8 Fascinating Reads

By Markets Fool.com

Happy Friday! Here are eight great things I read this week.

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Disconnect
Millions of people who use Facebook don't think they use the Internet:

Indonesians surveyed byGalpaya told her thatthey didn't use the Internet. But in focus groups, they would talk enthusiastically about how much time theyspent on Facebook. Galpaya, a researcher (and now CEO) withLIRNEasia, a think tank, called Rohan Samarajiva, her boss at the time, to tell him what she had discovered. "It seemed that in their minds, the Internet did not exist; only Facebook,"he concluded.

The problem
Here's a great summary of healthcare costs in America by Steven Brill:

Priorities
Most big drug companies spend more on advertising than they do on research and development:

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Odds of success
Ben Carlson writes about one way to beat the market: concentrated portfolios:

Portfolio manager and author Robert Hagstrom performed a study that looked at 12,000 randomly generated portfolios from a universe of 1,200 stocks. He broke the portfolio up by the number of holdings so they looked as follows:

  • 3,000 portfolios containing 250 stocks.
  • 3,000 portfolios containing 100 stocks.
  • 3,000 portfolios containing 50 stocks.
  • 3,000 portfolios containing 15 stocks.

... Now take a look at the outperformance rates by portfolio size:

  • Out of 3,000 250-stock portfolios, 63 beat the market (2% of portfolios).
  • Out of 3,000 100-stock portfolios, 337 beat the market (11% of portfolios).
  • Out of 3,000 50-stock portfolios, 549 beat the market (18% of portfolios).
  • Out of 3,000 15-stock portfolios, 808 beat the market (27% of portfolios).

Personal life
More companies are moving from casual Fridays to no-work Fridays:

That's exactly how founder and chief executive Ryan Carson, 37, has been working since 2005. These days, on Fridays, he gets his two young sons off to school and spends the day hanging out with his wife, Gill. "It's like dating again. We go to coffee shops. We read books together. I really feel like I'm involved in my kids' lives and my wife's life," Carson said. "This schedule has been absolutely life-changing for me. I can't imagine anything more valuable."

Just the facts
Josh Brown writes a great list of facts in America. Here are a few:

The US economy has now added more than a million net new jobs over the last three months. This was the best 90 days' worth of hiring since 1997.

More jobs were created in 2014 than during any year since 1999.

759,000 people just joined the labor force and there was no post-holiday seasonal decline it may be that temporary workers are sticking.

Average hourly wages rose .5% in January.

The cost of livinghas only risen .8% over the last year while wage growth has outstripped it, rising by 2.2%.

21 of 50 states put through minimum wage hikes, including populous ones like NY, FL and NJ.

Doing it right
Ronald Read left a surprise for those who knew him:

His khaki denim jacket was held together with a safety pin and his flannel shirt was so old, someone once paid for his breakfast at Friendly's.

"The man ahead of him had paid for him," Rowell said, "Based on what he looked like and how he dressed."

Perhaps that's why the man known for his extreme frugality and scruffy appearance decided in the years before his death that he'd do a little giving of his own.

"The estate of Robert Read made its first distributions to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and the Brooks Library in the amounts of $4.8 million and $1.2 million," Read's attorney said in a press release.

Wisdom
Here's a great take on loss aversion from Andre Agassi, tweeted by Ben Carlson:

Have a good weekend.

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The article 8 Fascinating Reads originally appeared on Fool.com.

Morgan Housel has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.