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Weekend reading: Monevator readers are worth reading

Weekend reading

Good reads from around the Web.

A quick erratum: The Accumulator got an Ongoing Charge Figure (OCF) wrong in his vast roundup of cheap index trackers on Tuesday.

The correct OCF for the db X-trackers FTSE 100 ETF (Ticker: XDUK) is a mere 0.09%.

To be fair to T.A., he wasn’t out by much. Only by a factor of – oh – ten!

I’m teasing, of course. His outsized error was a misplaced decimal point, and if I was in his shoes dealing with micro-OCFs in every other post I’d be regularly missing the point.

Anyway, I mention it here because thousands of Monevator readers only consume our words through email, and seldom visit the site. They might not know about the error, because they won’t see the comments or correction.

Comments worth reading

I can see the appeal of reading via email. Who wants to get off the virtual sofa to click over to some website when you can put your feet up in your in-box?

But one reason to do so is that Monevator has a really clued-up readership nowadays, especially on the passive investing side.

A dozen readers alerted me to that OCF error, for instance, either via the comments or by email.

So far (touch wood) our commentators are mainly pleasant and informative, too. We get very few nonsensical or rude battles here, and mostly I delete dumb comments anyway.

The number of comments beneath some posts runs into the several hundreds. You may be missing out on crowd-sourced wisdom if you never read them.

Of course, the typical thread flares out after 20 to 30 comments or so. But here are a few that are still pretty active:

The newest comments beneath any post are always shown first. There’s a “Previous Comments” link at the top to move you back through the stack.

Have a read, and add a few words of your own if you’re so-minded.

Community centre

A few years ago Monevator used a special plug-in, which enabled me to list all the new comments on the site in a table, like you see with a discussion forum.

Unfortunately it was discontinued and I haven’t found a replacement. If anyone has any pointers, please do let me know. (I’m not interested in a simple “Latest comments” sidebar widget. It’s a page collating comments that I would like.)

I also want to upgrade the comment system to enable you to post under your Facebook or Twitter identity, should you want to. This is easily done, but it has knock-on consequences so I go around in circles and procrastinate.

Finally I have a full-blown discussion forum waiting in the wings!

Techie types may be excited to know I am going with the sexy and modern Discourse system for this.

Unfortunately it’s so sexy and modern that we haven’t been able to make it stable.

Watch this space. 🙂

Note: I’m compiling the links a little early this week due to the Bank Holiday, so if you spot anything good in the weekend papers, please share it in those comments below!

From the blogs

Making good use of the things that we find…

Passive investing

Active investing

Other articles

Product of the week: Shawbrook’s one-year bond pays 1.95% (and bars any withdrawals for 12 months), which makes it a table-topper, according to The Telegraph. Its four and five-year bonds top their tables, too.

Mainstream media money

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 of that site.1

Passive investing

  • You can’t buck the system – Carl Richards/NYT
  • Rob Arnott defends fundamental indexing [Video] – WealthTrack
  • The fallacy of a “stock-picker’s market” – Pension Partners
  • Rise of “robo-advisors” [About the US, but they’re headed here]ETF.com
  • How DIY investors can plan to pass on their portfolios – Morningstar

Active investing

  • “My gold fund is down 70%! Should I sell?” – Telegraph
  • Surge in profitless IPOs could suggest a bad market to come – WSJ
  • Bonds for the long run [Wonky but interesting]FT Alphaville
  • One valuation metric that still says US stocks are cheap – Bloomberg

Other stuff worth reading

  • Interactive Investor waves exit fees, but only for new customers – Telegraph
  • Goals versus systems – Morgan Housel / Fool.com
  • Can we trust the next-generation of peer-to-peer firms? – Telegraph
  • We’re living longer, but not healthier – The Guardian
  • A fun night for $200,000 [Keep your money from them!]Bloomberg

Book of the week: The print version of Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys is out.

Like these links? Subscribe to get them every week!

  1. Reader Ken notes that: “FT 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”.” []
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • 1 dearieme April 18, 2014, 10:44 am

    A quick corrigendum: “errata” is the plural.

    Enjoy your eggs.

  • 2 dearieme April 18, 2014, 11:04 am

    “We’re living longer, but not healthier” is the epitome of dim-witted argumentation. You’d think that with all the money they make from their tax-dodging they could afford to hire a higher standard of journalist than that.

  • 3 The Investor April 18, 2014, 11:06 am

    Re: The erratum — how apt! 😉

  • 4 Vanguardfan April 18, 2014, 12:13 pm

    I’ve mentioned this before, but is there any way of enabling people to subscribe to receive comments on posts without posting themselves? The list of active conversations is useful, I’ll go and check them out.

  • 5 BeatTheSeasons April 18, 2014, 2:15 pm

    With some blogs that I have subscribed to, I am forced to visit their site because they only email the first few paragraphs of each post.

  • 6 Andy April 18, 2014, 4:17 pm


    If you use an RSS reader (for example Feedly), then you can subscribe to comments on a post separately.

    Personally I use Google Chrome with an RSS subscription plugin, I can press the RSS symbol that shows up in the browser address bar and select the comments feed for this article and then get notified of subsequent comments which I then can read either on the Feedly site or on the RSS app on my phone.

  • 7 Andy April 18, 2014, 4:26 pm

    I’ll be interested to see what the Discourse forums look like. I like Jeff Atwoods views on the problems with forums and the approach that the Stack Overflow sites take.

  • 8 The Accumulator April 18, 2014, 4:55 pm

    [Hangs head in shame]

  • 9 gadgetmind April 18, 2014, 7:31 pm

    Change, oh noes, I fear change!

    However, if I can sign in with my three digit slashdot ID …

  • 10 Vanguardfan April 18, 2014, 8:59 pm

    @Andy, thanks for the advice, unfortunately I have no idea what you are talking about 😉
    I’ll just have to carry on making pointless comments on threads that interest me…

  • 11 Steve April 23, 2014, 8:50 am

    The article by Rick Ferri on art and collectibles was fascinating, albeit tailored for the USA, and being a collector myself, confirmed what I’ve suspected for some time. Definitely not stamps though!


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