Good reads from around the Web.
Since the world’s wealthy are happy to have their funds devoured by the locusts of high-finance – hedge funds and their 2/20% fees – then who knows, maybe they’ll be glad to have their money managed by rats, too?
Enlightenment Economics reports on a curious project to teach rats to trade:
The rats were trained to press a red or green button to give buy or sell signals, after listening to ticker tape movements represented as sounds. If they called the market right they were fed, if they called it wrong they got a small electric shock.
Male and female rats performed equally well. The second generation of rattraders, cross-bred from the best performers in the first generation, appeared to have even better performance, although this is a preliminary result, according to the text.
Marcovici’s plan, he writes, is to breed enough of them to set up a hedge fund.
If you’re thinking you want to get in early – before the best of the rat traders start to demand exorbitant amounts of cheese – you might head to the Rat Traders website to learn more.
Unfortunately you’ll discover that while the idea caught the blogosphere’s imagination this week1, the last updates from the site hail from 2009.
Perhaps the rats were blown-up in the financial crisis? Or maybe they turned to teaching or caring for the elderly or some of the other things we were told financial folk were going to do, having seen the error of their ways.
(Until about 2010, when they started making bazillions again.)
I think somebody should train kittens to trade.
The marketing videos would go viral in a minute!
From the blogs
Making good use of the things that we find…
- Frankie goes to Vegas – The Escape Artist
- Asset allocation in smidges and dollops – The Retirement Cafe
- Mistakes? I’ve made a few – Vanguard blog
- Investing: Stay in the peloton – The White Coat Investor
- What you pay determines your return – The Value Perspective
- I work at Vanguard and I own active funds – Vanguard blog
- Family firms prosper – iii blog
- Some stocks don’t ever come back – A Wealth of Common Sense
- Everything you ever wanted to know about buybacks – Musings on Markets
- Investing haiku – Wexboy
- Retirement: A good state of mind – Squared Away blog
- My staff can now take all the holiday they want – Richard Branson
- The trials and tribulations of the rich – Simple Living in Suffolk
- Review of Traders: Millions by the Minute – Under the Money Tree
- Lessons in badassity from a night in Houston – Mr Money Mustache
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.2
- Jack Bogle on the rise of index funds [Video] – Barrons [@Ritholz]
- Eugene Fama and the bigger slice of pie theory – MarketWatch
- You can’t pick hedge fund winners – NY Times
- Bill Gross and the dying breed of superstars – Bloomberg
- The mystery day trader who moves Japan’s stock market – Bloomberg
- UK day traders are back, too – Telegraph
- Alibaba could buy Yahoo for free – Bloomberg View
- Four green investments to grow – Institutional Investor
Other stuff worth reading
- Conservatives to offer 20%-off houses to first-time buyers – ThisIsMoney
- How to buy gold cheaper than from the Royal Mint – Telegraph
- Occupational hazards of a job in finance – Michael Lewis / Bloomberg
- CEOs are getting paid too much, according to everyone – HBR
- Why is battling scammers left to this part-time crime buster? – Guardian
- Student loans crimp future crippling debt options – The Onion
Book of the week: I first started seriously reading Martin Wolf’s financial journalism in the depths of the financial crisis. The FT writer’s professorial tone, rationality, and concern for wider humanity shone through and reassured me even when he was predicting doom like everyone else (rightly enough at times). Wolf’s new book about the past few years, The Shifts and the Shocks, is surely a must-read.
Like these links? Subscribe to get them every week!
- Thanks to Monevator reader G. for putting me on the trail. [↩]
- 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”.” [↩]