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Weekend reading: Insurance, investing, and ISAs

Some good money reads from around the web.

I was going to focus this week on the truly bonkers ruling from the European Court of Justice regarding gender discrimination [1] and financial services:

Taking the gender of the insured individual into account as a risk factor in insurance contracts constitutes discrimination.

This isn’t so much a case of political correctness gone mad as political correctness gone to visit Alice in Wonderland!

These are facts, not opinions or biases. Insurance is about weighting facts to balance risk and reward for both those seeking insurance and those providing.

If it impacts the insurance business, then this ruling can only mean more expensive car insurance for everyone – except for young boy racers, who’ll now find it more affordable to run a car into a wall. And it can only mean lower annuity payments for everyone. What nonsense.

However I’d rather focus on a clever verdict than this sort of silliness, and it was provided by Felix Salmon, writing for Reuters.

Talking about new academic research [2] that shows you should concentrate on consistent saving, Salmon says [3] that:

Investing can be exciting, especially when it’s done wrong.

You follow the markets rising and falling, you obsess about your retirement-fund balance, you rotate out of this and into that, you read books and magazines and blogs to try to learn more about what to do. You might even, in a moment of weakness, find yourself watching CNBC.

Budgeting, by contrast, is like going on a diet: it’s a drag, and it’s hard to get any pleasure or excitement out of it. But the latter is much more likely to get you well-set in retirement than the former.

Well said, even if somewhat ignored by myself with some of my money. So please do read my co-blogger The Accumulator’s take on passive investing [4] for boring strategies that should form the bulk of your saving plan.

Finally, a reminder that you only have one month from today to use up your ISA allowance for 2010 to 2011.

You can put £10,200 into ISAs in total, with a maximum £5,100 going into cash. The deadline is 5th April. There is no reason to delay [5]!

Money and investing blog posts

From the mainstream media

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