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Weekend reading: The on the cusp of a deal so let’s not jinx it by saying anything edition

Weekend reading logo

What caught my eye this week.

I am away from my (home) office again today, so it’s another premature round of Weekend Reading links.

When I go early with these I sometimes miss good stories. If you do see anything others should read, please add it in the comments below.

A few people have said they’d prefer to always get the links by early Friday afternoon. Apparently these paragons slackers are done with their working week by then. I admire the spirit, but when we publish early we don’t really see much of an uptick in views or comments so it seems to be a minority who can start the weekend early.

If you are reading this before 6pm on Friday and you wish you always could – at the cost of some missing links – let me know below. It will all be evaluated and taken into consideration, Sir/Madam.

Have a great weekend! 🙂

p.s. If we do get a Brexit resolution where Northern Ireland is in the single market but not the customs union – with an ocean border with mainland Britain and no physical checks on the border with the Republic of Ireland – then I suspect there may be a case for buying investment property in Belfast before the boom! There will surely be arbitrage opportunities in such a scenario.

From Monevator

The Slow and Steady passive portfolio update: Q3 2019 – Monevator

10-year retrospective: Investing in the future with specialist funds – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Or, why I don’t work 9-5 any more – 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

Worst September for retailers since BRC records began in 1995, Brexit blamed – ThisIsMoney

UK’s worst-off pensioners receive thousands of pounds less in state support than richest – ThisIsMoney

London house prices suffer their steepest fall since the financial crisis – CityAM

[Click to enlarge]

Who drives the stock market? – Klement on Investing

Products and services

Are VCTs worth the risk for higher-earners? [Search result]FT

Three quirky savings accounts to help you get a better rate – ThisIsMoney

Non-transparent ETFs lure asset managers [Search result]FT

Ratesetter will pay you £100 [and me a cash bonus] if you invest £1,000 for a year – Ratesetter

How home-swapping lets you travel abroad for less – ThisIsMoney

Can [zero-fee pioneer] Robin Hood survive commission-free trades? – Financial Planning [via A/R]

Kent Reliance’s owner One Savings Bank and Charter Savings Bank merge – but keep double FSCS protection – ThisIsMoney

The most viewed homes on Rightmove [Gallery]Guardian

Comment and opinion

A 6-point manifesto for UK investors – Financial Suitability Forum

Holding a mirror up to mirror funds – The Evidence-based Investor

The prevalent but problematic probability of ruin [Couple of weeks old]The Retirement Cafe

Economic ignorance – Crossing Wall Street

What’s your delta? On comparing yourself to others – Of Dollars and Data

The ‘nocebo’ affect and how it could harm your wealth – Financial Bodyguard

Recent US bond returns make Ben Carlson’s head hurt – A Wealth of Common Sense

Ivy league endowments make the same old mistakes, this time with private equity – Yahoo Finance

Bored games – Humble Dollar

Use your best judgement – Seth Godin

The nine types of people you’ll meet in retirement – Advance Capital Management

Naughty corner: Active antics

MSCI model suggests a 10% bounce in UK shares on Brexit deal, 15% slide on no-deal – MoneyObserver

A letter to a friend thinking of starting an investment fund [Applies to any business]Graham Duncan

Just one-in-five active bond managers in emerging markets beat their benchmark – Institutional Investor

Don’t fight the fiscal – The Macro Tourist

Active managers best ideas outperform when they load up, but they don’t put enough in them – CFA Institute

An investment tip from Mr. ZIP – Wall Street Journal


British people hardly ever thought about the EU before Brexit, now it dominates their lives – The Conversation

Rethink demanded as UK admits EU citizens could be deported [Search result]FT

A great thread showing how the UK economy has underperformed since the Referendum – FT via Twitter

Brexit: Boris Johnson and Leo Varadkar ‘can see pathway to a deal’ – No 10 – BBC

Don’t forget the ideals of the foot soldiers who brought down the Berlin Wall – Evening Standard

Brexit: What will happen to European Health Insurance Cards? [Um, we’ll probably lose them]BBC

Kindle book bargains

Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb – £1.99 on Kindle

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

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

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

Off our beat

How China is using AI in the classroom [Video] – WSJ on YouTube

Japanese assault suspect ‘tracked down pop star via eye reflection in selfie’ – Guardian

No one needs a superyacht, but they keep selling them – New York Times

And finally…

“In the 1960s, when America was neck and neck with Russia in the race to get the first man in space, NASA trained the astronauts in one skill more than any other – the art of not panicking. Nothing else matters if you can’t control your reactions under stressful situations.”
– Ben Carlson, A Wealth of Common Sense: Why Simplicity Trumps Complexity in any Investment Plan

Like these links? Subscribe to get them every Friday!

  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”. []
{ 31 comments… add one }
  • 1 Rui N. October 11, 2019, 10:35 am

    Yes, please, have the links posted by mid-day Friday. 🙂

  • 2 xeny October 11, 2019, 10:47 am

    Au contraire, I’d rather have a fuller meal with my Saturday morning coffee than a snack with afternoon tea on a Friday.

  • 3 { in·deed·a·bly } October 11, 2019, 12:32 pm

    For mine, the weekly brain dump/rant is part of “Weekend Reading” that keeps me coming back. Interesting, usually insightful, and often funny.

    The reading list turns up the odd gem, but for me the value is in the diatribe.

    I concur with your Belfast arbitrage play. £150,000 goes a long way there today, so the price of admission isn’t prohibitive either.

  • 4 Mr Optimistic October 11, 2019, 12:55 pm

    Happy with the later posting but whatever is most convenient for you.

  • 5 The Rhino October 11, 2019, 12:57 pm

    I think there’s collateral value in having an opportunity to field non-topic comments. You never know what people are going to bring up in the weekend links.

  • 6 Chris October 11, 2019, 2:28 pm

    I’m appreciative of the early posting of the links, but have missed the accompanying articles which either add context or simply give you a space to say what’s on your mind.

  • 7 Simon October 11, 2019, 2:51 pm

    Agree with @xeny I am reading this in a pub and I want to read it with a coffee, a tea and a bacon and egg sandwich. (normal fenland food for the weekend – apart from the coffee )

  • 8 The Rhino October 11, 2019, 4:15 pm

    Sweet Jesus, I’ve just re-read the ‘Or, why I don’t work 9-5 any more’ link a decade on…

    Finally, I saw that the average office was a white-collar version of a bukakke session – an orgy of desk-based fluffing, slurping, and spitting behind your back.

    You need to rediscover the ability to write like that again TI. seriously.

    And the comments are all so fresh and innocent.

    Halcyon days…

  • 9 Ben October 11, 2019, 4:58 pm


    That’s always the way, the first album is always the best, then pretty soon you’re sat dead on the toilet with a half chewed hamburger.

    Err, obviously TI is in his ‘The Wall’ phase, rather than a Rod Stewart get any old rubbish out by Christmas/the Weekend phase. It’ll just take a few listens to appreciate the magnificence.


  • 10 Mathmo October 11, 2019, 5:17 pm

    I read it before 6pm Friday, but not in total and will return to snack and graze. Publish when it works for your life, TI – am grateful for the work you put in and the links. If it misses this week, maybe it gets next week…

  • 11 PC October 11, 2019, 5:58 pm

    Don’t mind what time you publish, just grateful that you keep doing it.

    Article I found interesting on the trade off of retirement mortgages v pensions by MSW in the FT

  • 12 SemiPassive October 11, 2019, 6:55 pm

    I try to never trade funds on news but I buckled on the positive Brexit news first thing this morning and sold out of my unhedged EM/foreign high yield bond funds and bought back into GBP hedged versions, locking in some gains made over the summer and missing the bulk of any losses today, of which there could be plenty more to come if we are heading to 1.32-1.35 on some kind of deal.
    But if past experience is anything to go by this is all a wheeze by Dominic Cummings to bamboozle everyone so they don’t have to ask for an extension, while we crash out on 31st.

  • 13 Marty October 11, 2019, 9:31 pm

    Can anyone explain the brexit-belfast-property-arbitrage comment? It’s beyond my current financial understanding and being from the Belfast area it seems like something I should know about!

  • 14 Henrik Eichenhardt October 11, 2019, 10:14 pm

    Not sure if this was linked in the blog already.


  • 15 Tim October 11, 2019, 11:43 pm

    Later is fine. My “weekend starts here” fix is citywire’s “IT Watch” (like Crackerjack used to, it appears Friday at 5-ish) and the first G&T. Monevator is for later in the evening and to be lingered over with a single malt.

  • 16 Fremantle October 12, 2019, 12:00 am


    If NI is half in/half out, then Belfast could see a surge of businesses (& people) relocating there.

  • 17 Dorf October 12, 2019, 8:07 am

    Weekend reading is my Saturday morning treat. Love making a coffee and seeing what links you’ve found. I am hugely grateful for this wonderful start to my weekend. Thank you so much!

  • 18 xxd09 October 12, 2019, 9:19 am

    Echo Dorfs comments
    Appreciate all the hard work!

  • 19 FlyByNight October 12, 2019, 11:02 am

    +1 { in·deed·a·bly } and Dorf

    Coffee + Weekend reading = a perfect Saturday morning!

  • 20 Brod October 12, 2019, 11:10 am

    Well, as a part-time paragon, I don’t attend on a Friday so I’m hitting F5 from about 9.30…

    Couldn’t make the pub today to check the links as minding the kids on an inset day (teacher training). Took them to the Tower of London. It’s stressful being a paragon.

  • 21 The Investor October 12, 2019, 11:18 am

    @Marty – to expand what Freemantle said, and to give an extreme example, let’s say I am a car manufacturer who likes the UK labour law and regulation situation more than that in the EU. What if I set up a car paint spraying facility in Northern Ireland, and make the rest of the car in the UK? I then supply my unfinished cars to Northern Ireland to be sprayed and sold into the EU by the Republic of Ireland. This particular example won’t happen because it will be negotiated away in whatever convoluted deal they finally come up with. 🙂 But this is what I mean by arbitrage. I haven’t heard much discussion of it yet but I think it will become a hot topic in the years ahead if we go down this route. Conceivably Northern Ireland could become a sort of super special economic enterprise zone, a sort of UK Hong Kong. And boom accordingly! 🙂

  • 22 Maximus October 12, 2019, 11:40 pm

    Saturday used to be Tiswas Day. Now it’s definitely Monevator Day for me.

  • 23 The Investor October 12, 2019, 11:46 pm

    @all — Thanks for the feedback on timings and the nice words about the links’ utility. It is a bit of a chore sometimes but much less so when you know it’s hitting the spot for some. 🙂

    Sounds like the status quo is best for now: mostly late Friday for Saturday, ideally with some commentary, with the occasional early post to satisfy that contingent and keep everyone on their toes!

  • 24 The Borderer October 13, 2019, 1:57 am

    “The on the cusp of a deal so let’s not jinx it by saying anything edition…”.
    Err, why should Northern Irish farmers sell their lamb tariff free to the EU, but Welsh farmers can’t?
    I foresee problems.

  • 25 two shillings and sixpence October 13, 2019, 9:02 am

    @ The Borderer
    For the sake of peace on the island of Ireland

  • 26 The Borderer October 13, 2019, 10:02 am

    @two shillings and sixpence
    We had peace. The liars who promoted Brexit have jeopordised it, and now are trying to square an impossible circle.

  • 27 jim October 13, 2019, 10:46 am

    Wonder what effect this article has on right move searches of Belfast. I’ll admit to doing one!

  • 28 The Investor October 13, 2019, 11:42 am

    @the borderer — I fully agree with your sentiment but we are where we are. There will be losers and *relative* losers from Brexit, it’s a question now of how they’re distributed.

  • 29 The Borderer October 14, 2019, 1:24 am

    I think we all know where the losers will be distributed – hello Sunderland, Liverpool and the North.

  • 30 CK October 17, 2019, 4:32 pm

    Get your deposits for homes in NI at the ready. Whats the monevator take on the announcements today?

  • 31 Ben October 17, 2019, 5:00 pm


    Surely the title of the post answers your question?

    The Fat lady has not yet sung, merely walked on to the stage.

    Id recommend shares in popcorn producers though.

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