8 Fascinating Reads

Here are some good things I read this week. 


This is a really important point about student loans: 

Even though the number of young households with debt has increased from 14 percent to 36 percent between 1989 and 2010, the percentage of monthly income those people put toward their student debt payments is largely the same. Even though student loan debts are going up, they've been accompanied by rising incomes, largely balancing out the burden. The focus shouldn't be on student loans broadly, and instead on more targeted solutions like focusing on those who drop out of college but still have debt.

Average Joe

I loved this point about being average:

"Our desire to excel has to do with evolution and the idea that if you were the average caveman, you'd starve to death," says Dr. John Grace, a Crystal River, Florida, psychiatrist and author of The Importance of Being Average (John Grace, 2008). "Just getting by didn't quite make it then, and we've inherited a sense of desperation in our genes. As a result, we think that just making it today is much more horrible than it really is."


More companies are paying their workers to quit:

Riot Games, the maker of the popular video game League of Legends — will pay its employees 10 percent of their salary, up to $25,000, to quit their jobs, even if they have worked there for only one day.

This much I know

Michael Batnick wrote a great short piece about things he knows: 

I know that buying low and selling high is how to make money. 

I also know that virtually nobody buys low or sells high. 

I know that when something can't possibly...yes it can, and probably will.

I know that expectations matter a lot more than the actual number. 

I know that calling a top or bottom is not a consistent way to make money. 

I know that the market is always making all-time highs.

I know that there are approximately 4,000 variables that can affect markets. 

I also know that the weight with which these variables affect markets are not constant.


This is an important point by Josh Brown:

The difference between a portfolio that costs 1.5 percent and zero percent is negligible in the grand scheme of things if you have no idea how to act, implement, and react to varying conditions. If you can't control yourself in the presence of news, data, opinion, regulatory changes and volatility – and know what's important and what isn't – then it really doesn't matter how many basis points you're paying for your portfolio, does it?


Young people can't leave their parents' basements:

One in five people in their 20s and early 30s is currently living with his or her parents. And 60 percent of all young adults receive financial support from them. That's a significant increase from a generation ago, when only one in 10 young adults moved back home and few received financial support.

Real world 

This quote by Gerd Gigerenzer is spot on:

I believe if we teach young people, children, the mathematics of uncertainty, statistical thinking, instead of only the mathematics of certainty – trigonometry, geometry, all beautiful things that most of us never need – then we can have a new society which is more able to deal with risk and uncertainty.


This is a great read on the similarities between writing and running:

When I think harder about it, what I believe running and writing have most in common, at least for me, is the state of vulnerability they leave you in. Both require bravery, audacity, a belief in one's own abilities, and a willingness to live the clichés: to put it on the line, to dig deep, to go for it. You have to believe in the "it," and have to believe, too, that you are worthy.

Have a good weekend. 

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  • Report this Comment On June 28, 2014, at 2:21 AM, Thaeger wrote:

    Another note on 'burden': ( )

    "You hear a lot about parents taking in adult children who are out of work. What's much less noticed is the opposite trend — adult children taking in parents who find it hard to make it on their own.

    Their numbers are rising dramatically. In 2008, 4.05 million parents were living with an adult child. By the end of 2011, the number had risen to 4.6 million — a 13.7 percent increase..."


    (*insert quip about the middle-aged, middle-class being squeezed*)

    From what I understand, multigenerational homes are actually fairly common (and completely stigma-free) in many cultures, so I'm kinda curious if they'll catch on permanently here, or if this will just be a temporary blip.

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