2020
Festive 2020 greeting card background with a fiery date formed by sparklers over black with copy space for a holiday message

Well, what is there to say about 2020 which hasn’t been said many times?

We can’t change what happens in the world, but was can change how we respond to it, and how we learn.

Like most people, I’ve found it very difficult. Working in the NHS (probably hearing too much news), concern about vulnerable family members, being locked down (and living alone), and becoming single. Not an ideal combination.

However, I have tried to make the best of it. Financially, I put most of my ‘spare’ cash into the stock market while it was low, and have made some gains on that, however I lost quite a lot on my REIT, which is still down about 70%. Lesson there – don’t have too much of your portfolio in any one asset; particularly if you don’t fully understand it.

I made use of the reduced costs from not commuting so much, not going out and not going on holiday, by buying a much needed settee, and buying myself a nice (used) car.

And, I’ve set up a ‘SPV’ limited company, for which I am hoping to purchase a local Buy to Let flat. I’ve had a very low offer accepted, pending search etc. The market is moving very slowly at the moment, for various Covid-19 related reasons.

I’ll post more about this in the new year, assuming it goes through.

In some ways there has probably never been a worse time time invest, with the various (unjustified) changed the government have made. The unindented consequences, which governments seem pretty hopeless at anticipating, is many landlords selling up, and the number of properties available decreasing. This may actually put prices up, which is good for anyone still in the market.

The flat I’m looking at has a pretty good gross yield of around 8.4%. This is by no means the profit margin, and is used only to compare properties.

It’s at least twice what you would get in a London BTL, which the profits come form capital appreciation (which is currently looking like a poor gamble).

I’ve also used some of the extra time in 2020 to crack on with my CII exams. I’ve set a target of 3 exams in 2021; optimistic but hopefully achievable!

I wish everyone a prosperous and fun 2021!

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