8 Fascinating Reads

Good reads, short quotes.

May 2, 2014 at 12:00PM


There are more good news articles on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Here are eight fascinating pieces I read this week.


Ben Carlson writes a few things you will never hear professional money managers say: 

  • Our fee is actually a little high.
  • Yes, we are gathering assets.
  • Our fund is getting too big.
  • We underperformed because it's difficult to beat the market after costs.

This new "retirement" thing

Vanguard's CEO weighs in on the concept of retirement:

If you're 65 today, you have a 50% probability to live to 90. Many people are going to spend almost as much time in retirement as they did working. And without a hefty amount saved, that gets tough. I presume Social Security will get fixed – it will not take a lot to make the system reasonably strong for the next 50 years. It won't be politically fun, but it can get done. The other option is to assume you're going to work a little longer. No one wants to address that head-on, but when Social Security was created, it was based on a retirement age of 65, which was the expected lifespan. People expected to work until they died. The whole idea of retirement is something new in the last 50 years.


People are really bad at assessing risk. Bill Gates proves this with a list of the world's deadliest animals


Getting better

Matt Ridley writes on adaptation. This whole article is great:

Estimates made in the 1960s and 1970s of water demand by the year 2000 proved grossly overestimated: The world used half as much water as experts had projected 30 years before.

The reason was greater economy in the use of water by new irrigation techniques. Some countries, such as Israel and Cyprus, have cut water use for irrigation through the use of drip irrigation. Combine these improvements with solar-driven desalination of seawater worldwide, and it is highly unlikely that fresh water will limit human population.


This is some great philosophy from Mr. Money Mustache:

I hate to be the one to deliver this news to you, but a wealthy person's relationship to money should actually be pretty boring, if you are doing it right. You're on a very short road that leads straight to financial independence. After that, work will be optional and money will become simply an appliance to you. Like clean, drinkable water from a tap, it is essential to basic life, but it fades into the background once you have enough of it.


As is this:

When you are young you have more time than money. Not having money closes off some travel possibilities (forget Bhutan), and it forces you to go the long way around. With no bucks it may take you longer to get somewhere by local bus, but of course you will still arrive later. Without money your options are limited to where you can stay, or do (no hot air balloons!). Over many years and long stretches on the road, these limited options can feel restrictive, and tiring.

When you are older, you tend to have more money than time. If you have only two week vacation, you need to rush things so you can keep your job. You'll pay to fly in to the hotspot rather than spend your two weeks in the back of the bus getting there. You'll pay extra for the express train because it will save you a day — and its clean bathrooms will delight your 12-year-old daughter. Maybe you hire a guide to take you directly to the festival instead of wasting an afternoon wandering around. With money you can eat whatever you desire.

Here is what I learned from 40 years of traveling: Of the two modes, it is far better to have more time than money.

Put down your phones and drive

 Institute a law where cell phone use is restricted while driving, and it affects the stock market:

This result suggests that constraints on [cell phone] use while driving have a significant effect on the information search activity of market participants. Our results further indicate that local stocks experience significant declines in trading volume and returns in the three-day window surrounding the enforcement dates of distracted driving restrictions. We find that these declines are attenuated when distracted driving laws are less prohibitive and when local residents have long single-occupancy car commutes.


Inflation hits people in different ways. The poor are taking it the hardest:

Over the past two years, prices have risen more quickly for many of the things that low-income households spend a lot of their money on, such as rent and utilities. As a result, these households — families earning less than $20,000 — are experiencing a higher rate of inflation than the public at large even as their wages have stagnated, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis of government data.

Enjoy your weekend. 

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4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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