not delivered). Technically, as it is held in bailment, it is yours, rather than you being a creditor of Bullionvault's, so it is as close to ownership as you can get without taking delivery (and hence incurring VAT.) As for other currencies, instead of moving your cash to a foreign currency account, which has significant costs, you could take out an appropriately sized spread bet at somewhere like IG Index shorting the GBP versus whatever currency you think is "safer." Gains (and loses) are tax free as it is deemed to be gambling by the HMRC. I'm not sure what the UK tax situation is for currency gains if you actually changed your money into a foreign currency and then changed it back at a future date. In Australia, that is treated differently from gambling and is taxable.
  11. 1994 was better without a doubt. I was a graduate student at the time on about £10k per year. Spent nowhere near that without having to even think about budgeting. Small houses could be had in parts of Oxford within walking distance of the centre for £30k to £40k. Admittedly they were in need of work, but knew a couple of graduate students who got on the ladder at this point. Lived with a gf in a flat in 1995. We each put in £100 per week which covered everything - food bills rent. We ate out quite a lot. I'd come from Australia where at the time one could live the life of a king as a graduate student. In 1992 shared an apartment with a pool, sauna, tennis court, short walk to uni, and view of Brisbane city for £30 per week, so thought Britain was doing it tough(!) Could afford "expensive" hobbies. 2014 - Just did a rightmove search, cheapest comparable 2 bed house to the ones in 1994 start at £280k. Was earning between £50k and £90kp.a. when I left in 2009 (contract work so varied.) I felt more insecure and was turning over every penny. I suspect things would be much worse now. Living in Australia at present, and it is no longer the land of milk and honey. Just sold our 2 bed fibro beach shack for over $500k in an area of the country where there is no work. Food is a ridiculous price. No longer eat out. No longer have "expensive" hobbies. Reflecting on it, I'm quite shocked at how much things have changed for the worse over those 20 years.
  12. I can guarantee that this policy would end A-level grade inflation overnight. Edited to add: Just read the original article and comments. I wish I could contort my mind into such tendentious thinking. lt would allow one to go far.
  13. That's my point. Ricardo's insight, differences in marginal utility leading to separating equilibria, was a leap forward. Applications of that are hardly Nobel Prize worthy though are they? Yet I can think of a number of economists who have received Nobel Prizes for just that - optimal taxation, auction theory, Harsanyi etc. They are all more or less the same thing, just a change in subject matter or perspective, e.g. Harsanyi's explanation of mixed strategy Nash equilibria is, if you think clearly unlike his abortion of a proof, just the observation that games between n identical players can be arbitrarily closely approximated by comparative advantage games. The bar seems to be very low in economics, in my opinion. Once you understand comparative advantage in terms of partial orderings of marginal utilities over types the rest is the sort of stuff that follows over a couple of beers. Furthermore, there seems to be quite a culture of obfuscation in the theoretical economics literature, where the simple is made to seem complex, even down to the choice of variable labels; why choose a meaningful letter of the standard alphabet when you can choose a mixture of Greek and standard letters, none of which are the first letters of the concept represented? This sort of stuff always makes me suspicious of a literature. If you cannot say something clearly, either you don't understand it or you don't want it to be understood.
  14. Dear Lord! He got the Nobel Prize for realising that efficiency of mass production and low transport costs can affect utility functions and thus comparative advantage in its broad sense?! Anyone who even has a passing familiarity with Ricardo sees this as an obvious corollary. That's not genius, that's basic understanding of 18th century economic theory, which it appears economists in the 1970s didn't have. I'm completely flabbergasted.
  15. Good job. The "other costs" and "what if " interest rate scenarios are missing from similar calculators I have seen before.
  16. Give a man a fire and you keep him warm for a day. Set a man on fire and you keep him warm for a lifetime.
  17. Ah, but you have to get past the gate keepers, and whilst not impossible it can be quite a fight...and one can get very sick of that after a while. My experience of science was that it is often incredibly conservative. I believe Max Planck said (paraphrase) "science progresses one funeral at a time", and I can certainly think of a number of fields that I worked on the periphery of where progress is being blocked by incumbents with power and their less able proteges.Good people and their ideas can be driven out simply because the path to publication for novel ideas is often more difficult than epsilon science and the job market is tight.
  18. This ^ Nothing more infuriating than to be made to feel like a mug seeing high school drop outs who bought their house at a quarter the price you had to pay because you decided to better yourself through education...
  19. [Decent sized rooms and garden by the look, and good job on the mortgage and price. Well done!
  20. Buy 3 and delivery is free. What a complete no-brainer!
  21. Two 12l cylinders at 200 bar = 4800 litres. If 40% of that is helium = 1920 litres of helium. Therefore, two deep dives in a weekend = about 3000 to 4000 litres of helium. Remember, at 70 metres every litre you breath would be 8 litres of gas at the surface. Doesn't take long to empty 2 cylinders at that rate.
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