Thursday, 11 June 2009

The recession is over

So says the lead story in The Independent today.

Is it? Doesn’t look or feel like it to me. To be fair this story is analyst stuff looking at trends etc. so maybe we are at the bottom or just beginning to climb out the other side. Long way to go though I think. Time to reflect on what has this recession taught me so far?

Well it’s taught me the following.

  1. Money in the bank isn’t necessarily the smartest thing. My wife has some put away and I have a little, we used to watch it grow reasonably via the interest each month which were a significant percentage of my wife’s personal income – now it’s bugger all.

  2. My investment strategies and knowledge are crap. I hold few shares, most in my company through various incentive schemes – not just because of the recession but also due to my industry and my company’s particular position I’ve lost my coat on many of them. The “wisdom” I had was that I’d be quids in due to the tax benefit… that assumes the shares don’t fall by 70%. DOH! Oh yes the only others we hold are in demutualised building societies that have now been taken over. We lost another coat there. Then I thought buying more stupid given the loses as I didn’t do my homework and just missed out on making a packet on one new rights issue. Answer – I have no clue about stocks and shares dealing!

  3. Where I hand over the management of investments to “professionals” is no better. My fund portfolio tanked 40% and is only just beginning to head north again. I knew it was a long term investment … it’ll sure have to be.

  4. Paying off my mortgage was dumb. I thought it a smart move but the government is desperate to help borrows not savers. Many people are £100s better off a month because interest rates are down and mortgages are a bargain. See point 1 – we’re considerably worse off in real terms.

  5. If I take all my money out of the bank to spend – given that is what the government and business want from me at the moment do you think I’ll get some kind of reward in the future?

So bottom line what I really should be learning out of this is the usual… I can do bugger all to materially affect anything around me and need to just roll with the punches and be happy that at least I have a house and enough to pay my way in the world, really what is important isn’t all the processions and money stuff just that it so necessary to function in the world today we lose focus on it.


  1. Elder Son has just had an offer accepted on a house in Egham. Just hoping the market holds or prices begin to rise again because it's so hard for young people to get on the house-ownership ladder, especially near london.

  2. Hmmm, think this could be one hell of a lotta spin from a government deep in the do-do... i'm not seeing many 'green shoots'... still plenty losing their jobs, and companies going to the wall. Keep me head down a bit longer i think!


  3. In this economy you buy houses that you can renovate and rent out, then when the market gets better you can sell that one and buy 2 and so on...all of our money was in the market before s4b got elected so we took a lot out to protect it and did the house thing, it rented the 1st week we had our ad in because who can afford to buy a house right now? hell our personal house has been on the market for over a year, bu since we really don't NEED to sell it we are cool with it, we are not gonna drop the price to nothing just to sell, we just want to move closer to town and have less property to take care of.
    Good luck with everything!!!!