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Weekend reading: I heard the news today oh boy

Weekend reading

Good reads from around the Web.

Unlucky, Morgan Housel. The Motley Fool überwriter has just written the ultimate parody of all those pundits who pin the random fluttering of the stock market on the wayward wings of some geopolitical butterfly.

Alas his piece has been published in a rare week when, unusually, there really were explicit moves in the market based on investor’s will-they-won’t-they feelings towards the Russian/Ukranian conflict.

Of course, in a few years we’ll probably be chortling as we look back:

“Remember when we actually thought Russia might invade Ukraine? And NATO might even respond? LOL! And to think they now all rub along together at Disneyland Kiev”.

Well, let’s hope so.

Timing aside, Housel’s article is just the latest in a long line from him that I wish I’d written.

Here’s a taster:

Stocks gained momentum on Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 48 points, reversing losses from last week’s decline.

Experts hailed both moves as a “remarkable, textbook example of pure statistical chance,” chalking up Monday’s gains to a couple of random marginal buyers being slightly more motivated than a few random marginal sellers.

“Imagine you pick 1 million random people from around the world every day,” said Toby McDade, chief investment officer of Momentum Fee Capital Management. “Some days, 51% would be in a good mood, 49% in a bad mood. The next day maybe it’s the opposite. Other days, random chance could mean 8% of people are really pissed off for no real reason. This is basically what the market is on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

Asked what his clients thought of this view, Mr. McDade laughed.

“Oh my God, you think I could tell my clients that? How could I justify my salary?”


Have a great weekend!

p.s. Did you or someone you know fail an A-Level? Richard Branson has some advice. You could also read my own heretical thoughts on university.

From the blogs

Making good use of the things that we find…

Passive investing

Active investing

Other articles

Product of the week: Buy-to-let lender Paragon’s new bank has launched its first 120 day notice savings account. The 1.9% interest rate is a table-topper, says The Telegraph.

Mainstream media money

Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view these enable you to click through to read the piece without being a paid subscriber of that site.1

Passive investing

Active investing

  • Jim Slater: My refined Zulu stockpicking method – Telegraph
  • Refining exposure to emerging markets [Search result] –  John Redwood/FT
  • Gloom as an investor’s best friend – Bloomberg View
  • The trouble with discount rates –  Morningstar

Other stuff worth reading

  • The danger of financial jargon [Missed this last week]The New Yorker
  • What kind of property addict are you? – Telegraph
  • The cheapest way to watch football in 2014/15 – Telegraph
  • Students who say no to £50,000 of debt – Guardian

Book of the week: It must be summer, because I’m re-reading Guy Thomas’ Free Capital in the garden and getting inspired for a third year in a row. If you’re a private investor who’s yet enjoy these case studies of survivorship bias winning stock pickers, you’re missing out. Highly recommended!

Like these links? Subscribe to get them every week!

  1. Reader Ken notes that: “FT 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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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • 1 Willem de Leeuw August 16, 2014, 11:38 am

    A day in the Life, indeed.

  • 2 dearieme August 16, 2014, 12:32 pm

    Cordant’s map => I should invest in the UK, Australia and Brazil. Can anyone suggest cheap ways of investing in the latter two?

  • 3 ermine August 16, 2014, 12:34 pm

    @dearieme IBZL for Brazil?

  • 4 ermine August 16, 2014, 12:35 pm

    > we’ll probably be chortling as we look back: “Remember when we actually thought Russia might invade Ukraine?

    Oi. Excuse me, gimme a break. I’m looking for HRUB to drop a little bit more before topping up 😉

  • 5 dearieme August 16, 2014, 12:54 pm

    Ta, ermine.

  • 6 dearieme August 16, 2014, 1:03 pm

    “The cheapest way to watch football in 2014/15”: the highlights on the Beeb, Saturday and Sunday evenings. The price you pay is the presence of Alan Shearer, but you can always use the volume control.

    Come to think of it, if you want to avoid the licence fee that may not be the cheapest way.

  • 7 Dividend Mantra August 16, 2014, 4:23 pm


    Thanks for including my article!

    It’s hard in the thick of battle to have a long-term perspective, but I think that’s what all successful investors must have…regardless of the asset class(es) you prefer. I always try to remember “this too shall pass.”

    Have a great weekend.

    Best wishes!

  • 8 Asset-Grinder August 23, 2014, 12:05 am

    Thanks for the reading list. This Ukraine situation really putting uncertainly in stocks. So what another war!!!! War happening everyday since forever

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