Buying a 2nd home for nothing

A Coastal Folly

One thing has, after all, led to another. Against many years of better judgement, Mrs FvL and I have taken the plunge and bought a second home on the UK’s south coast. Our Coastal Folly.

This blog post tells the story of how I’ve paid for the Coastal Folly. I’ve surprised even myself with how it’s happened.

The Coastal Folly is expensive. Well over £2m of property. It is not a little 2 bed cottage 20 minutes drive from the sea. It is a premium piece of real estate, with uninterruptible sea views.

As a second home, it attracts additional stamp duty (the property transaction tax payable in cash to the government at completion) – for this value of property my stamp duty is well over 10%. A lot of people I know froth at the mouth at this level of stamp duty. Not me. My portfolio has benefited from low investment taxes. And most of what I spend my money on incurs 20% VAT. So having to shell out 12-13% purchase tax on a discretionary purchase, using money that has been taxed at 0% or 20%, doesn’t feel unreasonable at all to me.

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Crowdfunding: why its returns suck

This post is in an occasional series of blog posts (starting here) examining angel investing and the role it plays in high net worth peoples’ investment portfolios. This post looks at the ‘angel investing goes mainstream’ route of investing via crowdfunding platforms, drawing on an exclusive survey I ran on my blog.

I’m dealing here with equities – buying shares in companies – though most of my arguments would apply to crowdfunding platforms offering ways to invest in property, loans, and other asset classes.

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Jan 2021 review – spring cleaning underway

The end of 2021’s first month.

January 2021 was quite an eventful month. Vaccine wars (amidst which, the UK has managed over 9m vaccines, thank goodness). Gameshop / WallStreetBets/ DeepFuckingValue memes. Trump’s coup over, Biden’s presidency now in place. Plenty going on.

Lockdown continues relentlessly in the UK. My area of London is proving to be reasonably compliant, to boot. Local covid-19 cases have halved since the early January peak, but remain far too high for comfort. Thankfully a large number of ‘oldies’ have been vaccinated, I know from personal experience, so with luck in a few weeks we will see that impact feeding through in the hospital statistics.

The markets ramped quite impressively in January, until they didn’t. The month end numbers suggest there isn’t much to see here – the month end hiding some quite vivid action.

In the meantime, I was very busy – trying to (partially, at least) replace my portfolio with one (ish) ETF. I’ll report on my progress below.

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