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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the richest of them all?

(Well, we should check in with the magic mirror on this question as it's panto season after all!)

Until recently Elon Musk held the illustrious title. According to Forbes now though, after a decline in Tesla share price (probably due to the ongoing Twitter saga), the LVMH (Louis Vuitton et al.) CEO Bernard Arnault has knocked him off top spot.

How companies (and consequently the people associated with them) get ‘valued’ can be measured in a myriad of different ways. A company’s attractiveness can be expressed as discounted cash flow, market capitalisation, total shareholder return - the list goes on (and on).

Regardless of the measurement, the surprise with Bernard Arnault is, that whilst many mid to high range retailers are really feeling the squeeze; not everyone is thinking about engaging in ‘shrinkflation’ or ‘skimpflation’ and running off to own label brands. On the contrary, they’re sticking with their luxury brand favourites. That’s not to say it’s always an easy choice when it comes to handing over their hard-earned cash…

It’s worth remembering that whilst conflict becomes most prominent between two or more parties when there’s a difference of opinion; it can also happen more subtlety (but in truth more frequently) in our own heads as well. Now more than ever, we feel these internal conflicts play out in our heads when we consider whether to enter into any form of contract, agreement or commitment.

With rising costs at every turn, we need to make sure we’re spending our budgets in the most sustainable way. The example at the grimmest end of the scale, for the poor unfortunates may be between heat, food and time. As we progress further up the scale, other variables start to appear – carbon footprint, provenance, delivery etc.

It’s also worth remembering that as human beings we are all unique and as such we often value things differently. We may find other peoples’ value systems to be strange, illogical or even deeply flawed which leads them to make choices we disagree with. This might be due to historical events, immediate pressures or possibly future desires.

Whilst this can be frustrating, particularly if our persuasive techniques aren’t working, it does open up the possibility of entering into a trade (or negotiation) otherwise known as the ‘differential marginal utility’ between different items of respective views on value.

Of course, the spirit of Christmas shouldn’t be about trading. (Although exchanging unwanted Christmas presents can be achieved – but needs to be exercised with extreme sensitivity!)

On that note, Savage Macbeth would like to wish our clients, friends, and well-wishers a very merry Christmas – one where you get to spend your precious time with the ones you value the most.

Sam Macbeth, 15th December 2022

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