Weekend reading

Good reads from around the Web.

There are writers I include nearly every week in these roundups. Clever or articulate or both, I could feature any of their missives as my post of the week.

Morgan Housel of the Motley Fool US would be the lead guitarist of this band. Perhaps even lead singer on current form (though he might have to share a mic.)

His latest, a mock orbituary on The Death of Long Term Thinking, is a beauty:

Long-Term Thinking died on Tuesday. His last true friend, Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, was at his side. He was 213 years old.

Long-Term Thinking lived an illustrious life since the start of the Industrial Revolution, when for the first time, people could think about more than their next meal. But poor incentives and the rise of 24/7 media chipped away at his health. The final blow came Monday, when market technician Ralph Acampora warned that a 10% market pullback — which has occurred on average every 11 months over the last century — could be “devastating” for investors. […]

Long-Term Thinking endured the Great Depression, world wars, and spiking interest rates in the 1980s. But the last five years proved too much, as he fought for relevance with cable news, Twitter, and derivatives. He was hospitalized in May 2010 after pundits lost their collective minds over a “flash crash” that made a few stock prices freeze up for 17 minutes.

“Computers froze for seventeen minutes and they literally think American industry vanished,” Long-Term Thinking told his psychiatrist. “These people are insane.”

The article continues in that vein, and I wish I’d written it.

Happy new year!

From the blogs

Making good use of the things that we find…

Passive investing

Active investing

Other articles

Product of the week: The introductory period on Barclaycard’s Best Buy 0% balance transfer card has been extended to 30 months, and it also includes 0% on the first six months of purchases. Remember: Only use as part of a plan to bring down your debt or to arbitrage the time value of money – not to get into hock for the long-term!

Mainstream media money

Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view these enable you to click through to read the piece without being a paid subscriber of that site.1

Passive investing

  • Morningstar launches UK passive fund ratings – FT Adviser
  • How to earn the cash for seven porches – The Scotsman

Active investing

  • The top ‘surprise’ dividend payers could go on winning – Telegraph
  • 2014: Emerging markets back in vogue? – Interactive Investor
  • Gold could be a big contrarian investment in 2014 – ThisIsMoney
  • How a handful of hedge fund managers actually did well in 2014 – WSJ

Other stuff worth reading

  • The best financial advice I ever got (or gave) – Yahoo Finance
  • 50 ways to save money in 2014 – Telegraph
  • London no worse for renters than other capital cities – Guardian
  • Bubble fears as house prices rise most in four years – Telegraph
  • Global house price over/under valuations – The Economist
  • What the British can teach Americans about retirement – CBS

Book of the week: Scott Adams created Dilbert and is surely some kind of gazillionaire, but he’s found time to write a self-deprecating self-help book. How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big rejects hindsight bias and urges you to learn from your numerous failures. Plenty of raw material for me, then!

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  1. Reader Ken notes that: “FT articles can only be accessed through the search results if you’re using PC/desktop view (from mobile/tablet view they bring up the firewall/subscription page). To circumvent, switch your mobile browser to use the desktop view. On Chrome for Android: press the menu button followed by “Request Desktop Site”.”

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