1. From The Economist: “The S&P 500 Index has now outperformed its hedge-fund rival for ten straight years, with the exception of 2008 when both fell sharply. A simple-minded investment portfolio—60% of it in shares and the rest in sovereign bonds—has delivered returns of more than 90% over the past decade, compared with a meager 17% after fees for hedge funds (see chart). As a group, the supposed sorcerers of the financial world have returned less than inflation. Gallingly, the profits passed on to their investors are almost certainly lower than the fees creamed off by the managers themselves.”
Note: The expense ratio on a Vanguard S&P500 Index ETF is only 0.05%, which is 1/20th of 1 percent, or just $50 per $100,000 of investment funds, or basically almost free. So you can invest for almost free using index funds and ETFs, or pay hedge fund managers large fees to earn much lower returns.
2. Tyler Cowen sits down for lunch with the Financial Times and explains his sure-fire way of hunting down cheap, tasty food.
3. Going Galt: New tax increases in California stir debate about the exodus of high-earners from the cash-strapped state.
4. From the Institute for Justice: Court Gives a Christmas Victory to Atlanta Street Vendors as Court Strikes Down Government-Granted Vending Monopoly.
5. Empirical evidence suggests a sure fire way to dramatically lower gun homicides: repeal drug laws.
6. Memphis Officer, Dallas Man Killed in Separate Drug War Incidents, Becoming #63 and #64 Drug Enforcement Deaths in 2012.
7. Thanks to the shale revolution, North Dakota is America’s Fastest-Growing State, with 2.2% population growth since 2011, nearly three times the 0.75% growth for the U.S.