May 22

Weekend reading: Meet Mr Average


Weekend reading logo

What caught my eye this week.

Have you ever described yourself as just another average kind of personal finance blog-reading mostly passive occasionally active FIRE-obsessed crypto skeptic?

Well Indeedably did us all a favour this week by collating the data on what Mr Average really looks like:

Average” varies by locale, so let’s consider the English version, as told by the statistics.

A white 40-year-old man. Married to a white 38-year-old woman. With two school-aged children.

Living in a commuter town somewhere in middle England. Home is a three-bedroom, 720 square foot, house worth £249,000. £96,000 remains outstanding on the mortgage.

Their pensions, investments, savings, cars, and other possessions are worth a combined £133,600.

Giving them a total net worth of £286,600.

Their household annual income was £38,550 before tax, resulting in a disposable income of £29,900.

This means they house, clothe, feed, and entertain the whole family on £81 per day.

It’s invariably interesting to see how one compares to these sorts of statistics.

Unless one is looking at the average age from the wrong side of 45. Then it’s more like an Edvard Munch painting lit by Saturday morning’s PC screen.

Arm wrestling Mr Average

I’d never skip reading Indeedably’s posts in full. Even the bit in this one where he questions:

Pseudonymously written blog posts, whose content is regularly interrupted by confidence undermining random advertisements for haemorrhoid cream, lottery tickets, and Mongolian throat singing lessons?

Ouch! All I can say in our defense is that Internet advertising is mostly personalized to the reader’s own browsing habits…

Ahem. ?

How much like Mrs or Mr Average are you feeling these days? And do you aspire to retire to a life less ordinary – or something more mundane?

Let us know how Middle of the Road you are in the comments below.

Have a great weekend all!

From Monevator

Best bond funds and bond ETFs – Monevator

Are you childish about money? The origins of our money mindsets – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Too big to scale – Monevator


Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view you can click to read the piece without being a paid subscriber. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing if you read them a lot!1

House prices boom, at least outside of London… – Reuters

…and Nationwide predicts the price growth will continue – Guardian

Long hours are killing 745,000 people a year, global study finds – BBC

UK-listed firms fall to ‘pandemic plundering’ as bosses profit – ThisIsMoney

Leonard Blavatnik named UK’s richest person with £23bn fortune – BBC

San Francisco tech firms sit on record amounts of empty space – CNBC

Crash rules everything around me – A Wealth of Common Sense

Products and services

“Custom indexing unlocks lots of benefits” [Podcast]Morningstar

Comparing the cost of UK holiday destinations – ThisIsMoney

Natwest to allow personalized bank transfer caps to beat scammers – Which

Sign-up to Freetrade via my link and we can both get a free share worth between £3 and £200 – Freetrade

More Britons pursue a holiday home in Portugal – ThisIsMoney

Houses with outbuildings for sale, in pictures – Guardian

Comment and opinion

Larry Swedroe: the endowment effect – The Evidence-based Investor

Three reasons not to worry about hyperinflation right now – MathBabe

Merryn S-W: are ageing populations really bad for the economy? [Search result]FT

Good retirement savers are lousy spenders – Leisure Freak

The black box economy – Vox

Lessons from the Great Crypto Crash of May 2021 – The Escape Artist

Profits beat prophets in today’s market – Bloomberg

The spectacular failure of the endowment model – Advisor Perspectives

Twin certainties – Humble Dollar

Naughty corner: Active antics

Fund managers are betting on a boom and inflation – MarketWatch

High-yield spreads are the best single macro indicator – Verdad

Mishits – Enso Finance

S&P 500 CAPE ratio says US market is in an epic bubble – UK Value Investor

A diverse portfolio is a strong portfolio – The Evidence-based Investor

Covid corner

Tests for travel: how to get a green light to go abroad – Guardian

What has gone wrong in Singapore and Taiwan? – BBC

Covid R number inches up across England – Evening Standard

Emptying the nest. Again – New York Times

Kindle book bargains

Lab Rats: Why Modern Work Makes People Miserable by Dan Lyons – £0.99 on Kindle

What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen Schwarzman – £0.99 on Kindle

Hired: Six months undercover in low-wage Britain – £0.99 on Kindle

The Future Is Faster Than You Think by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler – £0.99 on Kindle

Environmental factors

Low emission zones do work – Guardian

IEA: no new oil, gas, or coal if we’re to hit net zero by 2050 – DIY Investor

The biggest climate stress test so far – Klement on Investing

“It’s a dirty currency”: Bitcoin’s growing energy problem [Search result]FT

Climate crisis to put millions of UK homes at risk of subsiding – Guardian

It’s hard to poison a feral pig – Undark

Off our beat

Life satisfaction is better for older people, even when they get sick – Klement on Investing

When all moments have equal value – Raptitude

Daniel Kahneman: “Clearly AI is going to win”Guardian

All hail King Pokémon! – Input

The optimal amount of hassle – Morgan Housel

The blandness of TikTok’s biggest stars – Vox

Fungi and urban planning – The London Review of Books

And finally…

“In most of our decisions, we are not betting against another person. Rather, we are betting against all the future versions of ourselves that we are not choosing.”
– Annie Duke, Thinking In Bets

Like these links? Subscribe to get them every Friday! Like these links? Note this article includes affiliate links, such as from Amazon and Freetrade. We may be  compensated if you pursue these offers – that will not affect the price you pay. Mr Average is welcome to click on anything that catches his eye.

  1. Note some articles can only be accessed through the search results if you’re using PC/desktop view (from mobile/tablet view they bring up the firewall/subscription page). To circumvent, switch your mobile browser to use the desktop view. On Chrome for Android: press the menu button followed by “Request Desktop Site”.

The post Weekend reading: Meet Mr Average appeared first on Monevator.



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