Kudos To Gary Slaight And Family

How rich is rich enough?  It's not something I've ever had to deal with and unless I win a Power Ball type lottery, I don't expect to. I sometimes wonder what professional athletes are trying to prove when they walk away from a $47m deal because they've insisted to their agent that it be $50m. Just how many god damned millions does anyone need.  

Before the insanity of the Toronto real estate market; back in 1987, my grandparents moved into assisted living, leaving their home of some 40 years to my parents to move into.  That meant my parents would be selling our family home of almost 30 years. The house that my brother and sister and I grew up in.  It was a wonderful four-bedroom home with a finished basement (if those walls could talk) with two full baths and two halfs, in a nice Toronto, upper-middle-class neighbourhood.  I believe the purchase price in 1960 was around $40k.  

My Dad was a smart businessman, like my grandfather.  He was well invested and a successful broadcaster. At some point in the 70s, interest rates had climbed to 7%.  It so infuriated my Dad, that he cashed out some other investments and paid off what was left of the mortgage.  It had been free and clear for some time at the point at which it was time to sell.  So, the house "showed” and then, immediately the offers started coming in.  At one point, the house was crawling with real estate agents as a bidding war ensued.  My Dad began to freak out.  When the offers got into the mid $400k, he put a stop to it and just took one.  He was overwhelmed by the apparent value of the house.  He wondered aloud, "How much money does a person need?"  I thought he was absolutely NUTS to stop a bidding war that seemed far from over. That house is clearly valued at between $1.5-$2m now.  

This need for greed is not something that sat well with my Dad or His.

I wish my marriage had lasted.  I also wish it had lasted another 6 or 7 years.  When it ended, we sold the "marital" home and pretty much broke even after about 9 years. It was a "fixer upper" and we did.  I can only imagine, 20 years later what that 3-bedroom semi-detached house is worth.  

It's not greedy to want to be a little ahead of the game and to secure your future but it's nice to see Slaight wealth turned over for so much good.  Kudos to Gary and his family.

Veteran broadcaster Rob Cowan, as posted in Warren’s Network newsletter on Jan. 11


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