A guide for the UK Private Investor

Welcome to the 7 Circles – a financial blog for the UK private investor with a long-term investment horizon.

  • The goal of the website is to provide a one-stop-shop for all the information you need to look after your own finances.

Further down this page you’ll find all the links you need to navigate around the site.

The 7 Circles

7 Circles

The title of the blog comes from Dante’s inferno in which Dante journeys through Hell, guided by the poet Virgil. There are actually nine circles of suffering in the poem, but seven circles of investment Hell was all I could come up with.1

Let 7 Circles be your Virgil as you move through the 7 Circles towards investment heaven:

  1. Understanding the Problem
  2. Cash and Debt
  3. Fire and Frugal (saving towards early retirement)
  4. Costs and Taxes
  5. Passive investment (buy and hold, asset allocation)
  6. Active investment (heuristics, systems and rules)  &
    Trading (the short-term, shorting and leverage)
  7. How to Spend it – the decumulation phase (retirement)

Ready to Retire

I’ve written a couple of books.

The plan is to make them part of a long series, but each book takes a few months to write, so don’t hold your breath for the rest of them.

The first book was about behavioural investing, and the second was about moving into retirement (decumulation).

  • Let me know which subject you’d like me to cover next.

Both books aim to make things a lot easier for you, the reader.

  • They aren’t filled with original research, but are is intended to summarise the key findings in an area, and to turn them into useful lessons for a Private Investor in the UK today.

The point of my books – and of my blog – is to save you time and effort.

  • I hope that in due course my readers will introduce me to things that I’ve missed, and help me fix those things that I’ve got wrong.

Together we can make this job a bit easier for us all.

Start here

For those new to investment, we also have the MoneyDeck series – a set of playing cards which describe 52 “golden rules” for Private Investors in the UK.

  • And the Elements – a Periodic Table of the things you need to know about investing,

This series is closely linked to our Master Plan.

  • This is probably the most important page on the website.
  • It explains all the things you need to do throughout your investing life
  • And it links to the key articles that explain why and how.
  • So go and take a look.
Required Reading

Apart from our own books and articles, we cover a lot of key and / or popular investment books.

Those that we’ve looked at so far include:

You can find the latest articles here.

  • If you have a favourite book that isn’t on the list, please let us know.

We maintain several portfolios and provide regular updates on their composition and performance:

  1. Piggyback Portfolio (which borrows ideas from other published portfolios and stock lists)
  2. SmallCap (AIM) growth portfolio
    • this page also has live versions of our Portfolio Tracking Sheet and our Watchlist Dashboard Sheet
  3. Investment Trusts portfolio
  4. passive ETF portfolio
  5. A momentum portfolio (Bonkers)
  6. A dividend / income portfolio (under construction)
  7. Tech Stocks portfolio (under construction)
  8. StockScreens portfolio (coming soon)
  9. listed structured products portfolio (coming soon)

I also regularly review the performance and composition of my own overall portfolio.

Technical Analysis

We also have a page that brings together all the posts about our refresher course on Technical Analysis.

  • This page includes a live version of our Technical Analysis Spreadsheet.
Our very own Sub-Reddits

If you’d like to read more content relevant to the UK Private Investor – but this time from other interesting blogs – head over to our subreddit – UKFinanceOver30. If you’re new to reddit, you can find out all about it here.

  • We also moderate a subreddit about Financial Independence, Early Retirement and Frugality, all from a UK perspective – UK_FIRE_and_Frugal
Other Stuff

We also have a manifesto, plus a page of useful links to data, calculators and online tools such as portfolio managers and stock screeners.

We are working our way through all 50 of Warren Buffett’s Annual Letters to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. You can find summaries of the letters, plus lots of quotes from the master here.

As well as the seven core categories, we post about the psychology of investment and write the occasional opinion piece.

7C investors

We also track the performance of 14 mythical 7C investors on their path to financial independence and retirement. We track three journeys:

  1. from age 25 to 65, with target income of £25K pa
  2. from age 25 to 65, with target income of £42K pa
  3. from age 25 to 55, with target income of £42K pa

If we divide these three journeys into 10-year stages, we derive a total of 14 snapshots, points along the way that we can analyse to see where we should be (what the portfolio size should be) and what we should be doing to stay on track. Each of these points corresponds to one of our 7C investors.


We try to attend the major investment events in and around London, and links to our reviews are provided below:

Industry Reports

We also try to cover the major industry reports:

The Weekly Roundup

In addition, we write a weekly roundup of all the financial news that’s relevant to  the UK private investor:

We hope that you find all this helpful in your journey as a private investor. If there is anything else that you would like to see on the site, please let us know.

  1. And in any case, it scans better []

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Hugh Gallagher says:

    Do you publish the the actual composition of you own portfolio? I can’t find it on you website.

    • Mike Rawson Mike Rawson says:

      Hi Hugh,

      Not really – I have many hundreds of holdings and it doesn’t translate well into a blog post.

      I do publish annual reviews of my performance (eg. https://the7circles.uk/portfolio-review-ten-years-gone ) but I think most people get more out of looking at themed portfolios.

      I try to limit these to 50 or so stocks or funds of each type. I hold most of the stocks and funds I mention, but not necessarily in equal proportions, as per the portfolios.

      I am trying to get round to making a master spreadsheet of everything I own, but when you’ve been investing for 30 years, it’s not a straightforward task. I hope to complete this as part of this year’s annual review in December / January.

  2. Avatar Carol Schwille says:

    I wish I had found your website a long time ago. It would have saved me a lot of time! I find it excellent

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