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Final holi-day

I set my alarm to get up at the usual time, to go into town and go shopping at 9am.

I got up, made tea, fed kitty, and got back into bed and spent way too long reading TVTropes.
I made it into town for 10am.

I popped into Lidl, as their publicity showed something that I thought might be of interest.

Disc grinder.
Disc grinder (box).

It's basically a motor with a grinding disc attached to either end. One is harder than the other (36 and 80). I have the idea of using this to sharpen up my garden shears. And maybe the mower blade if I ever figure out how to get the thing undone.
The motor draws 200W and spins up to 2,980 rpm, which means the grinding edge moves at a sedate twenty three metres a second. Hmm... I wonder if it could also sharpen up the blade side of my katana? ☺


Thankfully I resisted the other goodies on offer at Lidl, so it didn't break the bank.


After shopping, I came home and fired up the rotavator to get the ground turned for the vegetable patch. No idea what I'm going to grow this year, the only thing that has actually grown well were shallots, and I have a bag full so don't really need any more. Maybe I ought to see if I can get hold of soy seeds again?

Turned ground.
Turned ground.


Taking a gamble

The company that I work for tried a "profit participation" scheme for the year of 2021 (I think April 2021-March 2022?). They put aside something like €110,000 to be split amongst the employees in a horrifically complicated manner that was to do with job status, length of employment, and number of days worked in the period concerned.
I think the idea is that if we benefit when things go well, we'll all be better employees. I'm not sure approximately €0,70/day is going to change much, but I guess it's a start.

My own profit from this is about €250. I don't know whether this is about average or what as people don't like talking about these sorts of things. Too much FOMO?

This money will be deposited in a special bank account (for such things) set up by the Credit Agricole (the company handles all of this, I don't).

Then, I have a choice. I can either withdraw the cash immediately (it's taxable) which it seems a lot of people are doing; or I can put it into savings (a scheme called PEE (!)), where it must remain for a period of five years. At the end of that time, I can take the money (tax free).

As I chose to invest the money, I then had a choice of how to invest. There were five different plans. The first of these was the "safe" plan which more of less guaranteed your money would be there in five years, but in return offered a miserable rate of interest, something like 0.05%? I calculate that if the interest is cumulative and nothing is whacked off in service fees, I'll make about €0,62 in five years.
Yes, you read that right. Sixty two centimes.

As you look down the options, the returns get better but so does the risk. Until we reach option five which suggests that typical interest gains could be around 30%, but losses are around 20% and, of course, the stock market crashes then it's all over.

What to choose... What to choose...

I picked option five.

No, I'm not stupid. Yes, 30% cumulative over five years could be nearly €1000, but going the other way it could easily be zero before then.
The reason that I picked the risky option was basically to have a little gamble. Because €250 spread over the course of five years amounts to less than €1 a week, so it's not something I'm going to miss, plus I don't desperately need the money or the headache of sorting it out on my tax form, plus - let's be honest - am I even going to remember it in five years? If I receive a letter in 2028 telling me I have eight hundred euros, that'll be cool. If I get one in 2025 telling me I have nothing, well, shit happens.

Anyway, since I'm in it for the long haul (it's now or five years, those are the only choices), I thought I'd make it interesting.


Speaking of work, that's tomorrow morning. Oh well.



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David Pilling, 2nd January 2023, 18:00
Should get lots of sparks from that grinder. 
Give away the grinders, sell the protective gear needed. I would wear gloves as well as goggles/ear defenders, take off ties and rings. 
Old advice from the metal work teacher is still sensible - but he did not do grinders. 
0.05% - and what is inflation - less in France I will grant you but still considerabley more than that. Five years is reasonable for the stock market to average out. 
Seems like a few blogs back you were talking about workers who did the minimum, now you're incentivised.
Rick, 2nd January 2023, 18:45
Goggles and headphones, definitely. 
But no gloves. Nothing fabric that can all too easily get snagged around a high speed wheel. 
Plus, stand aside when turning on, try to stand aside when using, and don't use pressure. Oh, and keep the guards/plates just a fraction away from rubbing the wheel. Any greater gap, risks dragging stuff down. 
Never used one of those myself, but been around people who have. 
David Pilling, 2nd January 2023, 18:46
Eurozone central bank rates are around 3% for five years -can't get safer than that.
Rick, 2nd January 2023, 18:51
How does inflation affect savings then? If they quote an interest rate of 0.05%, then I'd expect that to be the rate they pay. 
I think it's about 7% right now? Read in the paper that wholesale gas prices have come back down, so everything is going to start coming down in price, right? 
Ha ha, like hell it is... 🤬 
I did note that we're being incentivised to the tune of seventy centimes a day. Not exactly going to change much. 
Personally, I think the biggest problem is the wages are NOT good, so we have loads of Romanians because the Frenchies just don't want to do those hours and that job for that wage. 
It seems that there are quite a few openings around, but people are being picky. 
My incentive is quite simple. Bills need paid, kitty needs fed, I need tea. The end. 
David Pilling, 2nd January 2023, 22:19
Inflation erodes savings - you might say "you're only giving me 0.05% and inflation is 7%", in other words 0.05% is not enough. If the central banks are paying 3% no one should be accepting less, because that 3% is risk free. 
Thanks for the tip on gloves. 
Rick, 2nd January 2023, 22:32
An, but that's 3% between the banks  
Don't think they'll share it with the little people. 
Hell, the Livret A (standardised savings account) has just had a special bump to pay 2% interest, which is about 1.5% more than most of them offer, and that's a Big Thing. 
J.G.Harston, 3rd January 2023, 11:11
2,980 rpm? That's... odd. Electric motors are usually locked to the mains frequency, that's how the physics works, so I'd expect 3,000rpm. That mismatch says to me that the motor is permanently struggling to keep up, so throwing away energy trying and failing to synchronise.
J.G.Harston, 3rd January 2023, 11:16
Ah, there goes the letterbox. First post of the year. Letter from the bank, my mortgage is going up to 6.74%. 
Though, this is the mortgage that we started at 15% back in 1992....
Rick, 3rd January 2023, 14:07
Yeah, I thought the speed was a bit odd, too. So close to 3,000 but not quite. 
It takes time to get up to operational speed, so as you say it's probably fighting the inherent drag in the weight of the discs. 
I bet if I turn it over, it'll say "Made in China". ;) 
I'll need to run it again and check the balance of the discs, too. I don't expect it'll be perfect, not at that price (I think it was €25?). 

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