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Thread: What type of people own high-high-end gear?

  1. #191
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 73,885
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Gary,

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinitely Baffled View Post
    And how does one do that? Why, with shedloads of money, of course!
    Not necessarily. Dennis sounds like he's achieved it, and so have I and probably also countless others, without having "shedloads of money", but simply enough to be satisfied with, which allows us the freedom, within reason, to do what we want

    I'll bet it does!
    Absolutely, but it's more about having a certain mindset (one of being satisfied with leading a relatively simple/uncomplicated life), than shedloads of cash. Not having any kids, or a 'high maintenance' wife/partner to pay for, also helps!

    I am happily married though - just not to a woman who seeks to advance her 'social status', via what I can provide her, or who thinks that having 200 handbags and pairs of shoes is a 'must have'....

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  2. #192
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,733

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    You could just front them down. You go to e.g Starbucks and say either you pay full tax on the profits of your UK operations or you close them all down and don't trade in the UK at all. I'd bet they would not call the bluff. Not that it would be a bluff.
    I agree it's worth a shot (no pun intended). Starbucks' coffee is horrible stuff anyway, so they'd be no great loss even if they did bugger off.

  3. #193
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 18,290
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe View Post
    I agree it's worth a shot (no pun intended). Starbucks' coffee is horrible stuff anyway, so they'd be no great loss even if they did bugger off.
    Exactly.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Sony X505ES CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / NVA A30 Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson

  4. #194
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 73,885
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Dennis,

    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    Now I'm a retired and isolated old gitte, having thought to call my house 'Reclusion', I think I have subconsciously done that Marco - 'built my own island' that is.
    Same here. I'm far from being 'super rich', but through a mixture of hard work and good fortune have managed to 'manoeuvre myself' into a comfortable financial position, where by the age of 43, I was semi-retired (with my own art/picture-framing business) and had no mortgage or debts.

    Now at 51, I could retire fully at any time, but continue to 'dabble' a little just because I enjoy it really, and am still young and healthy enough (as is my wife) to enjoy living life to the full

    I live on the sea front, have no mortgage, income not high but comfortable, and have my studio and Hi-Fi. (But of course I am bullied by the cat).
    Sounds great! Having pets, I find, is very good for the soul. We have three cats, and love them all dearly.

    However I am not isolated from proposed intentions to cut the triple link on the OAP., and the NHS needs to cut costs, (from what I am told by the top audiologist in the country, there too, are excessive suit wearing, clipboard carrying overpaid managers), and what potentially looms is alarming.
    Yup, absolutely.

    Of course one is never isolated fully from the most insidious effects of modern day life, but as you've found, it's possible to shield oneself from the worst of them - and I believe that, with a little thought, especially in relation to exactly what we *actually* need [often rather different from want] out of life, many others could find themselves in a similarly happy position.

    To me a bar of 80% dark chocolate is a real pleasure, not part of an everyday 'also eaten', and this means that any improvement in living standard is really felt.
    I know what you mean. If you read my forum signature, you'll see what I consider as REAL 'wealth'...

    What price can you put on waking up every morning with a smile on your face, feeling great and being almost 100% in control of your day, looking forward to what it brings?

    Achieving genuine happiness and contentment with one's 'lot in life', can be a rather elusive reality for many. I consider it as a true blessing, and one not even enjoyed by some of the 'super rich'...

    There are plenty of sad and lonely millionaires out there, who try (and fail) to use their money to buy themselves happiness!

    As they say: 'Your health is your wealth' - and so is having a fulfilled and contented state of mind. One could call it, a 'happy head', which in many ways is priceless...

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

  5. #195
    Join Date: Sep 2012

    Location: East Anglia UK

    Posts: 1,202
    I'm Marc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    You could just front them down. You go to e.g Starbucks and say either you pay full tax on the profits of your UK operations or you close them all down and don't trade in the UK at all. I'd bet they would not call the bluff. Not that it would be a bluff.
    I think they do, they're not evading they're avoiding.

    Starbucks isn't the issue they are as close to a rational agent as you'll get, the incompetence of successive governments is the issue.

    We know what the rules of business are, drive down cost, increase margins/markets and overcome the competition. Tax efficiency is the part of the first element and in the same way that global capital can move faster and be freer than global labour, global accountancy can eek out inconsistencies in national legislation to ensure that the capital moves even more freely. That's how you end up with contrivances such as the 'Double Irish with Dutch Sandwich'.

  6. #196
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Bristol

    Posts: 3,733

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Same here. I'm far from being 'super rich', but through a mixture of hard work and good fortune have managed to 'manoeuvre myself' into a comfortable financial position, where by the age of 43, I was semi-retired (with my own art/picture-framing business) and had no mortgage or debts.
    Without wishing to pry (and feel free to tell me to bugger off) was this 'all your own work', or did you get a helping hand from your parents, eg with buying your first house/flat?

  7. #197
    Join Date: Aug 2009

    Location: Staffordshire, England

    Posts: 18,290
    I'm Martin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rothchild View Post
    I think they do, they're not evading they're avoiding.

    Starbucks isn't the issue they are as close to a rational agent as you'll get, the incompetence of successive governments is the issue.

    .
    I'm aware that what they are doing is legal, although there are many international companies operating in the UK who do not make use of the legal methods available and pay full tax in each jurisdiction as a matter of policy.

    IIRC Starbucks used the tactic of loaning money from the U.S operation to the UK operation and consequently the 'repayments' on the loan eradicate any UK profits. No profits = no tax to pay.

    The strategy I proposed would circumvent the problem that it requires international cooperation to close these avenues of avoidance, and that as a consequence it will never happen.
    Martin



    Current Lash Up:

    Sony X505ES CD Player * NVA P90SA passive pre / NVA A30 Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *



    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson

  8. #198
    Join Date: Sep 2012

    Location: East Anglia UK

    Posts: 1,202
    I'm Marc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    The strategy I proposed would circumvent the problem that it requires international cooperation to close these avenues of avoidance, and that as a consequence it will never happen.
    Yeah, with the world rowing back from globalisation (well the political spin at least) the odds of a unified global agreement on taxation seem further away than ever, indeed one of the features of current pulling up of the draw bridges is that it's essentially a 'soft war' through competitive devaluation and tax incentives.

    And in the meantime those who want to 'generate efficiencies' will continue to do so.

    Who's paying all their tax as if they were sole trading in each jurisdiction as a matter of policy? You'd think they'd be making more of it in their marketing!

  9. #199
    Join Date: Jul 2016

    Location: Welsh Borders

    Posts: 237
    I'm Gary.

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    Originally Posted by Joe
    .

    The trouble is, addressing these problems is complex. Force the tax-avoiding large companies to pay their 'fair share' of taxes risks them moving their operations elsewhere, with consequent job losses here. The super-rich can live anywhere in the world; they probably own properties in several countries. You could force them out of the UK by, for example, scrutinising their wealth ever more closely, but how would that benefit the UK economy?






    Quote Originally Posted by Macca View Post
    You could just front them down. You go to e.g Starbucks and say either you pay full tax on the profits of your UK operations or you close them all down and don't trade in the UK at all. I'd bet they would not call the bluff. Not that it would be a bluff.
    Unfortunately there are a lot of misconceptions about taxation and multi-national companies. As a result, some nonsense gets talked. I apologise, fellows, I don't mean to be insulting but this is just plain wrong. I don't know much about much, but as it happens, the taxation of international companies was pretty much my life's work - both from inside HMRC and inside a big (very big) multinational corporation. What people don't realise is that - certainly in the case of the very big blue-chip companies, what they want is the same as what HMRC wants, namely simplicity, certainty, pay your tax and move on. The problem comes when a product supply-chain straddles three or more countries. Have you read any UK tax statutes? Tax law is a baroque edifice that has grown, nay mutated, over a couple of hundred years, spreading out in every direction, and getting more and more complicated with 500 more pages of Finance Act every year. It is horrendous! Then add in the US tax code (even worse), maybe the tax regime of a former Soviet bloc country (where quite often the rules are being made on-the-hoof and are ill-adapted to doing business with western corporations anyway), and chuck-in a Belgian co-ordination centre for good measure. Now, sort that lot out, paying due regard to the raft of international and supra-national treaties and protocols designed to regulate what happens when more than one country is trying to tax the same chunk of income. Believe you me, the resulting commercial and fiscal rat's nest is enough to keep armies of lawyers and accountants fully occupied for years. I know, from my own experience!

    Now, I'm not saying there aren't companies who try and take advantage of this complexity. There are. But most big, responsible corporations just want to pay what is due, and get on with manufacturing and marketing - the stuff they are in business for. It's not that they don't want to pay. It's just that it takes year (and years, and more years) to actually come to a landing on how much profit they have to pay tax on in any given country. Do they have advisers who tell them how to minimise their tax? Yes, of course they do! If you were selling your house, and someone told you that if you use method 1 you will pay 50k tax, but if you use method 2 you will only pay 15k, what are you going to do? Is anybody on this forum going to put their hand up and say "me, Sir, I'll pay 50k tax!" Companies are just the same. It doesn't make them crooks. If the law is not charging them enough tax, or if it is too complicated to even get to the bottom of how much tax they owe, then change the law! That's what democracy and the rule of law is all about.

    So, forgive me for this rant - you have all probably heard more about international taxation than you ever wanted - but it offends me to hear people proposing solutions like "force them to pay or kick them out". The world is very much more complicated than that, and we need to recognise it.
    IB

  10. #200
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

    Posts: 73,885
    I'm AudioAl'sArbiterForPISHANTO.

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    Hi Joe,

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe View Post
    Without wishing to pry (and feel free to tell me to bugger off) was this 'all your own work', or did you get a helping hand from your parents, eg with buying your first house/flat?
    You're welcome to ask. Nope, since I left home at 25, and have been responsible for looking after myself, I've asked my parents for very little and largely supported myself. My wife was the same, and she left home in Wrexham (and went to work in London) long before I left home. Mind you, that was in the late 80s (we moved into our first house together in 1990), and property prices were very different then from now.

    We were also fortunate that both of us had very caring and supportive parents, and fortunately ones who were in a position financially to help us out if we needed it (both of us were also only children), so I guess we drew some comfort from knowing that help was always there if we needed it, but we're both fiercely independent and driven people (what in some circles are referred to as 'achievers'), and so we were determined to stand on our own two feet!

    Although there were other contributory factors, what helped massively in creating our situation now was being fortunate to sell our (fairly large) house, in a desirable area of Glasgow, which we'd bought at a knock-down price a few years earlier, done up, and then sold at a significant profit, when the market had picked up considerably.

    That then allowed us to buy our current house, here in Wrexham (that Del's mum used to live in) outright, which she let us have at a good price, for obvious reasons, but also so we could look after her in her old age, without her having to be put into a home (as she was in ill health and had suffered from various forms of cancer throughout her life), and still have significant funds left over.

    Then investing that money 'wisely'/fortuitously [delete as applicable] into some other property, paid dividends, which partially allowed me to go semi-retired, and Del to take a less demanding and stressful, albeit less well-paid job here in North Wales, but which would allow her to be near her mum, etc, etc, etc... Anyway, I'll stop now before boring you any further!

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

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