Not much news out today so I thought I would shares some things I have been reading this week as weekend reading for you as it were. A couple of these are from sources I have recommended before so apologies if you have signed up to their sites and already seen these.
First was the Outside the Box letter from John Mauldin written by this weeks guest author Michael Lewitt. There is a good summary of his piece on Value Walk or you can download the OTB letter below. This focusses on the increased debt level that have been seen around the world since the financial crisis despite all the talk of deleveraging.
I also mentioned Warren Buffet's shareholder letter earlier in the week and his suggestion that holding a cheap diversified portfolio of equities was a good way to protect against the ravages of inflation and central bankers debasement of the currency. Following on form this I picked up a piece based on the book The Triumph of the Optimists by Elroy Dimson which gives some sobering thoughts on just how long you might need to hold sometimes to get a decent return. This also ties into the real returns data I looked at last week.
Next up with all the talk about the on off Leadership debates in the UK there were a couple of good posts from The Market Oracle looking at the possible outcome of the General Election and other things.
I must admit that I have some sympathy for his view that the Tories could scrape a small majority given how well they have played the electoral cycle and got all the indicators like inflation, unemployment, average earnings and house prices moving in the right direction in time for the election. However, I guess a hung parliament still looks favourite, so maybe another Conservative / Liberal Coalition might be the best way to keep things going if the Liberals don't get wiped out at the ballot box. I'm not sure about a Conservative / UKIP coalition - who knows maybe that could work but resolving the European / immigration questions could be tricky I guess?
This is also topical given the news item today about the rising population in the UK due to immigration. Very difficult to unravel the good from the bad with this as it seems it provides a ready source of cheap labour good for Companies but this is bad for unskilled local workers who have to compete. Then there is the whole taxes v benefits debate and the strain on public services from all the extra users which maybe hadn't been planned for - all very contentious and I'm sure this will continue to be a major talking point over the election and beyond - have a great weekend.