What caught my eye this week.
I responded that if we assume the data is right, then it’s still interesting that things don’t feel that way. So why the disconnect?
I am sure one reason is house prices. Those who have been on the housing ladder for decades – especially those who can help their own kids on – don’t seem to understand how un-affordable prices for the young have fractured society.
Perhaps that doesn’t show up in overall statistics of inequality because older would-be poorer citizens were made richer by rising house prices? I don’t know.
The other reason I put forward was Instagram. The fabulous lives of celebrities, influencers, and the several thousand photogenic cats and dogs made famous by social media cast a pall over our realities.
In the old days the Jones’ lived next-door, or perhaps across the street. Now they’re in your pocket, for many people day and night.
On the spectrum
It all points to new, technology-enabled (or perhaps enfeebled) ways of feeling rich or poor, which reminded me of an excellent blog post by US writer Morgan Housel.
Commenting on how the super-rich can’t help but make even the ordinarily rich feel poor, Housel writes:
Past a certain income the most difficult financial skill is getting the goalpost to stop moving.
And today’s level of global wealth has moved it a town over.
Housel then proposed a new spectrum of financial wealth, described by words, not numbers – because numbers don’t seem to tell us the whole story anymore.
While there are categories on the list I’d feel prouder to belong to, I plumped for ‘Health Wealth’ as my current status:
You can go to bed and wake up when you want to. You have time to exercise, eat well, learn, think slowly, and clear your calendar when you want it to be clear.
…which is gratifying, because I’ve been reading Why We Sleep? by Matthew Walker, and it’s life-changing enough to have seen me buy some new blackout curtains!
Where would you place yourself on Housel’s spectrum? And are there any categories he’s missing?
Have a great weekend!
p.s. Monevator has been ranked as the #1 UK personal finance blog by Vuelio. Several other good blogs on that list, too.
Lars Kroijer on…hedge fund mimicking ETFs, checking your portfolio, and minimal risk assets – Monevator
By Brexit standards, the debate after last week’s post is worth reading for views from all sides – Monevator
From the archive-ator: Types of entrepreneurs – 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
Credit card interest rates have hit a 13-year high – ThisIsMoney
Bank split on rates as it warns Brexit deal would hit growth – BBC
UK investors dump equity funds at record rates – Money Observer
Scrap entrepreneur’s tax relief, urges former HMRC head – Guardian
Watchdog warns UK fund managers to avoid Woodford liquidity trap – Reuters
‘Greta Thunberg effect’ driving growth in carbon offsetting – Guardian
Zero-fee funds is part of the ‘re-verticalization’ of asset management [Industry] – Institutional Investor
Record US personal savings of $1.3trillion are one reason why the US bull market can continue – Investing Caffeine
Products and services
Putting the AI into financial advice [Search result] – FT
Vanguard vs Dimensional: Who has delivered the higher returns? – Evidence-based Investor
Ratesetter will pay you £100 [and me a cash bonus] if you invest £1,000 for a year – Ratesetter
Goldman Sachs teams up with Nutmeg to offer ISAs in the UK [Search result] – FT
Plugging into the cost of charging an electric car – Guardian
Comment and opinion
The perma-everything approach – Pragmatic Capitalism
How to spend your money, according to science – Big Think
Bitcoin is a game – Moneyness
Why are we being herded into buying part of the world’s biggest polluter? – Patrick Collinson
Realistic investment results – Of Dollars and Data
Translating US financial independence jargon into UK English – The FI Fox
Ergodicity [From 2018, but well worth reading for the counter-intuitive maths] – Sid Shanker
Naughty corner: Active antics
What went wrong at Woodford [Video] – Stockopedia via YouTube
Tom Lee: The four most important market indicators [Video] – Reformed Broker
America’s decade – Albert Bridge Capital
The fool’s gold of emerging market valuations [Search result] – FT
Anatomy of a Sell decision: The Restaurant Group – UK Value Investor
Talk Your Book: Greg Zuckerman on Jim Simons & Renaissance Technologies [Podcast] – Animal Spirits
Treat each fight as if it were your last, because if you don’t it could be – Klement on Investing
Investors seek to cash in on Airbnb via SPVs [Search result] – FT
Brexit and the General Election
“Rambling” Boris Johnson contradicts own government’s claims on his Brexit deal – LBC
Investors fear Labour policies ahead of the election [Search result] – FT
Liberal Democrats, Greens, and Plaid Cymru agree ‘Remain Alliance’ pact – Guardian
Kindle book bargains
Radical Candor: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean by Kim Scott – £0.99 on Kindle
The Complete Guide to Property Investment by Rob Dix – £0.99 on Kindle
RESET: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money by David Sawyer – £0.99 on Kindle
Way of the Wolf by Jordan Belfort [aka The Wolf of Wall Street] – £0.99 on Kindle
Off our beat
Experience: My face became a meme and I turned it into a career – Guardian
The new dot com bubble is here: it’s called online advertising – The Correspondent
Biology is eating the world: A manifesto – Andreessen Horowitz
The four stages of Fintech start-ups – The Basis Point
Any amount of running reduces the risk of early death, study finds – Guardian
False memory – indeedably
Annoyed – Seth Godin
“Budgeting is about telling each pound that comes through your hands where it should go, and how it should be used. In other words, budgeting is forward-looking. It’s about deploying your resources in the best way possible, like an army general planning the deployment of troops”
– Pete Matthew, The Meaningful Money Handbook
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