What caught my eye this week.

The results are in from last week’s poll (now closed) and in news that will shock no one, it turns out that the readers of a personal and investing website are in general earning much more than the average UK citizen.

Over 2,000 of you voted – thanks! Your votes confirmed that a majority of Monevator readers pay higher-rate taxes:

Indeed going by the poll results, more than a fifth of you pay additional-rate taxes.

That high score does slightly surprise me. The figure nationally is around 1% of the adult population.

Perhaps higher-earners are more likely to want to tell us about it in polls?

And maybe I should cajole Finumus into writing more mundane stuff about household accounts for the very wealthy among you?

Or maybe not: he’d have you putting the family home into an offshore vehicle that you securitise on the Moldavian Stock Exchange by teatime…

How much?

I’m often surprised by how much some people earn. Blame my long years of Bohemian living like a graduate student – plus my multi-decade avoidance of the office.

In a standout example, I learned this week that an old friend took home £600,000 last year.

I knew he was world-class at his job, and that his employer is the best in the field. But that field is not financial services – nor money-laundering, racketeering, or producing hip-hop records.

And my friend is a wage slave (still 15-hour days in his late 40s, he claims, at times) not an entrepreneur.

A bit more interrogation revealed 2022 was an outlier thanks to some massive bonuses, but still.

We were talking about general investing, and as my friends tend to he’d asked for some thoughts about something. In the subsequent conversation I’d guessed his salary – I thought generously – at about £150,000.

He looked at me without saying anything for a moment. Not unkindly.

Everyday high earners

Are you feeling hard done by? Remember my friend is an extreme outlier. Nearly everyone earns a lot less.

An annual salary of ‘just’ over £60,000 a year puts you in the top 10% of wage earners:

Source: Statista

At least I think it does. Unfortunately Statista restricts access to the source for this data to subscribers; I presume it’s from the ONS.

Note that if you randomly Google around, most reports discuss ‘household income’. That includes all sorts of non-salary income – and in many cases the earnings of multiple people.

Cheap cuts

It was my friends’ turn to be shocked when I said I’d only paid higher-rate taxes in a handful of years. Even after I explained I’d used SIPP contributions to mitigate the impact.

My friend has been prudent with saving and investing, and is no spendy oligarch. Lots squirreled away, mostly lives in a two-bed flat – though there is a holiday home and buy-to-lets – and one where the kitchen has been unusable for a year (another story).

Nevertheless, we were speaking a totally different language on income. I was in mild shock for the rest of the evening; I think he was in turn by my earnings profile, too.

He’s now looking to downshift his family’s life or even to retire – our conversation was basically about ‘the number’ – and is mulling doing a couple of years in a less pressured and more enjoyable role as an off-ramp.

A big salary cut, obviously. He reckons to about £150,000 a year.

You can know the statistics but it’s always different with revelations from friends. Whatever you tell yourself in the cold light of day, or from a soap box in the comments on a blog. (Anticipating? Moi?)

I walked the long way home, wondering for a bit if I’d done something wrong with my life. I decided I hadn’t – I couldn’t hack his work-life for a week – but it did make me think.

No bad thing. Just not too often!

Have a great weekend.

p.s. A couple of readers who have signed-up for membership were confused when they couldn’t access yesterday’s article on the site. Remember we have two tiers – essentially passive and active, though it’ll be a bit cloudier in practice. If you’ve joined the lower-priced Mavens cohort (thank you!) then you can’t read the naughty Mogul stuff. High-rolling Moguls can read everything. I’ll look for a way to make the paywall clearer.

From Monevator

FIRE update: second year anniversary – Monevator

Ego as a catalyst [Mogul members]Monevator

From the archive-ator: The UK stock market’s worst-ever crash – Monevator


Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view click through to read the article. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing to sites you visit a lot.

BoE set to raise rates above 5% as UK inflation disappoints… – Guardian

…causing mortgage lenders to hike rates and pull products – This Is Money

…meanwhile households have lost £5,455 to inflation in two years – Yahoo Finance

Which? wins campaign to protect free access to cash – Which

All-time low of 31% of Britons think it was right to leave EU – Sky News

The Londoner who lives amongst billionaires for £200 a week – Guardian

Switching to the best savings account annually tripled your interest since 2008 – This Is Money

Products and services

Shawbrook Bank’s new best buy one-year bond pays 5.06% – This Is Money

Borrowers told to brace for 5%-plus mortgage rates – Guardian

Open a SIPP with Interactive Investor and pay no SIPP fee for six months. Terms apply – Interactive Investor

Is Help To Buy coming back? – Which

Lenders are pulling ten-year fixed-rate mortgage deals – This Is Money

Open an account with low-cost platform InvestEngine via our link and get £25 when you invest at least £100 (T&Cs apply. Capital at risk) – InvestEngine

Netflix starts charging UK password sharers – Be Clever With Your Cash

Which shops offer the best value on lunchtime meal deals? – Which

Stylish new-build homes for sale, in pictures – Guardian

Comment and opinion

The market usually goes up (but sometimes it goes down) – A.W.O.C.S.

The Renters Reform Bill explained [Video] – Property Hub via YouTube

What if you run out of life? – 1500 Days

How some people get away with doing nothing at work – Vox

Long cycles – Humble Dollar

The City of London needs an intervention [Search result]FT

Why investment clients are attracted to complexity – Advisor Perspectives

The best time of my life – Humble Dollar

The Good Enough Job: reclaiming life from work – Next Big Idea Club

Gold isn’t a convincing core asset for Larry Swedroe – Alpha Architect

A high tax primal scream – Simple Living in Somerset

Naughty corner: Active antics

Investment junk food – Behavioural Investment

Private equity trust discounts widen [Search result]FT

Long-term buy-and-hold of yesterday’s winners is risky – Morningstar

Trend following in equities – Finominal

Optimal duration – Verdad

Great investors see things differently – Neckar

I don’t know – Ted Seides

Crypto o’ crypto

Valuing Bitcoin by addressable market size and network effects – Morningstar

Kindle book bargains

Too Big To Jail: The Greatest Banking Scandal of the Century by Chris Blackhurst – £0.99 on Kindle

Amazon Unbound by Brad Stone – £0.99 on Kindle

200 Years of Muddling Through: The British Economy by Duncan Weldon – £0.99 on Kindle

The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living by Mark Boyle – £0.99 on Kindle

Environmental factors

How melting icecaps and glaciers affect everyone [Graphic rich]NPR

Weird, rare, and everywhere – Hakai

Full-year results from Tridos’ Thrive Renewables – DIY Investor

The scientists coaxing back nature with sound – BBC

All the arguments against EVs are wrong – Noahpinion

UK farm curbs greenhouse gases by making sheep burp less – Semafor

Robot overlord roundup

The man who put Microsoft in the lead on AI – Semafor

Vanguard CEO says AI will revolutionise asset management – PI Online

AI and the offline moat – Dror Poleg

Government to tighten AI rules amid fears of existential risk – Guardian

AI fake photo of Pentagon blast goes viral, spooks stocks – Yahoo Finance

Off our beat

The liabilities of success – Of Dollars and Data

How you brain tells the difference between reality and imagination – Quanta

Digital culture is literally reshaping women’s faces – Wired

The psychedelic renaissance is missing the bigger picture – Vox

Why are large companies so dominant? – Klement on Investing

What do adults owe their parents? – Fatherly [h/t Abnormal Returns]

Brexit has wrecked the UK car industry, but so has the government – Guardian

Sudden death – Slate

And finally…

“True security lies in the unrestrained embrace of insecurity – in the recognition that we never really stand on solid ground, and never can.”
– Oliver Burkeman, Four Thousand Weeks

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The post Weekend reading: earning learning appeared first on Monevator.

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