Friday, May 29, 2020

A Story of 4 Friends: Who Had The Last Laugh?

It's been a while since I last wrote on a fiction story to think about on a Friday leading to weekends.

Once upon a time, there were 4 friends who were once classmates when they were in school.

Because of circuit breaker, they were bored with their daily routines so decided to do video conference to keep each other updated on their respective situation.

You know, just an update sort of thing or so, just to ensure everyone is "okay", they promised.

Person A

The first person (let's call him Person A) is a business owner.

Since young, he's been the most adventurous out of the four classmates, striving to always think out of the box and consistently rank one of the last few in his class.

He was doing well in his business, opening up new store after store each year in different mall locations.

However, because of Covid, his business was severely impacted when the government announced mandatory closure during the Circuit Breaker as he's not able to operate his retail business in full fledge. 

Thankfully, there was a law mandate that allow landlords to pass down some rental rebates to tenants and as beneficiary he was thankful to the government for helping out businesses like his. The law also mandates that tenants who can proof that they are facing financial difficulties can apply to MOL to assess the situation that will allow them to defer their rental payment until Oct'20. 

This allowed him some breathing space while he's cautiously hoping things would settle down soon.

Person B 

The second person (let's call him Person B) is an early financial independence person. 

He quit his job when he achieved lean financial independent at the age of 35 because he just wanted to live on his dividend for the rest of his life.

Being a dividend investor, his portfolio is made up mostly of REITS, which technically made him sort of a landlord in this situation.

Coincidentally, the retail REIT he owns happens to be the landlord of the tenant of Person A's business.

He lamented that his REIT is conserving cashflow to help the tenants out during the circuit breaker hence he is receiving a much lower dividends as a result. Still, he believes that he's a long term investor and tough period will be over soon and he will be able to get his usual BAU dividends once everything returns to normalcy in at most a year's time.

Person C

The third person (let's call him Person C) is the most down to earth among the four friends.

He lives a life like what most people do, working as an employee of a corporation from 9 to 6 on a 5-day work week.

Coincidentally, the corporation that he's working for happens to be the same retail REIT which Person B owns. This also means that he's indirectly related to Person A because of his company landlord-tenant situation.

During Circuit Breaker, the company announced a 30% pay cut through all levels in the organization. Management cited these are extraordinary times hence tough measures were implemented. 

"Tough times don't last but tough people do" is one of the key message that management tried to rally.

There are no other options but to agree so there's really not much room for discussion here.

While disappointed with the news, he believes that he is doing all he can to help out the company during these extraordinary times. 

Person D

The fourth person (let's call her Person D) is a housewife.

She's married young since she graduated so she never really had experience working in an outside world.

She's mostly in charge of handling the kids at home and during the circuit breaker, she has to double up her role as a teacher and also as a wife to the husband working at home.

Being a housewife, she doesn't contribute much to the expenses incurred in the household.

Still, she felt like she had a bigger role to play in the household so she started her own small online business that doesn't take her physical time away from the children.

She was the least affected during the circuit breaker out of the four friends but that's primarily because she comes from a low base low risk business.

Still, the fact that her children and husband are everyday at home are driving her crazy at times. Well, I am guessing she needs her own private time too.

The End Of The Story

The four friends had a good time together throughout the call - supporting, listening and showing empathy to one another.

While all of them acknowledged that these are tough times, they were all hoping that things will return to normalcy soon so everyone can get on with their normal lives.

They had a good laugh (some were half-baked laughing) and ended the call after an hour and twenty minutes.

P.S: Who's Had The Last Laugh At The End?

Thanks for reading.

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  2. uncle168,

    when the bank covered bonds default due to massive default of private residential property mortgages, those who have less than $75k in deposit would have the last laugh


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