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Weekend reading: We’re not so ‘liked’ as we were

Weekend reading

Good reading from around the Web.

You may notice as you peruse Monevator – especially if you dive into the archives – that an awful lot of Like buttons at the top of each article have an ominous zero counter next to them.

Embarrassing? Just a tad. To write an article that literally nobody has ‘Liked’ is a bit like a slap in the face with a wet fish.

It could be worse. Imagine if there was a whole range of such buttons – Bored, Suicidal, TLDR (look it up, grandad). It would take a lot of Likes to make up for one Fell Asleep.

Happily, the generous and much appreciated feedback we receive via email and the blog comments tells me not to take the Like button too seriously. It’s a mechanism for Facebook sharing, not a vote on literary merit or usefulness. (Isn’t it?)

But there’s still a problem. A few weeks ago we had plenty of articles with five, 10, or in a few cases over 50 Likes to their name.

But now they sport just one or two – or none.

It’s happened because a few weeks ago we rewrote the web structure of the blog, which changed where the Like counters point to. I made the change to enable us to update old articles without losing in-bound links and also to enable us to bring them to the attention of new readers, which should be a net benefit.

But it does mean that we’ve lost a lot of Likes – “social equity”, the web gurus call it – despite an elegant trick that worked to preserve the Likes for a while but has stopped working (it’s still working for Twitter, for now).

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that if you see a big fat Zero next to an old article that you personally thought was worth the price of admission (free!) then don’t feel foolish. Maybe someone else Liked it too, but the site has forgotten.

Also, please do use the Like buttons if you feel able.

It spreads the Monevator message on Facebook. And it stops us sniffling.

p.s. It seems that problems with Natwest bank may continue all weekend. This big FAQ on The Guardian’s website could help you if you’re affected.

From the money blogs

Book of the week: One reason I was pleased when The Accumulator started covering passive investing on Monevator is because I’ve been investing ever more actively (though it’s all relative, and my eyes are wide open to likely under-performance) and I didn’t want to lead you astray. But if you’ve already been led, then do check out Free Capital which I’ve noticed you can now get for Kindle, too. I’ve been re-reading its profiles of super successful private investors. Yes, luck. Yes, survivorship bias. No, their success doesn’t prove anything. Except inspiring.

Mainstream media money and investing

  • The crowd-funded economy: Raising capital online – The Economist
  • Peston: Will empowered shareholders curb excessive pay? – BBC
  • Roth: The case for investing in European stocks – Moneywatch
  • Emerging market indexing – Mint.com
  • The problem with Henry may derail the U.S. recovery – Bloomberg
  • Severn Trent RPI-linked bond evaluated – Fixed Income Investor
  • Time running out for trust-based tax avoidance schemes – FT
  • Brokers paid to favour ‘quality’ borrowers – FT
  • Some socially good ways to put your money to work – FT
  • Coutts: House prices could fall by 11 per cent – Telegraph
  • Average man will have earned £1 million by 50 – Telegraph
  • Bank bonds are getting less risky, claim managers – Independent
  • How should Prince William spend his £10m inheritance? – Telegraph
  • The £705,000 ‘affordable’ home in London – The Guardian
  • How dubious aggressive tax avoidance work – The Guardian
  • How we die (in one chart) – Washington Post

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • 1 Alex June 23, 2012, 9:19 am

    Dear Mr. Monevator,

    I live in Spain and I find your articles very interesting.

    The comparissons between brokers and about the specifics of, for example, British pension funds, perhaps are not so usefull to me as the more general investing articles.

    During the last months I have been more active in G+ than in FB. I find the quality of what the virtual community shares of a higher standard. May I suggest you put a G+ like button as well as the FB one?

    Thank you.

  • 2 Rob June 23, 2012, 10:01 am

    As what is quite possibly the best UK finance blog out there (hope I don’t offend anyone else with this, because Monevator is very good), I don’t think you have too much too fear. Maybe it is the decline of Facebook and not the decline of Monevator?

  • 3 57Andrew June 23, 2012, 10:13 am

    I simply get the articles through my RSS feed into my Google Reader. I am in Hong Kong BTW but have a QROPS and find the articles excellent. I found Monevator on FB after reading your comment but it seems to stop mid 2011. Anyway, I clicked the LIKE button above and hope it works.

  • 4 The Investor June 23, 2012, 10:53 am

    Thanks all, and for the generous comments too! Sorry about the Facebook page, it is indeed broken. It needs to be migrated to the new style and I haven’t made time for it yet.

    Likes via the button are different though. They are shared with your friends or on your wall. Google uses them to judge pages, too.

    The likes vanishing is definitely related to the URL changes — I thought we had a techie fix but it looks like FB has changed how it works. It will resolve itself in time as the ‘new’ articles get discovered. Bit sad looking until then though.

    Alex, glad to have you coming in from Spain! Hope things aren’t too bad for you there. I will consider the +1 button addition. Don’t want to get too cluttered, but if people are using it…

  • 5 Alex June 23, 2012, 3:56 pm

    1. The Investor, thanks, as ever, for another useful list.
    2. The blog post on Emerging Market (EM) indexing: from the title, I thought it might address the issue of which index to track for EMs. It didn’t, but it’s still an interesting article for its insights into the relevant MSCI index.
    3. I’ve recently been thinking about the most appropriate index to track here now that Vanguard (UK) has launched its EM ETF, VFEM. VFEM is on the FTSE Emerging Index. All other things being equal, I wonder whether to go for an ETF on the MSCI index (I currently hold such an ETF) or the FTSE one. Comments, anyone?
    4. Oh, I don’t live in Spain, unfortunately.

  • 6 Reggie94 June 23, 2012, 4:55 pm

    Great list as always and thanks for all your efforts. Here’s one you missed on how clueless the Brits are about investing:

    70% of people are baffled by the words ‘stocks and shares’ for example:


    With our shaving 0.05% off a TER and our investment trusts at a discount and wotnot we are a strange breed apart reading this blog! 🙂

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