Here are eight fascinating things I read this week.
Barry Ritholtz and James O'Shaughnessy had a chat and mentioned something incredible:
An employee who recently joined his firm told him that Fidelity had studied which customer investing accounts performed the best: They were the ones held by people who had forgotten they even had Fidelity accounts, and so did no buying or selling from them.
When O'Shaughnessy told that tale on Bloomberg Radio to Barry Ritholtz of Ritholtz Wealth Management, Ritholtz responded that he'd noticed something similar with families fighting over inherited assets. Because of extended court battles, in some cases, the accounts couldn't be touched for 10 or 20 years: No buying new investments or selling old ones. Those families subsequently found that the period of inactivity was the time when their investments performed best.
Seventy-one percent of Americans say the Great Recession will cause permanent change, up from 49% in 2009:
Steve Jobs got into some beef with customers the day the iPad was released:
I got about eight hundred email messages in the last twenty-four hours. Most of them are complaining. There's no USB cord! There's no this, no that. Some of them are like, 'F--- you, how can you do that?' I don't usually write people back, but I replied, 'Your parents would be so proud of how you turned out.' And some don't like the iPad name, and on and on. I kind of got depressed today. It knocks you back a bit.
Nassim Taleb talks about his lifestyle:
At the start of this year I resolved to do "nothing except if it felt like a hobby" i.e., "satisfy interests while providing entertainment value with zero pressure, no schedule and no feeling of duty". The rule is to wake up with the aim to "do nothing", have nothing scheduled and avoid the usual guilt (or shame) encountered by most when "wasting time", have minimum commitments and talk to NO journalist. Of course, cut everything unpleasant, no matter what the potential gain. Treat everything (including mathematics) the way a great-uncle of mine who was a man of leisure treated his afternoon game of bridge: intellectual concentration as entertainment.
RESULT: 12 academic papers (9 accepted so far), finished a book (Silent Risk) -- well, almost, wrote 100 aphorisms, ate 2 Beijing ducks, learned to typeset books as a self-standing publisher, found 4 investments ... and this is 3/4 of the year.
Tren Griffin reacts to a great Josh Brown quote:
"It's not different this time, it's different EVERY time." History never repeats itself precisely. Trying to predict the future by extrapolating the past is folly. Despite this fact, humans are pattern seeking creatures and like to ascribe predictive value to patterns they feel they have discovered. People tend to seek meaning from events even if they are random. Humans love to tell stories to themselves and others about past successes being the result of skill rather than luck, which makes the "forecasting folly" problem worse.
Say what you will about the U.S. recovery, but it's the best in the developed world:
CNBC's viewership is at the lowest level in decades:
This is a fascinating series of Tweets by journalist James Risen:
Enjoy your weekend.
Contact Morgan Housel at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.