Sovereign Wealth Partners
Stephen Thaxter, Senior Partner
Just for fun we thought we’d create a mash up of some interesting articles that caught our eye recently. Click the links to dive into more detail.
It all started when the Sydney Morning Herald’s Ross Gittings told us to just get over our skyrocketing electricity bills because household inflation is running at a mere 1.9%. He reminded us that we are behaviourally biased to focus on change, and even more so, on changes for the worse. So, yes our power bills are an absolute shocker but the reality is that they are only a small proportion of what we spend. Plenty of things that we purchase went down last year, like clothes and shoes (-2%) and phones and internet (-3.8%). So take heart, all this evens out to an inflation rate of just under 2%.
Except that house prices aren’t captured in the inflation numbers. They’re still going ballistic. Sydney units were up 1.7% in the last MONTH let alone last year. Houses were up 1.3% last month. Yet another reminder of the difficulty our young people face in buying any sort of home near Sydney or Melbourne. Which brings us to avocado on toast. Do you remember Bernard Salt’s infamous rant at the hipster millennials? Instead of saving for their house deposits they were eating $22 smashed avocados on upturned milk crates. Sadly we now read that avocado toast prices have gone off the Richter scale too. There goes the house deposit. According to the University of Sydney’s survey of café prices, the average price for a serve of avocado toast in Edgecliff tops the list at $18. But perhaps their most shocking finding was that almost no cafes west of Ashfield even had it on the menu.
And this seems to be a global issue. Avocado toast came up in a meandering podcast put out by Meb Faber, a US based investment expert we follow. His topic was wealth and happiness. Listen or read the transcript here. Fascinating food for thought on what we should be spending our money on. It’s all highly subjective of course but he and his guest Elizabeth Dunn agreed that:
- Avocado Toast falls firmly in the “treat” category and so is enjoyed much more if confined to once a week at most
- Buying “experiences” beats buying “things”. The more challenging the experience the better.
- It’s best to think twice about buying any luxuries that can be compared to a newer or more lavish model
- Buying time to spend with loved ones and investing in other people has been shown to bring the most happiness of all.
Back to Avocado Toast and why I’m feeling happy right now. From first-hand experience I can tell you that the newly refurbished, uber swanky David Jones Bondi Junction food hall – just up the road from Edgecliff – is serving smashed avocados with sheeps milk, fetta and fresh herbs at $6.50 a pop! That’s more like it. Delicious too. It just goes to show, shop around for value and don’t believe what you read. Just like investing. Go get yours whilst it’s hot.