What caught my eye this week.
Are US markets enjoying a bull run of unprecedented longevity? You might think that could be answered by looking at a graph of long-term stock market gains, but the topic is surprisingly controversial.
Michael Batnick explored the debate  this week, if you like that kind of thing.
Now, no offence to Michael but my favourite part of his post was this quote from Adam Smith’s classic book, Supermoney .
Here’s how he describes the late stages of a bull market:
We are all at a wonderful ball where the champagne sparkles in every glass and soft laughter falls upon the summer air.
We know, by the rules, that at some moment, the Black Horseman will come shattering through the great terrace doors, wreaking vengeance and scattering the survivors.
Those who leave early are saved, but the ball is so splendid no one wants to leave while there is still time, so that everyone keeps asking “What time is it? What time is it?”
But none of the clocks have any hands.
Wonderful. (Or, as a blogger, ‘well jel’, as the Majorcans would apparently say.)
In a variation on this end of days theme, Vanguard also wrote this week on why it is so hard to predict  the next bear market.
But that article’s title misstates reality.
It’s actually very easy to predict a bear market. We’ve seen dozens of high-profile pundits make exactly that prediction over the past decade.
What’s hard is to be right!
Have a great weekend (and praise be to the rain.)
Average active funds have no answer to their weightless index tracking rivals – Monevator 
From the archive-ator: A quick guide to asset classes – 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 interest rates will stay low for 20 years says outgoing MPC member – Guardian 
Home equity release may cost pension firms billions – BBC 
How one ‘push’ from bank fraudsters can lose you thousands of pounds [Search result] – FT 
Pound dives to lowest level against dollar since June 2017 amid Brexit woes – ThisIsMoney 
Nationalist president of Turkey appeals to ‘the people’ to halt FX slide – Bloomberg via Twitter 
Indices are up, but beneath the surface the US stock market is shrinking – New York Times 
Royal Mint estimates £170m of old-style pound coins are still unaccounted for – ThisIsMoney 
Pension ‘dippers’ face tax relief shock [Search result] – FT 
Cities house-price index suggests the property market is slowing – The Economist 
Products and services
Charles Stanley hikes fees, from 0.25% to 0.35% – Money Observer 
Only one in 10 banks have passed on any of the interest rate rise. What to do? – ThisIsMoney 
Beaufort Securities investors to access trapped funds “in a few weeks” – CityWire 
Ratesetter will pay you £100 [and me a cash bonus] if you invest £1,000 with them for a year – Ratesetter 
Is a 95% mortgage a better option than Help to Buy? – ThisIsMoney 
Trading apps expose consumers to cyber criminals, report finds [US but relevant] – Bloomberg 
Investors charged hundreds of pounds for Isa and Sipp exit fees [Search result] – FT 
New mortgage by L&G enables cash-strapped pensioners to refurbish housing – ThisIsMoney 
Comment and opinion
The first rule of Financial Independence club – 3652 Days 
Swedroe: Latest data showing persistent out-performance is super rare – ETF.com 
Why investors should care about rising interest rates – The Value Perspective 
New favourite word: No – The Humble Dollar 
What does the advent of free funds mean for asset management? – T.E.B.I. 
The layers of the brain, and how it impacts investing – A Wealth of Common Sense 
From emotional to financial, with finances and fitness – Get Rich Slowly 
Something for a market (or a mid-life) crisis – A Teachable Moment 
How to manage a portfolio of shares – UK Value Investor 
Elon Musk has some fun with Tesla – Bloomberg 
Tips for aspiring professional portfolio managers – Enterprising Investor 
Kindle book bargains
Liar’s Poker: From the author of the Big Short by Michael Lewis – £0.99 on Kindle 
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard Thaler – £1.99 on Kindle 
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt & Steven Dubner – £1.99 on Kindle 
PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason – £0.99 on Kindle 
Britain’s populist revolt [Long but thought-provoking read] – Quillette 
Why I’ve changed my mind on Brexit – Gavin Esler 
How the young and old would vote on Brexit now – BBC 
Off our beat
From East London to a City job: Knocking door’s changed this boy’s life [Video] – BBC 
Natural maniacs [On Elon Musk] – Morgan Housel 
You’ll be alright – Casey Mullooly 
“Workers work hard enough to not be fired, and owners pay just enough so that workers won’t quit.”
– Robert T. Kiyosaki, Rich Dad, Poor Dad 
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