Happy New Year’s! Start it off right with this fine reading list:

• What 10 things should you do every day to improve your life? (Barking Up the Wrong Tree)
• Josh Brown (TRB) asked lots of people “In 2012 I Learned That…” Here are their answers.
• Big in 2012, but the Future Is Hazy for Bonds (NYT)
• How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love (Brain Pickings)
• Will 2013 Be the Year of Equity Hedge Funds? (Barron’s) see also How to Play the Volatility of 2013 (Barron’s)
• 10 Incredibly Simple Things You Should Be Doing To Protect Your Privacy (Forbes)
• Todd Harrison: Things I’ve Learned (Minyanville)
• 2012: The Year in Economics (big think) see also The biggest hits of 2012 (The Economist)
• Hack Your Life in One Day: A Beginner’s Guide to Enhanced Productivity (Life Hacker)
• United State of Pop 2012: All the year’s top radio hits in one mashup (DJ Earworm Mashup)

What are you going to do in 2013?


S&P 500 in 2012

Source: Bespoke

Category: Financial Press

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

26 Responses to “10 New Year’s Day Reads”

  1. stonedwino says:

    BR, The Big Picture has become the first place I go almost every time I log in, thanks to the plethora of extremely useful information you post daily and not only about finances and investing…Thank you.

    Keep up the great work and hope you have a great 2013. Cheers!

  2. louiswi says:

    Yes indeed, thank you Barry for all your great work! Happy New Year!

  3. VennData says:

    Shark Tank Shatters in Shanghai Shopping Plaza


    Never buy a Chinese shark tank.

  4. Mike in Nola says:

    The privacy article omits one of the most important steps in protecting privacy. The biggest step you can take to protect your privacy is to not you use GMail or any other Google services. If you get an Android phone you can activate it without a Google account (Google it), or you can use a fake name to set up a Google account just for that purpose.

  5. theexpertisin says:

    The Big Picture is always an edgy, enjoyable read. Thanks, BR, for including a wide scope of articles that are both informative and thought-provoking.

    Happy New Year to you.

  6. svarada says:

    Thanks especially for the Physics videos that are really fun. I play them to my kids.
    Of course, we thank you for your equity market updates.
    Happy 2013

  7. osheth says:

    I’m starting the new year by working my way through

    The Best of Farnam Street in 2012

    and The Best of Brain Pickings 2012

  8. ConscienceofaConservative says:

    Re, ” Incredibly Simple Things You Should Be Doing To Protect Your Privacy”

    You don’t hear it often enough but I highly recommend freezing one’s credit with the 3 credit bureaus,”Experian, Transunion and Equifax”. Not only does it reduce the clutter of junk mail offers of unwanted credit cards, but it is the single best thing you can do to protect yourself against identity theft and the after-math of someone taking out credit in your name.

  9. Moss says:

    Re: Protecting Your Privacy.

    If using windows always use a non admin account for day to day use. I have one windows PC where I setup two accounts. One has admin authority the other does not. Also make sure the guest account is either password protected or disabled.

    Interesting QOTD concerning ‘letting’ the price of Gold rise.

  10. Mike in Nola says:


    I have to admit to not doing that for awhile and lived to tell about it. Like Goofy in the original Ghostbusters, I’m brave but I’m careful :)

    Windows 8 does have an new feature that helps me out by making it even harder to download and install programs from the web. The first alert box doesn’t even give you the option of installing a new program but tries to warn you off. You have to consciously click another option (can’t remember how it’s titled at the moment) to get to the install button.

    Another thing that users can do to further protect themselves is to raise the level of the User Account Control (UAC) in the Control Panel. One of the big gripes against Vista was that every time you or a program changed a setting on the PC, a box would pop up asking you to confirm that that was what you wanted to do. In Windows 7, the slider was lowered so as not to cause as many alerts. The machine was easier to use, though somewhat less safe. Some have speculated that this alone caused a good increase in Windows 7 popularity. In any case, when I install Windows now, I always bump that slider up to make me think about what I’m doing. Just open the control panel and type UAC in the search box to get to the slider.

  11. i-power says:

    New Years resolution (each year) is to NEVER read articles on how to improve ones life…or be happier…or more productive in the new year. Especially hate articles with lists …like 10 things to do…. they are written by idiots and read by bigger idiots. Ban them and go about life without the “wisdom” of others.

  12. Jojo says:

    New Years Haiku greeting from a Mona P. at the Rude Pundit website
    Playing Chicken With 2013
    Dodged the Mitt bullet
    Blew past the Mayan doomsday.
    Fiscal cliff? Yee Haa!


  13. Jojo says:

    This is how the 1% live. From some of the life excesses you can read about in the stories here, I wouldn’t shed any tears for the wealthy and almost wealthy paying a few more points of taxes. Sheese.


  14. VennData says:

    G.O.P. Anger Over Tax Deal Endangers Final Passage

    “…House Republicans reacted with anger Tuesday…”


    ROFL! They cannot control their emotions. We have a term for that in English. It’s called emotional immaturity.

    You voted for people who are emotionally immature. What does that say about you?

  15. Mike in Nola says:

    Venn: I hope the anger kills the deal. In the longer run, the middle class would be better off without one. A lot more tax revenue and big cuts in useless defense spending.

  16. Irwin Fletcher says:

    Good article in Huff Post on “Zero Dark Thirty.”
    When the politicians scream this loud it tells me they don’t want us to know the truth.
    Thou dost protesteth too much.
    Are we seriously trying to censor a movie? It seems so. It must be true then.


  17. ilsm says:


    No action on extending the Bush tax cuts might drive the “skirmishers” back a bit, but not “in”.

    The “anger” is the “skirmishers’” war cry.

    The tehadists (emotional GOPpers) are in total control of their war plan which is to kill “government for the people”.

    Tehadist defintion of liberty: freedom of the few to get everything, unfettered by government which is the problem preventing the 1% from making the rest serfs.

    Corporatist libertarians for empire, current operational object is killing the New Deal.

    Each budget crisis is a skirmish.

  18. VennData says:

    Deal’s Likely Impact: More Slow Growth

    “…The deal struck Monday between the White House and Senate Republicans would prevent the sudden across-the-board spending cuts and a jump in income-tax rates that had raised fears of a 2013 recession. But it would leave in place tax provisions—and tee up more battles over budget policy—that are likely to weigh on economic growth in the new year…”

    How do they know this at the Wall Street Journal? Their Supply-Side Economics crystal ball? Tkey said Clinton’s tax hikes would wreck the economy. That Obama would Socialize it, ruin it. Ruin the nation. That Bush’s deregulation of the mortgage market would be a boon for the economy.

    “…The agreement could still fall apart, or fail to pass in both chambers of Congress. But if enacted, it would make permanent existing income-tax rates for about 99% of U.S. households, removing the uncertainty about taxes that has sapped their confidence…”

    How does one measure confidence sapping when GDP is growing at a record and profits are at a record? By how many times right wingers say it?

    “… It also would reassure many middle-class families that they can count on stable tax rates on dividends and other investment income…”

    Oh, those middle class people who rely on dividends. What percentage of the middle class is that? And what % could lose ALL of their dividends and they wouldn’t even know?


    Rupert Murdock’s paper is a joke. The Teahadists are bozos.

  19. Mike in Nola says:

    Venn: What? You mean everyone doesn’t live off of their dividends? :)

  20. RW says:

    Boehner can get the Senate’s cliff compromise passed by allowing a straight up or down vote if the Republicans opposed cannot come up with 218 votes for amending it. That’s the so-called Hastert Rule and the Democrats presumably have no say one way or the other.

    The compromise does continue support for many who need it but it gives up too much, accomplishes too little, and lays the groundwork for disaster in two months when the debt limit standoff occurs. I frankly find myself hoping the Teahadists can get the votes to amend which will, eo ipso, be a vote to kill.

    I Do Not Understand the Obama Administration…

    …by my back-of-the-envelope count, the deal the Obama administration has agreed to still leaves a net fiscal impetus of -1.75% of GDP to hit the U.S. economy in 2013. That is only 40% of the way back from the “austerity bomb” to where we want to be.

    That isn’t enough to make it worthwhile to make a deal before the new congress. After Boehner’s reelection as Speaker and after the expiration of the Bush tax cuts eliminates the U.S.’s structural deficit, the politics become very different…

    The longer problem of factionalism and ongoing “culture wars” is more difficult to figure and I keep searching for a better way to understand the madness as “they’re just batshit crazy” doesn’t work well for me any more; e.g., Chris Hedges …(ht Jesse)

    Empires of Illusion and the Credibility Trap – First They Come For the Weak

    If the ideology had been a lie, then …their life has been self-serving and meaningless, without significance and honor. And that is the credibility trap. It is the impulse for the leaders to keep doubling down in the hope of a win, until exhaustion and collapse. …

    …This is why they are metaphorically hanging Greeks and Spaniards and Irish in Europe, as tribute to an unsustainable and corrupt Euro monetary arrangement, with its puppet governments run by the banks.

    And this is the US financial system and the American policy discussions today. First they come for the powerless and the weak, whether it contributes anything substantial to the broader resolution of the problems or not. The madness serves none but itself.

    NB: I tend to avoid New Year’s resolutions unless I think it might be fun to break them but this year I really need to start paying less attention to this kind of stuff: An overview is enough to orient me to the macroeconomy and avoid investing “environmental errors” but the bloody details are making me bilious and a less jolly fellow when in my cups.

  21. bergsten says:

    One Thing I’ve Learned in 2013:
    I’ve gotten too old and lazy to read other people’s lists of what they’ve learned.

  22. billybob says:

    In 2013–and not necessarily in priority order:

    1) Laughing at the fiscal queef (you heard it here first)
    2) Ignoring the idiotic political class
    3) Ignoring the idiotic MSM
    4) Sticking to my AA
    5) DCA-ing thru the year
    6) Exercising more often
    7) Healing from my disease of the past 5 years (thanks acupuncture)
    8) Stretching and meditating more
    9) Learning and practicing a new domain area
    10) Eating more naturally occurring foods. Eliminating the processed ones

  23. billybob says:

    Oh, and…

    11) Thanking Universe that Messr. Ritholtz offers such amazing blog content at such a reasonable price.