Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Preferences and Prejudices - a personal trading strategy....


If what follows could ever be described as a 'strategy'....

Financial Advice ?
Note that I'm not a financial adviser and nor would I recommend that you shell out your hard-earned readies in seeking so-called 'professional' investment advice.  Do your own research.

(There's a proviso to this, however, in that I wouldn't be averse to asking my accountant for information on how a particular financial instrument would be treated for tax purposes.   Trading accounts, ISAs and SIPPs etc are simple enough vehicles for most people to readily understand their tax treatment, but there are many things out there that aren't – the UK tax code runs to several thousand pages, and like most tax 'rules' they are not designed to be definitive but are deliberately left open to interpretation....generally though, if you can't fully understand an 'opportunity' yourself, without taking external advice, then it may be more prudent not to pursue it at all.)

Having established and understood what are the particular tax advantages or otherwise of the investment type or wrapper in which they're held, there's absolutely no-one out there who is qualified to advise you in which particular industry sectors, shares, funds, bonds, trackers, commodities etc you should invest.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Domestic Solar versus Domestic Wind ? Solar wins, every time....


I still see people on eBay bidding hundreds of pounds for 300W domestic wind turbines.  Some of the sales sites use terms such as '..free energy...' and '...save money...'. but these claims simply don't stack up....

Given that you can buy 170W solar panels on eBay for around £80 or so each, let's do a very simple comparison based on real data from my own experimental installations of both solar and wind (see my previous posts for more details on each).

Since 300W is a common-enough domestic turbine rating (based on a 1.4 m blade sweep), we'll do the numbers based on 300W. 

Let's assume that whatever installation materials / batteries / controllers / inverters / instrumentation / cabling etc you'd need for one system would cost exactly the same as for the other.

Let's also assume that you've bought your 300W turbine on eBay for £160, the same price as two 170W panels.  To make it even simpler, we'll also de-rate these solar panels to a combined 300W watt-peak output.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Planting the bare-root hedging....


After a rapid thaw, in just a couple days, all the snow that had been hanging around for a few weeks disappeared and so we took the opportunity of the break in the weather to get our new hedge planted.


just a couple of days earlier....

We initially measured out the spacing with a marked length of timber (we've planted a double row at around 5 plants per metre), and then tried to sink the spade fully into the ground at each individual plant location.  Around 75% of them were fine, which meant we would just need to sink the spade to its full depth, wiggle it back and forth several times to make a rectangular slot, and then ease the roots of the plants down into position before closing back the soil using the heel of a welly.

an easy stretch, just used the spade to open up a slot.....