Finance Friday | Breaking away
I read this morning that Amazon will be opening another London office with space for another 1,600 employees. That gets another cheer from Boris Johnson and boos from the North of England. Why does all new investment go to London? Why not Britain’s second city Birmingham or even Newcastle?
It seems that income have been dropping over the past few years, in real terms according to the ONS. I could have told them that. The good news though is that the stock market is enjoying a ‘bull run’. ‘Bull run’ being the term used to describe a market with prices increasing, as opposed to a ‘bear market’ when they fall. No one up North is cheering that news either. There aren’t a lot of ex-Yorkshire miners who have stock market portfolios. No one on the council estates of Newcastle seem too interested in the stock market either. There is a lot of interest in places like Chipping Norton, down South though.
You can live for today or you can think about the future. People say with these low interest rates, it’s not worth saving; that you might as well spend the money. A lot of people are saving though. I think they might be a little worried and financially insecure. Personally, I think it is worth saving and investing for the future. I’ve done that for a few years now and I’m finding the future is here and now. Prices are rising and it seems that energy companies will make record profits again this year and so I’m quite glad I saved and invested a bit.
I wrote my thrifty blog post yesterday and I actually do live a thrifty life. I also watched my stock market investments go up 2%, as much as many bank accounts are paying in a year and a damn sight more than most. I don’t waste money on smart phones and I don’t really need a smart TV either. I’m smart enough! I have my computer and it seems to do a lot of things. I chat using Skype everyday, to people from as faraway as Wolverhampton and China. I’ve seen people using smart phones to talk to people in the next room. How smart is that?
Keeping up with the Joneses or any of the other neighbours, can be expensive too. I drive a Vauxhall Vectra, my next door neighbour drives a Vauxhall Vectra. Mine is about 10 years older. It still gets me there! I admit it’s getting on a bit now at 16 years old, but it’s maintained and reliable. So why worry?
I sometimes see advice about thinking like a rich person. They say if you think like a rich person, you can become rich. Most of them are greedy and most of them inherited wealth. People on council estates inherit inferiority complexes and it’s hard to make money out of those. You can however, think about tomorrow and not spend all your cash today. You can invest for the future and that doesn’t mean just saving and investing money. You can also invest in education and skills. You can also think about the money that you waste, just on things that make you fit in. No one likes to be too different from the crowd, but do you really have to spend all your money trying to be carbon copies of your friends?
Why not try to break away from the herd and do your own thing? It might work out cheaper… Please share your thoughts on this subject in the comments box.