Faith in Eighth

Yet, another year rolls on by and my blog has just unbelievably turned eight years old!

Happy 8th birthday to Quietly Saving! 🙂

So am I still as FIRE’d up about all this after 8 years of writing and sharing my mutterings and my journey?

Yes, I guess I am.

But I’m not half as excited as I was back then.

Eight Year Slog

It does feel like a slog at times, as it continues to be an effort to stay focused.

Sometimes, I feel like I can’t be arsed updating the blog, because I feel like there’s nothing really for me to write about, just the same old, same old.

I’m just getting on with my life and the dogged path of perseverance to get to my FIRE goal is not exciting at all!

Life before I discovered FIRE did seem so much more carefree, when I was just merrily drifting aimlessly with no set goals. Life, that is, AFTER I had paid off my credit card debts – it wasn’t so merry during my dark days of being neck-deep in debt.

But if I want to get to where I’m going, I need to keep at it, need to stay focused, and carry on saving and investing as much as I am able to towards my future.

This blog has undoubtedly kept me from straying and I thank all the readers who take the time to stop by with their words of support, who make me accountable for my actions with their comments and emails.

What have I been doing these past 8 years? Continue reading

Name That Fund Manager

For the past few years, Morningstar have been marking International Women’s Day by looking at how many fund managers in the UK are female and how that compares with funds run by men named ‘Dave’.

Why Dave?

It was a sad fact that some years ago, it was noticed that the number of male FTSE 100 CEOs named Dave/David outnumbered the total number of female FTSE 100 CEOs, which at the time was just six. I think that number has increased to 8 now, so Daves still outnumber the women CEOs.

Anyway, the good news is that there are now more women fund managers than fund managers called Dave:

  • 184 female fund managers are running 329 funds between them (some run more than one mandate) – 17.8% of all UK funds.
  • 59 fund managers with the name Dave or David ran 133 funds – 7.2% of all UK funds.

So great news that some progress has been made, but there’s still much more work to be done, to increase that 17.8%.

Anyway, what also interested me about the article was the most common names of fund managers:

Apart from James and Richard, that list of most common male fund manager names could have been taken from my school register!

Not that I’m saying that any of the boys I went to school with went on to become fund managers (fact – none of them) but the first names shared with the boys who were in my class is uncanny!

What this tells me is that these guys are probably of similar age group to me, Gen X, all with probably what you would now call ‘old-fashioned’ names.

Do you get babies getting called these names any more? I think I know of a recent baby James but that’s about it.

It’s a different story however when I look at the names of the women fund managers.

Only 2 of those share names with girls I went to school with (Amanda and Helen), with many having names I would have considered belonging only to the ‘posh girls’ who went to the all girls school.

So, posh girls who had better education/opportunities going on to run funds? Perhaps not implausible (I’m clutching at straws here of course!).

Most common girls’ names when I was at school were Lisa, Michelle, Sharon, Tracey/Tracy, Amanda and Helen (there were at least 2 or 3 of each in my school year).

Current Bunch

The company I work for has a young workforce (I’m one of the few oldies), the majority in between their early 20s and early 30s.

But even without knowing their ages, their names show that they are of a different generation.

Most common male names in the office? Jordan (3 of them), Jack (2) and Liam (2).

Most common female names? Lauren (3), Chloe (2) and Holly (2)

It will be interesting to see how the names on that fund managers list will change over the next 10-20 years, to see if more modern names creep in (in large numbers) and what name finally pushes Dave from the top spot!

Board, not Bored

2020 was a bit of a blur – I think like many, I was just going through the everyday motions of life, doing what I should be doing (work), trying to “stay safe” and attempting to maintain my sanity.

At some point, my eyes must have glazed over from looking at my FIRE and investment spreadsheets too much (what else was there to do back then?) and I decided to make things a bit more visual (and interesting).

I set up a ‘Countdown to FIRE’ Trello board.

Trello is a free to use collaboration tool, generally used for projects – an online equivalent of a whiteboard with a load of sticky notes.


Anyway, I forgot all about it until recently so here’s the updated board in all its glory.

I’d never used one before (for work or other) so it’s pretty basic; I’ve just muddled my way through trying stuff and making the most of copy and paste but I think it might be useful for me to view my goals in a different way, instead of them being hidden away in various spreadsheets.

I use the term ‘useful’ loosely, it’s more a motivation tool, rather than anything which is helping me reach FIRE, or even measuring my progress in a meaningful way.

Interestingly, the goal ‘Buy a home?’ had originally been in the ‘Future Goals (3-5 years)’ section so as mentioned previously, it was always part of my overall plan – it was just brought forward unexpectedly.

Anyone else use Trello or other visual tools to track their progress to FIRE?

Seven-Year Itch

[From Wikipedia] “The seven-year itch is a popular belief, sometimes quoted as having psychological backing, that happiness in a marriage or long-term romantic relationship declines after around seven years.”

I’m not married, nor currently in a long-term romantic relationship so the itch in my case must refer to my relationship with my blog, which last month unbelievably turned seven years old!

Happy 7th birthday to Quietly Saving! 🙂

So has my happiness (and enthusiasm) declined after 7 years of writing and sharing mutterings about my FIRE journey?

I would say no, not yet anyway!

Seven Year Slog

Let me just start by saying that whilst it hasn’t been particularly difficult, it hasn’t been a breeze aiming for FIRE all these years because it still takes me effort to stay focused, to stay on this path I have chosen.

There are occasions when I feel like I can’t be bothered any more, although perhaps lockdown/the pandemic has probably put these thoughts in my head – my life seemed so much easier when I was just merrily drifting aimlessly with no set goals. But that way points to regret and I would rather not have any regrets.

Whilst I’m no longer the younger me who used to just spend money like there was no tomorrow, if I don’t maintain focus, laziness and apathy will make a reappearance in my life and costs will spiral until I’m no longer saving and investing as much as I am able to towards my future.

Anyway, aiming for FIRE is a long-term slog and the only thing that really keeps me from straying off the path is this blog and the words of support from the readers who take the time to stop by and who inadvertently make me accountable for my actions with their comments and emails.

What have I been doing these past 7 years? Continue reading