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Monday, 29 December 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 09:48
Saturday, 27 December 2014
Here's my complaint to Virgin, which has now reached the CISAS stage. I will report to you whether I am given not given fair compensation or if I am given fair compensation.
The amount I am claiming is for all the loss of service and loss of money Virgin media have caused myself and my family until now. As I have mentioned, this has happened on at least 40 times this year alone. There have always been problems with them in other years, and it has always been difficult to get them to resolve them. We have been with Virgin Media for years and pay a relatively high price of £26 a month just for the internet service. I would estimate that in the past five years each year there have been at least 25 instances per year when we have not had internet access.
In total I have spent around 12 hours complaining and researching the problems. That combined with the loss of income resulting from the loss of internet provision actually amounts to much more than £200 lost by myself.
In the previous years. I didn't want to waste my time complaining but something must be done about this, as I know many other people who have been damaged by Virgin Media as well and want to improve their situation. I find it worrying that despite telling me that the service would improve on the 27th October the service was not available for hours yesterday. I am happy to provide you with all the emails I sent if needed, and you may listen to all my phone recordings with Virgin Media and OFCOM.
I am complaining about the service that Virgin Media provides. There have been many times that I have had no internet access at all this year‐ around 40 times in total. The problems were at
there most severe on the 14th of October which is when I first complained. During this day and
in the 15th of October I had practically no internet service at all. This was very frustrating and
cost me money as I am a share investor, poker player and writer amongst other things and rely
on the internet for my living. I spent hours on the phone to an Indian call centre who said that my
claim would be dealt with, but it turned out they did nothing at all. I stressed to the call centre that the most important thing was that this loss of service didn't happen again and they agreed with me they would do their best to make sure it never happened again. I also spent many hours writing emails to the Virgin media team. They were very slow in responding. I gave them all the information I could but they insisted they needed the account number and password which were difficult to find. I eventually managed to locate these and
sent them to virgin on the 24th October. It wasn't until the 27th October that Virgin media finally
said they would do something to improve the service, here is a quote from an email:
"I've checked your account for faults and through October we've had a number of SNR issues
(Signal to noise Ratio) which we've addressed. These would have caused slower than
expected speeds and intermittent disconnections. I am very sorry about that frustration these issues have caused and have credited your account with £13 to cover 50% of your monthly
broadband costs." Please note that these 'intermittent disconnections' were not intermittent at all up until the 27th October‐ there were many hours when I could not access the internet. Please also note that Virgin refused to give me any money which I specifically asked for. Even this insulting amount of £13 could only be seen on the 20th November.
A few weeks later despite the internet working I was blocked from viewing a webpage that I had accessed before. There was a 'warning sign' from Virgin media that this site was not suitable for small children. I quickly clicked that I wanted to access thissite but could not
continue to the site. The webpage from Virgin specifically stated that I would only see this screen once. In fact I was able to access no new sites for at least one hour, with this webpage appearing again and again despite clicking that I wanted to proceed to different sites.
There have still been problems since then but on Wednesday 26th November I was unable to access the internet for two hours. There were other faults during that day which even though only for 10 minutes or so caused me financial loss. I was so frustrated by this time that I called OFCOM again (for the third time) and I was told I could bring the complaint to you if Virgin media issued a final response which they now have done.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 09:10
Wednesday, 24 December 2014
Tuesday, 23 December 2014
Let’s Have a Look at Sainsbury’s Strategy Part One
New @sainsburys article on @ShareProphets... one of the best I've written in terms of style.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 12:59
Monday, 22 December 2014
Publishing my 'Sales Letter' for share writing here. In 2015 I aim to do even more share writing- I will write for anyone who pays me fairly! Hopefully if I write every day my content will become even more popular!
I am writing to you because I am interested in writing for your website.
I have written for the Motley Fool and am currently writing for ShareProphets. Since 2005 I have been a private investor, and for over a year now this has been my primary focus.
I am aware that I am not well known as a share writer at the moment, and I certainly have a lot to improve upon. However I would like to list some useful qualities that I have which may allow you to consider me to write for you on a freelance basis.
I am relatively young (31) and have been formally investing in markets since 2005, again a relatively early age to start. I feel that bringing share ownership to as many people as practically possible could well be a benefit for them. I like to produce a wide variety of articles for different readers, aiming to get an original angle. I am more than happy to give the dates and prices of the times that I bought shares, so that my readers can track my performance. I aim to have a personal connection with my readers.
As a writer I do have an amount of recognition. My novel Playing to Win was released in 2005 and has sold worldwide, although I would have liked it to sell more. I have been active on the Fool discussion boards since 2005, posting 662 times. I have been active on a number of other different message boards too. My blog www.markhowitt.blogspot.com has had 31,821 viewers so far, and has been active since 2009. I have a HNC in English Studies.
I am well used to social media and promote my articles heavily by this medium, and would be happy to comply with your social media policy.
My career so far has been in sales, and I have experience of working for companies such as Centrica, RWE, SSE, on behalf of BT and Sky. A full list can be found on my LinkedIn page. From my research so far, not that many share writers have worked in sales, so this can give readers an interesting insight into these companies philosophies. After all, all companies depend on sales at least to an extent.
Since 2005 there have been very few days that I have not checked the markets and followed the news of the companies I partly own. For the past year this has been certainly every day, for an average of about five hours a day. I am prepared to work hard on my writing too, and can produce articles every day if required. I would be happy to write for you whenever needed. I would honestly consider it an honour to write for your website and would give this my best efforts.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 07:05
Sunday, 21 December 2014
Friday, 19 December 2014
Thursday, 18 December 2014
Monday, 15 December 2014
Sunday, 14 December 2014
Saturday, 13 December 2014
Sunday, 7 December 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 23:35
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Thursday, 27 November 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 12:48
Wednesday, 26 November 2014
Tuesday, 25 November 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 08:14
Monday, 24 November 2014
This post was written as a simple and direct way to get people interested in investing in shares. So many people could do better in the long run investing in shares than having money in a bank account... especially if that bank account is earning 0% INTEREST... so for those people they're getting NO RETURN AT ALL on that money and they would NEVER earn 6%.
And nope I haven't 'thrown 75% of my total wealth in at the top of the market'. I've been investing in shares since 2005 and now I'm at a stage where 75% is in. I'm investing in INDIVIDUAL shares and have made some decent gains so far this year... but the really big gains will be in the long term future as these shares continue to go up.
Hopefully this article will interest people to check out my other articles on this subject to gain a more detailed understanding- yet I deliberately wrote this as a simple and direct post.
I am a person who's not afraid to hide behind a username and likes to write for different audiences- always directly speaking my mind. I guess that's why I have a worldwide selling novel and users from all around the world coming to visit my website every day.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 01:06
Saturday, 22 November 2014
Hmm... now I wonder if this could possibly SWAY my writing of the next two articles... hmm maybe it will SUBCONSCIOUSLY! I'll still give an objective view of Albion etc but treatment like that may well influence me!
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 11:07
Thursday, 20 November 2014
Sunday, 9 November 2014
Surprises me how many different people this blog connects with. I'd never specifically heard of the British Indian Ocean territory before, yet people came every day to visit this blog last month. I hadn't heard of a 'DoCoMo' either, yet people use that to access this site. It's cool, I like it. Smaller buzz than when people bought my novel in a country I hadn't heard of, but I still like the Global reach. I think some of my Asian viewers (I get quite a few from China every day) are because of my HSBC articles, and I plan to write more about them in the future. Everytime I write a share article interesting people check out my LinkedIn.
In future I want to connect with people more in different ways. I may to do some exclusive email articles. I appreciate all the donations I recieve from around the world too. Thanks for supporting me, and here's to 100,000 viewers!
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 10:19
Saturday, 8 November 2014
Sunday, 2 November 2014
We will reach six figures here. In the future I want to take more pictures and produce videos too hopefully. This site has helped me connect with many great people, so thanks again if you’re one of them reading this!
Monday, 27 October 2014
I'm thinking of going to the Harrogate meeting and writing an article for ShareProphets on it. It'll definitely improve my chances of going if there are plenty of interesting people are going too, I'm happy to network!
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 08:13
Saturday, 25 October 2014
Friday, 24 October 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 10:21
Thursday, 23 October 2014
I feel that I have a lot value to offer and want to monetize it Pushing comfort zone has gone well today... new connections and opportunities on the horizon but will do MORE tomorrow!
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 16:30
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 12:00
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Monday, 20 October 2014
Sunday, 19 October 2014
Saturday, 18 October 2014
Anyway, my favourite philosopher by far was Nietzsche. He’s well worth a read, even if he’s a bit unhinged. He basically dismisses the whole idea of ‘ethics’. A lot of what people call ‘ethics’ is just based on Judeo-Christian thinking, or mind control.
I thought about this subject more and more, and finally managed to write a decent post on my blog about it, which you can find here http://markhowitt.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/everybodys-doing-what-they-think-is.html “Everyone is doing what they think is best for Themselves”. This sums up all human motivation. Of course, people get mutual fulfilment with others, but all action is based on what people THINK is best for themselves.
Since 2011 I have set myself clear financial goals, which I also wrote on my blog. And I’m a bit annoyed this year I might possibly not make it due to share performance (and other factors), but we’ll see. I know in the long run I will make decent money, so I shouldn’t beat myself up about it. I would recommend you make goals and track yourselves in regards to finances and shares. Financial goals are some of the best you can set, as they’re readily accountable and easy to measure. Of course you shouldn’t make a financial goal your only goal, but I would recommend the vast majority of people reading this to make it part of their goals.
That’s why now I cannot be swayed by anyone harping on about having an ‘ethical view’- at least if they tell me about it and try and make me believe what they believe. They are just doing it to make themselves feel good. You could easily raise an ‘ethical objection’ to any company in the FTSE 100, but I guess even the people who believe in ‘ethics’ aren’t convinced by those against companies they hold. All that matters to me is how much money I make from shares.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 06:55
Wednesday, 15 October 2014
Yesterday was pretty frustrating. For hours the internet wouldn't work, and it's happened before quite a few times. So contacted Virgin media via twitter and they made their usual excuses. So today will be complaining more officially to them and contacting OFCOM. And this morning I woke up and found I can't access my email, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter despite the internet apparently working. Aiming to keep calm but annoyed. Will work on this...
UPDATE... Internet didn't work some of that day but working fine now. Complained to OFCOM, spent 50 minutes complaining to Indian call centre. It's happened 50 or 60 times this year, so asking for £100 compensation is fair. I'll update again on how much I got.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 07:46
Sunday, 12 October 2014
Thursday, 9 October 2014
Monday, 6 October 2014
Wednesday, 1 October 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 22:11
"As I've mentioned on twitter, you need less 'sustainability' and more cutting prices to maintain profits. I'll be watching the dividend payments closely."
I think shareholders should actively tell Sainsbury's this. Being directly honest, at the moment I'm annoyed at myself for investing and my father for recommending I invest. I still believe they will rise from here but still annoyed. My instincts were correct- price matters much more than any charity guff or 'sustainability'. The majority of shoppers don't care about that, they care about what's in their pockets.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 17:08
Monday, 29 September 2014
Saturday, 27 September 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 20:25
Friday, 26 September 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 22:58
Thursday, 25 September 2014
Monday, 22 September 2014
Saturday, 20 September 2014
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Wednesday, 17 September 2014
Monday, 15 September 2014
It’s quite amusing to see Alex Salmond tell people that they shouldn’t listen to ‘big oil’. I know who I would rather listen to- people from Shell who are the biggest company in the FTSE, and BP who are worldwide experts in oil. That’s much more believable than the ‘counterpoint’ of view given by the BBC for example, of one man saying “We have good oil resources”. Most of the time, companies don’t like to speak out on political issues, as this could turn some customers against them. However this issue is so important that they are prepared to do it.
I’m going to be serious here. As a shareholder, you are a part owner of a business. It is not just some letters on a screen. You have a responsibility to act in the best interests of that business, as long as it does not negatively effect you. And mark my words, it will negatively effect you if Scotland votes ‘Yes’. SSE, Lloyds, RBS, Standard Life... the list goes on and on. They will all fall drastically. Just the speculation from one negative poll was the main cause of SSE dropping more than 2% on Monday the 8th of September. Just imagine what an actual ‘Yes’ vote would do to that share. Lloyds, RBS and Standard Life would all be hit hard- there will be BIG falls across the board. Practically every share will fall if Scotland votes ‘Yes’.
Quite a lot of Scottish people won’t care at all about Banks or Financial service companies. They would when it effects their livelihood- the loss of financial service jobs would hurt the whole Scottish economy. So that could be pain in the future for them. It could actually benefit the north of England, where I live, but I’m still writing this. However what would effect everyone directly and immediately is higher food prices. I’ve worked for Asda, which is part of Wall-Mart, one of the biggest companies in the world. I don’t love them as a company at all- they can be very ruthless. But I cannot recall one instance of Asda becoming involved in a political issue. They don’t in general elections. But they have directly said that food prices will be higher if Scotland votes ‘Yes’- it will be so bad for them as a business that they are saying this even though it could offend nearly half of their customers.
I’ve been thinking for a while of how to word this, but I think it’s best just to instinctively say what’s on my mind. A lot of people are voting ‘Yes’ for emotional reasons- they want supposed freedom and independence almost for the buzz of it. But it wouldn’t even be real independence if they still want to be part of the EU- they would still be just a puppet country that has laws imposed on them by Brussels. They wouldn’t enjoy the freedom when it leads to economic hardship for themselves and their families. I cannot see Scotland voting Yes, but in an imaginary world in which they did, I can see them asking to come back in ten years time.
I believe the vote will be close, but I am convinced Scotland will vote No. However that relies on people like you understanding how important a decision this is, voting No and convincing others to vote No as well.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 15:39
"Why ‘Independence’ would be Terrible for Scottish Shareholders and the rest of Scotland" Coming Soon!
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 04:30
Sunday, 14 September 2014
Why ‘Independence’ would be Terrible for Scottish Shareholders and the rest of Scotland. The Article!
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 16:22
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Hopefully will be available on ShareProphets and here soon!
Friday, 12 September 2014
Next articles I'd like to write are on why Scottish independence is bad for shares, and the people of Scotland, and an article on Astra Zeneca.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 19:13
Thursday, 11 September 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 22:46
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 11:21
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
Monday, 8 September 2014
Saturday, 6 September 2014
Thursday, 4 September 2014
Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Thank you all for your comments. Some people have a cynical view of writers, especially 'journalists', thinking we just do it for the money. I certainly don't, and like to have a connection with my readers. Writing allows me to clarify my own thoughts too.
Yes it's definitely worth spending time finding out about senior management- lately I've been doing more of this. I actually sat through a 3 hour video presentation of HSBC's results to see how their management reacted to hostile shareholders. They were actually so hostile I was surprised such a corporate company like HSBC allowed the video up on their website! But they handled it well, and that increased my confidence in the share.
On a personal note, I think at the moment I'm better at writing 'strategically' or maybe even 'philosophical' posts on shares than detailed posts on companies, but I hope to improve.
Feel free to checkout www.markhowitt.blogspot.com for more of my writing and connect with me on LinkedIn!
Thanks for your comment Libero.
I think you did the right thing by starting relatively early too. Remember most people never invest in individual share companies, ever. So don't beat yourself up too much about it. 18 is the earliest legal age you can buy for yourself anyway... I think it's OKish to start at about 21 or 22 properly like we did... but like you I wouldn't have minded investing more a bit earlier.
I'm a long term buy and hold investor now, and I think this is an 'easy' way to go about buying shares. It did take me a while to get into this strategy... I realised it maybe a year after in shares. I think I've only ever invested in one AIM share, Fayrewood an IT company, and made decent gains from it without knowing that much about the company. I got that tip from a discussion board.
I would say it's easier and safer to take a High Yield Portfolio approach for a lot of people. Depends how much time you want to spend on shares, and how good you are at stockpicking. End of the day, all that matters is how much money you make and if you make more investing in AIM shares that's fine!
Feel free to add me on LinkedIn if you like.
Tuesday, 2 September 2014
I would describe that as an emotive article. Questor makes 'judgement calls' which a long term HYP investor wouldn't make. The dividend is covered nearly twice, and Sainsbury's have a good consistent record of rising dividends. Sainsbury's does not have the problems Tesco has- no foreign adventures that have gone wrong, less big out of town stores and I believe it has a slightly more loyal cusomter base and a different offering to Tesco.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 12:55
Monday, 1 September 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 09:20
Friday, 29 August 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 19:24
Thursday, 28 August 2014
First group. If you have a good amount of money you can buy the right share at the right time and makes lots more money. And it doesn’t have to be an obscure share to make lots of money. My best share purchase was buying Legal and General on 20th February 2009 at 36.88p- they’re now 241.2p. That’s a rise of nearly 660% in five and a half years! I bought BT on 29th April 2009 at 89.39p- both these totals have all stamp duty and costs included. They’re now 382.6p and have been higher. Now I haven’t really got a LOT of money overall, but does make me happy that I can make good gains on the money I have- and you can do the same!
Second group. You just have an interest in shares! You may well work for one of the companies written about, or they may be your competition. So you want to know overall how they doing. I read lots of share articles every day. I’m mainly bothered that you read MY share articles to be honest, but there are lots of other good ones out there. Some are quite entertaining and informative to read.
Third group. You want to buy shares... but don’t have the money yet. That’s fine, many people were like this at some point. Let’s look at my ‘share history’. To be strictly accurate, the first time I ever bought a share was when I was fifteen years old in 1998. My dad said I had too much in cash and said I should buy some shares. He gave me a share magazine to look through and I selected Manchester United without knowing anything ‘fundamental’ about the share. My dad approved and bought some as well. I made good gains from it- over 100% if I remember rightly, but I never even really checked the share price. I first consciously bought my own shares in 2005 after reading a lot about them. Was quite hard to open a sharedealing account then- I believe it’s easier now. I could only put in relatively small amounts of money at first but it built up over time. I ran ‘virtual portfolios’ for a bit but moved onto buying real shares fairly quickly. So you can do the same- ‘buy’ some shares you have researched in a virtual portfolio. There are plenty of sites on the internet that will allow you to do this. Remember though, to be truly accurate you should add stamp duty of 0.5% onto your purchase price, plus the dealing costs- some of these virtual portfolios won’t do that for you. You may have to pay a small ‘spread’ on top of the normal buying price too- but personally now with the share dealing service I use I get good prices where I don’t have to.
Personally I would say start investing in shares as soon as you can, or as young as you can. That’s what I did. Even if you only make OK gains from the start, or even if hypothetically you only made as much money as you would from your bank account, I would still say it’s worth it for the experience of learning about shares. To be honest, you would have to be doing badly to make only as much from a bank account at the moment. There are literally millions of people in the UK who have 0% saving rates in their current accounts. There will be millions of others who will not be getting much more than that. In terms of anything like an instant access account you will be lucky to get more than 2% per year, and then you will have to pay in a certain amount every month and only get that kind of interest up to a set amount. There are plenty of decent shares out there with yields over 4.5%, where you will get paid four times a year or twice a year, instead of just once a year usually from a savings account.
All I would say is make sure you can put away at least £1000 ideally, and that you won’t need that money for a MINIMUM of one year. For a new investor I would say at least two years to be honest. I personally haven’t sold any shares for over seven years- the longer you hold them the better!
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 09:02
Wednesday, 27 August 2014
Monday, 25 August 2014
Sunday, 24 August 2014
Here're a few insights into how and why I write my share articles. So far, I have only written about shares that I personally own. Again, I can see this being the case for quite a while. One of the main reasons for this is that you know I personally have put my hard earned money into it- so you can believe me when I say I rate a company. Another big reason is that I have often put many hours of research into these companies, which I aim to condense into an easy to read format enabling YOU to decide whether you want to buy them or not. Of course, once reading these articles you should do your own research on the companies. Looking back, I think personally I have been slightly too influenced by reading articles then quickly after buying the shares- there are plenty of other factors to be taken into account.
I have not mentioned 'forward PEs' or anything in terms of 'forward guidance'. This is because quite often this is guesswork. Much better to focus on the current facts.
At some point I'd like to write a post about the importance of charts when buying shares, but honestly I don't know enough about that yet. I am thinking about writing a post somewhere about all the possible things I would check before buying a share... that would be pretty long though. I really believe that a lot of people reading things on the internet have quite short attention spans so often you have to make things readable and easy to digest so that's what I aim to do!
THANK YOU for reading my articles. The way it works at the moment I am paid a small amount for every unique view I get- so I need quite a high amount of unique views to make it worth my time! This does involve you signing up to ShareProphets for free to read the full article (just like Fool) but I honestly believe this is worth your time!
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 14:56
Saturday, 23 August 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 09:25
Friday, 22 August 2014
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 16:11
Sunday, 10 August 2014
Adding to this after a bit more thought. Of course... the shares can go DOWN. So really the longer you can afford to leave them the better. And it also matters how much time you can spend on shares to an extent. If you're working full time you may find it difficult to buy and sell when you need to- although you could still put in buy and sell limit orders. The better you are at understanding shares the shorter time frame you could have...
But anyway, I would recommend my readers if they can afford it to have at least some money in shares. You have to know what you're doing, but it really isn't that hard. Read my Fool posts and other Fool writers. I have some more posts written too- I'll be writing about shares that I own at least at first. Probably for quite a while though.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 20:08
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
Investing more in shares really. I've come to the conclusion that I'm comfortable having much more of my money in shares. Got a good track record and just like watching them go up. Interest rate is lousy. Even had the thought recently... I could just put money into shares that potentially I might need in two years... slightly risky I guess, but also risky in another way leaving it to earn little interest. I haven't actually done this yet but would probably be OK with doing so.
At the moment I can't write Fool articles because of the change in Yahoo syndication... hopefully I will in the future though! So I'm looking at potentially writing for other share websites, will keep you posted! I've reached out to another Fool writer for some advice on this and any other advice is welcome!
Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Just one of those surreal instances where you want something to happens and it does... just today I've had by far my highest number of views ever- one thousand people have seen my site in the past twenty four hours. So a big THANK YOU for everyone who's read my Fool articles... this is one of the biggest impacts I've had as a writer. Been a member there for nine and a half years now and it's always the first site I recommend in person to people wanting to learn about shares. Yet... there's more! There's a great community at Fool and I'd strongly recommend you check out the message boards there too. I post as Huddersfield Mark. You can find a wealth of information about more or less ANYTHING- and free as well, just like the report.
So... what does this mean? Means I'm going to be writing different things for different sites hopefully! Obviously I still want to write more for Fool, yet I do want to write about ideas too. So I've been contacting sites about this and hopefully that comes true too.
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Friday, 18 July 2014
Now includes great free report included so signup to the email :)
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 15:40
Wednesday, 16 July 2014
Depends how you define it... in some ways I've already smashed my financial goal, in others I'm ahead of target. This is DESPITE lots of bad things happening to me, and not being paid yet for some work I've done so far. I've put a lot more of my wealth into shares and am confident in the long term they will earn a good return. I feel more comfortable putting much more of my money into shares now... you get a better yield than money in the bank and I've got a good record. I've opened a new share account with lower dealing costs so have been buying more. Just have to be careful not to 'overwatch' shares. My timing could have been a bit better with some of my purchases, will study the charts and businesses more before buying in future :) I wouldn't mind being a full time share investor, as that's what I've been mainly doing for nearly a year now.
Also, I finally got compensation for the injuries that almost killed me about a year and a half ago. Huge task to get this, but I am much more familiar with the law after going through the process. Learnt a lot and will be more effective in future in these dealings.
The law firm I used wanted me to do a free review of how they did... they provided me a free post envelope to do this! They liked doing things by post a lot, I guess it added to their fees... (I did no win no fee, obviously). I reckon they got at least as much in fees as I did in compensation. Anyway, I offered to do an objective but fair review of their services (along with a link to their site) here for a small fee... but apparently they're not allowed to pay people for that! Lol. All I'll say is they were quite good overall, but I will shop around next time too...
Anyway... fairly happy with money overall but still need to push it more. I may well be doing articles for www.fool.co.uk on shares. I will have to research and deliver high quality content, but I REALLY want to do this. Been using the site for over nine years and being published there will be one of my best writing moments. Time to deliver on that.
I'm doing alright on meeting great people too... in fact my score for this out of ten will probably be the highest it's ever been because I've pushed my comfort zone in new ways. However... time to KEEP pushing! Cut out people who offer no value and develop deep connections with those who do.
I've cut all the chocolate and crisps out of my diet and am exercising more now. Doing fairly well on this yet still more room for improvement! With diet and exercise it's a case of doing similar things every day. There's nothing too 'intellectual' about it but you have to keep disciplined. Improves your life overall.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 06:49
Saturday, 5 July 2014
Thursday, 26 June 2014
I'm guilty of playing it safe too often. Now there are plus points to this, which people who take lots of risks don't realise. A lot of compulsive risk takers are partly 'fooled by randomness'... just because nothing bad has happened by them doing stupid uncalculated risks they imagine they can't. But they can... and when you're dead you're dead. Word up.
But being honest, I'm too cautious overall. There are some pretty basic things that I should do more that I don't because I'm not used to doing them. I'm taking steps to change that, but need to push more. A lot of so called 'risks' are just in your mind. I've done some things recently that I haven't done for years- nothing bad happened even though they could. Guess you just have to look at your results too- if you're getting great results you don't have to 'take extra risks' or even push yourself too hard if you don't want to. But if you're not getting the results you feel your deserve... you probably have to push your comfort zone more.
Here are two fairly unrisky things I'm going to do more of- risk probably isn't even the right word, but it's pushing myself to make more effort. I guess I'm risking my time. I'm going to start writing some share analysis on a new blog. I've been share investing seriously for over nine years now... but I'm not yet truly able to delve into all the financials of a company and analyse them. So I'm going to learn that... combine it with an INTERESTING writing style. I'll be doing this so I can fully understand my investments more, and hopefully eventually I'll be paid for some articles. If after a while I'm not paid I'll probably stop- which is a good incentive for me to write something worthwhile. I'm also going to be more mathematical about how much of my total wealth I have in each share I invest in, and what percentage of my wealth I have in certain sectors.
And I'm going to invest more time meeting high quality people 'in real life'. Know a lot of great people 'online' but will spend a certain amount of money meeting them face to face too.
So yeah... feel a bit better now. When you realise you have to do something and start acting you often get momentum.
Thursday, 24 April 2014
Practically everyone who knows me knows I’m tight with money. I’m always looking to get the best value things, and advising people about what I think they should do with THEIR money. Sometimes it’s useful for them, other times I think they’re pretty annoyed that I keep saying... “You shouldn’t smoke... you shouldn’t get drunk.” (I say it slightly more persuasively than that... but that’s the message.)
I’d like to share with you where this ‘tightness’ stems from. Some people assume that I made quite a bit of money writing a novel... I didn’t. I spent eighteen months writing. I got about 5p per hour. 5p per hour... I had to be in 24 hour computer labs at 3am to earn that shit. 5p per hour... in Huddersfield University I had to go to the underground floor of the library, right in the corner at 8am to pound that out.
Also, from the age of four until twenty five I was a chess player. In some ways you could say I was good, one of the best in Yorkshire for my age and I beat players who’d played for England for their age. In another way I wasn’t good- never good enough to make hardly any money from it. Most proper chess players wouldn’t say I was a good chess player overall.
I think there has been a bit of resentment in me about how tough it was to earn money doing these things.
So when I earn money from investing and doing sales jobs, I always value it. I’ve saved and invested practically all the money. I’m in the surreal position now where on a good share day I will be worth £1000 more at the end of the day than at the start. From doing ‘nothing’ really. Of course there are days when I ‘lose’ money too (by this I mean the value of my shares have gone down, I am a long term buy and hold investor and haven’t sold any shares for over seven years). But I win much more than I lose. The last three years have been very good, and I’m confident I have the ability to make more and more money with shares.
So anyway... I’ve done a few things over the past month I never thought I would do that have cost quite a bit of money. I could have got more value in getting these things, but it was still a very interesting experience. I mentioned it to a close friend and he told me to focus on the experience and not the money and he approved.
When I die, I don’t want to leave any money to the government really, not the UK government. More CCTV? More speed cameras? The UK already has millions of them, no need for more. George Orwell was pretty prophetic.
So I think with my money now... it’s a case of getting a balance between investing it wisely in myself, meeting interesting people and having great experiences, and still getting good value for what I spend and not being a consumerist sheep. I never want to have the feeling of ‘I must buy this because it has this brand’. I don’t want to spend money getting drunk. I still need to work on spending money in the right way to invest in myself though... I’ll let you know how this goes.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 11:14
Tuesday, 15 April 2014
The focus of this novel seems to be the death of King Alfred, and what happens after. On reflection, there seems to be less battles and fighting than other Cornwell books I’ve read... but that makes it interesting. The language seems quite simple sometimes, less complex than John Updike for instance. But when you read it again and think about it it’s potent.
Let’s look at an example:
“Alfred looked at the great leather panel that showed the crucifixion. ‘Do you notice anything strange about that painting?’ he asked me. I stared at it. Jesus hung from the cross, blood streaked, the sinews in his arms stretching against the dark sky behind. ‘No, lord,’ I said.
‘He’s dying,’ Alfred said. That seemed obvious and I said nothing. ‘In every other depiction I have seen of our Lord’s death,’ the king went on, ‘he is smiling on the cross, but not in this one. In this picture his head is hanging, he is in pain.’ ‘Yes, lord.’
‘Archbishop Plegmund reproved the painter,’ Alfred said, ‘because he believes our Lord conquered pain and so would have smiled to the end, but I like the painting. It reminds me that my pain is nothing compared to his.’
‘I would you had no pain lord’ I said awkwardly. He ignored that. He still gazed at the agonized Christ, then grimaced. ‘He wore a crown of thorns,’ he said in a tone of wonderment. ‘Men want to be king,’ he went on, ‘but every crown has thorns.’
I actually think this is the most moving piece of the novel. There's one element that I hadn't noticed before until now- mentioning Alfred looking at 'the great leather panel' is acknowledging in a way that he was great. The passage is almost comparing Jesus' death with Alfred's death. Alfred lived with pain for most of his life, yet he still achieved much, and set about making what would become England. Christianity was the driving force behind his ambition, and the Christain religion dominated English life for centuries to come.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 10:15
Friday, 14 March 2014
Just over ten years ago I knew very few ‘high value’ people and was pretty introverted. Now I know many and am humbled that they help me towards my goals.
Truth is... at many points I could have died rather than reach these goals. There are lots of times where I’ve cried, believing I’d never make it. But I think deep inside I have always had this inner belief that I would succeed. That’s probably the most important element in achieving goals, believing that you will. After that you find ways to make it happen.
I’ve just finished another goal that is something I’ve never done before, has taken over a year and a lot of energy. Whiskers away from dying rather than achieving it, but it’s practically done now.
I feel much more focused now, because this issue took a lot of that away. Coming back from near death makes you appreciate life more. There are plenty of things I haven’t achieved yet that seem unrealistic... but I’m about to start on these goals.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 18:58
Saturday, 1 March 2014
I've touched on this before, but today I'm going to go into a bit more depth on being none needy. This is because over the past few days I have been... quite needy but have managed to 'aggressively reverse the course' to an extent. Being needy is ironically about the worst way you can go about getting what you need. In sales, if a customer sees you are desperate for a sale, you will very rarely get the sale. In contrast, if you are none needy and can offer value to a customer you are much more likely to get a sale.
Here are some real world examples of this for you to illustrate. When working for British Gas and Npower sometimes I would do a good pitch, get rapport, but not close the sale right then. We'd established that there was a decent saving, but they weren't ready to go for it. I'd say "Fine, that's ok" and start walking onto the next house. Sometimes a customer would literally chase me back out the garden path and say "Wait... OK I'll go for it!" By being willing to walk away and do something else you show that you will just go on and offer someone else value. Another example is saying "Look... we know you're being overcharged and I could save you some money. It's not going to kill me either way, it's your money." Effective and true.
It's the same in business relationships or friendships. I know a lot of great people here again, and to be honest I'm not needy at all with my friends or in business. If they're too busy to chat I'll just go and do something else and chat later.
Anyway, some new goals to focus on... eating more healthily... just generally getting more healthy food into my body. Also more exercise!
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 08:45
Saturday, 11 January 2014
Sunday, 5 January 2014
Worked in two interesting jobs as well as shares, they actually helped me become a better investor... met some cool people. Could have done a bit better overall though. 7/10
Not that much spent on development... did win some good prizes online though and recieved a lot of free stuff. Nothing wasted. Could/should have still spent a bit more though 6.75/10.
Meeting people... maintained great relationships with high value people- again humbled that they want to help me. Met some cool new people too who challenged me. Lost a bit of focus 'chasing' one person to an extent, just have to trust my instincts and go with reality a bit more. There's no actual loss now if even high value people go out of my network (sadly sometimes by being a bit unbalanced)... there're no actual negative effects because I can just use that time I spent helping them to help other high value people and get mutual fulfilment that way. So I think I should definitely just keep speaking my mind. 7.5/10.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 20:38
Thursday, 2 January 2014
"Those shares are good value," I told my father. "You should buy them." I thought that he might, but could take some time. They're so good I'm probably going to buy them myself even though it means 'eating into my cash reserves'. "So what do you think?" I asked him later today. "I already bought them."
Taking action is key... you don't have to plan out every single detail. In fact doing this can often make you doubt your instincts. With my general 'genetics' and upbringing, I like to analyse things a lot. In chess often the more you analyse a position the deeper you will understand it. There are some basic things I should just do though. I'm pretty good with money- and give free advice to my friends. My friends don't know a lot about money often, but they trust me and take the advice and make money. That's it. A lot of complex things are written about investing (and I've read a hell of a lot of them) but at the end of the day all that matters is how much money you make. You don't get paid for reading. You don't get extra brownie points or cookies for having a 'balanced portfolio'. All that counts is how much money you make.
As quick ad... I've currently got some free time for financial advice. Contact me for details.
I don't think there are many people in the UK of my age who have read as much 'theory' as I have in my chosen areas. Now I have to take action and put it into practise. List of things to DO each day... best if I have control over whether I can do them, but still list some which I don't. Tick them off- do it each day. 2014 can be a BIG year for me... time to show and prove.
Posted by Huddersfield Mark at 20:55