Due to my ongoing concern about where to find an investment safe haven, last week I reallocated funds from the heating bill account to buy the FT Weekend for some informed insight into current financial affairs. The first insight I gained was that the paper costs £2.80 which immediately reduces my own need for an investment vehicle, although this cost can be offset against the heating bill deficit by rolling the paper up and throwing it in the fire.
It’s taken me a week to plough through all the various sections of the paper and have read articles regarding macro economics, opinions on how world stock markets are performing and which mortgages and savings accounts are the best deal in town. After digesting all this informed reporting, my personal insight is that the experts think it’s anybody’s guess how things are going to turn out. However, although I only understand a small proportion of what the experts say, I’ve learned an enormous amount about how they say it. Jargon is everything. So another key insight is never to call a spade a spade as the downside risk is too great.
Moving on through the paper’s sections I was heartened to see that, despite the editorial theme that the world is going to hell in a handcart (the markets remain turbulent), there were still plenty of adverts for exclusivity. Invitation only Art Fairs, handmade suits, shoes, ties and cufflinks as well as watches that are made, for example, with “Pink gold case, Self-winding mechanical movement, indication of world time with day/night indicator, displaying 37 time zones.” Frankly, I was so drawn in by the promise of a handmade diary where “Every detail has been carefully considered from the font, rotating pencil with eraser (very important) to the two-way design” that I almost cut up my Tesco Clubcard.
It’s good to see that the necessities of life for the high-fliers in the City are still there to be had. Reward for a Good Job Well Done.
The ‘Life and Arts’ section of the paper ends with the ‘Last Word’ which I presume is a reference to where you find the last word in pretentiousness. An article about what to expect from a summer holiday has the writer reminiscing “After finishing my Masters exams at the LSE in 2002 I set off for a remote place in Southern Spain that had never failed to minister psychic solace”. I can remember seeking psychic solace after getting my 25 yard swimming badge but, as I recall, we summered that year in Wandsworth.
On the same page is an article by the Editor-in-Chief no less of ‘Monocle’ magazine, Tyler Brûlé. I was unaware that monocles are still de rigueur, presumably you have to be a BANKER! to wear one these days, but having read his article I imagine there is a queue of financial experts elbowing each other for a copy of his magazine each month. Tyle relates an anecdote about his mother wasting a worthwhile human being’s time in Waitrose but is also good enough to share an insight into the trials he goes through at breakfast.
It turns out that detail is everything where breakfast is concerned for the Brûlé clan and is greatly affected (in more ways than one) by where he is. I quote “Last weekend in St Moritz breakfast involved cappucinos served in cosy yellow Dibbern mugs … When we’re in Sweden it’s cappucinos in white Ittalia mugs and egg, chive and Kalles kaviar … With a bit of luck all this is consumed on the jetty in the morning sun followed by a dip in the Baltic”.
There are a number of finer points that are just outside my reach at the moment not least the sheer preciousness of cosy yellow but I will certainly try. I will view the yolk of my eggy breakfast with rapture as I dip my soldiers, and while I drink my Nespresso coffee from a Sainsbury’s mug with ‘Cat’ written on it I shall savour how the morning sun glints off the shopping trolleys and old prams bobbing playfully in the River Wandle.
And who says my £2.80 wasn’t worth the investment?