INSIDER

Reading and loved ones the perfect holiday recipe

As much as reading and writing about pension and investment management is exhilarating, I’m super excited about a holiday reading list I’ve cultivated, and the new-found perspective it will give me to fulfil my role and responsibility as an industry observer.

Today I have been reading a paper, Addressing Media Misconceptions about Public-Sector Pensions and Bankruptcy. It combines a couple of my favourite topics (in some instances favourite because I genuinely like them, in some instances because, for whatever reason, my destiny has meant I know a lot about them) – media, of course, and misconceptions about pensions.

The media gets a lot of flak, and often rightly so. But just like any industry, generalising about “the media” is fraught. So in defence of this media, it’s worth noting that the publisher of www.top1000funds.com, Conexus Financial, takes very seriously the power the media has to influence and inform – and the responsibility this brings with it.

www.top1000funds.com strives to be a journal of record, of truth, to provide insight and perspective, access and accuracy.

Along the path to being a good writer is a lot of reading. Most of what I like to read is about good writing. So far, this is what my holiday reading list looks like:

 

Because it will ease me out of reading for work into reading for pleasure:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/johncassidy/2011/10/what-would-keynes-say-now.html

 

Because it reminds me what it takes to be a good writer:

http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/10/conrad-black-201110

 

Because it’s topical and I want as many different views as possible:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/10/5-reasons-why-occupy-wall-street-wont-work/246041/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeff-jarvis/occupywallstreet-the-fail_b_991928.html

 

Because it’s history in the making:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,789624,00.html

 

Because it’s funny:

http://www.theonion.com/section/politics/

And if I get through that list, I’ve got two novels I’ve been meaning to tackle, which make a disconcerting coupling: Martin Amis’ Money, and Civilization and its Discontents, by Sigmund Freud.

So officially I’m on holidays this week. The idea was to spend time with my kids, do some reading, and gain some perspective and energy to kick into the end of the year with gusto. I haven’t stopped working and it’s mid-week. While that is not ideal, just the idea of being on holiday has already given me a new perspective.

It’s this: There must be something wrong with the way we live if I can’t stop working for one week! Being too busy is not going to be my excuse for neglecting other priorities.

With the acknowledgement that the media has power to influence and inform, I impart this knowledge: Leave work early today and go and spend some time with the people you love. I’m off to the beach…