What caught my eye this week.
This will be a busy Easter, so I’m getting Weekend Reading out of the way early. And when I say ‘busy’ I mostly mean ‘busy shopping’. I’ll be very glad when my new flat is done. I’m ready to begin laying down the avocado bathroom suite equivalent of the future.
Slightly fewer links than usual, so if you do spot something good I’ve missed, please add it in the comments below. 🙂
A worked example of defusing capital gains – Monevator
From the archive-ator: 10 lessons learned from accidentally starting a business – 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
Household spending growth hit a six-year low in 2017 on Brexit inflation – Guardian
Council tax in England rises the most in 14 years – ThisIsMoney
London property slump most widespread since the financial crisis – Guardian
Trump’s Tweets wipe $50bn off the value of Amazon – ThisIsMoney
Traders did not bet on Esma tightening CFD rules [Search result] – FT
Buy-to-let returns rose everywhere but London in 2017 – ThisIsMoney
How the bull market tech darlings have plunged in 2018 – The Irrelevant Investor
Products and services
Halifax launches Best Buy cash ISA paying 2.25%, but there’s a five year lockup – ThisIsMoney
Some cash ISAs save you just 8p in tax per £1,000 – ThisIsMoney
Could Revolut’s virtual ‘disposable card’ protect you against online payment fraud? – Telegraph
Barclays to suspend online services on Sunday for 24m customers as it splits retail and investment bank – Guardian
Is Vanguard’s success a problem? Some customers think so [Search result] – WSJ
Cryptocurrencies have lost $250bn in 2018, says Charlie Bilello – via Twitter
Smart Beta institute warns against Smart Beta – Institutional Investor
I love my Caspar mattress, and the ‘new smell’ has faded… let’s both save £50! – Caspar
How to invest in AIM shares to sidestep inheritance taxes – Telegraph
Comment and opinion
Would you take £1m now or £1,000 a week for the rest of your life? – Guardian
Charged up about pension fees – SexHealthMoneyDeath
“I regret spending £50,000 on my wedding” – BBC
Lesser-known ways to cut your personal tax bill – ThisIsMoney
Why should I need a new iPad to bank online? [Search result] – FT
The trials and tribulations of switching platforms – Simple Living in Somerset
Why we don’t own a car – Young FI Guy
Investing (as a stock picker) is hard – Micro Cap Club
Why it’s harder than you think to make your fortune at a hedge fund – e.f.c
The ideal house to raise a family [Interesting US perspective] – Financial Samurai
Gradually rising interest rates? Don’t be too sure – The Value Perspective
Some thoughts on Dignity shares after a 70% price fall – UK Value Investor
Why you shouldn’t volunteer for a charity – 3652 Days
Valuing Spotify – Musings on Markets Part 1 and Part 2
Kindle book bargains
Royal Legacy: How the royal family have made, spent and passed on their wealth by David McClure – £0.99 on Kindle
Make Your Bed: Small things that can change your life… and maybe the world by William McRaven – £1.99 on Kindle
The Marshmallow Test: Understanding Self-control and How To Master It by Walter Mischel – £1.99 on Kindle
Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street by Sheelah Kolhatkar – £1.99 on Kindle
Off our beat
49 lessons from 49 years – Get Rich Slowly
China’s space lab will crash to earth like a “splendid” meteor shower – NDTV
The art of enjoying the burn – Raptitude
“Charles Kindleberger explained the self-perpetuating feeding frenzy that develops when speculators start making money: ‘There is nothing so disturbing to one’s well-being and judgment as to see a friend get rich’.”
― Zac Bissonnette, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion & the Dark Side of Cute
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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”. [↩]
The article on charities gave me a familiar wry smile. From my experience interacting with them at the sharp end in the ‘3rd world’, they’re scammers at worst or useful idiots at best. They’re reviled by even the illiterate peasants they’re meant to be helping, who just see aliens from another planet step out of a plane into a 4-wheel drive vehicle, then into a comfortable hotel, truncated by restuarant recharging sessions, never breaking the air-conditioning link….. These are all environments the supplicants they’re there to save can never experience entering in their lives because they can’t even afford the training to be a servant to those children of a superior god.
I once met a good man, a US missionary in Kenya while we were both in holiday mode, with his family & got talking to him about what he was there for – I too was enjoying sight-seeing on the weekend while there for a work-related stint. He was distributing bibles to the Turkana tribe who live in the moonscape desert zone on their border with South Sudan & Ethiopia. His income to raise his happy family [he had a wife & 3 kids with him] came from the contributions from the local parish he was from back home.
Without being unkind, it quickly became clear in our discussion that although he really was a nice guy, tried hard & believed he was changing the world & was totally honest, he was incapable of seeing his actions were at best useless, if not causing actual harm by distracting the Turkana from the crucial business of day to day survival in one of the harshest environments on our planet today.
The Turkana are experts at desert survival, otherwise they simply couldn’t be there & anyone who has the IQ to recognise that, by seeing what is in front of them with their own eyes is in awe of their abilities. What the Turkana actually really need in order of importance is: security in the form of state protection from armed raiders who kill them to steal their livestock without which they just starve to death slowly anyway, clean water, insurance against drought, education, medical care & just development for an easier life.
What impressive value they can give in return so as not to be trapped in the beggar/messiah complex relationship charities end up in unwittingly or otherwise: they can teach anyone the most sophisticated survival skills in that environment possible – what they don’t know is not worth knowing. Your modern tourist who’s vehicle breaks down there would die within hours without help. [the militaries should salivate over that]
Can’t believe I read that FT iPad article. What a non-story.
“Mr Evans was told that he could use the iPhone app (which requires iOS 9 or higher), but he prefers the iPad’s larger screen size. He could continue to bank on the iPad if he abandoned the app and logged in through an internet browser…”.
Much as I find the planned obsolescence of computer hardware annoying, if the guy is writing to the FT and making such a fuss over this kind of issue, I wonder what happens when he faces a real problem.
“banks won’t lend you more than a 42% debt-to-income ratio (DTI) anyway.” Eh?
Thanks for introducing me to the retirement cafe: very calm and reassuring commentator. New article this week
Why did you have to remind people about the Revolut card? I thought that we could keep it secret for a few more years so they don’t try and turn the whole thing into a proper bank and ruin it. 🙂
I don’t use the disposable numbers but I have a Revolut card and it’s perfect. The ability to turn on/off the contactless feature via the app is much easier than using scissors to cut the antenna that runs around the edge, and the conversion between currencies has saved me quite a lot.
I think maybe eighteen months ago you linked an article on the murky business on recommendation and affiliate link income in the online mattress mini-boom:
Now you’ve gone and contacted an online mattress seller and got an affiliate link and are recommending that brand of mattress for cash????
Interesting set of mental gymnastics there
@Neverland — Sigh. Firstly, I’ve linked via that affiliate link twice before, clearly stated both times. You missed two previous opportunities for snark! You’re losing your touch.
Secondly, I link to all sorts of articles here, on the grounds that they might interest readers, some of which I agree with and some I don’t. As it happens the mattress affiliate article was indeed fascinating, dealing as it did with giant mattress review websites that were spun up in a matter of months to make their publishers millionaires. The article was sadly silent on the subject of financial bloggers sticking the odd link up about a product they like to maybe make £50 if they’re lucky. Perhaps they’ll do a follow-up?
Finally, the mental gymnastics required seem anyway pale stuff compared to those required to turn up to the same disappointing blog to write something negative on almost every new post for the best part of a decade.
Life is short — take a walk!
@TI We can definitely permit you the occasional affiliate link – hopefully we’re all savvy enough to fully understand these things and if you get a little kickback then it is hugely deserved for the service you do everyone with this blog.
I hope you did pretty well out of the Ratesetter offer while that was going strong?
I have just cashed out my Ratesetter investments, made one year ago via your link. £1000 went in for me, £1000 for my wife. £100 bonus each, plus £50 referral bonus for me, plus approx £30 interest each made for a 15.5% annual return on the £2k.
@ Neverland. I bought a mattress from Ikea last month it was a standard uk double size (pocket sprung construction) costing £180. Its fantastic, on a cost to quality ratio it was the best I could find by a country mile. It comes rolled up and I could take it home in the car. If you are looking for a mattress and are worried about cash kick backs there are other alternatives.
@Investor – actually I generally greatly enjoy your blog. It’s annoying when people you admire a lot make the wrong choices
Some more links
Vanguard: Volatility strikes back
The top 10 passive funds for your ISA (‘experts’ share their pick)
@Neverland, while I don’t know the latin for blog, I’d suggest The Investor is in a reasonable position to claim domus mea praecepta mea.
Happy Easter in your new home! I am looking forward to the blog post detailing all the purchasing details. I can’t believe you finally cracked and bought in London!
April fools everyone!
Quantitative easing ‘reduced UK wealth inequality’, says BoE
@e17jack — Glad RateSetter worked out well for you! So far Caspar has landed me one affiliate reference fee across the three use of the links, and the person who bought the one mattress wrote me a lovely long email about how Monevator had helped them transform their finances, and going through my Caspar link was a little thank you (noting they would take advantage of the 100 day return guarantee if they didn’t like the mattress.) Which was greatly appreciated. Mattress millionaire-dom remains a distant pipe dream.
That article about a £50k wedding… I read it and I cringed. Christ. Some people are hard to outdo in the crass stakes!