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Weekend reading: Cold comfort

What caught my eye this week.

Pretty much straight into the links today, as I’ve been ill most of the week with a remorseless cold. I’ve kept up with my reading, but couldn’t manage much thinking.

Well, I did spend a few feverish moments wondering if getting Covid last year had somehow impaired my immune system.

Normally I shake colds off in a couple of days. I rarely get them in the first place. This one made itself at home, returning in waves from Monday to Friday.

Perhaps I’ve forgotten what a cold – let alone flu – is like? Lockdowns, masking, handwashing, indulging my reclusive tendencies with a global pandemic at my back… for whatever reason I can’t recall going toe-to-toe with mankind’s most implacable foe since at least 2019.

The Atlantic wrote recently [1] that man flu-ism is rampant right now:

As far as experts can tell, the average severity of cold symptoms hasn’t changed.

“It’s about perception,” says Jasmine Marcelin, an infectious-disease physician at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

After skipping colds for several years, “experiencing them now feels worse than usual.” 

It was also nostalgic to rip open one of my last lateral flow tests, and to wait for those lines. The pregnant pause. The relief. Misguided, almost, given how the cold I actually did have dragged on for longer than The Big One did for me, though without Covid’s awful tiredness.

Anyway, rambling. Enjoy the links, please discuss them in the comments! I’d probably have focused on inflation. It looks licked in the US.

Have a great weekend.

From Monevator

Are US Treasuries better than gilts for UK investors? – Monevator [2]

Buying an investment trust on a discount versus a premium – Monevator [3]

From the archive-ator: Great expectations: how much should you fear inflation? – Monevator [4]


Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view click through to read the article. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing to sites you visit a lot.

Some workers may have to wait until they are 74 to get state pension – This Is Money [5]

Frozen food beats fresh as shoppers seek savings – BBC [6]

Strikes weigh on a UK economy which stagnated in February – Reuters [7]

House prices drop amid falling demand as rents keep increasing – Yahoo Finance [8]

Interest rates likely to return to pre-pandemic levels after inflation is tamed – IMF [9]

What is the Living Pension standard, and could it boost your retirement pot? – Which [10]


Are Americans too pessimistic about their financial futures? – Morningstar [12]

Products and services

More borrowers choosing two-year fixes in gamble mortgage rates will fall – This Is Money [13]

Blackrock/iShares is getting into the ‘Buffer’ ETF game – Bloomberg via Yahoo Finance [14]

Open a SIPP with Interactive Investor and pay no SIPP fee for six months. Terms apply – Interactive Investor [15]

Plan now to afford typical care home costs [Search result]FT [16]

17 ways to save money on your bills and living costs in 2023 – Which [17]

Open an account with low-cost platform InvestEngine via our link [18] and get £25 when you invest at least £100 (T&Cs apply. Capital at risk) – InvestEngine [18]

Restored homes with interiors that sing, in pictures – Guardian [19]

Property mini-special

The highs and lows of starting a new life in a static caravan – Guardian [20]

Curbs on second-home rentals risk hurting local economies [Search result]FT [21]

Folly – Indeedably [22]

Seven tips on selling your home quickly in a slow market – Which [23]

This is where people with staggering wealth end up – Guardian [24]

Comment and opinion

Should we ban billionaires? – Prospect [25]

Risky business – Humble Dollar [26]

The ultimate level of wealth – A Wealth of Common Sense [27]

James Choi: improving the way we make investment choices [Podcast]Morningstar [28]

Invest like Oprah Winfrey? – Contessa Capital [29]

Play your own game [Podcast]Morgan Housel [30]

Why portfolio diversification helped in 2022 [US but relevant]Morningstar [31]

The alpha games: technology funds – Finominal [32]

Harvesting tax losses – Fire V London [33]

Never retire…what the ‘world’s oldest practicing doctor’ does for a long life – CNBC [34]

Naughty corner: Active antics

RIT Capital Partners: a rare opportunity to buy a unique trust – Quoted Data [35]

Ten lessons from three small-cap AGMs – Maynard Paton [36]

100-baggers with Chris Mayer [Podcast] We Study Billionaires via Apple [37]

Finding companies with consistent dividends and profits – UK Dividend Stocks [38]

US inflation is yesterday’s news – Calafia Beach Pundit [39]

An annus horribilis for UK stockpickers [Search result]FT [40]

The end of the cycle is nigh [PDF] Legal and General [41]

Kindle book bargains

Cooking on a Bootstrap by Jack Monroe – £0.99 on Kindle [42]

Money: A User’s Guide by Laura Whateley – £0.99 on Kindle [43]

The Almighty Dollar by Dharshini David – £2.19 on Kindle [44]

The Nowhere Office: Reinventing Work and the Workplace by Julie Hobsbawm – £0.99 on Kindle [45]

Environmental factors

Less cars, more money: visiting the city of the future – Mr Money Mustache [46]

The illusion of saving the planet with a trillion trees [Search result]FT [47]

Have global combustion engine sales already peaked? – Visual Capitalist [48]

“Bees are sentient”: inside the brains of nature’s hardest workers – Guardian [49]

Full-year results from UK energy storage investment trust GRID – DIY Investor [50]

Billionaire founder of Paul Mitchell invests in man-made coral reefs – CNBC [51]

Robot overlord roundup

If we don’t shut down AI development we will all die – Time [52]

First hands-free self-driving system approved for British motorways – Guardian [53]

The Bloomberg terminal just got a ChatGPT-style upgrade – Institutional Investor [54]

How to use A.I. to do practical stuff – One Useful Thing [55]

Existential threats: Terminator scenario – Continuations [56]

An example of LLM prompting for programming [Nerdy]Martin Fowler [57]

A BabyAGI mod is close to creating own executables [Nerdy, big if true]via Twitter [58]

Off our beat

What makes you happy – Morgan Housel [59]

The gambler who beat roulette [Video] – Bloomberg via YouTube [60]

Slowing down – Conor Mac [61]

Dave Eggers: sketches from Ukraine – The Believer [62] [h/t Abnormal Returns [63]]

The Super Mario Bros. movie will be impossible to beat – Wired [64]

Fame – Professor Scott Galloway [65]

Stock therapy – Humble Dollar [66]

“I am 70 and so full of regret about my husband and career”Guardian [67]

And finally…

“Far from being the smartest possible biological species, we are probably better thought of as the stupidest possible biological species capable of starting a technological civilization – a niche we filled because we got there first, not because we are in any sense optimally adapted to it.”
– Nick Bostrom, Superintelligence [68]

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