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The Fat Wallets of #FatBearWeek

Winter is coming, and Brown Bear grocery bills are out of hand

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Fat Bear Week is back — the “March Madness” of Brown Bears getting wide for the winter!

Fat Bear Week is a celebration of success, survival, and fattening. It’s a chance to learn about bears (and the salmon they love) at Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. Humans around the world can get online, learn about the 12 biggest bear finalists, and vote for their favourites.

Okay, but just how big are these bears? Well, they really stuff themselves. They have to. In fact, they eat the equivalent of a year’s worth of food in six months, in order to survive the winter. They can live off their fat stores for up to 100 days while they hibernate.

Okay, enough with the science. How much is this going to cost me?

A Brown Bear can eat 100 lbs of sockeye salmon on a good day. Lucky for them, they don’t have to pay for their meals. But what if you wanted to eat like a Brown Bear? How would your food bill look?

We’ll start here. The cost of an annual Alaskan hunting and fishing license for a resident is $60. Reasonable.

But maybe you’re over the hustle. Maybe you want someone else to do the hunting. For ready-to-order salmon at the grocery store, expect to pay about $20 per pound of sockeye (uncooked). Okaaaay. Your salmon habit now costs about $2,000 a day.

And if you prefer your salmon as sashimi from that fancy sushi joint that just opened up where the Outback Steakhouse used to be? Prices vary, but it’s pretty standard for a one-ounce piece of salmon sashimi to sell for about $5. At 16 ounces to a pound, that’s $80 per pound. If you’re eating like a brown bear at the sushi bar, dinner’s about to cost you $8000… sans tip!

Did we mention that NONE OF THIS FISH IS EVEN COOKED?!

Listen. A dream’s a dream, and if you want a shot at victory during Fat Bear Week, we have two suggestions… Either become a bear and move to Alaska, or invest your money so that in the future, you can buy yourself unlimited amounts of uncooked salmon. Choose the option that sounds simplest, and good luck!  

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The Market for Collectibles: Sports Edition

Why you should hang onto your baseball card collection

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The market for collectibles boomed at the beginning of the pandemic, as people with money to spend found a new hobby buying, selling, and trading. With millennials entering their high-earning years, they’re investing in memorabilia the same way their parents and grandparents collected art and Royal Doulton figurines (IYKYK). It’s helped take the sports collectibles industry from a $5.4 billion-dollar market pre-pandemic to $26 billion in 2021. Some predict it’ll grow to $227B within 10 years. Others worry it’s due for a recession-fuelled correction

Here are some of the eye-popping numbers fuelling the recent rise…

£7,142,500: Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” jersey

In May, Sotheby’s in London auctioned off the kit Maradona wore when he scored the most infamous goal in World Cup history. (Or “goal”, if you’re a Three Lions supporter.) Originally valued at $5-$7.5M, the jersey sold for $9.28M (£7.1M), becoming the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold. 

Until it wasn’t…

$12.6M: 1952 Mickey Mantle card

A 70-year-old baseball card became the first sports collectible to break 8 figures at auction last month. Previously purchased for $50K in 1991 — a then-record for a ‘52 Mantle card — this marked a 25,100% rise in value! Of course, value’s relative. Back in 1952, that same card came in a pack for a nickel. And it came with a stick of gum.

Some cold water on your high hopes before you go digging for that shoebox of musty Topps cards: condition is everything, and Mickey was in great shape for his age.

$208K: A Legendary LeBron James Moment

Even virtual memorabilia is shattering records. In 2021, the same NBA Top Shot NFTs that originally traded for a few bucks apiece shot up to a record $208K for a “Moment” of the King dunking over the Kings.

It’d turn out to be a high-water mark for the Top Shot market. Blame the #cryptocrash, sure. But whether you’re talking art, sports memorabilia, NFTs, or any other collectible, the same age-old truth applies: they may be worth whatever someone’s willing to pay for them, but that doesn’t mean the price’ll keep going up.

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The Cost of Building Jurassic Park

Crunching the numbers on the world’s most dangerous amusement park

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Jurassic World: Dominion has hit the theatres, and JP merch is flying (velociraptor-style) off the shelves. It’s got us curious about how much it would cost to bring Jurassic Park to life, IRL. Is this a decent investment opportunity?

The jury’s out, or eaten, so you be the judge:

$331.2 million: Cost to buy Isla Nublar

At 14,080 acres, Isla Nublar – home to the original JP and, later, Jurassic World – is roughly half the size of Disney World, giving dinos plenty of room to stretch their legs and wings. 

According to OfficialETA’s, “The Price of Paradise” tool, a similarly-sized private island off the coast of Costa Rica will run you $331.2 million. If you’re willing to downsize, the 800-acre “shovel-ready” Golfito Bay can be had for a bargain $17,500,000.

$1.2 billion: Construction costs

John Hammond (aka Richard Attenborough) spared no expense building the original JP. Neither did Jurassic World’s Simon Masrani (aka Irrfan Khan). The new InGen CEO spent an estimated $1.2 billion on concrete and materials alone to build his new-and-improved park — about what it cost Disney to complete Animal Kingdom.

$2 million (or more): Liability insurance

New Jersey’s fantastically dangerous Action Park is the stuff of legend. It got away without liability insurance. Gene Mulvihill, “The Walt Disney of New Jersey” figured it was cheaper to pay injury claims out of pocket — his own. That was the ’80s, and times have changed. In 2020, $100M-worth of coverage cost Six Flags $2 million in premiums. It’s safe to assume Jurassic Park’s payments would be higher, since the prior claims history is a determining factor for insurance premiums, and there are pretty hefty claims/eatings that date back to 1993.

$300+ million: Cost of dino food, annually

One area where you don’t want to scrimp. As one of the world’s largest zoos, the San Diego Zoo spent $281,273,000 in 2021 to feed and care for 12,000+ animals across 650+ species. The fictional Jurassic World only features 20 species of dinos (cloning isn’t cheap!), but we’re rounding up to be safe. A well-fed dino dines on fewer guests. 

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Yes, We Mind the Wage Gap

Gen Z wants to shrink the wage gap by… talking.

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It’s 2022 and you can ask a woman her age but you still can’t ask how much she makes. Most of us would prefer to talk about anything other than money. We’ll choose marital trouble, mental health, addiction, sex, race, religion, and politics before we’ll wade into salary talk. 

Why does this matter? Silence around money — encouraged by the wealthy since the Golden Age — feeds a wage gap of between 60 to 89 cents on the dollar

The Wage Gap isn’t news. We’ve lived with it for as long as women have worked. We know, for example, that racialized women bear the brunt of the inequality, earning an average of 59.3% of the average white male salary. But even school girls experience a gendered wage disparity. According to the Girl Guides of Canada, young women 12-18 earn almost $3 less per hour than boys at summer jobs. 

Not only does this make us want to talk about money… it makes us want to scream.

If present trends continue, according to the World Economic Forum, it will take the world about 267.6 years to reach wage parity.

Hannah Williams wants to move that date up a few hundred years. The 25-year-old TikToker recently took to the streets to ask her fellow Washingtonians two simple questions: What do you do? And how much do you make? The series (@salarytransparentstreet) has gone viral. Williams hopes her project will break down the social stigma around money talk, and move us toward addressing pay inequality. 

Will it work? It’s working! Williams’ project is part of a growing movement focused on real change. New data shows that about 40 percent of Millennials and Gen Z talk to coworkers about what they earn. Compare this to 19 percent for Baby Boomers.

This spring, New York passed a law requiring employers to disclose salaries on all advertised jobs. And even companies who aren’t forced into transparency would be smart to consider it. The job posting site Indeed Canada recently revealed that posts that include salaries attract 90 percent more applicants. 

That’s something worth talking about.

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The Costs of Wizardry

From Muggle to Wiz, Wealthie runs the numbers.

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From the budding wizards at Hogwarts to the more seasoned wizzes of Lord of the Rings, wizardry is where it’s at. For anyone curious about a career in wizarding, Wealthie looks at the costs of getting off the ground. (haha see what we did there?)

Looking the Part: $35+

A robe was just a scratchy cloak until Madam Malkin came along. She cornered the market on fashion and function. We hunted for the ones that Harry and his pals made famous, but they’re only sold at Universal Studios. So, if you’re a label lover who wants the real deal, you’ll have to budget for it.

Tickets to Universal: $315 PLUS flight and hotel! That’s a lot of IRL money. So, while you’re saving up we’ve found good alternatives at well.ca, Walmart, and Amazon, ranging from about $35-$60, with hood, embroidery, and lining. 

Pro tip: sew in a few pockets to make room for spells and potions. 

Carry a Big Stick: $4.50 and Up

The pièce de résistance!  If you’re serious about wizardry – which we know you are – you’ll need a wand. Wands are an opportunity to express yourself. Are you a no frills kind of wiz? A 14-inch gold-tipped standard, or a basic lucite will run you about $4.50 to $5.50. 

Are you a wizard who loves movies and history? Maybe you’d like to bid on Glynda the Good Witch’s wand, which sold for $400 000 back in 2019!

Hocus Pocus: Misc.

Every great wizard has some potions up their sleeve. Since we could use some money to launch our career, we’re costing out potion ingredients for a spell to help you win at Bingo

2 tbsp Pepper

2 tbsp Mustard (yellow works best)

10 freshly picked Honeysuckles OR 20 grams of Organic Cloves

1 sealable glass bottle to hold all ingredients.

Most of these items, you’ll find at home for free, so cast your spell and let’s get you some dough for a bestie!

A Wizard’s BFF: Priceless

Every wizard needs a companion — one that strikes fear into the souls of their enemies, and is also extremely cute. Like an owl! Did you know that owls are able to turn their heads a full 270 degrees? Oh, and owls have adapted to nearly every ecosystem on the planet? Hoo knew?!

The Eurasian Eagle Owl generally costs between $2,800 and $3,800. Suddenly, a rat like Scabbers looks like a steal. You could train a raven, or adopt a cat. You can even adopt a Great Horned or Saw-Whet Owl for $25 to $100 monthly. Don’t forget to factor in costs for  food, training, and exercise. 

Owning a pet is a pretty serious business, even with magical super powers. So you may want to start by testing out your powers of convincing on the Muggles in your home. 

The wizardry game is a long game. And a fun one. You’re now armed with the tools you need to become a wizard. So, come up with a Wizard name, and don’t forget to trademark it!

Thoughts on pursuing your dreams:

Don’t let the Muggles get you down.

– Ron Weasley

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The Cost of Being Batman

Running the numbers on this Caped Crusader. 

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Yes, Batman’s got a lot to juggle, keeping Gotham safe from the Riddler and Penguin. But, that’s not all that’s on his mind. Like any business titan, running a multi-billion dollar enterprise while moonlighting as a caped crusader, Batman’s got to stay on top of his budget. 

Wealthie looks into the BatWallet to investigate how this superhero stays in the black.

$13.04 billion: Total net worth

Ten years ago a group of econ students (and obvious DC Comic fans) at Lehigh University estimated Batman’s wealth at 11.6 billion USD, ($13.04B in today’s dollars). It’s mostly the result of inheritance after his parents’ brutal murder. But, B. Wayne deserves some credit, too. He’s put his money to work at Wayne Enterprises. Being mega wealthie is actually Batman’s superpower. He doesn’t have superhuman strength, x-ray vision, or even spider powers. He just knows how to make every buck count.  

$137 million: Market value of Wayne Manor

Bruce inherited his 42,500 square foot, 11 bedroom, luxury lair from his parents when they died. Since then, it’s been destroyed several times by various enemies. 

Without considering the costs of all those rebuilds, here’s what Batman budgets annually:

$1.6M: annual upkeep

$37,000: property taxes

$27,000: house insurance (and that’s monthly!)

$41,250: The Batsuit

This is what the costume worn by Michael Keaton in Batman Returns fetched at auction. If you’d prefer a functional memory cloth polymer cape (the kind that stiffens to facilitate flying from building to building), that’s going to set you back $40,000 on its own. 

$11, 588, 928: Annual life insurance policy

It’s not cheap being a batguy in the big city. According to Vantis Life, a US insurance company that scores factors like dangerous situations, exposure to firearms, and alcohol consumption, Batman is one of the most valuable clients in Gotham or anywhere.   

$1.5MM: Salary for Alfred Pennyworth

The starting salary for a butler is around $30/hour. However, the highest paid butler on the planet — a guy named Gary Williams, who works for a billionaire in Miami — rakes in a reported $2.2 million a year. Keep in mind that Batman’s right hand has a fairly extensive job description, and some top shelf job experience.  Alfred’s LinkedIn page includes stints with British spy agencies MI5 and MI6. He spends as much time supporting his boss in special ops as he does delivering tea. He’s also been on the job since Bruce was seven, so we’ve factored in a few substantial raises.       

$12.3MM: Estimated Price to Buy the Daily Planet 

That’s right, Batman is technically Superman’s boss, having bought the newspaper where Clark Kent works as a bespectacled reporter. It wasn’t cheap (and print media is a risky investment these days). But the cost of owning the competition: Priceless. 

Financial advice from Batman’s nemesis:

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”

– The Joker, ‘The Dark Knight’