November 2016 Update

I have just completed my review of November and found that my net worth this year has dropped due to the turbulent market. I have been investing the same monthly amount into ETFs but the general trend isn’t as good as last year when I managed to end the year up on the previous one – and that was with me not working for the last 7 months of the year.

I am ploughing money onto my ISAs and pensions. I am considering consolidating my personal pensions into one scheme which could offer me drawdown options in the future. The pension schemes I currently have are old style ones which don’t offer such options just the ability to transfer.

I think I am on track to finish the year about the same as I started it – which hopefully in the long-term will increase as I buy units at low prices and wait for the market to pick up.I invest monthly on a set day and just ride the roller coaster prices as they happen each month.

It’s now that time of year which I don’t really enjoy, Christmas. I find it a depressing time of year with the dark days and cold. I don’t find the month a joyous one, just a month in which to hibernate and stay warm. Consumer overload.

I laugh when I hear the talk on utility companies and the government ‘regulator’. They changed the rules and issue this on Brexit day so that it was hidden by the big news story – buried again by ‘clever’ press offices.

I didn’t like the move to reduce the options available (4 per company)  as I use to be able to get a non-standing order one that meant I had a good deal. When the rules changes to remove this type of offer, my bills went up £100 pa.  I shop around at the moment and cannot get my bills any lower than they are. The fixed deals mean that the utility companies can forecast their costs and their income can be calculated. The market for cost savings disappeared and the companies won out by being able to calculate their income v wholesale pricing and see how much margin they could make.

Now the rule which meant that companies had to offer the same options to new AND existing customers has been removed – It’s going to be harder to find a good deal without moving company every year to play them off against each other. This isn’t a good market from a customer view-point, its just another number crunching game where the customer loses out long term. It feels like a cartel to me.

My only way of reducing my bills is to switch the heating off. I have chased all the options to reduce usage – other than solar or ground-source heating which is too expensive and not possible on my house /location.