Weekend Reading: Two podcasts on the possible future

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.

Spiller material

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.

Smart plugs

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!

From Monevator

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

You can probably time the market – Fortunes & Frictions [Also: There are no bananafish]

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

Environmental factors

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

And finally…

“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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Two podcasts featuring veteran investors unpicking the inflation riddle, plus the week’s good reads…
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