Good reads from around the Web.
I was not shocked to read this week that Jim of the SexHealthMoneyDeath blog has gone back to work.
It was obvious he found being retired early pretty boring. I was surely just one of many who suggested he should “get a job”, in kinder tones than that might be uttered.
I was struggling a bit with the retirement lifestyle, and finding the change from a full-on, full-time working week to a zero-hour one quite difficult to handle.
I just couldn’t shake the notion that I was too “young” to put my feet up, that I should be working and that I should be out there earning money.
I might not have “needed” the latter, but it never quite felt that way.
Few of us are really frustrated artists, office-caged adventurers, or wondrous philanthropists desperate to be out in the community doing good deeds for free instead of paying the mortgage.
Most of us are social creatures who like fitting in with the Joneses, even if we manage to shake off the urge to keep up with them.
And in our society, that involves somehow making money.
Even as a self-styled bohemian investor, I am fairly confident I’ll not give up entirely on “doing stuff for money” at anything younger than 80, and with luck and health not for a while after that.
On this planet, in this era, and with my mindset, it’d probably be easier to give up wearing clothes.
Many of you feel differently, of course. My co-blogger The Accumulator and I have debated this endlessly.
But I believe almost everyone will benefit from having an ongoing economic relationship with society while they can – even if only for a day or two a week.
Sadly, by the time most people reach the point of having options, they seem to feel too burned out by the workplace to explore all the various other ways of making money more freely.
If you can do it, you probably won’t
Personally, I think gaining financial freedom – the ability to say “no” to any boss or client, and to walk – is a truly worthwhile goal, but that retiring early will often prove a pretty futile outcome.
I think that’s especially true for the few who will be able to achieve it these days under their own steam.
That is, not the old 1990s way of being retired early by being shuffled out of a firm on a hefty company pension aged 55, but rather the modern, self-made save hard and invest like fury – or start a successful business or lucrative side-hustle – way.
Few people who can do that want to watch Pointless every afternoon waiting for their friends and family to finish work or school.
I know, I know, you will begin early retirement by doing an Open University degree course in archeology while making great strides in hybridizing apple trees in your back garden and teaching disadvantaged children Esperanto in your local youth center.
But most people won’t have your imagination…
So it’s no surprise to me so many high-profile personal finance bloggers who retire early go back to work – or never actually stop working.
Anyone who can create a very successful blog while generating enough money to retire at 45, say, is likely to be bored to tears by doing nothing – however much “doing nothing” is disguised by the flowering of (supposedly) constrained passions, travel, family life, or the gentle slide into somnolence.
Incidentally, I also think retiring early is bad for your health.
All my own views, yours may differ – at least until you retire early for yourself…
From the blogs
Making good use of the things that we find…
- The folly of Marc Faber’s forecasts – The Big Picture
- A deep dive into evidence-based investing issues – Above the Market
- How funds can “dope” their returns – BPs and Pieces
- Growth stocks: Cheaper by the day – Investing Caffeine
- The FTSE 250 looks fair value – UK Value Investor
- Emerging markets are melting up – The Capital Spectactor
- Low vol funds: The calm before the storm? – The Value Perspective
- Fund managers publish rebuttal of hidden fee claims [PDF] – IA (also FT)
- Three proven steps to ‘instant alpha’ – Abnormal Returns
- Why shareholder yield beats dividend yield [Podcast] – Meb Faber
- New charges from AJ Bell – DIY Investor (UK)
- Compound hustle versus compound interest – Investment Zen
- Accepting and managing risk – Darrow Fitzpatrick
- RIT will most likely die rich – Retirement Investing Today
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
- Remember the debt passive funds owe active managers [Search result] – FT
- Why even the best investing advice may be wrong – MarketWatch
- Your value fund might not be of much value – Forbes
- Do tactical allocation funds beat a 60/40 index mix? [US, relevant] – A.P.
- Asymmetric information and the markets – Bloomberg
- Inside Apple – Fast Company
- Investment trusts sporting a 4% or better yield – ThisIsMoney
- Only invest like a billionaire if you’re a billionaire – Bloomberg
- Investors can pick good funds, but they have bad timing – Morningstar
- Even the best investors miss many revolutionary opportunities – Medium
A word from a broker
- Active versus passive investing – TD Direct
- The benefits of investing in overseas markets – Hargreaves Lansdown
Other stuff worth reading
- A first-time buyer derailed by Japanese knotweed – Guardian
- Taxpayers backed the multi-billion pound Help to Buy gamble – ThisIsMoney
- Today’s reminder to never get married – Telegraph
- Aviva’s property fund could be closed for eight months – Telegraph
- Poor little rich kids: The perils of inherited wealth – Guardian
- The other side of Warren Buffett [Misses the point, IMHO] – The Economist
- Why star premier league managers matter less than ever [Search result] – FT
- How technology is homogenizing global interior design – The Verge
- Americans also witlessly pine for manufacturing jobs – The New Yorker
- Greenland sharks may live for 400 years – CBC News
Book of the week: For my own esoteric reasons, I found myself studying the holdings of a UK fund called the CFP SDL UK Buffettology fund this week. The manager, Keith Ashworth-Lord, is sometimes dubbed the UK’s Warren Buffett, not least by himself – though by his own admission he’s very much a Buffett disciple rather than an original thinker like the genial grandfatherly billionaire. I also found out Ashworth-Lord published a book last year – Invest in the Best – which rather than being dozens of photographs of the author holding a placard saying “Pick Me!” seems to be a more subtle investigation into why Buffett’s methods work. (And also, by implication, Ashworth-Lord’s…)
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- 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”. [↩]