Thursday, 31 May 2012

Valued Attachments

 Just the other my youngest daughter asked me: “Is RM1 for a piece of sausage expensive?”

Being typical me, I didn’t give her a straight answer, opting instead on a cryptic (for a kid of seven who just started school, I assume so): “It’s not the number that is put on the item that matters, but the value it actually carries that makes it either expensive or not.”

Feel free to judge if this example clears it up for the poor child: “RM1 for a piece of sweets is expensive, but the RM1 for a car would be dirt cheap.”

I knew she didn’t understand as she then reiterated: “So, can I continue to buy from the seller or not?”

In the end, my wife – who overheard the conversation – decided to put an end to the subject by packing her and the elder sister sausages to bring to their holiday camp every alternate days or so.

Her question did get me thinking though: pricing is moot as opposed to the value of items, and yet value on its own is highly subjective.

Take for instance my RM388k home in the, ahem, Greater Kuala Lumpur area (heh).  The price tag caused me to slightly break sweat all over my brow, but speak of the same TODAY, it’s cheap. 

Not DIRT CHEAP, but Klang Valley suburb cheap.

Looking at the prices of even mere terrace home (intermediate lot, mind you!), I am thankful to my better half for convincing me to take the plunge (and the developer for coming out with a pretty good, spacious home at the said price which was quite competitive about 3 ½ years ago).

Depending on our, urm, financial community (for want of a better word) standings, value is even more subjective than ever.

So, to the, urm, semi well-heeled, the Lamborghini Avantador at RM2.8m (plus minus) is a VALUE proposition to the RM5.2m Buggati Veyron, especially since you can get your hands on the Lambo far easier than the Veyron.

For the likes of even the semi well-heeled then, the RM240K Lotus Elise is literally a weekend go-cart model which can be thrashed if they are so inclined.

The top-of-the-range RM73K Proton Preve? Bah!!

Of course, they are the (what’s before semi? quarter?) well-heeled who do not carry the same philosophy on values as mentioned above and thinks that a RM23K well maintained second / third hand Mini Austin is as good a car as any others.

I’ve meet one, in fact: hangs around in his favourite kopitiam in shorts, singlet and slippers in between minding his million Ringgit restaurant business.

He is an old timer, though. From simpler days when money wasn’t everything and flaunting your wealth is as welcomed as farting out loud in public.

Do I think RM1 for a piece of sausage expensive, then?

Selling to kids at a State Mosque function: but of course!

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