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Inflation and investments #finance

Inflation is on the rise once again and stands at around 2.5% which means my return on my investment in Zopa has been cut substantially by the effect of inflation. The return has increased, it dropped to under 4% and is about 4.5% now. Even so, the return in real terms is now only about 2% but still better than a bank account! My point is that we should consider investments in the light of rising inflation and look at what returns are in real terms.

inflation eating away at savings and investments?

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The creative ways to save money #thrifty

There are lots of creative ways to save money and I look upon it as a bit of a challenge. It gets intuitive after a while. I changed my car last week and when I was asked how I wanted to pay for the car tax. I didn’t think about it. I taxed it for a year because that is the most cost-effective way despite having just parted with a lot of money for the car. You can be creative and find new ways of saving money by being creative with food, for example. I like photographing all sorts of things and in summer we need refreshing things to eat so I’ve been experimenting with tinned fruit, jelly and soya milk to make a dessert that looks good enough to photograph and tastes delicious. I’ll put those photos on a future post!

creative ways of saving money

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Spring in the Black Country #photography

I live in Wednesbury and it isn’t the most scenic place for landscape photography but there are lots of great places within easy reach. The spring flowers have been evident this week with ‘fool’s parsley’ growing close to pools, the river Tame and the Walsall canal. I was out and about photographing nature in full bloom on Sunday.

spring photography

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Dont just think about it; just do it! #ramble #ideas

It’s early on Sunday morning and so I’m allowing you once again into the darkest corners of my mind and sharing my thoughts with you.  If you want to do something, don’t just think about it – just do it! That isn’t a bad philosophy to have, is it? I wanted to be a writer and so I started blogging. I wanted to be a photographer and so I bought a camera! Now I fancy being an artist. This is my first art card –

Art - just do it

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The ups and downs of #investing #ideas #investor

There are ups and downs for the small investor. We make paper profits and losses all the time. The real profits and losses come when we actually sell investments. The paper losses are important, though, they reduce our financial security. I have known the value of my portfolio drop by nearly 10% in one day and that is a big drop. I stay calm and hope it will recover. My losses over the past two weeks are a little worrying. After a surge by Solo Oil, there have been a number of avoidable drops in the share price.

investor

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Learning from the vegetarian #thrifty #ideas

It is National Vegetarian week in the UK. I’m not a vegetarian, I like eating meat but we can learn from the vegetarian lifestyle that we don’t need to eat so much meat and still stay healthy. Some would say healthier! My main problem with being a vegetarian is getting enough protein because I can’t have gluten or dairy.

vegetarian ideas

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Out in the spring sunshine #ramble

Yes, it’s Sunday morning again and so once again I’ll let you into the dark labyrinth that is my mind and share my thoughts once again. I didn’t really have a good week but the sun’s shining and I’m thinking of going out to enjoy the spring sunshine.

spring sunshine

Hydes Pool, Wednesbury

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Feelin the Brexit blues #finance

The stock market continued to drift and there was little enthusiasm as the uncertainty brought about by Brexit and a general election continued. We appear to be back to a two-party system with the Lib Dem all but wiped out and UKIP a shadow of its former self. The Labour manifesto seems to be a watered down version of what the leader would actually like. They are beginning to actually look electable. The Conservatives look strong on leadership but weak on actual policy. The result of the general election is impossible to predict and so yes, we have the Brexit blues. We like uncertainty, it provides opportunity but only if we can make reasonably accurate predictions of which way the market will move.

Brexit blues

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Cooking up some savings #thrifty

I rarely eat when I’m out because it is simply too much trouble. I have to stick to a gluten-free diet and so I can’t eat battered fish and buying chips mean asking for them to be plain and then waiting for them to be cooked. So when I’m cooking I  try to make the meals look good as well as taste good and of course, I try to save money.

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A Black Country Event #photography

There are many different types of photography. I’m currently doing a couple of photographic art projects that require high-quality images and I spend a lot of time on those. My print for an art competition is printed on canvas at 300 dpi and measures 20 inches by 16 inches. For that print, I went for high quality. For a Black Country event my priority is getting the shots and although the quality is important, there are many factors I can’t control and so image quality isn’t the top priority. I photographed the Black Country Horse Drive at the weekend and that was quite challenging but it was also enjoyable. Over 300 horses and their owners came to create a memorable event and raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

BLACK COUNTRY HORSE AND CART

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My thoughts this week #ramble

Each Sunday morning, I allow you into the innermost sanctum of my mind and share my thoughts with you. I’ve decided on something a little different this week. I’ll still share my thoughts but a bit earlier than usual.

My thoughts

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AIM market risks and opportunities #investments

I’ve written a lot about companies on the AIM market and Solo Oil in particular which has been dropping fast this week. The spread keeps changing and market makers appear to be doing their best to panic private investors. Suggestions have been made on the chat boards that the stock market is corrupt. It is not inspiring confidence is it? There is also a general feeling that globalisation is bad despite the fact it has brought us cheap goods. The AIM market is riskier and we can accept that but something seems wrong. Nearly ten million shares in Solo Oil were sold close to the close of the market yesterday and another ten million as soon as it opened this morning. That looks like panic to me. Is it a buying opportunity? One broker rates Solo as a speculative buy.

AIM Market

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