Holiday book time is here, think about: What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe of xkcd fame.


On the damage done by the cult of shareholder value.  (James Montier, Value Walk)

Hiring good managers is difficult. Holding onto them is even harder.  (Research Affiliates)

What does a robust asset allocation regime look like?  (Alpha Architect)

Some ‘schoolboy errors‘ that young investors should avoid.  (The Telegraph)


A big profile of how Bill Gross exited Pimco.  (Bloomberg)

A dozen things learned from Bill Ackman.  (25iq)

Personal finance

Why early retirement often backfires.  (WSJ)

Free investing is the new free checking.  (Enterprising Investor)

Fee compression is putting pressure on wealth managers to find new models.  (Institutional Investor)

Financial advisors seem to take a “one size fits all” approach to portfolio construction.  (SSRN)


The case for Uber is a big one: global.  (Felix Salmon)

How Uber and Airbnb differ.  (HBR)

Authors are looking for insights from Google’s ($GOOG) success as they used to in GM’s ($GM).  (New Yorker)


Why mean people don’t succeed at startups.  (Paul Graham)

Institutional investors are flocking back to venture capital.  (Institutional Investor)


Google’s plan to provide Internet service by high altitude balloons is actually working.  (Slate)

You may be soon paying in advance for your restaurant meals.  (Backchannel)

The brain

The most miserable times of the year according to Google Trends.  (Wonkblog)

Fear and attraction are surprisingly similar in our brains.  (Aeon)

Hypersensitivity to certain sounds, or misophonia, may be a real thing.  (Washington Post)


Fecal transplants are becoming a front line treatment for a variety of ills.  (New Yorker)

Peanut allergies may soon be treated by a patch.  (Bloomberg)


Walking is good, running is better.  (Well)

The upside of stretching.  (WSJ)


Starbucks ($SBUX) wants to recapture the high end again.  (NYTimes)

McDonald’s ($MCD) menu has gotten hopelessly complicated.  (WSJ)

The future of fish is farmed fish.  (Slate)


Pro athletes are moving back to their hometowns.  (WSJ)

Tennis is trying to jazz things up with new formats and tournaments.  (The Atlantic)

Now football is implicated in brain changes at the high school level.  (Bloomberg)

Inside the secret world of bass fishing cheaters.  (Grantland)


Edgar Wright’s top ten movies of 2014 including the Lego Movie.  (Esquire)

Why jokes-per-minute vary across sitcoms.  (The Atlantic)

Nearly everyone on screen is digitally retouched. (Mashable via @mediaredef)

What does “making it” look for indie bands?  (The Atlantic)

How to save the American sitcom.  (Vulture)

Earlier on Abnormal Returns

Podcast Friday: Apple’s multi-billion dollar mistake.  (Abnormal Returns)

What you might have missed in our Friday linkfest.  (Abnormal Returns)

Mixed media

The problem with guilds.  (Justin Fox)

The “utterly complex backstory” of the Slinky.  (Priceonomics Blog)

Church construction is at a multi-decade low.  (WSJ)

Where the weather is most unpredictable in the US.  (FiveThirtyEight)

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