Image Alt

Trading on up

Trading on up

“Look, Dad!” my middle son said as he came home the other day. “I got an iPad!”

“Where,” I asked him, “did you get an iPad?”

“I bought it from Bradly for twenty bucks.”

“What? Where did you get twenty bucks?”

“I sold a pack of gum to Ahmed.”

“For twenty bucks? Wait a minute. Where did you even get the gum?”

“Leo gave it to me.”

“So let me get this straight. Leo gave you a pack of gum, which you sold for twenty dollars, which you used to buy an iPad?

“Yeah. Awesome eh?”

“Well, yeah, pretty awesome in a red paper clip sort of way. But don’t you think you’re ripping off your friends a little?”

“Dad, but they made the deal.”

“I know. I’m not saying you did anything wrong, and there’s a part of me that thinks I should really be letting you manage my investments…”


“Never mind. My point is that you need to make fair deals with your friends or they might not want to be your friends forever. Ahmed might feel bad about your deal when the gum is all gone. Bradley might feel really bad when his money is all spent. Especially when his mom asks him what happened to his iPad.”

“So I have to give it back?”

“Yeah, we probably should.”

“Can I get my twenty dollars back?” he asked.

“No,” I said, “but I might spring for a pack of gum.”