Principled money posts of the week #11: the ‘day before Paris’ edition
Well, yes! Tomorrow I am off to Paris for the day: the city of love, Napoleonic boulevards and dog-poo. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t dislike Paris but I am not in love with it either. Truth be told, my favourite city in Europe is Vienna and my favourite city in the world is New York.
Also, I am not going to Paris for an early Valentine’s Day celebration; I am going for work. This changes the perspective somewhat since all I am going to see is Charles de Gaulle Airport, the RER (the train from the airport to Paris), an office and then all of this in reverse. It will be a long day – some people have 9 to 5; well this will be a 5 to 9 one.
All that so a group of academics can get together and share their knowledge, and wisdom. This neatly brings me to the first post that caught my attention this week.
Paula Pant from Afford Anything asks whether there is really such a thing as ‘collective wisdom’. Yes, it is a continuation of her book review of Carl Futia’s book The Art of Contrarian Trading (which incidentally is on my reading list; I just have to get a bit of courage to tackle it head on). Yes, you may say that it is a bit of an afterthought (if you decide to be really harsh). What I saw is that this post raises a very important point: in fields where decision making is open and ‘expertise’ is thought to play a large part there is no ‘collective wisdom’; there is only ‘collective folly’. This is because the answer is not a simple statistical matter (as in the case of marble guessing described by Surowiecki). What does this mean for investing in shares?
Talking about straying from the crowd, Mark from My Own Advisor had a good go at it! You thought that credit cards are evil? Even we at The Money Principle published a post arguing that using credit cards is a really bad idea (right, John and I didn’t manage to agree about this one but this is another story) and we do like to be different! Well, Mark tells us that credit cards are a great tool and even that they are better than cash. I would agree, that used properly (and paid off in full every month) credit cards can bring benefits. But it is not because they have been around for so long, Mark. Longevity is rarely a virtue on its own and I know people (and organisations) that have been incredibly silly for a very long time.
Suba at Wealth Informatics made me think about charitable giving. Giving to charity feels so good that learning how to do it smartly (maximising the benefit of giving) is so worth doing. Only today, I was telling John that I have been researching a group of very wealthy people in the UK united by the fact that they spend most of their wealth on giving to others; not on Botox, big boats and toy boys. Some people, can be quite altruistic, it seems.
From charity to serious riches! Sam at Financial Samurai asks what income level is considered rich. Disappointment that we are just about border line ‘upper middle class’ aside, this is a great post. And, Sam, I will get a mentor, I am working on these disabling beliefs and I am willing to try the ‘berserk route’.
Finally, my find this week is a blog called Out of Your Rut where Kevin published a post about blogging solving his mid-life career crisis. Well, I may be biased – mid-life crisis and career doubts are no joking matter. But this post is a little gem – go check it out. And read it every time doubt sneaks in!
This is it for today, my friends. Now all that is left is to tell you that this week The Money Principle was mentioned by Watson Inc – thanks!
Till next Sunday and may your week rock!