Once again, another week’s come and gone. If you haven’t learnt anything all week, here’s some great links. Skip the first one if you aren’t interested in investing.


Episode #107: “There Really Is A Serious Challenge to Try to Put Together an Investment Portfolio That’s Going to Generate Half-Decent Returns On A Forward-Looking Basis” (Meb Faber)

Ok, the first one doesn’t count as a read unless you prefer to read the transcript. Meb Faber had James Montier as a guest on his podcast and I just had to listen to the episode. Montier is a member of GMO’s Asset Allocation team and before joining GMO, he was co-head of Global Strategy at Société Générale.

Many investors may not have heard of Montier but in my opinion, Montier’s works are one of the most important things you must read and absorb if you call yourself an investor in this day and age.

In the podcast, Montier gives his opinion on the current state of markets and what the options for investors are. His view on the market is what my gut’s been telling me but I never really knew how to articulate it.

Also, he quotes Winnie-the-Pooh.


‘Christopher Robin’ official trailer (YouTube)

Speaking of Winnie-the-Pooh, Disney’s dropped the full trailer for the new live-action movie that’s going to be released 3 August. I’m not saying this just because this is my wife’s favourite bear but I can’t wait to see this.


I Asked 5 Millennials About Their Life Goals, And Found Out How Much They Need To Save Per Month For It (Vulcan Post)

On the local front, this article is a plug for DBS’s new financial GPS feature. DBS has been promoting this quite aggressively – all the usual suspects in the financial blogosphere have been doing paid features on this.

Putting the plug aside, the article gives a very good insight into the financial management habits of Singaporeans in their 20s-30s. The main takeaway I got from this is that the average Singaporean is mostly clueless about their finances. Most of them subscribe to the usual work-save-spend routine. Of course, they aren’t to blame. That’s what their parents and grandparents have done and it seemed to work fine. I suspect this is pretty much the same for most of the world.

By the way, even among my peers who are all university graduates, very few of us have progressed beyond the work-save-spend routine. Most of us outsource financial matters to the ‘pros’. The danger is as Warren Buffett said, “You shouldn’t depend on your barber to tell you whether you need a haircut.” This is the classic agency problem described in economics.

What to do about it? The simple answer is: educate yourself.


True story: ‘I’m 38 years old and I have no savings’ (Asiaone)

Another one on the local front. This is a cautionary tale for those who can’t even adhere to the work-save-spend routine. I’m not even sure how true this is but if this tale resonates with you, then you need to get some help immediately.

Anyone who earns an above-average income, is single, and doesn’t have to provide for any dependents should have more than enough money to retire by 38. The worst-case scenario should be a low level of savings. To have no savings and be in debt is just terrible financial management skills.