Had fate and fatality not intervened, I could well be celebrating nearly 40 years as a chartered accountant.
And without wanting to insult all the other bright and bushy-tailed first year commerce students who joined me as a 'fresher' at Otago University in 1979, I think I've dodged a bullet.
To be honest, when I was at college I wanted to be a physical education teacher, because sport seemed a whole lot cooler than academia. But I quickly discovered I had a bent for numbers not science, so I headed down the accounting and economics track.
However, was it not for the untimely death of my farming father when I was just 19, I would probably still be a frustrated bean counter. No doubt, in a rural practice in a heartland provincial town like Gore, Ashburton, Masterton or Morrinsville.
And who knows, if it was Morrinsville, I might have even met a teenage Jacinda as she served me up fish and chips for the family on Friday after a tough week at the office slaving over a hot calculator!
Not that there's anything wrong with being an accountant. Some of my best friends are accountants. Some of the smartest people I speak to on my radio show, The Country, are accountants.
One, in particular, springs to mind. His name is Pita Alexander. He's a Christchurch farm accountant of 50 years standing. He's also a globe-trotting raconteur who's a regular on the Australasian conference speaking circuit.
His latest written offering is, 'What does the future hold for New Zealand and its people?' He's gazed into his well-worn crystal ball with 25 predictions for the next 10 years, reckoning if he can get 50 per cent strike rate, then it will be a good outcome.
Because all the best ideas are stolen, I've taken the liberty to pinch his best ones and add my commentary at the end. So here goes with 10 of the best of Pita's predictions:
1. New Zealand's 'blue moat' will become increasingly important.
2. More than 74 million Americans voted for Trump – many in this group will have long memories.
3. Jacinda and her team of five million have handled Covid-19 well, but handling the New Zealand economy for the next three years will be just as big a test.
4. Outside of agriculture and tourism, New Zealand has very few natural advantages. We need to work with this, not just fight it and fret about it. We need to focus on things that work and fix things that don't work well enough.
5. The world's farmers, without nitrogen fertiliser, would only feed around half of the world's population. Science is crucial.
6. Low interest rates may prove to be just as bad as high interest rates. Work on interest rates increasing perhaps very slowly over this ten year period.
7. Our government pins all cost records on the CPI (Consumer Price Index) but it only includes the effects on households and goods and services. House prices themselves are not included. This approach is constantly underestimating the true inflation in the New Zealand economy.
8. Large numbers of New Zealanders never forgave the 1987 share market crash which is why the purchase of houses to rent out is such a strong investment option. The current share market will, though, crash again over this 10 year period, probably more than once. This simply being part of the market process. The world's share markets have taken surprisingly little notice of Covid-19 over the last nine months.
9. Keep educating your children and grandchildren - skills, skills and skills have never looked so important.
10. In time, our New Zealand schools in today's society will come to realise that the power of compound interest is the eighth Wonder of the World and is much more relevant than Shakespeare.
So in summary, it's hard to argue with a worldly, wily and wise accountant.
The Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea are our God-given Covid defence mechanism. The United States is the least united nation on Earth. Being kind is one thing, running the economy is another. The primary sector is the backbone of the economy. Plants need some sort of fertiliser to grow. Science, not protest, will be the ultimate answer. We live in unchartered economic times, where interest rates are at an all-time low and assets prices are at an all-time high, despite a global pandemic. And education is the key to escape the poverty trap.
But is compound interest really more relevant than Shakespeare in today's society?
The Bard was, after all, one of history's great accountants. He warned that all that glistens is not gold. He sagely advised; neither a borrower nor a lender be. He knew the value of a pound of flesh and was an expert horse trader.
"A horse, a horse, my Kingdom for a horse".
- Jamie Mackay is host of The Country.