Something for the weekend

Posted by Robin Powell on September 18, 2015




It was meant to symbolise the renaissance of Birmingham, but less than two years after it opened, our iconic new library is in dire financial straits.

Basically, the City Council is skint. As a result of cutbacks which saw 100 staff made redundant, the library is only open 40 hours a week. It recently announced it would buy no more books and would rely on the public to donate them instead.

What makes this situation all the more galling is that, year after year, the council is shelling out tens of millions of pounds to wealth fund houses in the City of London as its contribution to the running of the Local Government Pension Scheme.

Last year, an independent report, commissioned by the Government, highlighted how active management of the LGPS is providing the taxpayer with spectacularly poor value for money and recommended the use of far cheaper, passively managed funds instead. True to form, the powerful active fund lobby is campaigning to keep things exactly as they are; and, worryingly, it’s a similar story all around the world.


You can read my take on it here:

Is Pension-gate the next big scandal to rock the financial services industry?


What you may have missed..

Investors shouldn’t need to crack the Enigma Code to work out what they’re paying

It’s time to explode the City of London myth

If only journalists quizzed fund managers like they do politicians

Why women handle market corrections better than men


You might also like..

Do I really need to be the market? (Ben Carlson)

Does it matter how and when you rebalance? (James Picerno)

Another reason to avoid hedge funds — they don’t even hedge (Larry Swedroe)

The last 60 years: constant mayhem amid long-term prosperity (The Motley Fool)

Donald Trump vs the Vanguard 500 Index. No contest (Kent Thune)

Why are we still waiting for a crackdown on white-collar crime? (Barry Ritholtz)

Half of pension savers don’t even know they’re paying fees at all (Professional Pensions)

Podcast: Barry Ritholtz talks to Jason Zweig (The Big Picture)  

What’s the point of advice if it doesn’t benefit the recipient? (Charley Ellis)

Essentialism: What it is and what a growing financial advice firm can learn from it (Michael Kitces)



I’m putting together a schedule for two foreign trips I’ll be making over the next few weeks — the first to New York and California, the second to Amsterdam. I’m always keen to meet fellow advocates of evidence-based investing, so why not get in touch?


(Featured image: The Library of Birmingham by benoneill, CC BY-SA 2.0)


Robin Powell

Robin is a journalist and campaigner for positive change in global investing. He runs Regis Media, a niche provider of content marketing for financial advice firms with an evidence-based investment philosophy. He also works as a consultant to other disruptive firms in the investing sector.


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