If you’ve been following this blog (all three of you) you’d have noticed that my posting has kinda been non-existent this year. This has been down to a few factors.
First up, lockdowns ended. I didn’t think that’d make much of a difference to my everyday life, but turns out that general “life” stuff just encroached on all my spare time, giving me less time (and money) to focus on investing.
Second, everything going to hell in markets since January. That’s been pretty horrible. It’s just been non-stop insane unpredictable volatility every day for like 5 months now. You could invest in a company or industry that you think has a good future and is well priced, but at the moment that doesn’t matter – watch as half its value tanks for no real reason… then watch as it comes back, then tanks again without any real explanation behind it other than interest rates are going up. It’s really screwed with my confidence, and has led to me spending most of this year just sitting on the sidelines saving up cash.
Third (and this is the big one)… I was in New York for work at the end of March, then came home from the airport, opened the door to my (rented) apartment and… found myself in ankle-deep water. The hot water system had burst at some point while I was away, and for several days (at least) water was just leaking in. The apartment was ruined (parquetry under the carpet had swollen, broken, and gone mouldy), and I had to choose between either moving out while it got repaired/renovated, or just ending the lease. The former option had no actual estimated time that’d actually take on it, and given that I was planning on buying something this year and would end up having to move thrice (out-in-out) if I rented something else, I opted to end the lease, stick my stuff in storage, and move back home with my parents.
Yep, I’m 39 and back living with mum and dad. It’s simultaneously nice and depressing, comfortable yet cramped. My social life is dead, given that I’m now living about 90 minutes out of the city. The goal now is to try and buy something as soon as I can, and mid-April I sold off most of my shares/crypto with the aim of amassing enough for a deposit. If I’d done this 6 months ago I’d have a lot more to work with, but unfortunately… well you know the name of this blog. In a nice/sad coincidence, dad just finished wrapping up the estate of my grandparents (both who died within 6 weeks of each other in the middle of lockdowns last year), and some cash came out of that to go towards the deposit.
I now have enough cash on me to clear the deposit hurdle, and in true David Loses Money style, I’m trying to enter the housing market at the absolute peak – just as values will fall and interest rates are going up. I’m aiming to spend around the same amount on the mortgage as I did in rent, which should get me a two-bedroom apartment about 20 minutes out of the city if I get lucky. I’ve been going to inspections every weekend, and it’s been interesting seeing prices fall by 25-50k since I started looking. Everything is still depressingly overpriced and this market is horribly broken, and hopefully they’ll tank even more before I buy something.
But yeah, at the moment jumping head-first into stonks isn’t a priority right now. Once I’ve bought a flat, I’m absolutely going back into this stupidity though.