Thoughts on Brexit…

Ah, the crazy Brits…they’re always up to something that’s bound to cause a stir. Whether it’s voting for Scottish independence (2014) or voting on the United Kingdom (UK) leaving the European Union (EU) (this year). One thing I do admire about the system of government in the UK is how they put they major policy questions directly to the citizens for a vote (even if the referendum was non-binding)

With that in mind, I wanted to share some thoughts on Brexit…

Like the majority of the rest of the world, I was quite surprised when the majority of the votes came in favor of leaving the EU. I do think that the British people are making an ill-informed decision or a decision that they are bound to regret in the years to come. There’s many things that the British government will have to do such as re-issuing passports, review current laws that were passed for EU regulatory purposes, negotiate a new trade agreement with EU, determine the status of EU citizens in Britain and British citizens living in the EU, and the list goes on and on! One other thing for consideration is that by leaving the EU, it may also force the break up of the UK. Every single county in Scotland voted to remain in the EU. Also, Northern Ireland is exploring its options to keep trade and borders open with Ireland. It’s no wonder Prime Minister Cameron is letting the next PM activate article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty that allows the 2 year clock on leaving the EU to begin ;).

I also think that the U.S. markets are overreacting. The markets in the U.S. have dropped almost 1,000 points from last Thursday’s close due to the “global uncertainty” associated with Britain leaving the EU. In fairness, Britain is the world’s 5th largest economy, however, a lot can and will happen if Britain decided to declare under article 50 that they are leaving the EU. What this overreaction presents for me is opportunities to buy stock at discounted prices! I only wish I had more cash to take advantage of the price drop. It’s like I was explaining to one of my co-workers today, our company is not materially worth less the today because the British people voted to leave the EU. I’m also a believer that this price drop in the market will eventually recover.

From a selfish standpoint, now is a great time to travel to Britain as the exchange rate has gotten much more favorable for the U.S. dollar. Additionally, if you’re buying a house in the next 30 days or so, you may be able to lock in a lower interest rate as there as been a significant surge in buying 10 year U.S. Treasury bonds. This has caused the yield on the bonds to decrease and because mortgages are closely tied to the 10 year Treasury yield, interests are lower.

It will be interesting to see how the vote to leave the EU plays out. There has been talk in Britain of voters not understanding what they were voting for, a petition calling for another vote on leaving the EU, and leaders of the “Leave” campaign walking back on their pledges on what happens and how certain programs would be funded if the “Leave” vote won.

Leaving the EU will be a complex affair with lots to consider for Great Britain and its (former) EU partners. There is much to discuss if and when Britain declares that it’s leaving. So far the biggest losers of the vote to the leave the EU have been the British citizens with the pound losing its value, markets in turmoil, and the potential for Scotland to leave the UK.

I’ll leave you with one thing to ponder…

Given that the vote on last Thursday was non-binding for the British Parliament and the complexities behind actually leaving the EU, will the British actually leave or will this end up being bluster that will end up causing a lot of anxiety and costing people a lot of money? As for me, while everyone is panicking about the uncertainty and trying to figure out what to sell, I’ll be happily buying cheap stock!

If you’re interested in reading more about “Brexit”, I encourage you to consult the following links:

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Getting Back to the Basics…

Yowzers! This was bound to happen…finally I am circling back to my “long, lost, and almost forgotten” blog/site. A lot has changed and gone on…

First off, this site used to be hosted by hostgator and I had to pay for the privilege of being hosted. The web hosting renewed every May from 2009 – 2016. This year, I decided that I wasn’t going to continue the hosting by hostgator and I decided to just go with the free option offered by WordPress.com. I never really monetized the website and more used it as a journal/place to express ideas and thoughts. Therefore, I decided the free options were good enough for me and my purposes. This has led to saving me $140/year. 🙂

You now might be asking what my plans for the site are going forward? Really, I have no idea how often I will post. I am in a different place and mindset than when I first setup this site and domain. Back then, I was in the midst of planning a trip around the world. Now, I’m working on planning a wedding, paying off a house, occasionally traveling, and saving money and investing. My thoughts are to turn this site into more of an online journal and journey for people to follow/comment on etc.

Recently, I’ve been investing in the market and have made this to be a new habit. My goal is to someday be able to cover my monthly expenses with dividend/investment income. So far I have 5 positions that purchase at least 1 new share of each stock every quarter. I’m working on my 6th position now. It’s definitely a work in progress, but it’s been fun seeing it get off the ground! I’m sure there will be at least a few more posts regarding investments/opportunities for investments.

Some major changes for me….

Since my world trip ended in Sept 2012, I’m on my 4th employer. Sometimes, I’ve left by choice and better opportunities and other times, I’ve decided to leave because of re-organizations/title changes/changes in responsibilities. I’m happy with my current employer, boss, and team so I’m hoping for a little stability in employers the next 2-4 years. It’s almost been a year since I’ve been with my current employer.

I’m also getting married in September of this year! Woohoo! That will be another great and exciting change. I’m marrying a Minnesota girl who is a pre-school teacher and has a love of helping others. She also shares my love of travel, trying new restaurants, canoeing, being outdoors, being practical/planning, and being frugal. We’re only a few months away from getting married and nearly everything is all done for the wedding! 😉

Going along with getting married, I bought a house in late February 2016! Of course with a house, comes new expenses and new things one has to buy. It’s been an interesting process and expect to see some posts related to the house as well.

Finally, although my travels have slowed down, there is still a deep love of travel, how travel can change a person, and what people can learn from traveling. I’m looking forward to my and my fiance’s 2 week road trip in late July/Early August. We’ll be road tripping from Minneapolis to Portland, OR stopping at a few national parks along the way. It’s going to be about a 4,700 mile trip and should be fun to disconnect from work for awhile.

Well I suppose that’s all for now. I hope to maybe get my site header back and get going again on this site with new posts from time to time.

Tim