Charlie Munger on health, wealth, and happiness

Charles Munger (1924-2023) The world lost an icon this week, as Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway sadly passed at the age of 99. As recently as last month he revealed a few unexpected insights with Becky Quick of CNBC... On health... Munger quickly realised at a young age that smoking… full article

The time value of money

Life memberships About 15 years ago, I all but spat out my coffee when my wife mentioned in passing that she'd bought us a joint life membership for the UK National Trust at a cost of £1,380 (we subsequently also joined English Heritage on pretty similar terms). Personally, I felt… full article

Veblen goods and the “snob effect”

Elite school fees Each year, our kids are inching closer to high school age, bringing "that conversation" inexorably closer...private schooling. I didn't go to a private school (nor did my wife, for that matter), so I've generally leaned against the idea, though I can also see that in many cases… full article

Today’s shortages, tomorrow’s gluts (the bullwhip effect)

From shortage to surplus A true story. I might've previously mentioned in my predilection for Guinness as a youth and young man. Once a year, me, my many brothers (Catholic family), my then business partner Paddy Allen, and a range of related associates used to get back together for Xmas… full article

Pandemic migration, and the resilience of cities

Lockdown exodus Through 2021 there was a mass exodus from America's major Democrat stronghold states, including California (-367, 299), New York (-352,185), and Illinois (-122,460), as well as from Massachusetts, New Jersey, and others. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the district population of Washington D.C. declined by -2.9 per… full article

The promise of easy money

The divine right of kings The majestic ancient pyramids were built to allow kings a divine voyage to the heavens, to make their transition to the afterlife as smooth as possible. It wasn't only in ancient Egypt that civilisations sought to build as close to the heavens they could -… full article

5 ‘shockingly useful’ action concepts for entrepreneurs

Scratching the itch Never in my whole life did I think I'd do as many Zoom/Skype/Teams calls as I have over the past year. They've generally worked pretty well, though I sometimes find myself fighting an irresistible urge to do other things at the same time (clearing emails, reading finance… full article

Liquidity: the oxygen of financial systems

At the carwash With admittedly modest success I've been encouraging my toddler daughter to undertake household chores, to give her an opportunity to double per pocket money and hopefully draw a few positive associations between work and money. One of her 'favourite' jobs is washing the car, though unfortunately I… full article