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Planting Seeds, Inflation and Moderation In Everything Else

Even the local Chinese takeaway at a nearby shopping centre confirmed my gut feel. Three choices used to be five dollars, now it's eight. Meanwhile, electrical and electronic items have taken a dive in the asking price, whilst fast food sets have shot to double digits. Prices of guppies and the various kinds of gold fish have doubled.

Anything that requires more human input costs more, obvious in health care, age services and food preparation. The cost of a bowl of chicken curry laksa at Malaysia-Singapore Takeaway in Sydney used to be five dollars in 1989, and today you dish out twelve dollars at the level five food court in Sydney CBD's Westfield. Customers are still willing to pay a premium for coffee and chocolate at fancy chains - and for the retro 3D technology in viewing latest release movies in modern cinema halls.

Paying more does not always mean receiving better customer service. We used to be able to sit anywhere up to our whims in a darkened cinema hall, but now have to search for our allocated seating. We pay double for Asian food in places like the Temasek in Parramatta, NSW, but are told to rush our dining as we only have our table up to 8pm. There is talk in the media of whether there is any more usefulness for the five cent coin - while forgetting the rising copper value of the item.

There is an exponential rise in the manner we are encouraged to spend - and not likewise in nurturing each of us to plant the seeds and grow sources of income and capital growth. Credit card limits and financial arrangements involving white goods are still being offered relatively liberally, despite the hard lessons in the USA and UK from the recent global financial crisis. Traded economic value is not just built from hard earned productivity, real gains and mortar with brick, but still facilitated through speculation, current market equity and, at times, hyped up expectations.

What has not changed perhaps is the interaction between demand and supply. These can be manipulated, professionally regulated or artificially controlled. Timing and location are decisive. The age old rules of buying low and selling higher shine through, despite the complexity and nature of new products, properties or environments. Money makes more money, as long as you beat the time value of compounding in regular expenditure, borrowing costs and interest charges.

Being able to sub-divide land and properties has been the boon of the new rich, whilst borrowing to fund daily wants and excesses has been the bane of endless debt. Income received in employment must be utilised to grow new and other sources of revenue for one self - and not taken for granted. Tax deductions are to be maximised and gross income payable minimised. Do we delay our occasional gratifying needs?

At times, it is practising the fine art of walking away when you have made your targets, and not be sucked into anything longer. In life, sometimes, we do have to take a gamble,but the idea is to increasingly increase our safety net. At other times, it is to make a disciplined commitment to commence a new source of wealth, despite the teething times and initial pain of belt tightening. Often it is imperative to create a foundation layer of wealth and firewall this from other dimensions of discretionary spending or more speculative investment.

As always, the effects of time surround wealth decisions and accumulations. There is another certainty in life - rising prices - when you live in a growing economy. There are values to the human economy despite the vagaries of time - dependency on family, good mates, gold and food. There is the comfort of knowing your wealth is growing even when you go to bed at night.

Do we want,or have to, change jobs every two years - to challenge boredom plateaus or in the hunt for better rewards? As with the more important things in life, moderation is the key in the long run - but there is no harm to do the equivalent of the bunjee jump at times, when you have worked out the risks and checked your current harness.


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