I grew up in the 70's and I watched a LOT of TV, especially on Saturday mornings when I'd sit with a bowl of sugary cereal watching Scooby Doo, The Super Friends, and a favorite called "Sealab 2020" which, in 1972, promised that we'd be living under water with all kinds of cool gear and scooting around on underwater jet-skis by now.
Yeah...still waiting for that one.
They don't even have Saturday morning cartoons anymore. What has the world come to? Anyway...
Among current shows, I do like "Fixer Upper" (the name is fairly explanatory). I like the affable husband, a good ol' Texan, who makes corny jokes and does all the carpentry. My wife likes the creative aspects of the show and how they rediscover the grace and dignity through the grime and dilapidation.
This just goes to show that beauty, and value, is in the eye of the beholder. Stated differently, the value of something to YOU is based on what you can derive from it, whether that is in cold hard cash or some other quantifiable or non-quantifiable measure.
Value may be easy to see or not. It might be in something that was already demonstrated like a track record or in the future potential that requires some vision to see. How else can you explain companies that have never earned a dime yet attract investors and literally hundreds of millions of dollars in capital? Don't believe me? Go ahead and google Google.
Look, every day there are transactions, whether it is Company A buying Company B, a startup raising capital, a family buying a house, or kids trading baseball cards (I know that's SO 40 years ago but when I traded a 1969 Rusty Staub for a 1971 Roberto Clemente, it was a TOTAL score).
Lately NFT's are a big deal (non-fungible tokens). I'm still trying to figure that one out. Frankly, I wonder why in the world anyone would pay for them - but they do. It feels a lot like the Emperor isn't wearing any clothes but I leave it to you to figure that one out.
Then again, value doesn't necessarily jump out at you.
It doesn't always show up on a balance sheet or an invoice or in the way an old house looks from the curb and that's why I like doing what I do. It's my job to figure all that stuff out, to ask the questions and read between the lines, solve a mystery or two, and figure out what's really there and what's just smoke and mirrors.
After all these years, I've grown up just to become one of "those meddling kids."
Well, that's all I have to say about that. Now, here are some words of wisdom from people who aren't me:
- "You have to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was." - Abraham Lincoln
- "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get" - Warren Buffett
- "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust
Be good and be well.