The Saturday Miscellany: How to get rich slow; Martin Baker's bookshelf; billion-dollar movies


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The Independent Culture

How to: Get rich slow

By Simon Read

The only sure way to get rich is to do it slowly. If anyone offers you a get-rich-quick scheme it will really be a rob-you-blind scheme. If you want to be wealthy, be patient and follow these steps...

1. "Be a smart spender. Buy the things you need, but nothing more. Frugality will lead to prosperity."

2. "Be a smart shopper. Find cheaper insurance, credit, phone, energy – cheaper everything. A couple of hours' research could save hundreds of pounds."

3. "Be a smart saver. Make every spare penny work for you buying shares, property, whatever will grow in value. A few hundred pounds will become thousands and, eventually, hundreds of thousands. Start at age 20 and you'll have a fortune at 60 (if it's not too late then)."

Simon Read is Personal Finance Editor of The Independent

Rotating column: Going big

By Larry Ryan

In the beginning there was Big Pharma. A simple catch-all term to connote the pharmaceutical giants putting profits above the needs of the patient (Small Patient, if you will). Put 'Big' beside a noun and you have a shady cabal calling the shots.

Next followed Bigs Tobacco, Oil and Agri. If a politician made a speech calling for drilling, he was in the pay of Big Oil. A journalist writes in favour of industrial agriculture, she's in hock to Big Agri. A celebrity smokes – that's Big Tobacco at work.

Right-wing US political website is a big fan of the term: alongside tabs for the hated Big Government, are Big Hollywood, Big Journalism and (a personal favourite) Big Peace.

Add it to anything and you've got yourself a minor conspiracy. Why are your easy-peel clementines so damned expensive? That's Big Fruit at play, mate.

Micro extract: ‘Q is for QWERTY’

"The QWERTY keyboard is an archetype that, for all the attempts to dethrone it, remains firmly in command of the format. Its longevity is not simply a result of the difficulty of retraining everybody who can touch-type."

From 'B is for Bauhaus: An A-Z of the Modern World' by Deyan Sudjic (£18.99, Particular)

Instant Ethics

Dear Ellen

Q. I'm cat-sitting for a few weeks, but I already feel Mr Tiddles and I have developed a lasting bond. Can I keep him?

A. Cats might pretend to like you the best, but really they're anyone's for a can of Sheba. This cat-slag, Mr Tiddles, is no different from the rest of them. Enjoy the purrs while they last, then think about getting a dog.


Four play: Billion-dollar movies*

1. Toy story 3

2. Skyfall

3. The Avengers

4. Iron Man 3

*‘Titanic’ the first to gross £1bn, 1/3/19