What caught my eye this week.
The Financial Times has a piece about a Morgan Stanley piece (still with me?) about where we’re at in the three-year old tussle between working from home and returning to the office.
Its most striking graph shows that of the four major economies surveyed, the UK’s employees worked the fewest days at home pre-Covid – and yet now they work at home the most:
They’d do even more if they could, too. (Dark green bar.) It’s such a striking turnaround.
Did UK workers not appreciate how miserable their remorseless schlep to the office was before the pandemic showed them another way?
Did UK employers not trust them?
Or is something else going on in the UK economy as a result of the pandemic that has enabled this transition? (Or is this some artefact of data sampling clashing with local cultural practices?)
My gut says it’s probably in part a London thing, given its dominance. The City is still dead on a Friday.
That’s reinforced by a graph showing how the wealthier the worker, the more days they tend to work from home – and we know more wealthy people work in London.:
Indeed, the lowest income workers are now working fewer days from home. (As if they didn’t have enough to deal with already.)
When we last checked in on this issue in March, big employers seemed resigned to a more remote workforce. This despite a lot of rhetoric about how things had to go back to normal soon.
Yet here in November it does seem like all the hot air urging a five-day commute was exactly that.
At some point politicians and planners will have to do more with this shift than simply use it as an excuse to scrap HS2.
Hurrah! More Monevator members
A quick thanks to everyone who just signed up to our Mavens member subscriptions on the back of The Accumulator’s new decumulation model portfolio.
Sure, the company I talked about last week in Moguls went up more than 30% on Thursday. (Something that won’t happen again in the next five years – so please don’t join up expecting a repeat performance!)
But @TA’s passive mantra is the heart of this site. So I’m thrilled to see so many more of you helping to ensure Monevator’s long-term future – whilst booking a ringside seat on @TA’s new adventure.
Some housekeeping notes for new members:
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Make sure you’re subscribed to get our emails. A couple of dozen members are not getting member emails. In some cases they may not want emails and are reading on the site. But I bet a few are confused. Basically you have to get all our emails to get any – both the free site articles and your member articles. You can’t just get the latter. If you ever unsubscribed from our emails – or failed to confirm you wanted them when prompted by an email – then the system won’t send you member emails, either. This is best practice, because we’re not spammers. But please do re-subscribe if you want to read member articles over email.
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We are now about 80% of the way towards the rough target I set for us as a sustainable membership base. (Albeit that’s ignoring inflation, and assuming not everyone signs up for the cheaper Mavens).
So we’re nearly there – but not quite there yet.
Please do consider joining if you’ve not yet done so. You’re in good company these days!
And thanks yet again to everyone who has already become a member.
Have a great weekend!
Introducing our model decumulation portfolio – Monevator [For all members]
From the archive-ator: What are return premiums/factors? – 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.
UK economy flatlines but avoids recession this year – Sky
Housing market past ‘peak pain’ says Savills – Estate Agent Today
Leasehold and rental reform confirmed in King’s Speech… – Mortgage Solutions
…plus other bits and bobs from His Maj that could impact your finances – Which
Regulatory concerns for Hargreaves Lansdown and AJ Bell – Proactive Investors
What cost of living payments are coming and when? – Which
Beware this new WhatsApp recruitment scam – This Is Money
Big hedge funds pay ‘silly’ money, says founder of Europe’s largest manager [Search result] – FT
People in UK are overall less happy than before pandemic – Guardian
Products and services
Nationwide first major lender to offer two-year fix below 5% since Mini Budget – ES
Does Monzo’s new cashback of up to 10% beat rival banks’ rewards? – This Is Money
Aldermore Bank offers easy access on a 5.25% regular savings account – This Is Money
Get £50 free trading credit when you open an account with Interactive Investor. Terms apply – Interactive Investor
As car insurance premiums hit another high, here’s how to save – Which
Bond ladders and target ETFs [US but relevant] – ETF.com
Could doing your washing at night save you money? – Guardian
Open an account with low-cost platform InvestEngine via our link and get up to £50 when you invest at least £100 (T&Cs apply. Capital at risk) – InvestEngine
Shopping from China using the popular Temu app – Guardian
Homes for first-time buyers, in pictures – Guardian
Comment and opinion
Not all returns are created equal – Morningstar
UK house prices have suffered a real terms crash from peaks – This Is Money
Why American’s biggest pension fund should just buy ETFs – Meb Faber
Is this bond bear market really worse than the 1970s? [Search result] – FT
How to become a millionaire – A Wealth of Common Sense
Turmoil lies ahead for the pensions lifetime allowance [Search result] – FT
Retirement surprises – Humble Dollar
Average is not the same as median – Klement on Investing
Why you should give more of your money to your heirs earlier – Morningstar
Health and wealth are two sides of the same coin [Podcast] – Humans vs Retirement
Decadence, drawdown, and deceptive sales – Simple Living in Somerset
Bracing for the no-go years – Humble Dollar
Five benefits of higher rates on cash – The White Coat Investor
Cash is popular, but be careful when allocating to it – AAII
Isle of Man encourages businesses to get rid of 1p and 2p prices – This Is Money
Naughty corner: Active antics
How to diversify a defensive dividend portfolio – UK Dividend Stocks
11 signs to avoid management meltdowns – Flyover Stocks
2024 Long-Term Capital Market Assumptions [PDF] – JP Morgan
How higher interest rates boost hedge fund returns – CAIA
Investment trusts: a sector under siege [Search result] – FT
Is it finally time to buy US small cap stocks? – Morningstar
Explaining the outperformance of ‘dividend aristocrats’ – Advisor Perspectives
Kindle book bargains
I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi – £0.99 on Kindle
Poor Charlie’s Almanack by Charles T. Munger – £0.99 on Kindle
The New, New Thing by Michael Lewis – £0.99 on Kindle
The Epic Rise and Fall of WeWork by Reeves Wiedeman – £0.99 on Kindle
How much climate damage have we already done? – Klement on Investing
Hazel dormice endangered in UK after a 70% decline – Guardian
Australia offers refuge to Pacific nation threatened by rising sea levels – CNBC
Glass buildings kill billions of birds – BioGraphic
Crust-forming algae are replacing corals in tropical seas worldwide – Phys.org
Bizarre echidna thought to be extinct rediscovered in Indonesia – Sky
The good life mini-special
Why adventure is always a good investment – The Root of All
It never gets easier – Of Dollars and Data
The paradox of happiness – The Alchemy of Money
How to avoid death by comfort [Podcast] – Art of Manliness
Five things for your ‘un-retirement’ bucket list – A Teachable Moment
Off our beat
Michael Lewis is still defending Sam Bankman-Fried – Institutional Investor
Tech is going to get much bigger – Not Boring
The AI debate is happening in a cocoon – The Atlantic via MSN
Ray Dalio ran Bridgewater like the global strongmen he admired – Semafor
Justifying optimism [Podcast] – Morgan Housel
Why we can’t quit email even though we hate it – Tim Harford
The Middle East is getting older – Noahpinion
“In a thousand parallel universes, what would be true in every single one?”
– Morgan Housel, Same As Ever
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The post Weekend reading: out-of-office notification appeared first on Monevator.