A good friend forwarded an image to a group WhatsApp the other day. It showed three 50 ringgit notes and the things it could buy then and now. Of course, it showed that the things we could buy today are much lesser. I assume this is true. I told the group that I would personally prefer to live in recent times and not then. I explained.
Many years ago, when we were having lunch in a restaurant to celebrate my brother’s birthday, my mother told me that when we were younger, we could only afford to eat fish or meat a few times per week. Egg was something used to substitute our protein needs because the earnings from my parents have to be used carefully. Even buying the first home, borrowing from banks was not as easy and straightforward as today. The banks then had less funds and the options then were few too. Even the number of properties available to buy is low too.
My brother, sister and myself together with our spouses are working for foreign multi-nationals or local companies with businesses with the world today. When we change jobs, we would still be joining another similar company. Changing job is also not longer a matter which we would be thinking for months or years. If we feel stressful, we would take steps to change that situation. None of us would be willing to just rough it out because of lesser job opportunities then. In fact, we may even start an online business if we are pushed to our limits.
Everyone said that today, the younger generation are no longer loyal to the company they work for compared to long time ago. Is it because of these younger generation or because of the available opportunities today? I am talking about talents who are able to get another job easily if they hate their manager today. Last time, everyone is ‘loyal’ because it’s hard to find a good job or even another better job. There were really not that many to begin with. A job which pays a stable income and potential career growth. Is it any wonder then that during a crisis, majority would not be changing jobs? Since it’s always last in first out.
The houses then were cheaper, according to experts. However, today we get lots of choices, lots of opportunities to invest and rent. Long time ago, there’s just very little opportunity if we did not have parents with lots of money. Today, even a junior executive may just be lucky with his first property purchase, earned enough profits to turn that purchase into two properties within a few years. Millionaires then, tend to be older. Millionaires today may just be our younger course-mate from the university. Urbanisation rate is getting faster and for those who could see this and learnt about investments and took actions, the world is their oyster.
This brings me to the question of whether I would want to go back to the days when I could have bought more for the amount that I could earn from my salary. Apologies, I prefer to have more opportunities, thus earning more than that RM50 instead. Oh yeah, this trend of money getting smaller is true in all countries and not just Malaysia. Just look at our neighbour, the HDB flats used to be S$70,000 for a 5-room HDB flat. Please go online and check the prices today. The question should therefore be, ‘Did I take advantage of whatever I have to build more of what I do not yet have.’ It is not whether yesterday or today is better or even when money was bigger. Happy investing.
written on 31 Oct 2015
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