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Weekend reading: I do, you do, we do

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What caught my eye this week.

I am recovering from an excellent wedding that ended late last night (not my own!) so straight into the links this morning.

Except to observe that people of all ages do seem very happy to mix again.

And that commentators who asked last summer “Will we ever be comfortable at a party again, post-Covid?” might have been bemused to see half a dozen pensioners crowding together into one of those comedy prop-strewn instant photo booths.

Of course that’s not to say that was necessarily wise behaviour for their age bracket in the midst of the ongoing Delta spread – nor to deny that there are limits to the double-jabbed vaccination protection that made this wedding possible.

More that the human spirit has strong reversion-to-the-mean tendencies.

Investing accordingly, I think.

Have a great weekend!

From Monevator

Should you borrow to fill your ISA each year? – Monevator

SIPP money saving hack – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Why your house is an investment, and an asset, too – Monevator

News

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

Downing Street hints triple lock will be watered down – Guardian

Inflation falls to 2% in UK amid retail discounting – BBC

HMRC digs deep into your data [Search result]FT

Food industry chaos due to Brexit not Covid, say trade groups – Sky News

Lloyds moves into the landlord business with a 50,000 home plan – Guardian

UK house prices increased by 13.2% in the year to June 2021, up from 9.8% in May 2021 – ONS

Products and services

How will the post-Brexit return of roaming charges hit consumers? – Guardian

The pros and cons of a 35-year mortgage – Which

Sign-up to Freetrade via my link and we can both get a free share worth between £3 and £200 – Freetrade

John Lewis launches investing accounts with Nutmeg – ThisIsMoney

How to buy a secondhand phone, and what to look out for – Guardian

Nationwide is offering a £125 bank account switching bonus – Which

Homes for sale with a loft conversion, in pictures – Guardian

Comment and opinion

“Why I won’t wait to retire”Humble Dollar

The best advantage of life: being born rich – Of Dollars and Data

The age of the ETF is looming [Search result]FT

All or nothing markets – A Wealth of Common Sense

The optimal amount of hassle – Morgan Housel

The hidden risk of equal weighting index funds [PDF]Northern Trust

Bubble wealth [Academic paper/PDF, a few weeks old]SSRN

Naughty corner: Active antics

What’s harder? Asset allocation or stockpicking? – Behavioural Investment

There’s no such thing as buy and hold – Ensemble Capital

Quants are rethinking stock trades in the manic Reddit era – Yahoo Finance

How to craft a 30-stock, sector-neutral portfolio – Fortune Financial

Zooming out on Palantir’s vaunted vault of gold – Abnormal Returns

Hybrid workplace mindset mini-special

Why are so many knowledge workers quitting? – The New Yorker

It’s time to re-onboard everyone – Harvard Business Review

Mental health is the next big workplace issue – Axios

Disinfection robots and thermal cameras: the post-Covid office – Guardian

Covid corner

Is catching Covid now better than more vaccine? – BBC

Kindle book bargains

Surrounded by Psychopaths: or, How to Stop Being Exploited by Others by Thomas Erikson – £0.99 on Kindle

The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living by Mark Boyle – £0.99 on Kindle

Hired: Six Months in Low-Wage Britain by James Bloodworth – £0.99 on Kindle

Happy Money by Ken Honda – £0.99 on Kindle

Environmental factors

Twilight of the nautilus – Nautilus

The case for green versus blue hydrogen in energy production – DIY Investor

Behind the fight to save the Gulf of Mexico’s reefs – Texas Monthly

Off our beat

Inside Facebook’s Metaverse for work – The Verge

How to remember what you read – Farnam Street

Everybody is having hilarious fun and you’re not [On NFTs]Justin Paterno

How Wingspan – a board game about birds – became a surprise hit – Slate

Time dilation – Seth Godin

It’s time to bring back cargo pants – Wired

And finally…

“The impression was gaining ground with me that it was a good thing to let the money be my slave and not make myself a slave to money.”
– J.D. Rockefeller via Ron Chernow, Titan: The Life of J.D. Rockefeller

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • 1 Spoonbill August 21, 2021, 11:48 am

    I have had a 30-odd year hiatus from board games – since the glory days of Games Workshop in the 1980s – but that Wingspan article has inspired me to get back into them – thank you!

  • 2 Al Cam August 21, 2021, 12:33 pm

    Re: HMRC digs deep into your data
    Very interesting and I can vouch for some of the claims, e.g. I have noticed over the last few years that the quickest way to find out how much tax has been deducted on any income drawdown withdrawal is to consult my HMRC account and not my income drawdown account!

  • 3 MrOptimistic August 21, 2021, 4:38 pm

    That Northern Trust link about equal weighted risks is a bit of an eye opener. Another cherished illusion gone.

  • 4 Zero Gravitas August 21, 2021, 9:54 pm

    Interesting (to me) factoid in the FT today.

    Central government tax revenues for July were £70bn – which is higher than for the same month in 2019, and in fact revenues have significantly exceeded pre-pandemic levels in each month since April.

  • 5 JimJim August 22, 2021, 7:13 am

    @ Zero Gravitas. (4… )
    … Pondering that point.
    Some element of that must be pent up demand, some element of that must be money spent on holidaying in the U.K. (offset by the reduction in international tourism and business travel), Some might be from price increases – if we are to believe the 2% inflation figures- Some might be from transactional costs of selling/ moving house.
    On the other side of the coin is the supply chain problems that must be throttling back that demand, and increasing prices for raw materials and goods – try get a discount on a new Toyota?. (prices of materials at our local builders merchant have risen two-fold in some instances – if the goods are available at all)
    Either way it seems optimistic news. The supply side will eventually sort itself out. If it does without serious and lasting inflation is the question that many are asking.
    JimJim

  • 6 Tom August 22, 2021, 11:58 am

    Anyone else who felt nauseated by that re-onboarding article? Solution to workers feeling disconnected is more corporate cringe. Am I the only one who has felt I don’t belong just because of corporate cringe? And corona has already added to the corporate cringe, now they think they should double down? I so hope this great resignation thing accelerates.

  • 7 jim August 22, 2021, 12:26 pm

    Does reversion to the mean imply places like ciniworld will recover? Look cheap on the chart compared to past price. Probably some structural issues a layman like me cant fathom.

  • 8 Tyro August 22, 2021, 3:35 pm

    @jim: Cineworld has massive debt. Rather you than me.

  • 9 ZXSpectrum48k August 22, 2021, 4:38 pm

    @Tom. That HBR article isn’t cringe, it’s utter cow manure.

    I mean do they really expect anyone to implement BS like this:
    “High, Low, Ha,” where each person shares one highlight from their week, one low point, and one thing that made them laugh.”
    Honeslty, if asked my employees to do that they would quite rightly tell me exactly where to shove it.

    COVID is a phenomenal opportunity to drive all the BS artists in places like middle management and HR, and all those pointless management and IT consultants into extinction. But they are fighting back with this sort of claptrap. We mustn’t allow them to survive.

  • 10 Al Cam August 22, 2021, 6:17 pm

    @ZX:
    Every cloud has a silver lining.
    Wouldn’t it be great if a part of Covid’s legacy was a bonfire of “bullshit jobs”!

  • 11 Ducknald Don August 23, 2021, 7:10 pm

    The return to work brigade are out in force. There was an article in the Atlantic today talking about the “benefits” of commuting. These people have no shame.

  • 12 Jim August 25, 2021, 10:13 am

    @tyro I jumped in yesterday ready to get burned by the dead cat bounce ha!
    It’s a silly little punt really as I know little about the business and like you say they have big debt.
    I’m just going off sentiment and human behaviour returning to type. Most of my little punts are bought like this, Tullow, Joules, Superdry way back when the 50mil accounting error. Cineworld is amongst most shorted I’ll have to hope the Reddit traders get on it!

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