18 Dec The best of what we read, watched and listened to this week
I suppose it’s difficult to start any communication these days without mentioning coronavirus but these 12 charts about how it has changed our lives struck me as interesting, if sobering.
The other day I caught an interview on the Today programme with a chap from GCHQ about how we can all make ourselves less vulnerable to the multitude of cybercriminals who haunt the internet. Unlike much advice which is theoretically good but not necessarily terribly practical, his six tips were eminently simple and did not require anyone to dig around in the bowels of their device’s operating system to implement them. There is also an email address to which you can report suspected phishing attacks so that the offending sender’s email domain can be closed down, making life more difficult for them. A worthy cause, as my deputy headmaster used to say.
I had the privilege of hearing Morgan Housel speak at a GAIA meeting recently and have just ordered his book ‘The psychology of money’, which is one of the recommendations on this list. Good to see long term Bloomsbury collaborator Tim Hale’s book ‘Smarter investing’ in there too.
While most investors’ success stories start with the buying decision, the reality is that timing the subsequent disposal is at least as important but psychologically more difficult. Whether you sell with the intention of minimising losses or of maximising gains, having a coherent basis on which to make that decision is likely to lead you to a better investment experience.
The end of last week brought the news that legendary rugby union referee Nigel Owens (whom some of the Bloomsbury team met a couple of years ago when he spoke at a conference) has decided to hang up his boots after 34 years in the game. Although some hold the view that the best referees are invisible, Mr Owens’ personal profile has undoubtedly been enhanced by the fact that much of what he says on the field has been broadcast and recorded. Fortunately for posterity, someone took the trouble to highlight some of his finest quotations.
With the ubiquitous camera phone being such a feature of modern life, everyone fancies themselves as a photographer these days. However, for a reminder of the difference between people who take pictures and photographers, one could do much worse than flick through the winning images from the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. I somehow doubt that many were taken on an iPhone, given that the photographer needed to survive the experience in order to enter the competition. Plenty of inspiration for those with the patience to wait for the perfect shot though.
And finally… while snow may not be a feature of Christmas for many in the UK, it’s good to know that if we do get some, not only might your dog be quite handy at sledging but he can also retrieve the sledge afterwards.
We hope you have a good weekend.
Charles and Rob