Good reads from around the Web.
Are you lucky or skillful if you succeed at something? A pragmatic test – courtesy of author and banker Michael Mauboussin – is to see whether you can lose at the activity on purpose.
I’ve held a tennis racket on about 10 days of my life on Earth, and I’ve got the ball over the net and legally within the sidelines about as often.
Tennis clearly requires skill.
Flipping coins to win with heads but then trying to lose by getting tails?
I mention this because I’ve seen great evidence of my investing skill recently.
You remember how I bought a bunch of oil stocks outside of my ISA, so I could use any losses I generated to offset my capital gains tax bill?
Well, I’ve already generated losses! Enough to offset that surprise gain.
Go me – my little portfolio has lost 16% in just three weeks.
Talk about skill, eh?
Eat that Warren Buffett!
p.s. In case it’s not obvious to some, I’m being ironic in this post. I get it. (Yes, that too. And that!)
From the blogs
Making good use of the things that we find…
- The hot hand fallacy – A Wealth of Common Sense
- We eat dollar-weighted returns – The Aleph Blog
- Are inverse ETFs a good way to reduce risk? – Oblivious Investor
- The path to better investing [Interview] – TEBI
- The short, glorious life of a tech company – Musings on Markets
- Understand the maths behind ‘price targets’ – The Value Perspective
- US stocks: Risking dollars to make pennies – The Felder Report
- Could you really hold a 10-bagger? – The Irrelevant Investor
- 10 ways to destroy your portfolio – Investing Caffeine
- Debating Tesla’s valuation – SumZero
- Serial financial meltdowns and the savings glut – Pimco
- Scenes from the future of wealth management – Reformed Broker
- What is The Path? – The Escape Artist
- Monthly financial decisions – Retirement Investing Today
- Simple rules to cut down on stuff – Under The Money Tree
- Lessons from dad: Part 1 – Getting Fired
Products of the week: The Telegraph has a great article showing how combining a bevvy of different bank accounts can earn you 7.5% a year on £20,000. Santander’s excellent 1-2-3 account is at the heart of the system, though it only pays 3%. The uplift comes from perks and bonuses elsewhere.
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
- Investing lessons from Vanguard’s Bogleheads – Kiplinger
- In retirement, it seems, there are few guarantees [Search result] – FT
- A canary may be whistling in the junk bond coalmine – Dealbook
- Bleak future for hedge funds – Investment Week
- The story of the first high frequency trader – Medium
- Reasons to stick with the oil trade – Motley Fool (UK)
A word from a broker
- The outlook for energy and mining companies – Hargreaves Lansdown
Other stuff worth reading
- Buy-to-let super-landlords starting to sell up… – Guardian
- …even the infamous Wilsons! – Telegraph
- A far-flung frontier where homes aren’t goldmines. America. – Bloomberg
- Remortgage now? The question everyone is asking [Search result] – FT
- Meet the women who earn more – Guardian
- Jason Zweig: The real value of a home [Search result] – WSJ
- How to prove anything you want – Motley Fool (US)
- 5 steps to prepare for your declining financial ability – WSJ
- Dress the part: Enclothed cognition – New York Times
Amazon angle of the week: I buy all my Christmas presents on Amazon and ship them straight to my far-flung mother’s house, where our family clan meets up once a year to remember why we meet up once a year. Years ago buying everything online used to seem radical, and I’d laugh at my 20-something friends struggling to shoehorn bags of presents onto trains. Now my generation have their own houses and cars, and today’s 20-somethings couldn’t squeeze three big bags of presents onto the increasingly crowded trains if they wanted to – or not without a fight. So lots more people use the online retailer cum courier at Christmas – and it knows it, creating a Christmas Gift Guide for the very purpose. Personally, I tend to snipe earlier for deals during Black Friday to increase the perceived generosity factor at no extra cost, but I’m incorrigible like that. (Oh, and I’m in First Class on the Christmas train after booking my bargain ticket six weeks ago. Mild OCD has its compensations.)
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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”. [↩]