What caught my eye this week.
I am late with the links this weekend, so let’s get stuck in with a “show me the money!” moment.
And not just any money, mind, but the 8,800lb coins of Yap Island in the Pacific Ocean:
Writing on Medium, Jamie Catherwood explains that:
For centuries, the natives of Yap have used ‘rai stones’ as a form of payment, and store of value.
These ‘stones’, however, were actually gargantuan limestone discs weighing up to 8,800 lbs., and standing 12 feet tall.
The natives ‘minted’ (mined) their currency on Palau Island, and upon their return the Chief of Yap valued each rai stone in front of the entire population.
In the same ceremony, locals would then purchase the currency.
Money is nearly always an abstraction. Trust is usually where the value lies, not in any intrinsic value. Even the gold and silver coins of antiquity were debased and inflated away.
After considering Bitcoin’s value within historical context, it should be clear that criticizing the crypto-currency for being “based on nothing” is a weak argument at best.
He points out that in the past even rather ghoulish religious artifacts have been used as a store of value.
I haven’t made my mind up about Bitcoin yet.
But I’m pretty sure it’d be an easier sell if instead of the dollar, Visa, or PayPal it was up against giant limestone discs and the teeth of long-dead saints…
Taking more risk does not guarantee more reward – Monevator
From the archive-ator: The one number to beat if you want to retire early [Dated in modern thinking, but I still believe a decent goal for ambitious 30-somethings] – Monevator
Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view you can click to read the piece without being a paid subscriber. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing if you read them a lot!1
Property buyers dive in as Turkey’s lira plunges – Guardian
New Zealand bans sales of homes to foreigners – BBC
House prices fall at fastest rate since financial crisis, sales tumble 65% – ThisIsMoney
Buy-to-let lending slumps as landlords take fright at tax changes [Search result] – FT
London’s planning application postcode lottery – ThisIsMoney
Emerging markets investors feel effects of Turkey crisis [Search result] – FT
Wake up call: Even Germany looks set to miss its climate goals – Bloomberg
Products and services
Invesco Perpetual at the top of ‘top dogs’ funds list – Investment Week
Banks to check payee’s name matches account number [At last!] – ThisIsMoney
Cracking summer: UK insurers expect rise in subsidence claims – Guardian
Ratesetter will pay you £100 [and me a cash bonus] if you invest £1,000 for a year – Ratesetter
Lovely bubbly: a case for investment in English sparkling wine [Search result] – FT
Why your holiday insurer may refuse your claim – even if thieves break in – ThisIsMoney
Royal Mail changes redirection fees to ‘per household’ rather than ‘per surname’ – Guardian
US angel network wants to mobilize 100,000 women investors – Fast Company
The case for multi-factor funds – Morningstar
Do ESG (environmental, social and governance) funds hurt your returns? – ETF.com
Ticketmaster closes resale sites, but will this fix alleged over-pricing? – Guardian
Millions of Virgin Media customers to be hit with inflation-busting 4.5% price hike – ThisIsMoney
Comment and opinion
We all have it now – Of Dollars and Data
How to change somebody’s mind about investing – Oblivious Investor
Index funds will be just fine confronting cruel markets – Bloomberg
More: Are index fund investors more vulnerable to bubbles? – Behavioural Investment
The half-life of investment strategies – A Wealth of Common Sense
Your lying mind – The Atlantic
Saving rates revisited – My Deliberate Life
How we track our expenses – Young FI Guy
Get rich with simplicity – The Escape Artist
A high net worth investor re-calibrates his portfolio – Fire V London
Is Ted Baker the perfect dividend growth stock? [PDF] – UK Value Investor
Can we afford an electric car? Let’s run the numbers – The FIRE Starter
What could Christiano Ronaldo have to teach us about QE? – The Value Perspective
When earning $1 million a year is not enough to retire early – Financial Samurai
Kindle book bargains
Making a Success of Brexit and Reforming the EU by Roger Bootle – £0.99 on Kindle
Liar’s Poker: From the author of the Big Short by Michael Lewis – £0.99 on Kindle
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness by Richard Thaler – £1.99 on Kindle
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt & Steven Dubner – £1.99 on Kindle
Open letter to the No Deal Brexiteers – Andrew Adonis via Twitter
Disorder, deal, or dead-end: Various Brexit scenarios explored – Reuters
Companies in Brexit ‘supply shock’ as fewer EU nationals arrive – Guardian
Off our beat
The biggest trend in economics today is too often ignored – Bill Gates via LinkedIn
How to avoid loneliness when you work entirely from home – HBR
More: Four ways to prevent loneliness wrecking your retirement – Reuters
UK asylum seekers’ 20-year wait for Home Office ruling – Guardian
Losing Earth: The decade we almost stopped climate change – New York Times
Australian Geographic nature photographer of the year [Gallery] – Guardian
Vienna is named the world’s most liveable city – ThisIsMoney
“Banking may be necessary, but banks, as we know them, no longer are. New financial technologies, and the advance guard of fintech pioneers, are already hammering at their gates.”
– Tim Price, Investing Through The Looking Glass
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