Hello and welcome back to Mortgage Advisor on FIRE. This week; wealth generation and how important it is to have wealth building in the background. Also, thoughts on Gary Lineker, MH370, Star Trek, and an important couple of questions for our time; who is your favourite alien and who is your favourite robot. Oh, and Nadine Dorries embarrassing herself again.
I’ve posted many times recently about how customer service seems to be getting worse. I had another example of that this week, but don’t worry, I won’t cover the same ground again. Suffice it to say, I spent almost three hours on the phone trying to sort something that should have only taken an hour at the absolute most, and then I had to spend another hour writing an email detailing all the failings on that call to the company. My day off in the week was pretty much taken up by this, and it’s not like you can just instantly switch off the stress caused.
I don’t generally mind Gary Lineker, but I understand why some don’t like him. Anyone who has strong opinions is always going to divide public opinion. Gary recently tweeted his thoughts about the Tory government’s policy on immigration, asylum seekers, and the small boats crisis. This has put his job as presenter of the football show Match of the Day in doubt, as the BBC has guidelines stating its presenters and journalists have to be politically impartial. Once again, I understand the need for this impartiality. If our media is not politically neutral, then we don’t have free media, we have instruments of propaganda. However, is our BBC really impartial?
Several people have used examples such as Andrew Neal, and Fiona Bruce, shows such as Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You, to demonstrate that the BBC is far from impartial. They have a point.
I agree with much of what Lineker has said about this government’s policy. I also believe that the BBC should be impartial. So where does that leave Lineker?
Well, almost every single employer will have a rule, guideline, or contractual clause stating that employees are representatives of the employer and must act in such a way that does not damage their reputation or “brand”. Whether you act in such a way whilst “on the clock” or not is mostly irrelevant. This is why people can, and do, lose their jobs for behaving inappropriately in their free time. It’s not about free speech, no matter how much people try to frame it as such. Free speech does not mean you get to say what you want with impunity. If this was the case, then hate speech would not be a crime. Ultimately, Lineker took on the job with the BBC with his eyes open. The BBC’s guidelines around impartiality are well established, if not always fairly applied.
So, where does it actually leave Lineker?
I suspect this will end up with him leaving the BBC by “mutual consent”. The fact that, after the announcement was made he would be stepping down from presenting Match of the Day, many other pundits, presenters, and commentators also stood down in solidarity meaning the BBC had to pull a lot of its weekend sporting content probably means the working relationship between Lineker and the BBC is untenable. I can’t see how the BBC can back down and maintain any credibility. If they back down now, then what happens when another presenter or journalist tweets something that is seen as politically biased? The BBC has handled this poorly and I don’t think they can do anything other than double down on their current stance. That means, from the BBC’s perspective Lineker has to go.
The thing is, assuming Lineker is let go he would be a star signing for any other sports network, whether that’s Sky, BT, or someone else. With the perception being that the BBC forced him out, who would want to step into the limelight and present Match of the Day? This could result in a drastic reworking of BBC’s football coverage. Whatever your opinion on this, you have to agree it’s fascinating watching it unravel.
Nadine Dorries… It’s been a while…
It’s been a fair few weeks since I ripped the Tory party a new one. However, I couldn’t let this one slide. Look at her tweet from March 10th.
Now let’s look at some of the comments…
It’s almost like she can’t stop embarrassing herself.
In other news, just in case you missed it, it snowed.
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What Am I Doing?
TV: MH370 (Netflix), Picard (Amazon Prime).
Audiobook: The Secret Life of Groceries by Benjamin Lorr.
We watched the Netflix documentary on the disappearance of MH370 in one go. It was interesting and led to a lot of debate amongst my friends. No one could agree on what they felt the most likely outcome was. My suspicion is that the plane was mistakenly shot down during military exercises in the area. My theory is that the plane was damaged by this accidental attack, turned back in the direction of Malaysia and due to damaged instruments got lost and crashed in the Indian Ocean. The obvious issue with this theory is that there’s no evidence to support it, and something this major would be difficult to keep secret, considering that hundreds of military personel would be witnesses to such an event.
Picard was much better this week, and this was mostly due to one scene in which Captain Shaw tells the story of how he first met Admiral Picard. It turns out Shaw was present at The Battle of Wolf 359, as a young officer onboard the USS Constance. The ship suffered critical damage and the crew attempted to abandon ship, but there was only room on the lifepod for ten crew, and fifty were still alive. Shaw only escaped because he was chosen at random, and it’s clear from his actions in the show that he’s still struggling with PTSD from this battle. This scene was incredibly powerful, and although Shaw was being hostile to Picard, you could empathise with him. I wonder how powerful new Trek fans found this scene, because it relied on people having a deep knowledge of Trek history. The Battle of Wolf 359 was the defining moment of modern Star Trek. Were it not for this battle, we wouldn’t have Sisko in charge of Deep Space Nine, nor would we have the Defiant-class ships. In universe, Wolf 359 shook the Federation out of the complacency of its ‘golden years’ of peace and prosperity. It led to the creation of a new, advanced fleet of ships which would later prove vital in the Dominion War. Star Trek has seventy years of history to draw upon, and I love these call backs to earlier stories.
Robots and Aliens
When I was getting a haircut recently, the staff were talking about sci-fi, specifically their favourite robot and favourite alien from TV, film, books, comics etc. Oana and I got talking about this as we tried to work out our favourites. For me, the robot one is easy. It’s got to be Optimus Prime. I know what some of you are thinking, ‘Prime is an alien robot!” Yes, technically all transformers are aliens and robots, but as the tagline from the cartoon goes, “robots in disguise”. I rest my case.
My favourite alien is probably Rocky from Project Hail Mary. I had completely forgotten about Rocky until my I asked my Dad the question and he suggested Rocky. It was a great suggestion. Oana feels that Rom, the brother of Quark, from Deep Space Nine is her favourite:
Oana’s favourite robot was Bumblebee from the Transformers franchise.
Some other suggestions from friends include Q, also from Star Trek, and the Quagaars from Red Dwarf (this last one was a nice blast from the past).
Premium Bonds: £38,000.00 (no change).
Stocks and Shares ISA: £67,023.41 (-£2,072.23).
Fuck It Fund: £100.00 (no change).
Pensions: £59,006.58 (+£360.07).
Residential Property Value: £228,006.00 (no change).
BTL Property Value: £147,133.00 (no change).
Total Assets: £539,268.99 (-£1,712.16).
Credit Card: £0.00 (no change).
Loans: £9,700.00 (-£100.00).
Residential Mortgage: £178,674.86 (no change).
BTL Mortgage: £105,001.75 (no change).
Total Debts: £293,376.61 (-£100.00).
Total Wealth: £245,892.38 (-£1,612.16).
Investment Income in 2023: £458.81 (target £8,500).
Income Generating Assets and Wealth
I was chatting with a friend, who is also following a FIRE plan, about how our wealth is being built in the background even when we are not thinking about it. This led to us both looking at how much our overall wealth is increasing monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, down to the minute. Yes, we are obsessed.
As we discussed our figures, it highlighted the differences in how we assess our respective total wealth. I pointed out that our calculations did not describe how much wealth is being created by our assets, as some of the “growth” in our wealth comes from regular investments we make. For example from Week 138 to Week 139 my ISA jumped in value from £40,671.19 to £59,888.69, but this was mostly due to an investment of £18,775 I made in June 2022. So, how do I work out how much pure growth my ISA has experienced? The simple solution seems to be to look at the starting value and end value of a period of time, and work out the difference minus contributions I’ve made to the ISA.
The 2022/2023 financial year is almost at an end. The first post I made in this current financial year was Part 128. At that time my ISA was valued at £42,188.83. The current value is £67,023.41; so the difference between those two figures is £24,834.58. If I subtract my £20,000 investment in the current tax year, I’m left with £4,834.58 growth. Assuming that growth is averaged out over a 49 week period (there’s roughly three weeks of the financial year left), the figures for growth look like this:
Per Month: £439.50
Per Week: £98.66
Per Day: £14.09
Per Hour: £0.59
Per Minute: £0.01
Now, this is just my ISA when viewed through a specific set of criteria. When I looked at the whole picture, from Week 70, the numbers look very different. Why Week 70? That’s when I settled on a standard method of calculating my total wealth. In that time my total wealth increased from £106,756.04 to £247,504.54. The growth looks like this:
Per Week: £1,340
Per Day: £191
Per Hour: £7.97
Per Minute: £0.13
Is there a point to all this working out? Not really. It’s just fun, for some of us at least, to look at the numbers from time to time.
That’s all for this week, so thanks for reading.
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One thought on “Part 176”
You’ve hit the nail on the head about the Lineker thing – it wasn’t about free speech, it was the link to the employer – even for someone not famous like me, someone could easily find out who I work for via LinkedIn and then for my company to be dragged into it and linked to what I said. The BBC shouldn’t have backed down and this sets a precedent for future similar ‘non-impartial’ tweets/comments by its presenters.