The value of "something" is not an issue to take lightly. Value is not as constant as many people think or always destined to rise. I have discovered that when you start buying things at ten cents on the dollar your money begins to go a long way. This is a lesson many people may soon learn, or maybe not. To buy things at deep discount first of all you must have money or the equivalent.
Years ago a business venture took me into an area where I had the opportunity to attend many auto auctions, and often I actually made the bids. I soon learned getting the best price is an art. It is a combination of things, like when to step in or how to slow the bidding down, thus cooling the animal spirits. Often simply not bidding against yourself was a good start.
One of the favorite stories garnered from this experience came from when a seller complained to the auctioneer about the high bid on a car he was selling, the bid came in at one thousand dollars. The surprised seller said, "but I paid four thousand for that car just last week". The auctioneer's response said it all , "well sir, it is a thousand dollar car today"!
This "theory of value" can also be extended to stocks, after all they were at one time no more then a piece of paper known as a certificate that signified part ownership in a company, now it is just a line on a financial statement. How many investors have seen that line vanish? "Value" can change in a heart beat, and we live in a time that information travels at the speed of light. May I mention just two of the great teachers of what I call financial reality, Bernie Madoff and Enron.
Call me a skeptic but I contend that the illusion of value should not be held to close. The value of a building when a tenant goes bankrupt. The value of a currency when everyone starts to sell it. The value of gold when a government confiscates it and makes it illegal to sell and own. And most of all a promise on paper or implied, remember if you own gold that is represented by a certificate, you own a piece of paper.
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