Friday, November 03, 2006

How to get seriously rich

I don’t often do investment advice. It’s too risky – like selling your car to a friend. But I’m making an exception today so you can get rich before Christmas. It’s this: 1. Find what I’m doing, and 2. Do the opposite. A once respected investment journal said I should sell a company now called DSGI, because it had no growth potential. So I sold almost half my holding at 146p. They’re now 218p.
Currency is another of my skills. We’ve decided to break our resolution not to visit the USA until George Dubya has gone – one way or another – and are doing a trip to New York at the end of the month. (Though NYC isn’t really the USA is it?) Smart, say friends – shopping in the USA when the £ buys $1.90. Not really, say I - when I bought mine it only bought $1.40.
More advice next week when I tell you about my adventures in techno-land.

At the end of our road in England is no ordinary Farm Shop: it’s in the Castle grounds and it’s where the Duke of Cornwall (aka. Prince Charles) purveys his produce – and very good it is too, especially the fillet steak. French TV News had a long item last night about the quaint British fad of Farm Shops. Good piece at first – interviewing Brits about why they buy organic foods. (Don’t trust chemicals fertilizers, GM foods etc.).
But the editors, eager to grab the opportunity to plug French beef, decided that it was a story about mad cow disease. It seems Brits are so paranoid about it that they no longer buy home-grown meat, (which is manifestly untrue.)
Why rant, you say? Well, first because BSE wasn’t mentioned in the interviews; secondly, because BSE was a global disease, occurring in France, Germany, USA and Canada – anywhere where cattle were fed dead cattle; and thirdly, for some years after BSE was cleared from the UK, France continued to block Brit beef – and was fined heavily by the EU for restraint of trade (even if they didn’t pay).
So it’s illegal to say that UK cows have BSE – but apparently not to imply it in a national news item. And that’s the last whine of the week: I’ll get to Rainbow Warrior another time.

I have sluggish reading habits, and am only now enjoying, belatedly, Philip Roth. (Hope to start on Jane Austen soon, then the full Brontës.) But Roth describes a self-assured young lawyer whose confidence is signalled by his dress – ‘…crisp white shirt, discreetly monogrammed…’ etc. – and I had to ask myself if a monogrammed shirt is a badge of confidence? It’s a badge all right, but of what? (Similarly with personalized car number plates – especially those with the manufacturer’s name on them. If I see you driving a Jag, do I need the registration plate to tell me so?)
Where do you stand on monogrammed shirts?
(But am still enjoying Roth - I got on to him because he was asked in a Radio 4 interview what he would change if he could go back over his previous work. He said. 'I'd leave out the adverbs'.)


Ed R said...

Great entry, Ted. Takes me from my little desk with the stack of bills to the English cvountryside to the French courts to the European community to New York.
Yep, you're a travel writer alright;)

RW said...

...who travels more than he writes!

Ed R said...

Nice work if you can get it!