Salaries in London: real life examples

I wrote a post some months ago about how London now requires £500k of income a year – at least according to some high-achieving friends of mine, based on the privileged way they live their lives.  They are one per centers who deserve their success but they do identify with ‘the squeezed middle’. But given the interest in that post I thought it worth discussing exactly what sorts of careers earn how much in London right now.

Obviously I don’t have full knowledge of every Londoner’s personal finances.  I do however help hire (and occasionally fire) people in London’s private sector on a frequent basis, and have experience of this in large companies and small.  This gives me some useful data points. I’m sure there are myriad exceptions to my general rules, but here goes anyway. I would summarise London’s current pay strata as follows: Continue reading “Salaries in London: real life examples”

Finding ethical companies to invest in

I work for a company which takes pride in its ethics and values. So when I got chatting – as one does – with a younger colleague about pensions/investing recently she asked me how to invest in ethical stock market companies. As I’ve thought about this subsequently, I have realised what a minefield this topic is.

Let the ethical company cast the first stone

What’s unethical?  How about each of the following activities, for instance. Continue reading “Finding ethical companies to invest in”

Finally, I own a bit of Berkshire Hathaway

I have been a fan of Warren Buffett, the world’s biggest value-creator, since around 2000.  At the time I admired his past successes but assumed he would retire/die shortly and as a result never bought any of his stock.  But I’ve just bitten the bullet and bought a few shares of BRK.B, the ‘affordable’ mini share in his conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway.


Having judged him too old to warrant a long-term investment, the more the years went past, the stronger this argument for not holding BRK became.  Why have I finally relented?  Two reasons:

  1. I would like an invite to the Berkshire Hathaway Annual General Meeting in Omaha.  The so-called ‘Woodstock for capitalists’ is on my bucket list so I hope to go before the great man himself kicks the bucket.
  2. Recent market dips make BRK appear to be OK value.  As far as I can work out BRK.B’s earnings per share are around $8.  This is a P/E of 16. This is a roughly market average P/E (and corresponds to an earnings yield of 6%) for a business with a very strong track record of delivering above-market EPS growth over a sustained time period.