General investing

Beware graphs bearing outperformance

“Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes” – Beware the Greeks bearing gifts  – Virgil, Aeneid (II, 49) The more articles I begin with a Latin aphorism, the more I can feel myself slowly starting to recoup my expensive ancient history degree – one shoehorned semi-relevant Virgil quote at a time. I’ll try not to overdo it. …

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Why do we buy expensive investments?

Having just opened a Native American jewellery store in Arizona, the owner was having trouble selling some of her turquoise pieces. Despite the jewellery being high quality, and it being the peak of the tourist season, they just wouldn’t sell. She’d priced the jewellery reasonably. She’d tried placing them in a central display location. She’d …

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Is investing a zero-sum game?

If you win at blackjack in a casino, you take someone else’s money. If you lose, someone else takes your money. There’s no wealth being created or destroyed, it’s just the same cash being redistributed between the players. That’s a zero-sum game – more for me means less for you. Other examples of zero-sum games …

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How much money is in the world?

Figuring out how much money is in the world is an interesting question. Not one which has any real practical value, but it’s an interesting one. And what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t answer interesting questions?   Contents   How much money is held in: Cash Cryptocurrencies The stock market Debt …

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Why do stocks go up?

It sounds like a pretty basic question, doesn’t it? We all know that, in the long run, markets rise over time. But answering why stocks go up is surprisingly difficult. Contents Stocks go up because companies make money Why will companies generate more cash in the future? If most companies die, why do markets keep …

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My 5 favourite books of 2020

Although I managed to avoid catching coronavirus in 2020, I did catch another virus, of sorts. Its symptoms included: Increasing levels of claustrophobia as my house was slowly invaded with bookcases Payments to ‘AMAZON UK’ metastasising throughout my spending history A virtuous feeling, shared only by vegans, which manifested itself in having the uncontrollable urge …

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The best investing blogs

Following on from my last article on ‘The best investing books for beginners’, which proved to be a popular post, I’ve compiled a list of my favourite investing blogs below. Eventually my intention is to collate all my favourite resources (books, blogs, and podcasts) into one place, so this post makes a start at collecting …

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Smooth is what we aim for

Let’s say I offer you a simple gamble. You take £100 of your own money, then toss a coin. If it’s heads, you win 40%, if it’s tails you lose 30%. Would you accept the gamble? Simple maths says you should – the expected return is +5% (50% * 1.4 + 50% * 0.7). But …

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Return expectations – 2020 edition

How much can a UK-based investor expect to make on their investments over the next 10 years? To help answer the question, I’ve collated 10-year equity return forecasts from as many different (reliable) sources as I could find – 13 in total. As with most things investing-related, the data was heavily US-biased and almost always …

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