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What caught my eye this week.

Always remember the stock market strives to make as many people who express an opinion look as foolish as possible.

Indices – especially in the US – have been rising despite Covid-19 still spreading across the globe.

People said it was dumb. They blamed day-traders on their iPhones.

Warren Buffett looked shell-shocked at his pandemic-poopered shareholder meeting on 2 May, as he explained why he wasn’t buying anything – why far from grabbing bargains with both hands, he’d pulled the ripcord on his holdings in airline stocks.

Americans were rioting.

Even I owned enough gold to give Mr T a hernia. (Okay, only about 5% of my portfolio, plus a couple of percent in a miner. But still, enough to send my 2012-self into a fury).

And then… on Friday we saw ‘the biggest payroll surprise in history’. It revealed that US employers are now hiring not firing.

And the Internet finance kids went wild:


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Thinking about everything that has happened over the the past four years and this crazy 2020, if you told me I was living in an extra-terrestrial’s plaything – a sort of The Sims meets The Truman Show – and some Martian producer’s child had been accidentally left in charge of the controls…

Anyway, we hope you didn’t sell.

Have a great weekend all.

From Monevator

Negative yields on bonds: what do they mean? – Monevator

What is behind the coronavirus trading boom – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Personal time management for fun and profit – 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

The US adds 2.5 million jobs in May. Economists had expected eight million job losses – Reuters

UK house prices fall for third month in a row as Covid-19 stifles market – Guardian

Bank of England will ramp up QE to near-£1 trillion over next year, says Capital Economics – ThisIsMoney

One in seven Help to Buy homes lose value despite local house prices soaring – Which?

Clothing prices falling at a record pace as beleaguered shops prepare to reopen – ThisIsMoney

Australia is in its first recession for 29 years – 7 News

Poll: Four out of five families in UK have more money to spend since lockdown – ThisIsMoney

Misconduct has risen among work-from-home traders – FN London

Hong Kong: Tens of thousands defy ban to attend Tiananmen vigil – BBC

[Click to enlarge the economic chasm]

The grim racial inequalities behind America’s protests – The Economist

Products and services

Will a coronavirus payment holiday impact your credit score? – Which?

Ominous: Marcus’ new fixed-rate savings account pays less (1%) than its easy access deal (1.05%) – ThisIsMoney

Sign-up to Freetrade via my link and we can both get a free share worth between £3 and £200 – Freetrade

Seedrs partners with equity management platform Capdesk as secondary market hits £1m – Alt Fi

Homes with workshops [Gallery]Guardian

Comment and opinion

As of 3 June, the US S&P 500 was up 39.6%, for the best 50-day rally ever… – Ryan Detrick via Twitter

…which is extraordinary, so don’t beat yourself up if you hedged or prevaricated – Josh Brown

Massive up and down stock moves in the same year are commoner than you think – A Wealth of Common Sense

Currency hedging: fine for stocks, not for bonds [US but relevant]Morningstar

Spooked by the crash, an early retiree considers going back to work – Simple Living in Somerset

The upside of a down market – Humble Dollar

Three reasons stocks are rising – The Atlantic

Larry Swedroe: Think carefully before you add gold to your portfolio – Seeking Alpha

Naughty corner: Active antics

Steadfast, greedy, or fearful? – Elm Funds

Oil is the only sector of the US market that still looks truly under-valued – Morningstar

How Facebook and Google created a ‘kill zone’ – Klement on Investing

The importance of consistently covered dividends – UK Value Investor

20 global investment trusts compared – IT Investor

Who should we believe about tail-risk hedging? – BNN Bloomberg

Covid corner

“At any given time between 17 May and 30 May 2020, we estimated that an average of 0.10% of the community population had COVID-19 (95% confidence interval: 0.05% to 0.18%); this equates to an average of 53,000 people in England (95% confidence interval: 25,000 to 99,000)”ONS

Cambridge researchers say coronavirus transmission rate may be rising in the East of England – ITV

Could more UK lives have been saved? – BBC

Flatten it? In Iceland they eliminated the curve – New Yorker

South Korea is to start logging citizens who go to nightclubs as part of tackling Covid-19 – Reuters

Karl Friston: ‘Germany may have more immunological “dark matter”’Guardian & Unherd Interview [Video]

Sweden is accelerating the launch of an inquiry into its no-lockdown coronavirus strategy – Business Insider

The good and bad lessons from Sweden – Karen Landman via Medium

The post-lockdown economy explained [Video]The Economist

Quarantine tips and lessons from 17th Century Florence [Video]YouTube

Black Americans are twice as likely to be hospitalized from Covid-19 – MarketWatch

Kindle book bargains

The Anti-Procrastination Mindset by Harry Heijligers – £0.99 on Kindle

The Perils of Perception: Why We’re Wrong About Nearly Everything by Bobby Duffy – £1.99 on Kindle

How To Day Trade For A Living by Andrew Aziz [Wealth warning!]£0.99 on Kindle

The Spider Network: The Wild Story of a Maths Genius and One of the Greatest Scams in Financial History by David Enrich – £1.99 on Kindle

Off our beat

The UK electricity system was coal-free in May, thanks to the sunny weather and lockdown – Guardian

Consider a gap year – Seth Godin

‘I’ve never felt so close to anyone this quickly’: the whirlwind romances of lockdown – Guardian

Tobi Lutke, founder of Shopify, on building a modern business [Podcast]Invest Like the Best

How to convince your boss you need time off – Harvard Business Review

“It’s like a burning theater, and everyone is trying to get to the door”: Oil traders on the day prices went negative – Vanity Fair [h/t Abnormal Returns]

And finally…

“I like to say, “Experience is what you got when you didn’t get what you wanted.”
– Howard Marks, The Most Important Thing

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