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Weekend reading: Investor, know thyself

What caught my eye this week.

Investors can be overwhelmed by 2018 forecasts in the first week of January. Those with long memories might ponder how much use such punditry was in 2017. Or in any of the years before that.

As an alternative to trying to guess the future – or to making your future self into a better you, via a raft of resolutions – how about getting to know who you really are now?

Most people tend to think they know themselves best. And the sort of personality types that are drawn to investing and financial freedom – INTJs, in the lingo discussed by My Deliberate Life in the links below – often feel those who are different are not different but wrong.

In reality, we’re all driven by different impulses, for good as well as ill. Those motivations can be a mystery to ourselves.

Which is all a long-winded way of introducing a cute quiz from Schroders called InvestIQ [1]:


My results from the quiz reminded me that I am an individual thinker who does deep research – and also that I’m a natural pessimist. It also claimed I’m much more anxious about investing than the average person.

I was surprised by this last point.

My first thought was anxiety is an edge as (for my sins [2]) an active investor!

My second thought was no wonder my stock picking adventures have become increasingly stress-inducing over the past few years.

Something to ponder in the weeks ahead, anyway.

Take the test [1] and see how you fare.

Happy new year!

From Monevator

The Slow and Steady passive portfolio update: Q4 2017 – Monevator [3]

From the archive-ator: What the Buffett family has always known about cash – Monevator [4]


Note: 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.1 [5]

Cost of living squeeze dents UK house price growth – Guardian [6]

‘Fleecehold’ complaints flood in as residents battle to turn tide – Guardian [7]

Average UK worker needs a £300,000 pension pot – ThisIsMoney [8]


2017: The year in charts – Pension Partners [10] [more from Irrelevant Investor [11]]

Products and services

Mortgage lenders start the year with a flurry of rate cuts – ThisIsMoney [12]

What to do with maturing Pensioner Bonds – Guardian [13]

Credit card balance transfer fees drop to lowest in a decade [Search result]FT [14]

Earn £100,000 or more? You may fall foul of the complex pension ‘taper’ rules – Telegraph [15]

The Ripple effect: Questioning this week’s hot cryptocurrency [Search result]FT [16]

How branding is fueling the cryptocurrency craze – Co.Design [17]

Comment and opinion

Making history by doing nothing – Morgan Housel [18]

How to hedge your finances against a future Corbyn government [Search result]FT [19]

Investing: The evidence [45-minute video]Robin Powell / YouTube [20]

Personal debt: How to shred your borrowing this year – Guardian [21]

Financial freedom and personality types – My Deliberate Life [22]

This is where we are [On the crypto mania]The Reformed Broker [23]

Earning more is not cheating – The Escape Artist [24]

The unprofitable reality of tobacco stocks – The Value Perspective [25]

All about edge – Gannon on Investing [26]

I’m selling BP because of its high debts and uncertain future – UK Value Investor [27]

Time for market timing? – Simple Living in Somerset [28]

The future of venture capital, with 26-year old Sheel Tyle [Podcast]Invest Like The Best [29]

Investing lessons from a surreal 2017 – Financial Samurai [30]

Personal portfolio review: 2017 – DIY Investor UK [31]

Volatility drag and its impact on (arithmetic) investment returns In Monte Carlo analysis – Kitces [32]

Would you recommend a career in investment management to a new college graduate? – Abnormal Returns [33]

Off our beat

The cost of a six-pack – Vice [34]

There is no such thing as ‘the blockchain’ – Slate [35]

The best time of day (and year) to work most effectively – Washington Post [36] (via Mike [37])

Richer millionaires are happier, especially if they made their own money [Research]HBS [38]

And finally…

“A mighty bubble of wealth is blown before our eyes, as empty, as transient, as contradictory to the laws of solid material, as confuted by every circumstance of actual condition, as any other bubble which man or child ever blew before.”
– Edward Chancellor, Devil Take the Hindmost [39]

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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”. [ [42]]