Being in lockdown does not mean being starved of information. In fact, it is the opposite. With an avalanche of investment news across media, it is important not to get overwhelmed and to be selective.
Sift through the webinars and conferences in your inbox and allocate a limited time to them each day. I favour crisis-hardened experts and getting top-down house views as opposed to spending too much time listening to fund managers drilling down on their fund holdings at this stage (that will come later).
Jim Leaviss, M&G’s head of public fixed income, provides a bite-size daily podcast called Uncle Jim’s World of Bonds, with pretty much all you need to know about bond markets in five minutes.
To avoid the constant investment noise, I have been delving through Ted Talks and podcasts.
At the moment it feels that training your brain to make better decisions is more valuable than looking at economic data.
In stressful times people make irrational decisions – be it panic-selling shares at the worst time or panic-buying loo roll.
An excellent podcast that explains why we make such decisions and how to train your brain to reduce stress and minimise this is Feel Better, Live More by Dr Rangan Chatterjee – specifically episode 103: Coronavirus Special: How To Manage Anxiety In The Face OfA Global Pandemic with DrJudson Brewer.
Mr Brewer also gives a good Ted Talk called A Simple Way to Break a Bad Habit – just in case anyone has any bad habits they want to try and banish during lockdown.
Bill Gates’ Ted Talks make you wonder how much better off the world would be with someone with his insight at the helm in the US.
His 2015 Ted Talk The Next Outbreak – We’re Not Ready provided a chilling warning, predicting how ill-prepared the world is for a pandemic, and how better prepared we could (and should) have been for Covid-19.
Hopefully, leaders will listen to his recent Ted Talk – How We Must Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic – which offers a pragmatic view of the way forward.
On a lighter note. One of the best speakers I have seen recently is Paul Redmond and his Ted Talk Zombie Careers: Will You Lose Your Job To AI?
It gives an amusing insight into the top 10 jobs under threat to robots (not so amusing if you are an analyst, as you are number seven).
And if, like me, you are getting withdrawal symptoms from the absence of sport (not to mention anxiety on how it will affect West Brom’s promotion chances) then you may want to catch-up on the Tailenders podcast (cricket) and That Peter Crouch Podcast (football) for a bit of light relief.
Gavin Haynes is the co-founder of Fairview Investing