What caught my eye this week.
You know those movies that you’ve seen half a dozen times – Raiders of the Lost Ark I’m looking at you – but when you come across them channel-hopping on terrestrial TV you stop and watch them again?
(I’m aware I’m talking to a dwindling band of readers who spent countless hours flicking through their TV channels like this. Please use your imagination if you’re under 30.)
That’s how I feel about the 1960s’ investing classic The Money Game by the pseudonymous Adam Smith. Any time I find a quote from this book popping up on the Web, it feels like one of the best things I’ve read for days.
This week it was Financial Ducks in a Row who added Money Game magic to their blog. Here’s a bit of the extract:
It has been my fate to know people who have made considerable amounts of money, sometimes millions, in the market. One is Harry, who made it and blew it and made it again. Harry really wanted to make a million dollars, and he did.
I think Mr. Linheart Stearns had a very good point when he said the end object of investment ought to be serenity. Now if you think making a million dollars will give you serenity, there are two things you can do. One is to find a good head doctor and see if you can discover why you think a million dollars will give you this serenity. This will involve lying on a couch, remembering dreams, talking about your mother, and paying forty dollars an hour. If your course is successful, you will realize that you do not want a million dollars but something else which the million dollars represents to you, such as love, potency, mother, or what have you. Released, you can go off about your business and not worry any more, and you will be poorer only by the number of hours you spent in accomplishing this times forty dollars.
The other thing you can do is to go ahead and make the million dollars and be serene. Then you will have both a million dollars and serenity, and you do not have to deduct the number of hours times forty dollars unless you feel guilty about making it.
Genius and in my experience very true.
With the possible exception of my cow-chasing co-blogger The Accumulator, I don’t know anyone who got markedly less stressed when they got much wealthier. I’m not saying everyone had a breakdown, but the reality is money to lose brings worries that are hard to imagine when you’re first getting your snowball rolling.
There are things we can do about this, maybe. But honestly, I like Smith’s admonishment just to choose to be chilled about it. It’s probably as (un)likely to work as anything else.
Of course some people make millions, put the money into a well-constructed portfolio, and never worry about it again – even when the big crashes come around.
But few of those read – let alone write – investing blogs.
Us? We strive on.
Membership housekeeping mini-bit
A quick follow-up to my note about Monevator membership last week.
Firstly a couple of members reported issues reading locked content on the site. We can’t recreate the problem but it’s almost certainly a caching issue. We’re looking for ways to stop this happening at the server level. In the meantime please try deleting your cache if you can’t access the special stuff.
Also remember that third-party cookies cannot be disabled if you want to access the Monevator website as a logged-in member. (The software needs a way to know to show you content.)
Ad-blockers may give you grief too. Members get an ad-free experience anyway once logged in anyway!
Please see the FAQ. You can always read our member articles via email if cookies are a no-go for you.
Secondly, a couple of you suggested making it clearer when it’s a member email that’s hit the in-box. I’m now including something in the subject line to that effect. A small tweak but hopefully useful.
Okay have a great weekend all.
Not much summer left. Wasn’t much summer to begin with…
Feel free to share your ‘stop and watch’ films in the comments. To stay on brand, a newly emerging one for me is Margin Call. Gotta stay for Jeremy Irons!
Duration matching: should you match your bonds to your time horizon? – Monevator [Members]
Cash and bonds are different investments – Monevator
From the archive-ator: The high cost of active fund management – Monevator
Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view click through to read the article. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing to sites you visit a lot.
Inflation falls sharply to 6.8% – Guardian
UK [nominal] wages rise at record pace – BBC
Ofgem energy price cap predicted to fall to £1,823 – Guardian
Global yields hit 15-year high – Yahoo Finance
Birthrate in England and Wales drops to lowest level in two decades – Guardian
Nearly half of UK retirees say they need more cash than expected – This Is Money
Robotaxi expansion gets the green light in San Francisco… – BBC
…but there are already calls for the red light after accident – CNBC
Is Britain really as poor as Mississippi? [Search result] – FT
Products and services
Santander boosts its new Edge account to pay market-leading 7% – This Is Money
Could paying for these premium bank accounts save you money? – Which
Open a SIPP with Interactive Investor and pay no SIPP fee for six months. Terms apply – Interactive Investor
Another warning over repayment risk with interest-only mortgages – BBC
How to challenge your Council Tax band – Which
It is not illegal for shops to refuse to accept cash – Full Fact
Open an account with low-cost platform InvestEngine via our link and get £25 when you invest at least £100 (T&Cs apply. Capital at risk) – InvestEngine
UK banks will have to ensure access to cash within three miles, ministers say – Guardian
Beware the crypto spot ETF bubble – Morningstar
Homes for sale on the riverbank, in pictures – Guardian
Comment and opinion
The stock market never provides lasting happiness – A Teachable Moment
Investing for immortals – Klement on Investing
Just a little bit of Bitcoin adds a lot of risk to a 60/40 portfolio – Morningstar
2,500 years of thinking about ‘enough’ – Steve Sanduski
Higher interest rates won’t crash the UK housing market – This Is Money
Millennials don’t suffer alike. What separates them is privilege – Guardian
Your answers may vary – Humble Dollar
ETF discounts and premiums, explained – Vanguard
Five unusual books to prepare for retirement – Kiplinger
‘Girl math’ is all over TikTok, but it “straight-up does not work” – CNBC
Look at bonds now mini-special
Why aren’t investors selling stocks to buy bonds? – A Wealth of Common Sense
Have bonds finally reached escape velocity? – Cullen Roche
Naughty corner: Active antics
The perils of long-term forecasts: GMO edition [Search result] – FT
A closer look at cutting losses early – Elm Wealth
The interesting history of Berkshire’s Class B stock – Rational Walk
New unicorn creation has dwindled from two a day to two a month – Crunchbase
Seth Klarman on value investing in 2023 and more – Institutional Investor
Kindle book bargains
Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World by Hans Rosling – £0.99 on Kindle
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates – £1.99 on Kindle
Doughnut Economics by Kate Raworth – £0.99 on Kindle
Trillions [Inventing the Index Fund] by Robin Wigglesworth – £0.99 on Kindle
We’re bad at predicting the future and there’s no way around it – Vox
Disney World is hell – Fast Company
The LED light revolution has only just begun – Vox
The republic of cows – Hakai
Robot overlord roundup
What if generative AI turns out to be a dud? – Marcus on AI
ChatGPT tests in the top 1% for creative thinking – SciTechDaily
Publishing scammers are using AI to scale their grifts – Vox
Off our beat
What the heck happened in 2012? [Smartphones!] – The Intrinsic Perspective
In different places – Humble Dollar
With no second date forthcoming, he asked for his money back – CNBC
Living without purpose – Life After The Daily Grind
A story about fragile the world can be [Podcast] – Morgan Housel via Apple
Baseball and bombers: USAAF Reconnaissance photography in WW2 – Historic England
Disney’s Taylor Swift era – Stratechery
In the US, a simple age verification law has the porn industry in retreat – Politico [h/t Abnormal Returns]
You’ll be able to ride a dazzling vintage tube train in London this September – Time Out
“Spending money to show people how much money you have is the fastest way to have less money.”
– Morgan Housel, The Psychology of Money
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A contemporaneous author.
The post Weekend reading: not a prayer for serenity appeared first on Monevator.