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Weekend reading: See what we spend with this visualization tool

What caught my eye this week.

A UK budget visualization website did the rounds among certain of my excitable friends this week (I know, with friends like these…) and I promised to flag the tool [1] up here.

I’ve no idea how accurate the data is, which is sourced to 2016 according to the slug. (The ‘total UK budget’ in the tool corresponds to ‘total government spending’ in the 2016 Wikipedia entry [2] for the UK budget.)

Anyway, what they most liked was seeing the representation of our EU expenditure in blue.

No, not the large block of dark blue in the centre – the tiny light blue sliver next to the ‘D’ in ‘Departmental expenditures’:


Click to enlarge (but you’ll still have to squint to see the EU contribution)

That blue trace is the strand that the Conservatives, the Brexit Party, Johnson, Farage, and the rest have whipped this country into a fearful fury over. That is the torrent of money that can save our NHS and Make Britain Great Again. That is apparently worth spending three years fighting about and taking our democracy to the brink over.

In some quarters, that expenditure – much of which comes back to us one way or another – is the reason for all our ills. Apparently.

Of course in more sensible Leave voter living rooms it’s the laws and regulations that matter – not that as far as I’ve heard anyone can ever name more than a few edge cases they object to, and not that we won’t strive to meet EU regulations to trade with them in the future – but still… even for such voters is the juice worth the squeeze, as US rapper Lizzo sang [4] earlier this year?

Most of us long ago made up our minds about that.

From Monevator

10-year retrospective: What a decade of returns tells us about passive investing – Monevator [5]

Lars Kroijer on…market timing, currency hedging, and active managers – Monevator [6]

From the archive-ator: How to enjoy life like a billionaire – Monevator [7]


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 [8]

UK housebuilding falls to slowest quarterly rate for three years… – Guardian [9]

…which isn’t surprising with house prices down on no-deal Brexit fears – Guardian [10]

Britain faces a heightened risk of recession as service sector contracts – ThisIsMoney [11]

Defeat for women in state pension age challenge – BBC [12]

Nine out of ten shared London houses don’t have a living room. Here’s why we need them – Guardian [13]

Woodford has raked in £8m in fees from investors in his locked-up active fund – ThisIsMoney [14]


Investment bank UBS reckons London is the third most overvalued city in the world [Search result]FT [16]

Products and services

Saga and Goldman Sachs team up to launch two savings accounts for the over-50s – Money Observer [17]

Yellow stickers yellow-carded! Why Waitrose is scrapping its reduced price bargain bays – Guardian [18]

Want to become an angel investor? Here’s a deal where we both get a cash bonus from SeedrsSeedrs [19]

How can shoppers make sense of sustainable fish labels? – Guardian [20]

Free to select schools: FT launches Road to Riches board game to boost financial literacy [Search result]FT [21]

Homes for sale with a mooring [Gallery]Guardian [22]

Comment and opinion

When is the same return not the same return? – The Evidence-based Investor [23]

Rejected – Indeedably [24]

Early Retirement Extreme: The ten-year update – Get Rich Slowly [25]

Change happens slowly then all at once: Zero-fee trading commissions – Abnormal Returns [26]

How commission-free trading may ultimately hurt ETFs [US but relevant]Forbes [27]

Stamp duty is a half-baked tax that eats a years’ worth of savings when you move home – ThisIsMoney [28]

Divorce: Dividing up the family home [Search result]FT [29]

Passive investing hasn’t taken over the world – Barry Ritholtz [30]

Naughty corner: Active antics

Shining a light on hidden debt: Capitalizing lease obligations [PDF]UK Value Investor [31]

US equities: Resilient force or case study in denial? – Musings on Markets [32]

“Divesting my portfolio of fossil fuels is complete”DIY Investor (UK) [33]

Factor investing has raised the bar for active management – Validea [34]

Patience is a virtue in investing – and salmon fishing [Search result]FT [35]

Missing the financial forest for the political trees – Investing Caffeine [36]

The great public market reckoning – AVC [37]


Pension schemes are ‘well prepared’ for Brexit and savers ‘should be reassured’, says industry body – ThisIsMoney [38]

Gasp! Boris Johnson will send extension letter rather than ‘die in a ditch’ – court document – BBC [39]

Johnson’s customs proposal falls flat along Ireland border [Search result]FT [40]

Jennifer Arcuri came late. But the Johnson franchise is unthinkable without her now – Marina Hyde [41]

[In other populism news] How Trump’s steel tariffs have harmed US steelmakers – AEI [42]

Kindle book bargains

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb [The best Taleb book IMHO]£1.99 on Kindle [43]

Who Moved My Cheese? by Dr Spencer Johnson – £0.99 on Kindle [44]

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – £0.99 on Kindle [45]

Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women by Otegha Uwagba – £0.99 on Kindle [46]

Off our beat

Around half your chances of career success may be down to luck – New Scientist [47]

Startup founders can be disadvantaged in the jobs market [PDF, research]Tristan Bothelo [48] [via A/R] [49]

We need governments to fund the moonshot innovation VCs won’t touch – VentureBeat [50]

If you want to change minds – Seth Godin [51]

In praise of guilty pleasures – FastCompany [52]

Come across Jacob Collier yet? A genius, probably. Try not to smile at this [Video]YouTube [53]

And finally…

“A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth. Authoritarian institutions and marketers have always known this fact.”
– Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow [54]

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  1. Note some 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”. [ [58]]