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Weekend reading: Padstow away

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What caught my eye this week.

I am down in Cornwall at the moment, living the outdoorsy middle-class Londoner’s cliché dream. Earlier this evening Paul Ainsworth wowed with a rib. Yesterday a Rick Stein spot did wonders with a negroni.

The Camel Estuary of course outshines them all.

So technically I’m on my holidays. But this being October in the UK there’s been plenty of rain to keep me busy. Hence a short menu of links below.

Enjoy, please add anything you’ve spotted in the comments – and have a great weekend!

From Monevator

Three investing mistakes that cost me – Monevator

From the archive-ator: which asset allocation is right for you? – 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

No improvement in fuel supplies, say retailers – BBC

Millions of Britons face higher gas and electricity bills – Guardian

Investors surge into VCTs ahead of dividend tax increase [Search result]FT

How much tax will you pay now stamp duty break has ended? – Which

Outcry over proposal for lower student loan repayment threshold – Guardian

Stablecoins, stability, and financial inclusion – a16z

Products and services

Buy-to-let landlords can now bag a sub-1% mortgage rate – ThisIsMoney

Gatehouse Bank launches a best buy 1.51% ‘Green’ one-year savings bond – ThisIsMoney

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

American Express boosts rewards for new Gold card customers – ThisIsMoney

Homes for sale near good public transport, in pictures – Guardian

Comment and opinion

Reversing the sequence of the last 40 years of returns – TEBI

The broken clock – Of Dollars and Data

Everyone can predict where life’s journey will end – Humble Dollar

Save now, buy later – A Wealth of Common Sense

The trouble with one-sided markets – Ritholtz

The true cost of private schools – Banker on FIRE

What financial advisors need to know about crypto – ETF.com

Taking the Great out out of Britain – Simple Living in Somerset

Naughty corner: Active antics

The arithmetic of high conviction portfolios – Klement on Investing

Has the (latest) retail trading boom changed the stock market? – Factor Research

I just don’t care – All-star Charts

Widespread hedge fund outperformance is truly a thing of the past – TEBI

The Milken way – Neckar’s New Money

Covid corner

The 60-year old scientific screw-up that helped Covid kill – Wired

Covid antiviral pill can halve the risk of hospitalization – BBC

Kindle book bargains

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder – £3.89 on Kindle

Environmental factors

Will lab-grown meat ever rival the real thing? – Guardian

Off our beat

Steven Pinker: why doesn’t rationality seem to matter any more? – Harvard

History’s seductive beliefs – Morgan Housel

Ex-Morgan Stanley analyst explains the problem with banking jobs – EFC

A hamster in a special cage has been trading cryptocurrency since June and is beating the S&P 500 – Markets Insider

The Goldilocks fallacy – Seth Godin

Existential optimism – Not Boring

And finally…

“Never buy anything from someone who is out of breath.”
― Burton G. Malkiel, A Random Walk Down Wall Street

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{ 16 comments… add one }
  • 1 FI-FireFighter October 2, 2021, 10:04 am

    Love the hamster story. There is a metaphor there somewhere!!

  • 2 Gentleman's Family Finances October 2, 2021, 10:11 am

    Holiday in the UK.
    I don’t know if that is good for the economy, better than flying abroad or you are helping price out the locals and pay off the BTL sub 1% mortgage.
    Hope that you had a good time regardless.

  • 3 ADT October 2, 2021, 10:24 am

    Good summary of why home bias has been bad over the last decade:

  • 4 Jonathan October 2, 2021, 11:29 am

    The hamster story is an example of survivorship bias.

  • 5 AfroLatino October 2, 2021, 12:05 pm

    Thanks for this! I really enjoyed the true cost of private schools article and the comments.

  • 6 Zero Gravitas October 2, 2021, 1:50 pm

    Enjoyed the Economist article saying the FTSE was a 19th century stock market with its lack of tech stocks.

    Especially as the next article I read was in moneyweek (I think) saying that the FTSE was underpriced and with commodities, banks, miners etc it was potentially a great place to stick your money if you were expecting inflation in their view.

  • 7 Whettam October 2, 2021, 4:57 pm

    Enjoy your holiday @TI, we were there last week, i’m firmly in the “dream” camp. Will probably eventually retire there, the walk from Padstow to Hawkers cove at low tide is great.

  • 8 Ducknald Don October 3, 2021, 8:48 am

    We were staying in Mevagissey last week, it is a lovely part of the country. I can see why the locals get angry about the DFL’s (down from London) though, every other car is a Mercedes and the house prices are sky high.

  • 9 Al Cam October 3, 2021, 10:19 am

    The TEBI paper on sequence of returns is IMO a bit misleading when it states “Clearly, the order in which returns could have occurred matters a great deal”. What actually drives the difference in the outcomes is the funds are invested over time. Specifically, (ignoring costs – as I think the paper does) if the total investment was made on day one the final outcome would be the same irrespective of the sequence of returns experienced.

  • 10 ermine October 3, 2021, 10:59 am

    @Al Cam #9
    I haven’t yet thought through whether SoR is commutative although as a multiplication job it ought to be, and therefore independent of order/sequence of returns.

    But most of us chisel away at building up a portfolio over a period of 40 years, so TEBI’s assumption is reasonably typical of a diligent real-life saver.

    So TEBI’s illustration is the typical case, unless you inherit a lot of money at a young age. And commit it to the market in one hit, which I am not sure is the point of being young and wealthy 😉

  • 11 SemiPassive October 3, 2021, 4:22 pm

    Strewth, TI can’t even take a holiday without moral and political judgement being made!
    I grew up very close to the area in question before it became Padstein, had to move away due to lack of work after graduating and have only moved back to the county in the last few years.

    I can see both sides of it. It stinks for locals, buying a home is a nightmare on the average local wage and this summer in particular has been horrendously overcrowded. Even less touristy villages are now being gradually bought up by people from out of the county. The roll out of superfast broadband and ability to WFH has massively accelerated this trend as retirees and holiday home seekers are joined in the property market by WFHers moving down from London and the south east in particular.

    I still love the county, when it isn’t raining or drizzling (maybe only Wales, Scotland and Ireland are wetter).
    I reckon Portugal is a better place to FIRE to if you don’t have family ties here or need to stay in the UK (climate, surf, uncrowded beaches, quiet countryside and super cheap property less than half the price of Cornwall).
    But when the weather is good here it’s really lovely, if you can avoid the crowds.

  • 12 Boltt October 3, 2021, 7:46 pm


    I second Portugal – I’m giving serious thought to the D7 passive income visa. The necessary income levels are tiny ~£8k pa and there’s a route to citizenship/passport, and most importantly healthcare in year 2+. Did I mention 0/10% tax on most income for 10 years….

    Has anyone pulled the trigger on this?


    Ps Spain has a similar scheme but income levels are much higher.

  • 13 FitandFunemployed October 5, 2021, 1:33 pm

    Ordering the most expensive item on the menu at Caffe Rojano eh? Fancy man !

  • 14 The Investor October 5, 2021, 1:36 pm

    @FaF — Eh? My Duroc rib was “only” £9. Not bad for a Michelin-starred bit of pork that I can honestly say was the best thing I’ve eaten in 2021. 🙂

  • 15 FitandFunemployed October 5, 2021, 2:17 pm

    Ah, sorry, I had a look at the menu out of curiosity (Paul Ainsworth is always great on Masterchef) and at the very top of the a la carte one there is a “Philip Warren & Son 800g rib of beef for two” at £50/head. Definitely one for the London crowd…!

  • 16 The Investor October 6, 2021, 12:06 pm

    @FaF — Ah, I’ve never seen him on Masterchef (not much of a terrestrial telly watcher) but on the basis of what I ate at his establishments I’d listen to what he says.

    The Rick Stein stable was good, too. I’m a bit of a foodie — even back in my mega-frugal high saving days, although happily then on someone else’s dollar — and I think Padstow lived up to the hype.

    The only snag is prices have really ramped up, which some see as ‘staycation’ gouging. When you see the town is crammed with affluent middle-class people wandering the streets desperate to spend money and yet several pubs and restaurants were closed for lack of staff, I think it’s a clue that these places are facing real challenges/costs.

    Possibly also a clue as the mess the UK has got itself into. (Hard to tell with Covid complicating things, but barely any of the serving staff were non-British. I’m sure that’d have been different five years ago…)

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