Weekend reading logo

What caught my eye this week.

A quick housekeeping note – it transpires the Google Sheet we embedded into our fund-of-funds update this week didn’t get inserted into at least some emails.

If you were confused – or thought the image from Trustnet was the sum total of all the tabling we had for you – then you’re in for a treat! Or at the very least, less confusion.

Please see the full article with table on Monevator. (Sorry for the mishap. I’d say it’s Google’s fault but they can afford better lawyers than we can.)

Incidentally, I know there’s a whole tribe of you who only read Monevator via email and have forgotten the blog ever existed. For example, now and then a reader will write to me to explain they can’t see how to “let us know in the comments below” in their email, or similar.

If that’s you, then you might check out the blog now and then you know. Especially for those reader comments. Like all village squares we have one or two… characters… but the vast majority are constructive contributors.

In particular, we can’t usefully reply to many of the personal reader queries we get over email, for a whole stack of reasons. But a comment left on a new article will often elicit a useful response.

Career change in range

Finally, last week’s article from The Atlantic on the half-life of a cutting-edge working life touched a few nerves.

If you’ve reflected on it and wondered if it’s now time to do something different, I came across an interesting book extract on a blog called Quiet Revolution this week. The new book’s author, David Epstein, argues that taking a roundabout route to where you want to be has an illustrious history, adding:

Career goals that once felt safe and certain can appear ludicrous, to use [Charles] Darwin’s adjective, when examined in the light of more self‐knowledge.

Our work preferences and our life preferences do not stay the same, because we do not stay the same.

Epstein’s book is called Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and to somebody who decades ago resolved – after an early brush with computer science – to ensure I didn’t need to know the deep details of anything just to pay my rent, the title appeals.

Given how many stories we hear from worried mid-lifers that go something like “I know the youngsters are keeping me away from the machines” – as one of those smart commenters of ours put it – it might be worth a read.

From Monevator

Fund-of-funds: the rivals – Monevator

From the archive-ator: A landlord is someone who borrows money on your behalf – Monevator


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

First-time buyers now need to earn £54,000 to buy average property in UK city – Guardian

Average retiree needs a retirement pot of £447,000 to get them from 65 to 100 – ThisIsMoney

German landlord says rent cap for Berlin is better than becoming like London – Bloomberg

Vanguard crosses $1 trillion in ETF assets – ETF.com

Digital bank Monzo raises another £113m at £2bn valuation, eyes US market – TechCrunch

Amazon is now the largest shipper of Amazon products – Axios / Rakuten / via Abnormal Returns

Ageing population to alter the economic landscape of the UK [Search result]FT

Products and services

Comparing Vanguard’s LifeStrategy and Target Retirement Funds – IT Investor

How discount brokerages make money [US but relevant, for us nerds]Kalzumeus

Ratesetter will pay you £100 [and me a cash bonus] if you invest £1,000 for a year – Ratesetter

How to make BA Avios points go the extra mile – ThisIsMoney

You’ll be able to switch your mobile phone network with a text from Monday – Guardian

Bitcoin’s bonkers price volatility is back – Coindesk

Coastal homes for sale [Gallery]Guardian

Comment and opinion

Compounding gone wild – A Teachable Moment

Here are three ways investors can reduce stock market risk in their portfolios – Fortune

Are smarter people better investors? – Of Dollars and Data

“Don’t sell stocks in a downturn”Oblivious Investor

Very few funds beat their benchmark index: Part Gazillion – The Financial Bodyguard

The FTSE 100 looks cheap, the FTSE 250 not so much – UK Value Investor

With prices hitting a six-year high, should you invest in gold? [Search result]FT

Media must address whatever role it played in the Woodford bubble – Robin Powell

The tyranny of small debts, compounded – Seth Godin

The road to riches is this simple: Drive a crappy car – MarketWatch

Solving the happiness conundrum – Financial Samurai

Talking of crappy, what’s going on with value stocks? – Humble Dollar

Defending Value Investing with Tobias Carlisle – Valididea


Why we remain hopelessly deadlocked on Brexit – Times / YouGov / Simon Lambert via Twitter

I’m a civil servant – and we can’t make Boris Johnson’s no-deal fantasy into reality – Guardian

Brexit bill for financial services reaches £4bn [Search result]FT

Foreign investment into UK falls to lowest level in six years on Brexit fear [Search result]FT

Geoffrey Boycott on no-deal Brexit – Guardian

Kindle book bargains

Busy: How to thrive in a world of too much by Tony Crabbe – £0.99 on Kindle

The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley – £0.99 on Kindle

How to Make a Living with Your Writing by Joanna Penn – £0.99 on Kindle

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret of Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch – £0.99 on Kindle

Off our beat

The world’s first solar train – via YouTube

What is causing the European heatwave? – Guardian

Picking up plastic straws in front of a steamroller – Abnormal Returns

Deep: The sponge that grows around and traps a shrimp in a gilded cage – via Twitter

Finland’s Latin language news show ends its 30-year run – Guardian

And finally…

“Owning the stock market over the long-term is a winner’s game, but attempting to beat the market is a loser’s game.”
– John Bogle, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing

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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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