What caught my eye this week.
Merryn Somerset-Webb was on good form this week writing about the FCA’s report into the asset management industry. Opining in the Financial Times [search result], Merryn laments all the talk in the FCA report of more, well, talk (or as the author’s call it, consultation).
Everyone’s favourite plummy personal finance punk has little truck for the industry’s excuses. For example, she writes:
My favourite part comes on page 84, where the FCA reports on conversations with stakeholders about the all-in fee. It turns out that several respondents were concerned about the “practical complexities” of an all-in fee. It’ll be hard to figure out transaction costs, they said. After all, trading costs “cannot be predicted accurately ahead of time”.
This is absolutely killing. A group of people who insist that it makes sense for us to pay them outrageously high annual fees on the basis that they are so good at complex forecasting — that they can look at, say, the 2,000 stocks listed in the UK and forecast which of them will do better than the others based on a pile of mostly made up spreadsheets — reckon there are insurmountable “complexities” in extrapolating what their own trading costs will be over a 12-month period from decades of their own data.
I’m a little weary of being indignant on behalf of investors who to often seem unable to do even an hour’s homework of their own, but Somerset-Webb is made of more noble stuff.
Keep fighting, she says in her article. There is more work to be done!
I, Robot (or automatic investing for the people) – Monevator
Investment platforms to be studied by the FCA on competition concerns – Monevator
From the archive-ator: 7 ways to profit from other people’s folly – Monevator
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
Britons’ savings rate at record lows, says ONS – Guardian
Bank of England tightens mortgage affordability rules – Telegraph
When not frightening fund managers, FCA also studying car loans market – Guardian
Warren Buffett says the problem with the economy is people like him – CNBC
“In practically all countries for which evidence is available, there is a clear link between what your parents earned and your own earnings prospects” – Bloomberg
Products and services
Childcare: All the schemes, how they work, how to apply – Telegraph
Property funds’ liquidity crisis lives on [Search result] – FT
‘EU Pension’ planned for people who move between countries – Guardian
A Help-To-Buy scheme case study in London – Guardian
The Royal Mint is considering getting into the coin valuation business – ThisIsMoney
Comment and opinion
Free yourself from your investments – Of Dollars and Data
How many of Amazon’s dotcom peers from 2000 still exist today? – The Value Perspective
Happy warriors and the practice of realistic optimism – Abnormal Returns
Think hard before buying a London property [Search result] – FT
No investor is fully passive – Morningstar
Bills! – The Escape Artist
[Some] investors have lost sight of the purpose of indexes – Bloomberg
How to deploy £10m for financial freedom [“Forced” to read Monevator 🙁 ] – FireVLondon
This time really is different [On the evolution of markets] – Bloomberg
Larry Swedroe: Alpha’s persistence is always at risk – ETF.com
An introduction to buy-to-let as an asset class – 7 Circles
The pros and cons of doing buy-to-let as a Limited Company – ThisIsMoney
Valuing Uber on a per user basis [Deep financial geekery!] – Musings on Markets
The four Ls of retirement income planning – Retirement Researcher
Off our beat
The power of the Rotten Tomatoes website – Wired
How Twitter pornified politics – New York Times
“Overall I thought this was a good book. It’s full of practical ideas with lots of detail on how to calculate the various ratios. However, you will need to have some experience with income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements to get the most out of it.”
– John Kingham’s review of How To Pick Quality Shares by Phil Oakley
Like these links? Subscribe to get them every Friday!
- 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”. [↩]