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Choosing an offline life.

Good morning. Today is Thursday, and this is still Apex Money. Every weekday, Jim and I gather our favorite stories about money (and more). Here are some recent finds.

How useful is historical data in predicting future returns? [Retirement Researcher] — “If the world is significantly different from the world where we saw a lot of these historical returns, why look at them? To a certain extent, because that’s what we have. There’s really no other way to estimate what future returns will look like. Even the fancy models that they gush over on CNBC (and which are usually wrong) are, at root, based on historical data. But how we use the historical data is incredibly important.” This is one of the key concepts I try to get across when I write/teach about investing: Historical data is the best tool we have — but it’s not a great tool

The dos and don’ts of lending money. [NPR] — “The experts we spoke to agreed on this point: Don’t lend money to people. If you have the funds and want to help out, give it to them as a gift instead. That way, you don’t have to worry about the borrower paying you back or what to do if they don’t.”

Choosing an offline life. [Our Next Life] — “At least for now, I changed my relationship with the internet. I decided that the relationship I want in this season of life isn’t two-way. I’m not yearning for page views and likes and proof of engagement, as I often have in the past, rewards the internet sends my way because I’ve put enough of myself out there to earn those things. I want a relationship that’s only one-way. The internet gives me information when I want it, and I give nothing in return.”

I very much love that last piece, although I realize there aren’t a whole lot of takeaways for most people. You see, Tanja and I have been on sort of parallel paths in recent years. In fact, one of the highlights of each year is the hour or so that I get to chat with her at Fincon. We share thoughts on art and art supplies, talk about the classes we’re taking, and generally nerd out. I feel like we would have been good friends had we met in high school or college.

Anyhow, we’ve both been gradually disengaging from the internet, and it’s helped us rediscover ourselves and come more alive. That’s a good thing. (Also, you should check out Tanja’s art. She does good work!)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve discovered the world of stand-up comedy albums on Apple Music. And I’ve re-discovered how funny Bill Cosby was back in the day. Here, for instance, is Cosby’s ten-minute bit about cooking breakfast for his kids, which I still find hilarious.

When I was in high school, my friends and I — wholesome goody-goodies all — would sit around and listen to Bill Cosby records and laugh and laugh and laugh. Didn’t matter that we’d heard all of the sketches dozens of times before. In fact, knowing what was coming often just made it all funnier.