What We’re Reading

A few good posts the Collab team came across this week …

Progress

Down and to the left:

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Burdens

This chart puts student loan growth in the best perspective:

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Sucker born every minute

The dark side of Facebook advertising:

Affiliates once had to guess what kind of person might fall for their unsophisticated cons, targeting ads by age, geography, or interests. Now Facebook does that work for them. The social network tracks who clicks on the ad and who buys the pills, then starts targeting others whom its algorithm thinks are likely to buy. Affiliates describe watching their ad campaigns lose money for a few days as Facebook gathers data through trial and error, then seeing the sales take off exponentially. “They go out and find the morons for me,” I was told by an affiliate who sells deceptively priced skin-care creams with fake endorsements from Chelsea Clinton.

Mission

This is great:

We were speaking to longtime clients yesterday about their financial plan. Even though their situation keeps getting better and better, one spouse cannot stop worrying. Yesterday I told him, “My job is to make sure you enjoy the blessings you have. Go on trips, sponsor family vacations, pay your grandchildren’s tuition, and give money to charity. Enjoy what is left of your life to the fullest. I give you complete permission.”

I didn’t stop there.

“I consider myself a complete and total failure as a financial advisor if you don’t listen to me. I don’t care how many millions you have if you can’t enjoy it and spread the wealth, nothing else matters.”

I certainly got their attention. Proving again, personal finance is more personal than finance.

Valuation

Yes:

Realizing that stories are a key component of determining asset prices can help you understand why we continue to see irrational behavior in various asset markets throughout the world. As I like to remind myself, assets are not priced based upon fundamentals, but by what someone else is willing to pay for them.

Have a good weekend.


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