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What caught my eye this week.

Surprise! For reasons still not clear to me, The Investor has handed me his beloved babe – Weekend reading – for a special guest edition.

Before you collectively drop your monocle in your soup, have no fear. I’ll have a little joyride before safely parking back at Monevator Towers.

That old skool reference leads me to what caught my eye this week: the trends that may end with the baby boomers.

We’re not short of examples writes Ben Carlson of A Wealth of Common Sense:

Here are some other things that will likely go away for good with the older generation: photo albums, landline phones, cable boxes, cash, clipping coupons, wearing socks with sandals, the phrase “beer o’clock”, newspapers, restaurant pagers, keys, Yellow Pages, and checks.


But Ben missed a big one: smoking. The baby boomers caught the end of the golden-era for big tobacco. Smoking being on a slow decline since the 70s.

Naturally that means us young’uns (sorry to break it to you, everyone over the age of 30 is an oldie to me) are less likely to smoke – to the point that I was shocked to recently discover a cabal of younger colleagues who enjoy a puff on a death stick. In fact, millennials seem less likely to do pretty much anything: drinkillegal drugs, drive, own a home, get pregnant, get married, get divorced etc.

Old habits die hard…

You might think that the trend line predicts curtains for bricks and mortar banks, big tobacco and landline phones.

But as anyone who has moved broadband providers can confirm, getting a deal without the bundled phone line you never use is a pain in the cable layer.

As Ben points out:

People these days love to predict the end of things but I’m not smart [enough] to know when preferences will shift for good. Many entrenched trends likely won’t go away forever but simply decline in prominence over time.

… businesses harder

This is pertinent for us armchair investors too. Active management is unlikely to die-off tomorrow. Neither will it go quietly. You need only look at how long it takes to rid ourselves of literally toxic products like cigarettes and lead replacement fuel (what have those pesky Europeans ever done for us?) to see how slow change can be.

As you’ll see in some of the links below, costly active management still has its cheerleaders. It’ll be a long time (if ever?) till “2 and 20” is put to bed.

Have a great weekend!

From Monevator

Why your pension won’t be plundered – Monevator

Thanks for all your comments on last week’s Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution pension transfers post. You provided me with much food for thought whilst I was trapped in foreign airports – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Why I don’t use the FIRE acronym for financial freedom – 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

UK braves US ire by pressing ahead with tax on tech companies [search result]FT

Annual fall in suspect share dealing occurring before takeovers, FCA report finds – City A.M.

FRC continues to find audit quality at substandard levels – Guardian

Deutsche Bank bosses fitted for £1,000 suits as thousands lose their jobs – Guardian

How the pension contributions annual allowance is crippling the NHS – MoneyWeek

£100,000 pensions gap for women who end up part-time – Professional Adviser

GDPR strikes: ICO set to fine British Airways and Marriott hundreds of millions – Guardian

Here’s how much the top CEOs of S&P 500 companies get paid (spoiler alert – no correlation with performance) – Visual Capitalist

Products and services

Investing in wine: has Burgundy’s bubble burst? [search result]FT

Principality Building Society launches Learner Earner account paying 4% interest for children savers – This is Money

Comparing traditional (market-cap-weighted) ETFs vs non-traditional ETFs – CFA Enterprising Investor

Sign up and invest £2,000 with Zopa by 20 July and you’ll get £100 – Zopa [Affiliate link]

Mental health matters when it comes to finances – The Times

Inheritance tax: what does the future hold? [search result] FT

I’m writing a will — how do I choose an executor? [search result]FT

Comment and opinion

Woodford affair has shaken the faith of DIY investors [search result]FT

Find a portfolio to love – Portfolio Charts

The price of admission: why avoiding volatility can be worse than stomaching it – Of Dollars and Data

Inseparable pairs: many key things in business and finance come in twos – Morgan Housel

Drivel is drivel: countering active investing myths – Henry Tapper

Three high yield bargains (or are they?) – UK Value Investor

The demise of British Steel will create a crisis for our railways – Independent

Generalise, don’t specialise: why focusing too narrowly is bad for us – Guardian

Blogger wisdom: what have you learned in the past year that genuinely surprised you? – Abnormal Returns

…and a second for good measure: will active ETFs stem the passive torrent? – Abnormal Returns

The Investor’s Brexit Corner

83% of UK CFOs believe Brexit will lead to a worsening economic environment in the long term – Deloitte

Sob story: Man who brought private prosecution against Boris Johnson faces ‘financial ruin’ over £200,000 debt – Legal Cheek

The withdrawal agreement is not a trade deal with the EU – Full Fact

Kindle book bargains

#StandOutOnline: How to Build a Profitable and Influential Personal Brand by Natasha Courtenay-Smith – £0.99 on Kindle

How to Give Up Plastic by William McCallum – £1.99 on Kindle

Talking to My Daughter: A Brief History of Capitalism by Yanis Varoufakis – £1.99 on Kindle

More Time to Think: The Power of Independent Thinking by Nancy Kline – £0.99 on Kindle

Off our beat

How Norway turns criminals into good neighbours – BBC

I don’t understand the world edition 569: ‘Siberian Maldives’ is actually a toxic dump, Instagrammers warned – Guardian

I don’t understand the world edition 570: Belle Delphine AKA Bathwater GamerGirl, the greatest troll on the internet – Rolling Stone

Staying on the social media theme: ‘You’ll miss me when I’m gone’: the murder of social media star Qandeel Baloch – Guardian

That giant asteroid of gold won’t make us richer – Bloomberg

The rise of the professional dungeon master – Bloomberg

And finally…

“Probability is not a mere computation of odds on the dice or more complicated variants; it is the acceptance of the lack of certainty in our knowledge and the development of methods for dealing with our ignorance.”
– Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Fooled by Randomness

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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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