Happy new year, <<First Name>>.

How are you this morning?

Sore head?

Have you made any resolutions?

More of the same, or have you cleared the decks for some monumental achievement?

Is more of the same necessarily a bad thing? Are monumental achievements a tad over-rated?

What's 2021 going to bring for you?

My view? 2021 will be (overall) the best year yet.

I think we're under-estimating the effect all these restrictions are having on us.

It's like we're on some permanent Calvinist pleasure-suppression kick without the small treats that leaven the sacrifice.

Yes, this new strain's a nightmare (r rate in England up between 0.4 and 0.7 according to research published today), yes, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better, yes, for all you fellow parents the first three months of this year 'tis going to be the season of home-schooling.

But, after things deteriorate they will inevitably improve and the "roaring twenties" narrative that seems to have permeated normal society now will, I believe, become reality.

The middle-classes have never been richer, world stock markets are up 10%-plus this year (so even the privileged's big money has grown) and all this wealth will need an outlet once there is something worthwhile (aside from gazebos and fire pits) to spend it on.

In the latter half of 2021 and onwards we'll be eating out, travelling, partying, gigging like we've never done before. Mountaineering, too:O), how I'm missing getting into the mountains.

People we know and love will suffer and in some cases die, life will be tough for a few months, but in the medium- to long-term, having endured all that unavoidable sacrifice, experiencing all the wonders of life and the world will taste that much sweeter.

Right, here starteth this week's, this New Year's Day, links. 


Dave @zudepr
#1 Vaccine Roundup, Late December...

Best piece I've read on where we're at with each vaccine.

#2 How to Maximise Your ISAs and SIPPs to Reach Financial Independence...

Prize for most useful UK FIRE post of 2020 goes to Monevator.

Also in FIRE land:

A warning to UK investors.

China's economy to overtake that of US by 2028, trend accelerated by covid.

The roaring twenties.

Compounding by Damian at BOF.

The Prof makes his 2021 predictions (useful on so many levels, but included in this section in case you're an investor, passive or otherwise).

#3 The Best Non-Fiction Books of 2020...

For me, 2020 was the year of reading, including 40-ish books and an even wider variety of blog posts, podcasts and videos.

Marginal Revolution is by a country mile the mailing list I've gleaned the most interesting information from in 2020.

While I'm at it, this newsletter looks good, too. I signed up yesterday.

Also, in the land of writing/media/PR.

Very good.

Loads of good reading here for anyone interested in media old and new.

#4 The Greatest Privilege We Never Talk About: Beauty...

So true.

To finish off with, an excellent eight bonus posts this week.

On salt.

The ten people who shaped science in 2020.

Radio Four's audio trip around the world.

How to watch films together online.

On ambition.

Stress with Sivers.

On cinemas.

Sheet-pan sausages and brussels sprouts recipe. Ooow, looks lovely.

Right, that's all folks. I'm off to cook a family ham with cider sauce (and obligatory veggie alternative).

Have a cracking 2021.

And most of all, enjoy yourself (you only get one life and "it's later than you think").

Tootle pip.

Dave @zudepr
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