This is a subject I know so much about that I don't want to bore you!
Just a couple of questions are perturbing me right now....Is this stuff worth anything nowadays, even the paper it's printed on?
..that it's old I know, but that isn't the question! ..Only twice in my life has the thing interested me, although I know there are millions of you out there that spend all your waken hours thinking only about it, normally the lack of it!
I recall the first time it concerned me....in the early 60's, when as a British Soldier I had my first dealings with the cheats who are all around us all, trying to prise the last few bits we DO still have in our pockets, or elsewhere..
The Army called it a "POSBY" Account, amd suggested to all, in particular young soldiers, that they opened one. It stood for "Post Office Savings Account", and was my first encounter with high finance!
Soldiers who had signed up had a pre-determined amount taken from their wages every month and placed in this little book, which at the time gave the princely return of 3.5% interest (before tax) every year.....
The only problem was that we were all given the same exchange rate (since we were serving in Western Germany our "wages" were actually calculated in D-Marks). When I started, the exchange rate was around 1 pound sterling cost around 14 D-Marks....!
After a couple of years, I decided that I required a little more money to spend in the highly attractive night life of West Berlin, so I withdrew some of my savings.
I was strangely surprised to find out that I was paid at the then current exchange rate of not quite 10 D-marks....a little loss of some 4 D-marks for every pound sterling!
At the time, being only a simple Trooper in the Cavalry, "our's not to wonder why....our's but to do and die".......Having figured out that I - and hundreds of others like me - were being "diddled", I took every last damned penny out, took my losses like a man and had the biggest and best spree of my life in the city on the "Spree"....(that's a river in Berlin, for those who don't know)....!
And....I did well to do just that!
Around 6 months later, the poor guys who had stayed with the caring, loving British Institution were getting just over 6 D-Marks for every pound sterling.....If they had put it onto a German Post Office Savings Account, they would have got 8.5% per annum....no taxes... and it would have been worth over twice the amount....!
What surprised me was the fact that nobody said anything! Absolutely nobody!
Certainly not the British Government - these guys .......didn't even know we existed, and the British Public in general didn't give a proverbial............!
I did - and I was out....the German Economy, particularly in West Berlin, got a tremendous boost, from Trooper Mitchell......!
My second brushing with high finance came much later with the purchase of an appartment in London at the then reasonable and sensible price (still enormous in comparison to the salaries) of 3,500 pounds sterling. The mortgage was only for 30 years.....and the lease for 99....which would have made us around 120 years old when it ran out!
Civil Servants, even in London, didn't earn a fortune at the time, but we could live relatively comfortably.
When the British Government decided we would be more use in Germany, we tried to rent out our little apartment, but after 2 periods of 6 months each, unpaid rents, and having to meet the costs of travelling back to change tenants, we decided this was no good - SELL...SELL....SELL!
So we did.......
My expert dealings actually made it possible to sell the thing for 4,500 pounds sterling, a profit of 1,000 (more than a year's wages at the time). OK....after taxes, charges, solicitors blah...blah...blah... we actually came out with less than 500 pounds sterling, but at least a profit! ...Imagine my surprise to find out that just 6 months after the sale for 4,500 the 2 bedroomed flat was being offered at 14,500....! Incidentally, to get the photo above, I researched "Google", and .....imagine....our little flat 2 bedroomed - same place, just 40 years or so later is being offered at.....310,500 pounds sterling!
See now why I asked at the beginning if this stuff was worth anything....?
So ended my last experience in High Finance.......great success!
I watched from afar, and looked on with interest to see that when the Euro came in, the British pound (the British of course, as usual, not wishing to become members) was valued originally at around 1.43euros...went up to 1.74 (and the British started crowing) then down to 1.24 in 2008 (and the British started crying) and....today (in 2011) it's showing up at 1.12...
....(and the British are, as their tradition demands - doing nothing!)....great success story....
Now...this is my third experience with high finance, and I'm sorry for all you British Holidaymakers, it's all my fault...
You see, I'm hoping to see the colour of an "inheritance" in the near future, in British Pounds Sterling, which will have to be exchanged into Euros.
Logical then that until the transactions are finished, the ....is
going to fall permanently against the ... I'm sorry - there's nothing I can do about it....it's my personal destiny....!
In fact, since there are also other transactions that have to be done, within the next 100 years (if the US authorities and Churches decide to play the honest game) concerning that unfortunate currency....... I would recommend that anyone with any sense should keep well away from any of them!
You can stay in Euros, that's the only one I won't be receiving, except as the end currency...in other words the one I'm going to have to pay a fortune for........so it is going to increase sensationally in value..!
Be assured......I won't be investing......
And that.....Ladies & Gentlemen, was my tip in High Finance, at least for the next period.....
weather at Vauvert, France
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