Sell the house, maybe. Sell the kayak, done. Money comes in from selling something, whether it is a thing or my time. The trick is finding the right price at the right time.
My long orange kayak departed but only after I received some cash. Of course I think I should get more, but waiting for the optimum price would require a non-optimum time. Two guys are going to use it in a relay race in late spring. Buy it in January, race it in May, sounds like about the right timing for them. Cash in my wallet means not having to pull money out of the ATM anytime soon and greatly eases paying the health insurance.
Pricing and timing are linked. I’m considering selling my house. Depending on what else happens with stocks, jobs, sales, gigs, and windfalls, the price varies a lot. The online real estate site zillow, lets me list a “Make Me Move” price. If I was confident that I had sufficient funds to sustain my lifestyle for decades I wouldn’t sell my house. If my finances were significantly improved, but I didn’t have “enough” I’d seriously consider a Make Me Move price of about $375,000. If my finances don’t improve quickly I’ll probably put the house up for sale closer to zillow’s estimate of about $100,000 less than the Make Me Move price. The less I have the more encouraged I am to sell, both to get some of the equity out of the house, and also to get rid of the mortgage payment. Others are in worse shape and have to walk away from their homes without getting to pick the timing.
The pricing and timing within the stock market is always an unknown. DNDN was priced at $14 last Friday may eventually be priced at $100. The stock may already be worth $100, but the timing of that pricing is an unknown. I think my kayak was worth 30%-40% more than what I sold it for, but they were here, so were some bills, and the timing was right enough. Earlier this week I sold some DNDN to pay the mortgage. The price was far below what I want, but the timing drove me to sell at the lower price. Being able to wait out for the right time is a powerful tool.
I just got off the phone with my dad. We reminisced about vacationing on the Outer Banks of North Carolina about forty years ago. He remembers a house for sale on the north edge of town that was going for $42,000. Beyond that were sand dunes and grasses. A lot in that area could probably go for about ten times that now. It seemed expensive at the time. Maybe it was. Inflation and hurricanes may have offset a ten-fold increase in the price.
I look at my home and my stocks and ponder my net worth and its ability to fund my lifestyle. For now that lifestyle includes living in this house; but at today’s prices the portfolio can only support this lifestyle for, well, not decades, more than a several months, and definitely less time than I am comfortable with.
Fortunately things change. Prices rise. Sales happen. I even heard a hint of a short, but well-paying, consulting project aimed my way. (Thanks for keeping me in mind.)
There is a limit to how many things I can sell. I sold the kayak. My signed first-edition copy of 2001 is for sale on eBay. A few other things are lined up getting ready for craigslist or drewslist. (Don’t bother searching on drewslist. The links have nothing to do with this excellent local service. Thanks Drew.) That’s the problem with selling most things. There is usually a limit. That’s one of the reasons I like selling books and art online. More of my unsigned books and photos are always available because they are part of the digital world. My signed books and prints are limited editions. If you have one of my signed prints, you have a unique piece of art. Others can get the same print on the same media at the same size, but I won’t sign the print. That’s one way to have a limited edition and unlimited editions.
There is also a limit to how much of my time I can sell, but at least time does not require packaging, shipping, and handling. Each moment delivers itself. Consultants know that their time is valuable, and also enables a business model with very low Cost of Goods Sold and therefore a potentially high profit margin. Consultants aren’t the only ones who have figured this out. Paycheck employees make the same trade, but the price is different because each side commits to a different timing. A consultant may work for a few hours and a well-defined endpoint. An employee works for an indefinite time and probably on a seemingly never-ending task.
Pricing time is difficult. Consultants are very aware of the price negotiation. Employees may see it via union contracts or are reminded of it when paychecks and raises come along. Time is priceless, yet because it is so valuable, we place a price upon it, and then use that money for more tangible needs.
As another friend pointed out, prices are always in doubt, but values are much more stable. I know many talented people who are not compensated for the value they provide. Our society’s benefits are easily overlooked. Nothing, no one, is perfect, and while much is cheapened in the news, eventually with the right timing, the value will be recognized. On the long list of unappreciated luxuries, waiting for the right time and price to be able to sell is near the top. When value and price meet is a great time for a sale.
Okay, I think MVIS can easily be worth $26. It’s trading at $0.40. I think I’ll wait for a better price for that sale.