What is Fifteen on Friday?

Fifteen on Friday (Fof) is a weekly newsletter that is delivered every Friday afternoon directly to your inbox.  The goal is to curate a thoughtful list of the most interesting pieces of the week, across a wide range of subjects from arts, culture, economics, science, technology and occasionally fashion.

The Week’s Best Reads – 10/13/17

This week’s highlights: The New Midlife Crisis, Are Whole Food’s Prices Actually Lower, and Cybersecurity.

Fifteen on Friday – 10/13/17 – Issue 257

Food for Thought:

  1. Oprah – The New Midlife Crisis – Why (and How) It’s Hitting Gen X Women – “I called my best friend, a reporter a few years older than me who grew up in the Midwest. “Hey,” I said, happy to have caught her on a break from her job, “do you know anyone having a midlife crisis I could talk to?”  The phone was silent for a second. Finally, she said, “I’m trying to think of any woman I know who’s not.”
  2. New Yorker – Is Health Care a Right?  It’s a question that divides Americans, including those from my home town. But it’s possible to find common ground.
  3. Politech – Here’s What Would Happen If Donald Trump Nuked North Korea – Credit SF – In 1945, America won the war with nukes. Today, it could end the world as we know it.
  4. ESPNFC – U.S. out of excuses after defeat in Trinidad leaves it out of World Cup
  5. Racked – We All Have a Retail Flinch Point It’s the moment when a purchase turns painful, and it varies more widely than you might expect.


  1. SS – State Street October Chart PackA well constructed, graphical look at the market today.
  2. Bloomberg – How UBS Became Home to Half the World’s Billionaires
  3. EMR – What’s Changed a Month After Amazon’s Whole Foods Buy.  Widely anticipated price changes haven’t materialized yet.
  4. RetailDive – Supply chain might be the biggest retail disruptor
  5. NYT – Yale Endowment, Often a Pacesetter, Is a Laggard This Time


  1. NS – Half the universe’s missing matter has just been finally found
  2. TS – The value of raising the threshold of crappiness – Credit Farnam Street – To operate successfully as a coffee shop, say, you have to be at least as good as a chain or else you fail
  3. TheAtlantic – The Barriers Stopping Poor People From Moving to Better Jobs Highly educated people still relocate for work, but exorbitant housing costs in the best-paying cities make it difficult for anyone else to do so.
  4. NYT – Making the Lives of Cybercriminals and Spies Harder Online
  5. BoF – The 10 Commandments of New Consumerism Consumers are reassessing their priorities and increasingly questioning what they truly value, but what does the change mean for fashion companies?

The Week’s Best Reads – 10/06/17

This week’s highlights: Essential Oils, CEO Pay, and the Future of Agriculture.


Fifteen on Friday – 10/06/17 – Issue 256

Happy Friday and Fall Break to many!  We published our Q3’17 market commentary this week entitled “The Beat Goes On“.  If you want a quick, four page take on what is going in the financial markets currently, I would encourage you to take a look.

Food for Thought:

  1. TC – 12 Questions That Will Change Your Life
  2. NewYorker – How Essential Oils Became the Cure for Our Age of Anxiety.  Aromatic oils have become big business. But are they medicine or marketing?
  3. Wired – No Inflation?  Technology May Have Left It Back in the 20th Century – Credit SF
  4. Eater – As Goes the Middle Class, So Goes TGI Fridays – Credit JG – The End of Flair – What one typical American town reveals about the fate of the great suburban chain restaurant.
  5. Marketwatch – Why young kids should spend all day in nature instead of being cooped up inside a classroom.  What if there were a better way to do early childhood education?  Meet the Forest Kindergarten.


  1. LightfieldCap – “What am I really paying for?”A thoughtful consideration of the risks that any fixed income investor incurs when they buy a Treasury.
  2. WSJ – Companies That Perform Best Don’t Pay CEOs the Most Best-paid chiefs among the worst performers averaged $10 million a year more than their peers, study finds.  An interesting companion piece would be this – NYT – When the Rich Said No to Getting Richer
  3. Economist – American entrepreneurship is flourishing, if you know where to look The high-growth kind has rebounded sharply from lows after the Great Recession.
  4. II – Skilled Managers “Should and Actually Do” Hold Fewer Stocks.  The better the investor, the more concentrated the fund manager’s portfolio was likely to be, according to a new research paper.
  5. ZH – It Has Never Been Cheaper To Hedge A Market Crash Using This One TradeA look at global asset class volatility premia.


  1. NatGeo – This Tiny Country Feeds the World.  The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.
  2. Economist – Tiny robots will inspect and fix jet engines from the inside
  3. 60min – Will Christian Pulisic be the next big name in soccer? – Credit CT – The 19-year-old from Pennsylvania is already a millionaire pro-soccer player in Germany, but his U.S. coach says he could be the sport’s “first American superstar”
  4. FastCo – Even This Data Guru Is Creeped Out By What Anonymous Location Data Reveals About Us Using code and the web, a data scientist follows two unnamed people and learns just how much our anonymous location data can say about who we are.
  5. Adweek – The Story Behind Big League Chew, the Shredded Gum That Benched Tobacco in a Minor League Dugout Major childhood flashback here.
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