What caught my eye this week.
Long-suffering readers may recall how I failed to follow-up my musings about market regime change with a post on possible investing responses.
It wasn’t through a lack of trying. I have a 3,000-word draft in the Monevator vaults. That version was itself revised several times, too.
The trouble was addressing whether you should shift allocations to equities, bonds, and other asset classes in the face of then very rapidly-shifting expectations for rates, inflation, and economic growth proved impossible in a single blog post – at least for me.
To be honest I felt myself bumping up against my pay grade.
Then a war broke out!
So I put the article on ice.
Despite this outbreak of humbleness, my pondering did prove personally fruitful. It helped me rejig my own portfolio (albeit to mixed result so far).
But I wasn’t ready to give a take to you guys. Especially as the Monevator audience bifurcates dramatically between the majority of passive investors who would (rightly) demand pretty solid reasoning to change anything, and a lovably picky minority of mavens for whom no amount of caveats and other-hands wrapped around necessarily uncertain musings would be enough.
Bridgewater over troubled waters
Happily I felt myself getting off several hooks this week, as I listened to a brilliant Oddlots interview with Bridgewater’s Greg Jensen.
In this podcast the famed hedge fund’s co-chief investment officer surveys the shifting landscape.
At the same time, he also underlines how uncertain current conditions are.
And if Bridgewater isn’t ready to make confident pronouncements, no wonder I was struggling.
That said, an articulate “we don’t know” can be just as valuable at a time like this.
While Jensen frames his take around Bridgewater’s notorious ‘money machine’ view of the global economy, there’s still lots to digest for those of us without a company stuffed with brilliant quants to test and execute our hunches.
But as a companion podcast, you could do worse than follow up with Citywire’s interview with Capital Gearing Trust’s Peter Spiller. (Or to the almost identical one he gave to the Investor’s Chronicle.)
Spiller sees the likely future similarly to Jensen – essentially higher for longer inflation, whatever central banks say, mostly to deal with outsized global debt.
But the legendary UK manager is more old school in his portfolio responses.
I concede it might have been more helpful to hear these views in February. Taking action on the back of what’s already happened – or been priced in – is rarely a stellar idea.
Moreover these views of the how things will unfold could well be wrong. Spiller in particular doesn’t prevaricate much.
Still, you could do much worse than get your AirPods on this weekend if you’ve been wondering why this year’s volatility has provoked more soul-searching than usual. (Besides the fact that US markets have been on their longest losing streak since 2001 – the Dow since 1923 – before rallying this week.)
Also do take a ride on Crossrail if you live in London.1 It’s well worth the wait.
Have a great weekend wherever you are!
The student loan: how the government provides low-cost career insurance to graduates – Monevator
The best global trackers, and how to choose between them – Monevator
From the archive-ator: A mortgage is money rented from a bank – 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!2
US markets finally snap a two-month losing streak – CNBC
Populist government in Hungary slaps a $2.5bn windfall tax on companies… – Yahoo Finance
…and Britain’s populist government follows suit with a £5bn tax on energy firms… – Guardian
…the UK’s levy will help fund a multi-billion pound package to ease the cost of living crisis – Sky
…but do the Chancellor’s sums add up to a promised £37bn in relief? – BBC
What are the cost of living payments, and how much can you get? – Guardian
A striking U-turn to alleviate the UK cost of living crisis [Search result] – FT
Salaries for newly-qualified lawyers in London are now well into six-figures – Legal Careers
Tens of thousands of people leaving Hong Kong as democracy dissolves – CNBC
It’s bad that Bitcoin is down, but worse that it’s now correlated with tech stocks – Morningstar
Products and services
Nine pensioner perks and benefits to boost your income – Which
Number of equity release plans available triples in a year – ThisIsMoney
Open a SIPP with Interactive Investor and pay no SIPP fee for six months. Terms apply – Interactive Investor
What’s happening to house prices? – Which
Premium Bond prize rate increases to 1.4% – Be Clever With Your Cash
Mass buying of bunting and other disposable crap ahead of platinum jubilee – Guardian
Tourists headed to South West urged to consider ethics of second homes – Guardian
Which insurers will cover your electric car? – Which
Even the share trading boom has been clobbered by the inflation surge – ThisIsMoney
Homes near cricket grounds, in pictures – Guardian
Comment and opinion
Cost of living crisis add to the woes millennials faced before the pandemic [Search result] – FT
The five biggest money decisions of your life – Banker on FIRE
Understanding banking and ‘inside money’ [Video] – Cullen Roche on YouTube
Mortgage reform the key to unlocking UK home ownership [Search result] – FT
The krone stops here – Humble Dollar
Is it okay to leave all your money to a dog shelter? – Slate
A short history of minimum wage research – Klement on Investing
Financial advice for those who will never have children [US details, but relevant] – WSJ
The economy in one episode [Podcast] – The New Bazaar
[US] bear market mini-special
Finally, a stock market crash! – Mr Money Mustache
Bull market rhymes – Howard Marks
How not to panic – Of Dollars and Data
Don’t over-emphasize volatility – Novel Investor
An eight-step plan to tackle the bear market – Morningstar
Serenity now – Savant
Every bear market is different – Compound Advisors
Crypt o’ crypto
How crypto disappeared into thin air – The Atlantic
Next month should see a big advance in upgrading the Ethereum network – Fortune
Naughty corner: Active antics
Growth trap snaps shut [PDF] – GMO
Conservative investing stands the test of time [Research] – Robeco
How inflation affects dividend stocks – UK Dividend Stocks
Some hedge fund strategies that could benefit from higher short-term rates – CAIA
Is private equity still overrated and overvalued? – Verdad
Why active investors should love it if they do it – TraderFeed
Kindle book bargains
Self Leadership and the One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard – £0.99 on Kindle
The Great Mental Models Volume 2: Physics, Chemistry, Biology by Shane Parrish – £0.99 on Kindle
Two Hundred Years of Muddling Through: The surprising story of Britain’s economy from boom to bust and back again by Duncan Weldon – £0.99 on Kindle
Why You?: 101 Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again by James Reed – £0.99 on Kindle
What would a flying-free world look like? – BBC
How to solve the problem of plastic packaging – Wired
The WeWork dude wants to put carbon credits on the blockchain – Vox
Off our beat
The workers quitting over return-to-work policies – BBC
Endless uncertainty – Morgan Housel
Can positive thoughts really help you live longer? – GQ
The normalization of ‘working through Covid’ – Culture Study
Faces from China’s Uyghur detention camps – BBC
Kylie Minogue, uncorked [Search result] – FT
“As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live.”
– Richard Branson, Screw It, Let’s Do It: Lessons In Life
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