About Me

Hello. I’m Mark, a retired 50-something year old ordinary individual.I built this website to document my investment experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m sharing where I invest, and the actual returns (and losses) realized from various types of investments.

I have built two new portfolios, specifically for sharing and tracking certain assets. A Growth Portfolio which tracks Stocks, Bonds, Gold & REITs. And also a Peer to Peer Lender Portfolio which tracks Peer to Peer Lenders I invest with.

If you are new to Peer to Peer Lending, or the other types of investments outlined here, please feel free to follow along as we see in real time where to get the best returns, with the least amount of risk, in order to grow capital.

 

This is “Obi Obvious”

I’m told that Obi looks like he has about the same mental ability as I do, so I decided people would probably rather look at him than me. You’ll see him throughout the website. He usually pops up where the most important information is, so if you’re looking for a “readers digest” version of the website, look for Obi 🙂

 

How I started investing

Problem

The biggest problem I had when I started investing was knowing “where” and “how” to invest, and “what to invest in”. What would help me build wealth without making any major mistakes, and having to start again?

I looked everywhere, read books, followed “gurus” and went to conferences. It took me years to find the right investment vehicles and diversification for real, honest growth I felt comfortable with. Of course, I went though all the “day trading” and “penny stock” phases. My first real intro into investments was many years ago from the a well known “get rich quick” commodity trading course.  I spent thousands of my hard-earned cash on these and other courses, but didn’t “get rich quick”, unfortunately. In the end I decided to put my money in to stocks, which did well for the most part, but the large swings in the stock market were very unnerving. Seeing my portfolio up 20% one year, then down 40% another year never felt very comfortable.

Solution

Eventually I came across a strategy by a gentleman called Harry Browne in the 80’s (an Investor, Author and U.S. Presidential Candidate). It’s a ridiculously simple investment strategy called “The Permanent Portfolio”. After I learned of it and saw the results from many years in the past, my investment ideas changed instantly. Finally I had something that made sense to me! with reasonable returns and acceptable drawdowns. And it was time tested, by Harry, with a track record of about 20 years at that time. Track record is very important as you’ll see from my “Backtesing” page.

I followed The Permanent Portfolio strategy for a while thereafter. Invested a little in the strategy every month from my salary, and that was a large part of how I found financial freedom and early retirement.The Permanent Portfolio assets are still a part of my personal portfolio today. However early on I made a few changes which help to improve returns, and limit drawdown. I added Real Estate funds (REITs) for increased stability and income, and I moved some of the cash part to Peer-to-Peer lending investments, to compensate for the low return rates from banks these days. These changes increase the return, reduce drawdowns and allow better diversification.

Even now, this strategy is so simple, anyone can set up the portfolios easily and quickly. In fact it’s quite boring. Where investments are concerned though, boring is good. 🙂 You can read more about my investments here.

Please feel free to take a look around my website which explains everything in detail. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

More About Me

For most of my 30 year career, I worked with software companies across globe. I was brought up in a small village near Newark, England, however I spent most of my career-life in the USA. I retired a few years ago and decided to move back over the pond, as I still have family in the UK and wanted to be closer to them. Now I live between the UK and The Algarve, Portugal.

Investments & Website

I manage my own investments in a couple of hours per month. Originally I started to write about my investments in a MS Word document to give to my friends and family who showed interest in how I invest. Half way through, I decided to publish the information to a blog instead. This way I can easily distribute updates, instead of mailing out a Word doc every week. Plus I thought perhaps if others take interest in the way my investments are going, it might help them to make sensible investment decisions, and not to make some of the mistakes I have made over the years, and undoubtedly will continue to make moving forward.

 

Please read my disclaimer & privacy policy.

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If you are just starting out investing, looking for a sound strategy. Or if you already have a nest egg, and you want to grow it sensibly with lower risk investments, the portfolios we are following here could prove to be a good option for you.
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