Pearls of Wisdom, by James Max

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From advice published in Rich People’s Problems, a monthly column in the Financial Times by James Max, during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you are adequately insured, then being burgled is one way to monetize possessions you don’t need.

Watch out for faux antiques.

As the pandemic continues, the lack of domestic help requires a radical change in behavior.

No self-respecting wine fridge owner will want to display racks of empty shelves.

Bonuses aren’t a popularity contest. Those who show off in the appropriate way will be rewarded.

Too messy and appallingly decorated a Zoom background, and you’ve lost respect. Too flashy, and you’re no longer one of them.

Any event where the fizz on offer is prosecco, no matter how cold it is, it’s a no.

Successful operators focus on the prize—visibility and self-publicity—while off-loading the grunt work. Perception is reality.

Forget loyalty. That went out of fashion with boot-cut jeans.

Putting a big TV on a stand is vulgar.

The true test of an old suit? An unexpected rain shower. A light soaking generally confirms whether a suit has aged well or not.

Before COVID, the easiest way to avoid the awful pain of New Year’s Eve was to go abroad, but that’s largely off the menu now.

If I start to serve you cheap supermarket champagne, you’ll know it’s time to go home.

If the canapé selection has been anywhere near the microwave, then I’m out.

Don’t be swayed by men in tweed jackets who tell you that you need a small-wheeled manual sports car. They’re the kind of people who drive MGBs, a car suitable only for short people with a waist size less than thirty-four inches, who don’t care about looking undignified falling out of the low-slung cockpit.

If austerity is the name of the game, the local rosé and house brut prosecco whet the old whistle particularly well.

If you want to feel good about yourself, remember there will always be someone nearby who’s older and fatter than you are.


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