8 Fascinating Reads


Happy Friday! There are more good news articles, commentaries, and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Here are eight fascinating ones I read this week.

Lucky us
Fareed Zakaria points out America's competitive advantage:

A housing revival was inevitable at some point. The U.S. is the only rich country in the world whose population is growing. We add 3 million people to our number every year, thanks largely to (legal) immigration. That means, over time, we will need new housing -- unless children want to live with their parents forever.

Catching on
The Vanguard Group compares the adoption of index investing with other historical big ideas:

GeekWire writes about a set of predictions from 1993 on the future of media. It got a few things mostly right:

Prediction on future news delivery devices: The newspaper is actually a flat panel, foldable, flexible display screen, but is paper thin. Each night, it gathers up all the stories from the news services you subscribe to (and) puts them through a smart filter. There's a way to get more information about any story by simply touching the headline or a paragraph."

Netflix has been releasing an entire season of its original content at once. Richard Lawson questions that wisdom:

In the case of an all-new series that comes tumbling out all at once, where's the opportunity for momentum, buildup, even word of mouth? While House of Cards was popular and engaging and many of us are eagerly awaiting its second season, think of how much more anticipation and buzz -- that terrible, all-important word -- the show could have generated had it kept people snared in its web for thirteen set weeks, rather than for however long it took any particular person to watch all the episodes ... The current Netflix strategy eliminates watercooler chat, it saps the experience of speculation, of theorizing, of cautious optimism or nervous despair.

No skin in the game
Economist Burton Malkiel writes a great paper on investment fees. This part shocked me:

We should note that more professional investors do index their investments in publicly traded securities than is the case for individual investors. Professional investors index about one-third of their holdings of publicly traded securities.

But who's counting?
The blog Calculated Risk compares private and government employment growth during the last five presidents. Here's private:

And here's government:

Barry Ritholtz tells us to focus on what we can control:

Within My Control
1. Having a long term investing plan
2. Furthering my own education
3. What I watch (or don't watch) on TV
4. Honoring my own buy & sell disciplines
5. Who I choose to associate with
6. Recognizing the importance of empirical evidence and data
7. The Portfolio Allocation I set up
8. Understanding my own emotions (and emotional state)
9. What I choose to read (and not read), as well as how much reading I do
10. How I structure my business, what I charge for my services, who I hire, etc.
11. Doing something professionally that is deeply satisfying
12. Maintaining my own ethical standards

Out of My Control
1. What the Fed does
2. GDP
3. How my wetware works
4. Market action, rallies and sell offs
5. Interest Rates
6. Congressional Action
7. The Nature of Humans
8. Corporate Earnings
9. What the major media report on and make front page news
10. Unemployment Rates
11. How my brain is wired
12. Other people's reactions, overreactions and panic

Young wisdom
Here's a video of Warren Buffett talking about the market in 1962:

Enjoy your weekend.

The article 8 Fascinating Reads originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Morgan Housel has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not 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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