Marina’s Monetary Musings: Invest your tuppence wisely – or better yet, feed the birds

Much has happened since I began writing this column more than two years ago: the UK has voted for Brexit, Donald Trump has been elected US president and new trade tariffs have been imposed.

But some things haven’t changed. In my first column, I argued that cutting out your daily cappuccino won’t make you the next Wolf of Wall Street.

Whenever it’s suggested that it transform your finances, I think of the Mary Poppins film song lyric: ‘If you invest your tuppence wisely in the bank, safe and sound, soon that tuppence safely invested in the bank, will compound.’ But sometimes you just want to use your cash to feed the birds, or enjoy a coffee.

I wrote about London’s ‘housing question’: a chronic shortage similar to that experienced by Muscovites in the 1930s (beautifully captured by Mikhail Bulgakov in his novel The Master and Margarita).

I looked inside the Office for National Statistic’s basket of goods that measures inflation and found that Brexit could make us poorer and fatter, as a lot of our five-a-day fruit and vegetables come from the EU.

Thomas Piketty’s cautionary book Capital in the Twenty-First Century continues to ring true, as wealth inequality rises. At the British Library’s Under Her Eye festival in June 2017, author Margaret Atwood argued that wealth inequality is this century’s greatest challenge, as democratic structures deteriorate when corporate and special interests govern law-making.

The monetary lens is still key to understanding the society we live in. This is my final column – I’m off to pages new. I hope you enjoyed my musings, and I wish you all many happy (financial) returns.

This article was originally published as part of Marina’s Monetary Musings in Money Observer, July 2018

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