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What caught my eye this week.

There are some writers who can knock out zingers worthy an entire article from a rival hack, and one of investing’s is Jason Zweig.

In fact it’s a good thing Zweig is so pithy, because most of the piece the following quote is from sits behind a Wall Street Journal paywall.

If I ask you in a questionnaire whether you are afraid of snakes, you might say no.

If I throw a live snake in your lap and then ask if you’re afraid of snakes, you’ll probably say yes – if you ever talk to me again.

Investing is like that: On a bland, hypothetical quiz, it’s easy to say you’d buy more stocks if the market fell 10%, 20% or more.

In a real market crash, it’s a lot harder to step up and buy when every stock price is turning blood-red, pundits are shrieking about Armageddon, and your family is begging you not to throw more money into the flames.

Then risk is no longer a notion; it’s an emotion.

If you do have a subscription to the Journal you’ll find the rest there. (Do tell us if there’s anything else to beat that opener.)

All else I can do is point you to a sample from Zweig’s Devil’s Financial Dictionary and a few wordier pieces we did on assessing your own risk tolerance:

Have a great and snake-free weekend!

From Monevator

What is a master pension trust? – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Financial calculators and tools collected – 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

Bank of England forecasts lower interest rates for longer – BBC

1-in-3 parents with stay-at-home adult children are tapping pension pots to cover £5K a year costs – ThisIsMoney

What 2019 seed funding data says about our collective future – Crunchbase

London slips further behind New York in financial centre rankings [Search result]FT

If you’re getting into angel investing, understand that venture capital returns are hit-driven –  Medium

Products and services

Hargreaves Lansdown follows Fidelity and Interactive Investor in dropping exit fees – ThisIsMoney

Merryn S-W: Wealth management could soon cost less than you think [Search result]FT

How fraudsters syphon away eBay money to copycat PayPal accounts – ThisIsMoney

Total credit card spending overtakes cash for the first time – Guardian

Seedrs will give you a £50 free investment credit [and me a cash bonus] when you invest £500 or more – Seedrs

Where to get the new iPhone 11 at the lowest cost – ThisIsMoney

Homes for sale with blue plaques [Gallery]Guardian

Comment and opinion

[Psychology aside] If you have cash on-hand, it’s best to get it invested ASAP – Of Dollars and Data

Tackling climate change: An investor’s guide [Search result]FT

Financial markets are made of events, not things – A Teachable Moment

Why we love to call everything a bubble – Bloomberg

What number? – Humble Dollar

How to escape the ‘motherhood penalty’ at work [Search result]FT

What is the value of financial advice? – Pragmatic Capitalism

The pros and cons of sacrificing pension index-linking – Simple Living in Somerset

What rugby union can teach us about investing – The Evidence-based Investor

Yes, the stock market is going to crash – A Wealth of Common Sense

Will the government end up losing money on Help To Buy? – ThisIsMoney

How to retire before you turn 50 [Missed this last week – h/t reader J.]Evening Standard

Naughty corner: Active antics

TR Property trust: A real estate superstar – IT Investor

Insights on VC Pricing: Lessons from Uber, WeWork and Peloton – Musings on Markets

Venture capital, private equity, and… tennis – CFA Institute


UK Brexit plans fail all basic backstop tests, warns EU [Search result]FT

Kindle book bargains

ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever by Jason Fried and David Hansson – £1.99 on Kindle

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion – £0.99 on Kindle

One Last Job: The true story of Brian Reader, the man behind the Hatton Garden heist by Tom Pettifor – £0.99 on Kindle

Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO is Shaping our Future by Ashley Vance – £1.99 on Kindle

Off our beat

Feel the air fully – Raptitude

Google claims to have reached quantum supremacy [and I for one welcome…] [Search result]FT

Finance memes are running rampant across Wall Street via Instagram – Institutional Investor

The climate crisis explained in 10 charts – Guardian

How mobile phone battery icons shape our perceptions of time and space – Phys.org

What if Donald Trump [or Brexit…] just happened by accident? – Yahoo

And finally…

“We don’t need to outsmart everyone else. We need to stick to our investment discipline, ignore the actions of others, and stop listening to the so-called experts.”
– James Montier, The Little Book of Behavioral 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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