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Weekend reading: This week’s other news

Weekend reading

Good reads from around the Web.

After typing my little fingers off last night with my thoughts on the response to the death of Margaret Thatcher, we’ll go straight to this week’s links today.

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From the blogs

Making good use of the things that we find…

Passive investing

  • Can high dividend shares substitute for bonds? – Oblivious Investor
  • Busting the ‘Sell in May and go away’ myth – Rick Ferri
  • Don’t buy a market-weighted passive fund! – DIY Income Investor
  • An evaluation of index weighting approaches: Part 1 & Part 2 [Academic PDFs] – Cass Business School

Active investing

Other articles

Product of the week: The Post Office is set to launch a current account, reports The Guardian. There are no firm details yet.

Mainstream media money

Note: Some links are to Google search results – these enable you to click through to read the piece without you being a paid subscriber of the site.

Passive investing

  • Legal & General cuts passive fund fees – City AM
  • Potential cures for the passive dilemma [Search result]FT
  • Blackrock’s iShares ETFs top $600 billion – Index Universe

Active investing

  • Buybacks and dividends are running high – Business Insider
  • The obsession with growth investing – CBS
  • Has the value of stamp collections really collapsed? – The Guardian
  • China in transition [Research report]KKR

Other stuff worth reading

  • Time to invest in buy-to-let in Britain? [Search result]FT
  • What legal protection schemes cover investments?  – The Telegraph
  • Japan’s debt problem visualised [Video]YouTube
  • Are robots taking away jobs or not? – FT Alphaville
  • Bitcoin is a Ponzi scheme – Slate
  • The history of US property booms and busts – The Economist
  • Roger Ebert’s lessons for media companies – New York Times

Book of the week: I rated Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor, even before I read Back from the Brink: 1000 Days at Number 11 this week. He seems balanced and honest, admits his faults, and gives a no-hysterics insight into how close we came to financial meltdown.

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • 1 Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle April 14, 2013, 1:09 pm

    There seem to be so many young people who hate Margaret Thatcher even though they were probably very young when she was PM. Do they actually have reasons to hate hate her or is it just trendy?

  • 2 Greg April 14, 2013, 4:43 pm

    It’s been brought up in the previous article.

    Personally, I think young people people see:
    – insane house prices
    – insane rents
    – very poor terms for renters and a weird obsession with ownership
    – high heating prices
    – poor roads
    – poor and expensive trains
    – poor electricity infrastructure
    – high electricity bills
    – massive pay inequality of jobs (e.g. finance vs researcher)
    – terrible pay for low skilled jobs
    – terrible pay and conditions for carers
    – an unbalanced economy
    – whole towns and cities with low life-chances
    – ultra rich shirking their responsibilities to help those who need it
    – horrible Ayn Rand pseudo-philosphy which pretends immoral and selfish acts are amoral.
    – lower social mobility than many other countries
    – poor investment in academia
    – despite the above, a went-to-university tax just for them
    – massive government debt and no sovereign wealth fund
    – selfish mindset of others encouraged
    – crass financial mismanagement by unregulated institutions allowed
    – no punishment for those responsible
    – a massive government debt that they will have to pay off
    – etc.

    and they feel angry. They reach out at a figurehead of the Anglo-US capitalist system that was born in the ’80s and get angry. Obviously MT isn’t responsible for all this, but she did set the conditions for many of the above to fester.

    It is perfectly ok to think MT was a terrible influence and also think Gordon Brown was a clueless dolt and that Labour also made a hash of things too.

    Oh and politics is never trendy. (Trendy people wear ‘Che’ T-shirts but wouldn’t know the first thing about him.)

  • 3 Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle April 14, 2013, 5:48 pm

    Sometimes on the Canadian side of the pond we think a lot of you Brits like to fight, break stuff, set things on fire just because it is fun or you have nothing else to do. There is a possibility that many shops will be looted during the demonstrations after the funeral even though those shops have nothing to do with Mrs. Thatcher.

    Wasn’t their a bit of a dust up at a football match the other day between fans of the same team?

    I understand anger at high unemployment and lack of future possibilities but I don’t understand how it seems to manifest itself in a violent manner.

  • 4 Greg April 14, 2013, 6:39 pm

    Don’t forget, you see what the media decides to get all excited about! The number of violent idiots is actually quite few. Most of us just grumble about everything that’s wrong in the world…

    Of course, in Canada no-one would be silly enough to have a dust up over a sports event…

  • 5 springfield mo mortgage April 14, 2013, 7:33 pm

    Im clueless about the late PM Thatcher(condolence to the family). It seems that there are a lot of protest about her! Need to study and investigate more about her!


  • 6 Monk April 14, 2013, 9:01 pm

    The media would have us believe they simply reflect popular opinion, yet we constantly see the product of their imagination in the oddest of places.

    Original thought shouldn’t be that rare, surely.

    Nice bit of research on the NY Times Greg, a gentle rebuke of biblical proportions.

  • 7 Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce April 16, 2013, 1:32 am

    Great links – hope you had a great weekend. It seems to me that the bout of Margaret Thatcher hatred among the younger generation is much like the fanaticism that we saw when the Occupy Movement was diverted from the very real issues it started with.

  • 8 Jane Savers @ The Money Puzzle April 16, 2013, 3:59 am

    I would agree with Mike. The Thatcher protestors are angry and I don’t think the anger is directed at Mrs. Thatcher. She is just an easy target.

    Canada does have our own set of problems and the Vancouver hockey riot was a national disgrace but we tend not to demonstrate at funerals. We Canadians tend to be a polite bunch.

  • 9 The Investor April 16, 2013, 9:50 am

    @Mike — Good point regarding Occupy. If they had kept to the 1% wealth inequality issue where there is a clear and live threat to our way of life developing, in my opinion, they might have really broken through with their message. Sadly it became the usual ragbag flotilla for the griefs of the ages, and the moment was lost.

  • 10 Robert Harrison April 16, 2013, 3:53 pm

    Hello Folks,

    This is completely off topic, but I came across this interesting piece of research from the United States today.


    Although, on second thoughts, it might not be entirely off topic after all. In the 1980’s I sometimes felt that some employers thought that Mrs T’s “in your face” forthrightness gave them licence to freely exercise their prejudices.

    I even remember a well respected West Midlands industrialist (of the time) saying on television that he would never employ unemployed people because it proved their unsuitability as employees. (?!) Only he put it less diplomatically than that.

    I think I agree with Greg above. The veneration of Maggie Thatcher is acting as a lightening rod for the reasonable discontent of today’s younger people.

    They see Mr’s T being credited with saving the country, whereas what they see is the country currently “going to the dogs” – and their blood boils over.


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