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Trying to understand the economics of the pandemic.

This week saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer introduce a raft of measures to help the UK recover from the effects of the lockdown and return to a more normal economy. In China, the central bank is still providing stimulus and that is driving the stock market higher. Stimulus here gave the stock market a boost so the question is will there be more stimulus? I bought a few shares in Barclay’s on the back of the last lot of stimulus and they’re giving me a paper profit of around 20% so I’ll be watching for signs that the Bank of England might take more action.  The economics of this pandemic is complicated by the failure of the Americans to get a grip on slowing the spread of infection. That is causing fears of a prolonged global recession.

economics of the pandemic

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Getting back to business as usual. #finance

Many pubs and other entertainment businesses are due to open this weekend. Will it be business as usual? Hardly! They will need one way systems, screens and will have to introduce table service. This is the new normal and likely to continue for some time. It could even be the new normal over Christmas.

business as usual

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Premier foods and the market #finance

I’ve had an interesting week watching the stock market with Premier Foods soaring to new highs. Overall, thanks to Premier Foods my portfolio appreciated by around 10% this week. My mistake of buying too many shares in the maker of those exceedingly good cakes came good at last! I now have the potential to sell PFD and Barclays at a profit. I can then wait for the rest of my portfolio to come good. I’m not going to be in any rush to sell. I think both shares are worth keeping a little bit longer.

Premier Foods

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Will we be back to normal by Christmas? #finance

It might be a little bit early to be thinking about Christmas but it is an important time for many businesses. Will we back to normal by Christmas? I think it is very unlikely and if we try to get back to normal it could trigger a second (or third) wave of the coronavirus. We may have to resign ourselves to the fact that Christmas will be cancelled in its usual form.

Will we be back to normal by Christmas?

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Will the British economy bounce back? #finance

Judging by the amount of money finding its way into the stock market this week. I think the economy could bounce back fairly quickly as Britain gets back to business as usual. The sectors that will be really hit hard are obviously tourism and aviation. Perhaps both of those sectors can adjust to the new reality? Certainty tourism can adjust to providing more holidays at home and we might see a resurgence of British seaside holidays.  Will the British economy bounce back? It seems like the banking sector and building sectors will lead the way but will the government mess it all up by reintroducing austerity?

Will the British ecnomy bounce back?

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Will life be different after the pandemic? #life

It seems the epidemic in the UK became widespread because we had carriers bring it in from China and from several European countries too. The government response to that was slow and so it quickly developed into a crisis. We can’t go back to ‘business as usual’. We have to restrict international travel. People have been using Skype and Zoom to communicate and that should continue to be used for international business communications. Will life be different after the pandemic. If so, how much different? We have to consider changes now.

Will life be different after the pandemic?

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Lockdown finances #financefriday

I admit that I am saving a little money during my lockdown. I’m also investing again in a very modest and careful way. Last month, I bought shares in Barclays and they’re up about 15% since then and this month I doubled my investment in Lloyds Banking Group. My portfolio isn’t as diverse as it should be. Half of it is invested in Premier Foods which is doing well in this lockdown period. I’m making a profit on Premier Foods now. So overall, my lockdown finances aren’t doing too badly. I am recording my lockdown in pictures but watching the stock market is a good diversion for me too and keeps me occupied.

lockdown finances

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Signs of what the future holds. #money

Every trader on the stock market tries to predict the future and it’s the same on the money markets. Traders on the stock market are selling this morning and cutting their exposure to the market in anticipation of things getting worse. They are seeking safe havens, of which, gold is one. Gold is up to £1406.08 this morning. These are signs of what the future holds and we have to consider them.

signs of what the future holds

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Finance Friday, expectations #finance

Being on lockdown has made me think about the future more. The country needs an exit strategy from this pandemic but we also need personal strategies. I’m not too confident that the epidemic will come to an end in this country, it could drag on for years unless we restrict freedom of movement. We must restrict movement from countries where the pandemic continues to infect people.  I had more or less given up on my stock market investments but now I see bargains to be had, assuming we ever return to normal! I have new expectations.

expectations

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The rush to safe havens #money

The falls on the London stock market this week are reminiscent of the 2008 credit crunch. Fear related to the coronavirus are sending investors rushing to safe havens like gold and even cash. The rush to safe havens appears to be global with gold appreciating against most currencies.

safe havens

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Trade deals and inflated egos. #finance

Looking at the state of the British economy, I’m not filled with optimism. If we broaden our outlook we see the US economy isn’t doing too badly but their economy favours the rich and to a lesser extent the middle classes. The president has started a trade war that doesn’t bode well for the future  but the tough talk might just get them a better deal with China. The UK has to try to make a trade deal with both the US and the EU and will be negotiating from a weak position. The inflated egos of both Donald Trump and Boris Johnson drive over-optimistic rhetoric  and us ordinary people will pay the price. The reality could be a recession that affects both countries.

inflated egos

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The importance of discretionary income #finance

Discretionary income is that income that you spend at your discretion. It is the money that is left over when you have paid all the bills and bought all the essentials. It is essentially the money you use to enjoy life. It pays for meals out, day trips and holidays. Your discretionary income buys you a certain quality of life.  Wouldn’t it be great to have twice as much to spend on enjoying life? You can if you become frugal about buying the essentials and also add some new income streams to top your income up a little. First you have to accept the importance of discretionary income on your quality of life.

the importance of discretionary income

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Enjoying the simple things #finance

I have spent most of my life thinking about money. I try to make money and try to save money and it has been quite stressful at times. I’ve got to the stage where I have more than enough discretionary income but with lots of bills coming in this week I’ve been cautious and made sure I have more than enough money to cover them. My frugality does get a bit out of hand and when I bought a new camera this year for the arts festival, parting with so much cash was almost like having a limb amputated. I am enjoying the simple things in life more and trying to think less about money.

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Risk and reward #financeFriday

My credit card bill is due today and I know it will be quite a hefty bill. There is no point in trying to ignore debts, we have to face them eventually so it is better to face them head-on. I am a bit obsessive about minimizing risks and making sure I have enough money for every eventuality. I’m a bit obsessive about saving money too. I thought about buying some insurance this week and decided I didn’t really need it just yet so I delayed the purchase. I assess the risk and reward. I even assessed the risk versus benefit of some medication I have been taking this week and I decided the benefits weren’t worth the risks. I prefer to suffer a little pain than give myself an ulcer or kidney damage.

risk and reward

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It can’t get any worse #finance

I have seen some upward movement this week on the stock market at the less popular end. Have investors just accepted that Brexit just can’t get any worse? It has wiped billions off the value of companies listed on the stock market. While some gained when the value of the pound was slashed, the smaller companies lost value and have struggled to raise capital. I don’t think it can get any worse, confidence is at an all-time low. Even a no-deal Brexit would at least provide a little certainty.

get any worse

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Being a rebel can be a good thing! #money

Yes, being a rebel can be a good thing. Going against the norms can make you stand out and attract attention. You might want to attract the attention of the crowd but you don’t want them to throw stones! Don’t be an obnoxious git or they just might throw stones. You need to have a purpose. If you’re running a market stall, you will sell more products if you attract attention but you have to treat the public with respect. Miserable people who hate everyone makes terrible business people.

being a rebel

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Looking for alternative investments

I’m looking for alternative investments while the Brexit chaos continues. The obvious alternative to the banks is peer-to-peer lending. I prefer Zopa which is giving me returns of over 5% but is slightly riskier than the banks. Other alternative investments could be to try to buy in bulk to save money rather than actually making money. I even buy in bulk to save on trips to the supermarket, saving me money on petrol.

alternative investments
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Is Lloyds Banking group a good investment? #finance

It has been a bad year for investments with banks being hit the worse with the continued Brexit controversy. However, this could offer an investment opportunity in Lloyds Banking group. They have been adversely affected but the PPI problem has also persisted and that is a problem that will soon be over. Lloyd’s could now be a good investment opportunity. Similarly, Barclay’s seems undervalued but they haven’t been quite as aggressive when it comes to reorganisation. Lloyd’s has invested in online banking and closed down under-used branches. Lloyd’s recovered well following the 2008 credit crunch and so I think we could see a decent rise in its share price this year.

 Lloyds Banking Group

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Keeping up appearances #finance

I was once told that owning an iPhone was a good status symbol. It turned out that it didn’t work out in practice. Some status symbols can work, though. Shakespeare wrote “the apparel doth oft proclaim the man”, (Hamlet) and wearing certain clothes can help us interact with others. Clothing that gives us a professional appearance will command more respect and often wearing professional clothing does help people feel more professional. The surgeon in his or her surgical clothes will command the utmost respect. Other status symbols like fast cars, block-paved driveways and designer jeans have little effect but people still spend huge amounts of money keeping up appearances.

 keeping up appearances

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Plan B #Wednesburyonline

The Dickens story, Christmas Carol, teaches Scrooge a lesson based on the spirits of the past, present and future. We should live in the present and take each day as it comes but we should also learn from the past and plan for the future. I did quite well after the 2008 credit crunch because the central banks just turned on the electronic money machine and printed loads of cash which in turn inflated asset prices like shares and property. Now the bubble is showing signs of bursting and we have the stupidity of Brexit to worry about. Even considering leaving the EU when we were still recovering from an economic crash was stupidity of the first order. The government never has a plan B and so it is all going horribly wrong. I always have a plan B so even though this year has been bad for me financially I’ll survive with little impact on my standard of living.

MONEY

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A Christmas of mounting debts? #finance

We all feel some obligation at Christmas to buy gifts for friends and family. That obligation is taken advantage of by advertisers and marketing people to make us feel guilty if we don’t provide all that is expected of us. This can lead to mounting debts over Christmas and sleepless nights in January.

mounting debts

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Back to being a millionaire? #finance

I’ve seen a few adverts on social media about minor celebrities who have lost their riches only to find a new way to make money and return to being millionaires. The new way, it seems, is to invest in Bitcoin or some other crypto. It is an easy way to make money but only for those actually doing the ICO, the initial coin offering. I find it hard to believe this scam has gone on for so long but our politicians are involved in investment scams and off-shore tax evasion so how can we expect them to regulate the finance industry? Back to being a millionaire? I doubt it!

back to being a millionaire

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The rich get richer #finance #economy

There was a big sell-off on stock markets around the world yesterday. Investors are very nervous. Here in the UK, we have continued uncertainty because of Brexit which was madness when we were only just beginning to recover from the 2008 crash. The top FTSE 100 companies appear to be riding high with share prices soaring since the Brexit referendum but the reality is they have only become more profitable in terms of our own currency. The value of the pound crashed against the US dollar which we should remember is the reserve currency. While British importers are paying more in dollars for imports, exporters appear to be making bigger profits, at least on paper.

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The value of potential #finance

Some companies pay their shareholder’s high dividends as a way of keeping investors but when profits don’t warrant it, they should cut dividends. The potential to pay dividends is enough to satisfy shareholders. After all, the profits instead of going to dividends go to reinvestment which in turn increased the company’s value and profits. This leads to the potential to pay higher dividends. We often miss the value of potential.

the value of potential

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