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May 21, 2022


Kamil Sicinski

Enjoy your retirement. I hope you keep writing in this blog!


Financial independence

George Brown

“I was stealing for a living”. You and me both. After 35 years selling software that doesn’t work to people who didn’t need it, I too recently retired. I’ve really enjoyed your blog over the years and I rather selfishly hope you keep writing as you enter this new life stage. Enjoy your retirement.


Isn't that conclusion (that the finance industry exists to channel wealth from clients to itself) just a generalised one for unregulated* capitalism in general?

I will note here that I'm not dissing capitalism as a system, but it does rather resemble democracy in Churchill's immortal words (the worst way to run something apart from all the others than have been tried from time to time.)

And financial investment seems like the ultimate endpoint of capitalism in that it doesn't even produce anything in and of itself but merely looks at the returns when choosing where to go.

*'unregulated' is probably the wrong word here because it's worse than that, in that there is regulation but it is only selectively applied (i.e. essentially corruption albeit not always overt.)

Enjoy your retirement.


Please, please continue this wonderful blog.


Congrats on making it to retirement. Hope this excellent blog can keep going.

I suppose the definition of 'stealing a living' is to give the impression of doing something useful but not really. On that basis I reckon a great many are stealing a living, indeed it seems to have become the default option for mid to upper earners.

Actually doing something useful seems left to a small cohort and seems rarely to be well paid. Seems to me this is a natural result of an advanced society. With good education commonly available most real needs are easily satisfied but that means poorly paid. Getting further up the ladder fulfils few real needs but a great many need to get up the ladder and few dare let on that it is doing little or no good.

The alternative is to have them sit at home writing poetry, smoking grass and drawing a citizens wage.


《two types of stock have beaten the market on average over the long-term: defensives and momentum: yes, most stock market anomalies are illusory (pdf) or short-lived, but not these two.》

So, is the efficient market hypothesis wrong?

《we don’t get such useful innovations – or at least not on the scale we need [...] The innovation we get depends upon whether innovators can capture a sufficient fraction of their benefits.》

Why can't central banks, motivated by the public good not profit, insure us each by, for example, providing individual CBDC accounts that pay the inflation rate as interest?

《The alternative is to have them sit at home writing poetry, smoking grass and drawing a citizens wage.》

Mind if I prefer to wander through forests and deserts, sleeping outside, learning more from nature than from humans?

Chris Pepin

The last paragraph says it all...Have a great retirement and keep writing!


«fund managers’ fees compound horribly over time; an extra half percentage point in annual fees can easily add up to over £2000 for every £10,000 invested over twenty years.»

It is much worse than that: between 30%-40% and 60-70% of a pension is paid to the City:

* Suppose a pension that accumulates over 40 years and a retirements of 20 years.

* The withdrawal rate over those 20 year should be around 3-4%.

* City fees amount to 1-2%, and that would be 20-50%, but they apply not just over the last 20 years, but also over the 40 years of the accumulation phase, so the actual confiscation by the City of a pensioner's funds is way above 25-50%.

State and employment pensions are much cheaper (around 0.5-1% of payments, instead of 30-70%, and that's why Conservatives, New Labour, LibDems have been working hard to cut them down to size and push workers to pay 30-70% of their pensions to the City.

Kevin Gardiner

I would suggest that you have helped your readers from believing the overconfident nonsense in media/marketing/academia... Enjoy the well-earned (not stolen) retirement.

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