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Weekend reading: Monevator goes mobile

Weekend reading

Good reads from around the Web.

A quick note: We now have a mobile phone version of the site running, which you should see if you visit Monevator on your device.

I’ve long resisted doing this – partly because I have good eyesight but also because I prefer to keep things simple.

However some of you asked for it, and Google recently read the riot act and said it would stop telling people about us if we didn’t play nicely on a phone.

I hope more of you like the mobile version than don’t.

Either way, there’s a toggle at the bottom of articles viewed on a phone to switch between the mobile and desktop versions, so if you hate it you can turn it off.

Enjoy the long weekend!

From the blogs

Making good use of the things that we find…

Passive investing

  • Are long-term bonds still worth the risk? – AWOCS

Active investing

Other articles

Product of the week: It might finally be time to fix your mortgage rate, reckons The Guardian. You can get a two-year fix from the Yorkshire Building Society at 1.07%, which ThisIsMoney reckons is the lowest ever.

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

  • Swedroe: Avoiding recency bias – ETF.com
  • Do foreign stocks diversify? [Video]Morningstar
  • Some real-world examples of the cost of high fees – Barrons
  • Fancy ETF fees rising, but overall trend is down – Barrons
  • Even Rick Ferri is getting into robo-advising – ETF.com

Active investing

  • The wary retreat of the bond bulls [Search result]FT
  • Why you’ll wish you’d bought Danaher – Bloomberg
  • Active fund consistency doesn’t mean much – Morningstar
  • What top US stock pickers have been buying – Morningstar
  • Investing in craft beer companies – Interactive Investor
  • Outside investors are too much hassle for hedge tycoons – NY Times

Other stuff worth reading

  • Housel: The priceless art of not caring – Motley Fool US
  • How to mentally prepare for the next big crash – NY Times
  • Is your middle-class lifestyle under threat? – Telegraph
  • London’s housing crisis in pictures – Guardian
  • Crowdfunded buy-to-let investing – Guardian
  • The pros and cons of living on a canal – Guardian
  • British couple lost £146k in a Portuguese bank bust – ThisIsMoney
  • Being tall confers a lot of benefits – The Atlantic
  • Learn how to survive being kidnapped – Slate

Book of the week: You can bag an Amazon Fire HD 7 tablet for just £89 right now. It’s nippy and has all the gizmos you’d expect (nice screen, cameras, and so on) but being an old fuddy-duddy I think I’ll still with my venerable Kindle. (Ah, the joys of a plain screen and a cheap grey case. Kids today don’t know what they’re missing. Et cetera.)

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  1. Note some 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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{ 18 comments… add one }
  • 1 dearieme May 23, 2015, 12:39 pm

    “Alas, this logic holds true only if the wealthy never dissipate their wealth through spending, charitable giving, taxation, and splitting bequests among multiple heirs.” I suppose “spending” is quite a good euphemism for fast women and slow horses.

  • 2 Aron May 23, 2015, 1:02 pm

    Thumbs up for the mobile theme.

    But… Icons don’t seem to exist or load.

  • 3 Andy May 23, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Another thumbs up for the mobile theme. It’s a big improvement for mobile reading. I don’t seem to be getting the icons either, I just see small blue boxes with crosses through them (with Chrome mobile browser).

  • 4 Duncurin May 23, 2015, 1:50 pm

    Many thanks for the mobile theme. My eyesight is not what it was. 🙁

  • 5 Charlie May 23, 2015, 1:59 pm

    Thanks for this, just a friendly nudge that there’s some stuff that needs fixing:
    From the JS console:
    “` Font from origin ‘http://monevator.monevator.netdna-cdn.com’ has been blocked from loading by Cross-Origin Resource Sharing policy: No ‘Access-Control-Allow-Origin’ header is present on the requested resource. Origin ‘http://monevator.com’ is therefore not allowed access. “`
    See here if you need a hand:
    http://enable-cors.org/server.html

  • 6 Jonny May 23, 2015, 5:26 pm

    Mobile theme is much more aesthetically pleasing. Lovely! 🙂

  • 7 Mathmo May 23, 2015, 9:08 pm

    Merryn well worth a read this week as well for the bond ditherers: “should private investors hold bonds? Of course not”. Worry no longer.

    Time to start describing 60:40 as equity / [uncorrelated] alternative rather than equity / bond. I wonder how long before we see another class take the inflows.

  • 8 dearieme May 23, 2015, 10:58 pm

    The trouble with uncorrelated assets is that, on the whole, we know only that they used to be uncorrelated, not that they will be uncorrelated when we need them to be.

  • 9 Mathmo May 24, 2015, 12:27 pm

    I suppose I’m all ears for a better way of predicting future correlations, but at this stage of crystal-ball-technology, the past is all I have.

    Best guess is better than no guess.

  • 10 The Investor May 24, 2015, 6:31 pm

    Thanks for the feedback on the mobile theme — the icon issue does seem to be a glitch caused by my CDN, which we’ll hopefully be able to fix after the long weekend. (It’s working for some but not others, for some reason. Ho hum! 🙂 )

    @Mathmo — Yes, I guess I was feeling a bit bonded out this week. 🙂

    I’ve made my position pretty clear in comments over the past few months: I haven’t held government bonds for a couple of years.

    And, equally, for the past 3-4 years I have said that I think most true passive investors should just stick to their plan.

    At some point sooner rather than later I’m pretty sure a correction in bonds will come. I think a well-diversified passive investor won’t notice it much — their 40% allocation will become 34% over a year, and they’ll suck their teeth in. UK shares will probably (though not necessarily of course — just a balance of probabilities!) go up enough to cover most or all of the decline in UK bonds.

    The alternative approach would have been for me (/us) to suggest passive investors do what I’ve done, and to write an article saying “time to sell all your bonds”.

    But this is not passive investing, and honestly I could have written that article in 2013 and 2014, and maybe even 2012. Overall it’s probably better I didn’t.

    Someone saying “of course not” when it comes to bonds will get lucky eventually, and have an “I told you so” article they can point to for the rest of their writing lives. They won’t point to all the people who said sell bonds in 2012 and 2013 and 2014…

    Hope that explains my thinking! 🙂 (I like Merryn, nothing against her article, just explains my weariness on the subject this week. I might write an article from an active perspective on bonds in the next few months as I do think, as I’ve said, that the bottom is likely in…)

    Hope the weekend is going well all!

  • 11 Ramona May 25, 2015, 9:24 pm

    I see you are running on Thesis, probably they have an upgrade that’s also responsive. It would be better to have one responsive theme (mobile friendly), which ‘morphs’ based on the device you are using, than to have a separate plugin/theme for it. Anyway, at the moment, until you get a fully responsive theme, it’s still a huge improvement, especially when it comes to Google’s new algorithm’s changes.

  • 12 FIREvLondon May 25, 2015, 9:57 pm

    As @Mathmo on bonds, so @Monevator on London properties. Yes you’re both right, and yes you’ve both missed some very significant gains. Though I think the ‘yields can’t go any lower’ argument misses the fact that lots of bonds/bond funds are still around with 4%+ yields; I don’t quite see how the only way is down just yet. And lots of governments badly need yields to stay low so Mr Market has a powerful opponent.

  • 13 The Investor May 25, 2015, 11:00 pm

    @all — Just quickly on the mobile theme, is anyone still seeing the missing fonts/icons on mobile if you try now?

    We think we’ve fixed it you see, but we never saw the problem on any of our devices so hard to test! 🙂

  • 14 Mathmo May 26, 2015, 3:16 pm

    @FIRE – gilts are around 188 at the moment. They were down at 165 a month ago. I am guilty of missing out on some returns (I left that market at 185), but there comes a point where it just feels like “picking pennies up in front of a steam-roller” — great until you make a mistake and get squished. I learnt that (very expensive) lesson in 2000.

    Funds which have a spread above this are usually lower grade bonds: 9 year corporates yield around 319, and 4 yr global junk yields 480. Or different currencies: the dollar yields 31 bp above sterling at the moment. The point being that their yields will likely increase in line with govt bonds, and the rest is return for liquidity and default risks.

    The Japanese and European central banks are still buying bonds, and there is a lack of supply and other holders who aren’t profit-motivated so I wouldn’t bet against the price moving down further, but as a long term investor, I think my discount rate is higher than 185.

    London property? Now there’s a big steam roller. But look at those shiny pennies…

  • 15 Duncurin May 26, 2015, 8:09 pm

    Still no icons on my Android phone (Chrome browser) I’m afraid.

  • 16 Tim G May 26, 2015, 8:54 pm

    Looks great on my phone. On technical matters, would it be possible to add an option to allow people to subscribe to comments without necessarily posting? I sometimes find myself trying to think of something to post just so that I can be kept in the comments loop… a bit like this really!

  • 17 The Investor May 27, 2015, 9:05 am

    @Tim G — Yes, I have that on the list. 🙂 I think you may have asked for it before? Essentially it keeps getting kicked into long grass (like a discussion forum) because whenever I think about it I get decision paralysis over how to upgrade comments. But watch this space.

    @Duncurin — Thanks for the update. Is there possibly a local caching issue? Bit stuck otherwise as we’re out of ideas. Tricky to test, these mobile sites! 😉

  • 18 Paul W June 6, 2015, 9:35 am

    It would be nice to have a link to comments on the top of each entry. There is a comment count already – this could be a link.

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