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What caught my eye this week.

A UK budget visualization website did the rounds among certain of my excitable friends this week (I know, with friends like these…) and I promised to flag the tool up here.

I’ve no idea how accurate the data is, which is sourced to 2016 according to the slug. (The ‘total UK budget’ in the tool corresponds to ‘total government spending’ in the 2016 Wikipedia entry for the UK budget.)

Anyway, what they most liked was seeing the representation of our EU expenditure in blue.

No, not the large block of dark blue in the centre – the tiny light blue sliver next to the ‘D’ in ‘Departmental expenditures’:

Click to enlarge (but you’ll still have to squint to see the EU contribution)

That blue trace is the strand that the Conservatives, the Brexit Party, Johnson, Farage, and the rest have whipped this country into a fearful fury over. That is the torrent of money that can save our NHS and Make Britain Great Again. That is apparently worth spending three years fighting about and taking our democracy to the brink over.

In some quarters, that expenditure – much of which comes back to us one way or another – is the reason for all our ills. Apparently.

Of course in more sensible Leave voter living rooms it’s the laws and regulations that matter – not that anyone can ever name more than a few edge cases they object to, and not that we won’t strive to meet EU regulations to trade with them in the future – but still… is the juice worth the squeeze, as US rapper Lizzo sang earlier this year?

Most of us long ago made up our minds about that.

From Monevator

10-year retrospective: What a decade of returns tells us about passive investing – Monevator

Lars Kroijer on…market timing, currency hedging, and active managers – Monevator

From the archive-ator: How to enjoy life like a billionaire – Monevator

News

Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view you can click to read the piece without being a paid subscriber. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing if you read them a lot!1

UK housebuilding falls to slowest quarterly rate for three years… – Guardian

…which isn’t surprising with house prices down on no-deal Brexit fears – Guardian

Britain faces a heightened risk of recession as service sector contracts – ThisIsMoney

Defeat for women in state pension age challenge – BBC

Nine out of ten shared London houses don’t have a living room. Here’s why we need them – Guardian

Woodford has raked in £8m in fees from investors in his locked-up active fund – ThisIsMoney

Investment bank UBS reckons London is the third most overvalued city in the world [Search result]FT

Products and services

Saga and Goldman Sachs team up to launch two savings accounts for the over-50s – Money Observer

Yellow stickers yellow-carded! Why Waitrose is scrapping its reduced price bargain bays – Guardian

Want to become an angel investor? Here’s a deal where we both get a cash bonus from SeedrsSeedrs

How can shoppers make sense of sustainable fish labels? – Guardian

Free to select schools: FT launches Road to Riches board game to boost financial literacy [Search result]FT

Homes for sale with a mooring [Gallery]Guardian

Comment and opinion

When is the same return not the same return? – The Evidence-based Investor

Rejected – Indeedably

Early Retirement Extreme: The ten-year update – Get Rich Slowly

Change happens slowly then all at once: Zero-fee trading commissions – Abnormal Returns

How commission-free trading may ultimately hurt ETFs [US but relevant]Forbes

Stamp duty is a half-baked tax that eats a years’ worth of savings when you move home – ThisIsMoney

Divorce: Dividing up the family home [Search result]FT

Passive investing hasn’t taken over the world – Barry Ritholtz

Naughty corner: Active antics

Shining a light on hidden debt: Capitalizing lease obligations [PDF]UK Value Investor

US equities: Resilient force or case study in denial? – Musings on Markets

“Divesting my portfolio of fossil fuels is complete”DIY Investor (UK)

Factor investing has raised the bar for active management – Validea

Patience is a virtue in investing – and salmon fishing [Search result]FT

Missing the financial forest for the political trees – Investing Caffeine

The great public market reckoning – AVC

Brexit

Pension schemes are ‘well prepared’ for Brexit and savers ‘should be reassured’, says industry body – ThisIsMoney

Gasp! Boris Johnson will send extension letter rather than ‘die in a ditch’ – court document – BBC

Johnson’s customs proposal falls flat along Ireland border [Search result]FT

Jennifer Arcuri came late. But the Johnson franchise is unthinkable without her now – Marina Hyde

[In other populism news] How Trump’s steel tariffs have harmed US steelmakers – AEI

Kindle book bargains

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb [The best Taleb book IMHO]£1.99 on Kindle

Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson – £0.99 on Kindle

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – £0.99 on Kindle

Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women by Otegha Uwagba – £0.99 on Kindle

Off our beat

Around half your chances of career success may be down to luck – New Scientist

Startup founders can be disadvantaged in the jobs market [PDF, research]Tristan Bothelo [via A/R]

We need governments to fund the moonshot innovation VCs won’t touch – VentureBeat

If you want to change minds – Seth Godin

In praise of guilty pleasures – FastCompany

Come across Jacob Collier yet? A genius, probably. Try not to smile at this [Video]YouTube

And finally…

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”
– Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow

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  1. Note some 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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