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Weekend reading: Stuff to read while we’re elsewhere

Weekend reading: Stuff to read while we’re elsewhere post image

What caught my eye this week.

Apologies to the many thousands dozens of readers who checked in during the week and found no new Monevator posts – for the second time in a month!

Pretty shocking, considering it’s probably only the third or fourth time this has happened in the past five years.

Away from the site I’ve got quite a lot going on at the moment – and their different ways all the other core Monevator contributors have had busy summers, too.

Hopefully we’ll get back into the swing of things in a few weeks. Until then, you’ll find another monster list of links below.

(One thing I never stop doing is reading!)

From Monevator

From the archive-ator #1: Reasons to buy a house instead of renting – Monevator

From the archive-ator #2: Reasons to rent a house instead of buying – Monevator


Note: 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.1

Pound jumps as BOE hints at interest rate rise – BBC

Implications of a rate rise for savers and borrowers – Guardian

‘Huge variations’ in company pension default funds [Search result]FT

The Big Read: Digital Coin Mania [Podcast]FT

How house price affordability has changed across the UK since 2007 – ThisIsMoney

400,000 in the UK had data ‘potentially’ stolen in last week’s Equifax hack – Telegraph

Bitcoin crashes again after China moves to halt exchange – Bloomberg

BAML global asset managers allocations.

Global asset managers really hate the UK at the moment [My ears prick up!]Fat Pitch

Products and services

Charter Bank’s Best Buy 18-month savings bond pays 1.88% – ThisIsMoney

Monzo? It might just be the future of banking – Guardian

Is your bank’s ‘exclusive’ credit card actually any good? – ThisIsMoney

Atom Bank has already cut its Best Buy savings rates. Where now? – Telegraph

What’s the cheapest way to buy an iPhone 8? – Guardian

First Direct slashes mortgage fees but hikes rates – ThisIsMoney

Bitcoin investment trust premium is TWICE net asset value – Telegraph

Comment and opinion

My stock picking friend is beating me – The Big Picture

The fishy pension graph – The Value Perspective

How Warren Buffett broke American capitalism [Search result]FT

There is no perfect retirement spending strategy – Oblivious Investor

A dozen lessons about investing and money from Dan Ariely – 25iq

What gets measured gets managed [Free spreadsheet]The Escape Artist

The unreliability of long-run stock market returns – Evergreen Small Business

Going, going… – Sex Health Money Death

Know thy investing self (and sell all your gold if you must) – Of Dollars and Data

Even long dead Ben Graham engaged in indexing arguments – Alpha Architect

Bag a premium income from the insurance majors [PDF]John Kingham

How an Austrian economist explains the tulip bubble [Podcast]Bloomberg

Familiar hard versus unfamiliar hard – Bason Asset Management

Off our beat

Lower-status men don’t ask for raises, either – Mel Magazine

10 depressing thoughts (and links) on data breaches – Abnormal Returns

How to poop on a first date – Mel Magazine

And finally…

“The best advice I can give you is to ask yourself what do you want, and then ask “what is true” – and then ask “what should be done about it?” I believe if you do this you will move much faster towards what you want out of life than if you don’t.”
– Ray Dalio, Principles [Out on 17th September]

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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”. []

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • 1 TT September 16, 2017, 8:08 am

    Nice to see Monzo getting some mainstream press. When I picked up my Current Account last month the CEO told the crowd he thinks they are the fastest growing bank on the UK. In terms of accounts/day, not %. Remarkable.

    Perhaps Monevator could do a column on the various challenger banks. The mainstream articles miss the point, particularly how entwined the challengers are with bringing PSD2 advantages to consumers.

  • 2 xiox September 16, 2017, 8:45 am

    That chart on the “Unreliability of Long Run Stock Market Returns” is certainly very striking. There were no returns for some, even after 30 years. I wonder what the likelihood of getting the worst case returns is. It would be interesting to see 90th percentiles to get a better idea of the range.

  • 3 wephway September 16, 2017, 11:24 am

    I enjoyed reading the rent vs buy articles – I’m very much in the buyer camp but I guess it depends on your circumstances. You just can’t get the leverage with stocks and shares the way you can with property (you can’t get a mortgage on an index tracker). And land is a finite resource. I don’t necessarily think that means you should buy the biggest house you can possibly afford though – but I think there is a case for investing in rental property, even after Osbourne’s tax changes.

    It helps that I live in Northampton where, despite lots of housing developments popping up, house prices are still increasing by 7% year on year. I actually wrote a post a couple of days ago about my parent’s experience of the housing market – they did very well out of it. Is it possible to replicate that success 30 years on? I’m not sure. I definitely wouldn’t be confident about buying in or around London, especially not with Brexit on the horizon.

  • 4 dearieme September 16, 2017, 1:03 pm

    I am not a Buffet worshipper but I snorted at the journalist’s praise of Elon Musk’s methods as an alternative.

    Not that I understood everything in his piece. Woz means “If rivals also cut, rather than invest and compete, Kraft can cut even more”?

  • 5 dearieme September 16, 2017, 1:21 pm

    Like xiox I enjoyed the piece on long term returns, especially as the writer’s assumptions didn’t seem to have been chosen to bias his conclusion.

    “The asset allocation equals 75 percent stocks and 25 percent bonds. …

    investor saves $10,000 annually for a given number of years … at five year increments right up to 30 years. …

    .18% expense ratio and … annual rebalancing.”

  • 6 Scott September 16, 2017, 4:52 pm

    From the FT article on variation in performance across workplace pension ‘default’ funds…

    “Investing with an active fund manager, someone who aims to beat the market as opposed to track it, can also boost investment returns.”

    So says Nathan Long, senior pension analyst with Hargreaves Lansdown, the investment managers.


  • 7 Pancakes September 16, 2017, 5:06 pm

    @xiox I did some calculations with the same data set he used. Only in 3 out of 105 cycles you would have gotten a real return of less than 2%. These cycles were 1891-1920, 1892-1921 and 1952-1981. Luckily 1920 and 1980 marked the beginnings of 2 great bull markets so it probably would have been fine for people retiring then.

    In 83% of the cases you would have gotten a return of more than 4% real. In 72% of the cases more than 5%.

  • 8 Mathmo September 16, 2017, 8:16 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to share the links, TI — always appreciated. Hope you get plenty of writing time soon.

  • 9 xiox September 17, 2017, 10:06 am

    Pancakes – thanks very much for the numbers!

  • 10 The Rhino September 18, 2017, 10:21 am
  • 11 Grislybear September 19, 2017, 12:40 pm

    Anyone notice XGSG is now over 90 percent in Japanese bonds. Supposed to be a global bond etc.

  • 12 The Rhino September 20, 2017, 10:29 am

    been quite impressed recently with some of the stuff i’ve read from pensionpartners.com – heres another good one -> https://pensionpartners.com/myths-markets-and-easy-money/

    The links to all the ‘easy money’ articles over the last 5 years is a nice touch..

  • 13 SemiPassive September 20, 2017, 4:46 pm

    Of Dollars and Data interesting on gold. During the North Korea spike the other week I took the opportunity to sell nearly half my gold (bought a few days before Brexit) at a short term top, moving asset allocation from 10% to 5%. Unusually good timing as its since dipped + strengthening of the pound.
    Will probably hold the rest for now, but all my other volatile assets at least throw off nice income so I was questioning its place other than as a diversifier. Gold miners even more volatile – but better long term returns?

    On house prices I do wonder if we will finally see a correction starting next year. Almost secured a sale in the south east as part of a relocation, and tempted to rent for 6 months to a year and see what happens. But thats market timing, involves extra moving costs – and its a mug’s game!
    Place your bets, Brexit and BoE finally raising rates being triggers.

  • 14 The Rhino September 20, 2017, 4:58 pm

    @SP – I’m selling up my BTLs – had enough!

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