Monday, 28 November 2022

Not a lot of moths and birds but plenty of bad financial decisions

The lack of moths round here is having an impact. Processing a moth trap and doing a bird survey to start the day is a very healthy way of meeting that pesky human need to work , collect and grow. Collecting data and species lists, for me anyway, is a complete substitute for collecting money and goods and provides equal or more fulfilment and to me it seems a good idea to grow economic, social and natural capital together. However the problem round here at the moment is there are no moths and the birding is a bit unchallenging round here at the best of times. 

So like most other winters, when the boredom starts kicking in I start thinking about ambitions and finances. I generally make some poor decisions in my impatience (trying to get a million odd quid together for our private reserve is a long rather boring game so something less dehumanising like short term investment is always very tempting) and this November has been no exception.  After the collapse of the crypto platform FTX I lost all my crypto stake so rather foolishly bought some more on Coinbase. Also after I lost about a grand on a stocks and shares ISA by investing in green tech on the back of the 2021 COP26 I invested more recently on more green stock. Will see if this time is any different- there is something quite addictive and rewarding about watching day to day fluctuations with the potential of realising an asymmetrical risk. A lot of people say don't 'gamble' unless you can afford to loose it all and I do think that's very good advice as you almost certainly will loose (like I do). Making sensible long term financial decisions are so boring and potentially depressing (its just not natural to think too long term)  its important to balance things out with reckless hopeful fantasies of getting rich quick especially when there are no moths to replace that jackpot excitement every day. 

However in addition to my poor decision making things are progressing well on the sensible long long road to making enough money to buy a small farm.  So this was the plan last winter HERE and here's a quick update on that plan

1) Investment in buy to let market- we have two flats in London which are being rented out and the rent is being used to pay off the capital (only 10 percent overpayments permitted within mortgage terms). There is approximately £400K now in equity but final value (once paid off) is currently around £540K. 
We also have a flat in Malta and are currently building another one which together should be worth approx £400 K in equity but only 50% of that can be used for the farm/nature reserve. 
If all goes to plan within 5 years (the saving plan time frame) we should have a  £740K deposit. 
2) Investment in green funds/alternative markets- after retreating from this strategy after making over 20 percent losses, now only investing very small amounts for fun. Who knows with crypto at low points and the stock market down too, there might be more opportunity in the deepening recession to actually make this work (buying in at the bottom) but for now will see if the fun and games yields any results. 
3) Purchasing of land in project sites- this has gone well this year in Bulgaria we partnered to extend the site by 50% so now have about an acre and looking into gradually buying more up, have got services to the site being arranged and will build a small cabin too as well as creating some really nice habitats. Hopefully can work something up worth about £100K but will keep this separate as a satellite/holiday project/home. 
4) Growth in core business activity - as we seem to be heading towards a recession I don't think there will be much scope to grow the tree and garden business, the emphasis will probably be maintaining the whole thing.
5) Continue improvements in HQs- we can certainly do a lot to improve the assets we own and there has been a lot of home and garden improvements this year.

Saving up is painful. Not only is it painful but its also not certain that it will work out. Unless the cost of what your chasing is rising slower than what your saving the target can keep moving away further. Living in a mind set that is anchored in the future, means you don't enjoy the present as much. You could even die before you realise a longer term dream and would have wasted all that effort on a future that didn't even happen. However you could live a long life without trying to fulfill a dream ambition and then regret that your wasted time there too. So getting all this stuff in balance seems to be a good idea and having plenty of time for hobbies and enjoyment and taking reckless foolish risks is so important. Who knows if we ever get this farm/private nature reserve - it will probably be a lot of bloody stress and work and new pain if ever we did so basically the main thing is to take a nice steady enjoyable journey, making the most of the present and the current view, having plenty of stops and plenty of fun, accepting the bits that are a slog and uncomfortable and if ever we arrive at where we are trying to get to (I tend to arrive up somewhere different to where i set off too) , well that will just be the beginning of another bloody long journey. Roll on the Spring because at the moment the less moths the more gambling is going on  round here. 

No comments: