Savings Report #22 – I Failed at Market Timing!

This is a Saving Ninja savings report. Go to How To Track Your Savings to check out the Saving Ninja Super Spreadsheet. Please note that I split my expenses equally with my partner and the savings rate, house equity and house value represent my share only. The spreadsheet calculates my savings rate based off £12,000 worth of expenses per year, even though my expenses are actually Less Than 10k Per Year. This is to create a buffer; I’m aiming for at least 12k to reach financial independence.

Click here to see all of my past Savings Reports and view my interactive net worth chart


£10k interest earned in a single month? Ok…

Does that mean we’re no longer in a bear market?

I thought it would be a lot worse than that!

Then again lots of people keep saying that there will be another fall. It does seem really strange that the entire world is still effectively on lockdown and we’ve seen this huge gain, what’s going on?

I actually feel a little peeved off as due to a complication with my share dealing account this month I didn’t invest into my ISA on the normal date of the 2nd, but instead much later on the 20th, after the stock market had another huge rally.

This has been the case for a lot of the ‘bear market’, by sticking with my normal monthly deposits, I seem to have invested on a rebound every time. I kind of want there to be more crashing so I can pick up more bargains…

Anyway, I upped my ISA contribution to £3,000 this month and I also contributed another £5,398 into my pension via salary sacrifice; I’ll be leaving both contributions set to this amount until August; I’ll then reduce them to the amount that they need to be in order to hit the £40k SIPP and £20k ISA allowances.

My Tesla investment shot up gaining £1,623 in value, I then decided I’d try to ‘time the market’ and sold all 10 of my shares for $725 each. This is now sitting in cash in my Freetrade account.

Tesla then shot up a little more right after I sold which made me feel a bit uncomfortable; I feel like I’ve made the wrong decision by selling as I was holding Tesla because I believed in the company and wanted them to be a really long hold, not because I wanted to make a quick buck. I’m now worried that I might never be able to buy them back if they stay above $725, which will make me sad 🙁

Other News


That’s an awfully low figure.

That’s how much my monthly expenses are during the COVID lockdown; it’s my normal expenditure minus any luxury spending, minus the holiday pot, minus the god-awful £200 odd I spend to commute to work.

That’s £5,580 per year. Or, in FIRE terms, £139,500 needed to be financially independent (using the 25x rule).

It’s an encouraging number. If I could get to the financial position to cover these base costs outside of my pension, I’d be extremely happy. I could fund all other expenses (holidays, luxury) by post-FI related entrepreneurial activities; I’d hope that with enough time on my hands, I’ll be able to release a couple of successful pieces of software. If all else failed, I could pick up a side-gig for a couple of weeks to fund a luxury holiday.

I’d like to try and hit that base figure in passive income before I retire, then everything would be perfect!


I’ve got Headspace for a whole year. I used their family plan offer so it only cost me £12.50. I’m hoping that completing some of their courses will give me back some of the control over my emotions that I seem to have lost.

I just need to actually stick to a routine; has anyone else found that during lockdown they seem to be less productive and get less done?

Usually, cycling to work each day contributed to my exercise routine, without that I’ve been reluctant to do anything else. I’m dreading to look at the scales to see how many kilograms I’ve gained!

Holiday Blues

Once all of this is over I really want to splurge on a holiday, after all, our trip to Switzerland in April did get cancelled. Not being able to go on holiday is making me really want to go on one and not care about money as much.

Maybe COVID will help me break out of my frugal shell and appreciate the value that spending money on experiences can provide? People always say that you don’t realise how much you love something until it’s gone.

What is first on your list when the lockdowns are lifted?

What adventures will you go on?


21 thoughts on “Savings Report #22 – I Failed at Market Timing!

  1. Unlucky with trying to time the market :-(! I’m sure there will be another opportunity to jump back in but like you say, hard to know when… Maybe next time, if you have to sell, you only sell half and keep the other half in?

    That expenses number is incredibly and fantastically low! Very comforting to know that in times of stress and you have to strip away luxuries, you are still able to have a relatively comfortable life. Although you wouldn’t want to live like that in the longterm – what’s life if you can’t take holidays!?

    Speaking of which, I can’t wait to get away myself, though I’m not confident that I’ll be able to get away in September. Interesting that you mention that you won’t care about money so much as you just want a holiday – I can see travel becoming all expense again, no more cheap flights – I always wondered how money was made from the ultra cheap flights/holidays. Airlines and holiday companies are going to want some pretty hefty margins to build up their bank accounts.

    What adventures will I go on when lockdowns are lifted?

    Right now, I can’t think beyond it being an adventure every time I go out and trying to maintain social distancing!

    1. I’ve already bought them all back now. Yeah, it could get more expensive for travel, or maybe it will get cheaper as people will be fearful of traveling? If we were only partially locked down maybe.

  2. I also sold all my TSLA at around that mark and felt the same – I believe in the long term value of the company immensely but also feel dirty for taking the profit.

    Just seeing how much time and energy was spent deliberating and debating over one company makes me realise that funds really are the way to go. The cash value of my fund holdings dropped many multiples of what TSLA was doing, but which one was getting more of my attention to get the timing right? You guessed it…. I barely had the headspace to keep tabs on one stock, let alone trying to maintain a portfolio’s worth.

    I am currently undecided if the original capital+gains will be redeployed in to something more set and forget or if I’ll go for another flurry on the markets, but I skimmed off a portion of the profits and finally made a long debated purchase (read: want, not need) – because what good is the fun money without a little fun!

    1. Now is the perfect time to buy them back 🙂

      But yeah, I see it as a perfect opportunity to experience the market and make mistakes whilst not risking my main funds, better a loss on this than on everything!

  3. We would love to go back to Costa Rica, but they have been super strict with their quarantine rules (which has kept their cases way down) and my guess is that they will keep their borders closed longer than most other countries.

    Our market timing has been terrible too, so we finally made the switch to using a tactical asset allocation provider who tells us what moves to make every month. Hopefully it provides a smoother ride in what I’m sure will be very turbulent financial times in the coming months/years.

    1. Ooo, that’s interesting that you’ve paid for asset management. Will you do a post about this? It does seem like everyone is stuck in place for the foreseeable future, plans on hold, life is standing still 🙁

  4. Haha that’s an incredibly low base expenses figure! Well done .

    Our expenses for April were about 2.8k. that’s certainly not base level as we’ve been smashing into internet purchases for around the house etc. Getting involved in diy projects while have “extra time” on our hands (not really as we have TFS Jr to entertain full time without nurseries open haha). But it’s still pretty low for us. May could be even lower unless we get a new driveway booked in and have to pay up front.

    I hear you on the less productive front although I think it’s only that I feel it. If you look back at our Todo list we’ve actually ticked quite a lot off. It seems I conflate productive with time spent sat in front of the computer, which is obviously not necessarily the case!

    I’ll see close friends and family as soon as out of lockdown, although we have been popping over for a chat at the end of the driveway when dropping “essential items” off to each other 🙂 it’s not quite the same haha. Also want to play some bloody golf!! I am hoping that is one of the first things to open back up as it’s very easy to social distance on the course.

    Cheers and good luck with the Tesla shares, I know you’ve bought them back now so maybe best to leave the trading to the gambler day traders out there! 😉

    1. It’s the opposite of what I wanted to do this year, which was spend more!

      £2.8k is really good for your whole family 😮 It seems a lot of what was driving me to be productive before was a routine. If I only had 2 hours in the day to get personal projects done, I usually filled that – now I’ve got more time I’m doing bugger all!

      Reading back on this post about wishing I had the Tesla shares back has made me realise how quickly emotions change… Now I’m thinking “Yeah, I’ll trade them more!” but if they go up I’ll be sad again… I guess it’s all experience and learning. Better to do it with these rather than my pension.

    1. I hope he doesn’t anymore as I already bought them back! 🙂 Managed to get in at $700 per share, they’re now up by almost 10% – these stocks are just crazy.

  5. Thats a phenomenally low level of expenditure. Although the £200/month commute is equally great (in a pejorative sense) – is that petrol or train tickets? Or a limousine complete with chauffeur ;).

    Our Spring-time holiday was also torpedoed by Covid and, given no break since December 2019, we’ll be in dire need of a proper break too. Similarly to you we’ve been thinking of throwing frugality out the window and going on a bonanza holiday. I’ve been mulling over the Caribbean, but am open to suggestions!

    1. It’s for my train into London, actually more along the lines of £240, that’s with my railcard and only going in 3 times a week too!

      We’re thinking of a luxury Christmas Snowboarding holiday to Canada. I just hope we can actually do it this Christmas 🙂

  6. Crikey o’reilly! Those expenses are fantastic – well done mate! I think my electricity, broadband and council tax equals that figure alone! (Our council tax is ridiculous at £265 p/m – we’re thinking of having it reviewed by the council as the house use to be one big house but is now split into two and we’re still paying for the higher amount)

    Annoying about Tesla – I saw the tweets from Elon Musk the other day. Sounds like he’s lost a screw from somewhere or account has been hacked. Hope the meditation plan thing works out! Perhaps a blog post on how you’ve felt by using it over course of a month? 😀

    1. That’s a good idea Jase – I’ll see if I stick to it for that long 🙂 That council tax is pretty ridiculous, ours is around £110 combined, these expenses are only my half as well by the way, me and the wife don’t share our finances.

  7. Hey Ninja,

    That is indeed an incredible low expenses figure. As you know we’ve chatted at length about spending money on the right things that provide joy and the balance of deprivation caused by over saving and missing out on some things. Only you can discover the balance that works for you. I don’t blame you wanting to go on a holiday once we are out of all this, I hope you do. I myself have an Amsterdam still booked for July before all this happened. If that’s cancelled, I’m going to Amsterdam twice I tell you .

    Be safe buddy


    1. Hey Chris, thanks for stopping by.

      Yeah, it’s always a balance – something I hoped to work on this year! I hope you enjoy Amsterdam twice 🙂 I loved that city, such beautiful architecture.

  8. Hi Mr Ninja, just checking in to see how you’re doing!

    Why are you even trying to time the market? Will you attempt it again in future?

    (Also I have to confess I got slightly burned myself by not investing a lump sump I had set aside for my SIPP at the start of the new tax year in April, and instead waiting until this week… that said prices are still effectively “on sale” at 10% off 🙂

    1. Hey James!

      I’m doing it for educational purposes, I figured that if I make these mistakes with my small ‘Other Investments’ fund, I’ll never make them with my main SIPP/ISA fund. So far it’s worked pretty well as I’ve experienced the dread of not knowing when to buy back in, and the rush of wanting to sell, all with less than 5% of my portfolio.

      I did the lump sum thing right before the end of the tax year :'( It’s hard not to get a little bit emotionally attached, but in the grand scheme of things, it won’t effect things much.

      1. That makes sense re educational purposes! I managed to resist buying any ‘fun’ shares in last year in the end.

        Did allocate a small portion to Baillie Gifford’s Positive Change fund though instead of the usual LifeStrategy 100, just because I’m curious about a more ethical approach… oh and it’s currently holding 7% in Tesla and 4% in Alphabet which seem like solid choices right now.

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