Weekend Reading Links 1/20/2017

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first Weekend Reading Links of the New Trump World Order.  I will spare you my feelings on the topic except to say that this is the world we live in now and I still plan to work hard at making myself better and providing as much value to the world as I can. 

Instead of reposting any number of “what a Trump presidency means for ….” articles, the more important event from an analytical standpoint, in my humble opinion, happened over four days in the little town of Davos, Switzerland.  The World Economic Forum is an annual gathering of world and business leaders talk about all the problems, trends, and feelings of the day.  As Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan dryly quipped at last year’s meeting “Davos is where billionaires tell millionaires how the middle class feels.”  Even though this gathering does reek of elitism, it is still instructive to see what is top-of-mind for the world’s movers and shakers. 

Probably most consequential at this year’s meeting was the speech by Xi Jinping.  This was the first time a Chinese head of state addressed the forum and he came right out and introduced China to the global stage.  He also issued a warning in the general direction of our new administration.

Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room. While wind and rain may be kept outside, that dark room will also block light and air. No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.

Of course, no discussion of the global power structure would be complete without some thoughts by the preeminent geopolitical analyst of today, Ian Bremmer.  Unfortunately, he is a little pessimistic about President Trump’s ability to play nice in the global sandbox.  Listen to this Bloomberg interview where he says that “direct conflict with China is now a likelihood.”

And if you want some of the other big stories from Davos, check the World Economic Forum’s website.  Their rundown has shortened clips of Jack Ma, Joe Biden, and Christine Lagarde.  If you were too busy to attend, or if you’re like me and your invitation got lost in the mail, the link above is a good Cliff’s Notes version.


A couple good blog posts that I read this week: 

First, I had someone reach out on Twitter and ask that I read his work, and I have to say it’s an interesting take on investing.  This post suggests you should approach investing from the viewpoint of a collector.  The site is called Power Over Life, and I will have to check out some of their other stuff sometime soon.  Read the post and let him know what you think.  @poweroverlife on the Twitter.

Ben Carlson of A Wealth of Common Sense, with a good thought piece on risk.

Paul Kasriel, a colleague of mine in a past life, is one of my favorite economic writers. His Econtrarian blog is great for any econ geek out there, and this post especially makes some interesting parallels between today and 1937.

 And a Podcast.

My favorite thing about forcing myself into a workout routine so far this year is getting time to catch up on my podcasts.  I’ve listened to great stuff from Tim Ferris, Ted Talk Radio Hour, Meb Faber, and Patrick O’Shaughnessy but my favorite this week was from Barry Ritholtz, who does the Masters in Business podcast.  His guest was Dana Telsey, of the Telsey Advisor Group which specializes in analyzing retail companies.  She is easily one of my favorite analysts of all time.  Listen to this interview  and you will find out why.  She is an absolute force of nature.


Financial Planning –

For those of you who are getting ready to save for your kids college, Morningstar tells you how to get started on a 529 plan.

And in other news,

Norway is issuing a kill order on FM radio.

Kristin Stewart wrote a research paper on AI?  “Kristen Stewart (yes, that Kristen Stewart) just released a research paper on artificial intelligence – Quartz  Before you sneer, the paper is actually really interesting (link here).

Well there you have it.  Please let me know what you think!

I’ll be at a board meeting Saturday morning and then trying to find time to work on getting things prepared for my finance class before going to a Christmas party for my wife’s work Saturday night.  Sunday I still need to run 2 miles for my 6-mile goal, but I’m hoping if it’s nice and I have time, to get in 4 or 5.  Then it’s my son’s hockey game, school work, reading research, and then a volleyball game.

So while it’s a packed weekend, I love every minute of it.  Even still, I do need to schedule some downtime to just hang with my family.  After all, in the immortal words of Ferris Bueller “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop to look around, you might miss it.”  Anyone with children knows that while you want to hustle and work, that time with kids is so precious and goes by so fast.

Have a great weekend.


Feature photo is the Collector from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, property of Marvel Cinema and Walt Disney Company.