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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Mark-to-Market

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. STUDY - MORNING


  4. iPad Mini placed in position, PETER is about to join a Zoom meeting.

  5. PETER (V.O.): It's about budgeting.


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I never like numbers. I've never been good at them.


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The subject Maths bothered me from primary schooling until my admission to HKU.


  10. Peter joins the meeting.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I don't know if I could contribute anything in the process.


  12. Someone begins to debrief on screen.


  13. Act 2


  14. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  15. Peter is listening.


  16. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It was only years before my retirement that my chronic debt problem had gone away.


  17. Peter holds the iPad Mini closer to him so that he can see the shared slide's small prints.


  18. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Once I've got financial freedom, I don't care where my money is to go or where has it gone.


  19. Pausing.


  20. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I used to spend a lot on paying mortgages. Once I've decided not to enslave myself anymore to have more space, I feel carefree.


  21. We hear from the screen: "...mark-to-market"...


  22. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've heard the expression more than once. What exactly does it mean?


  23. Peter researches with his phone.


  24. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's an accounting rule reflecting the fair value of any financial asset by using the current market price as the yardstick.


  25. Researching.


  26. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Whether the asset costed more in the past or might be worth more in future is irrelevant.


  27. Researching further.


  28. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): On the other hand, there's also the mark-to-model practice. The determining factor is the financial model which often offers higher valuation than the (hypothetical) market.


  29. Pausing.


  30. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me satisfy my curiosity by asking why the controversial accounting rule isn't used in the context.


  31. Peter poses his question and we hear someone answering.


  32. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It seems budgeting is honest reporting what it really is, and not what one wishes it could be.


  33. Pausing.


  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Good, I've learned something.


  35. As the meeting ends, Peter checks his missed phone messages.


  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, my wealth manger asks me to open a new current account for the purpose of doing financial insurance - a new product.


  37. Pausing.


  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To have an additional account is something that I hate too, as I don't check my accounts. But my wealth manager has been providing reliable service all along.


  39. INT. BANK - AFTERNOON

  40. As a STAFF presents some papers, Peter signs them.


  41. STAFF: You've opened a new current account.


  42. PETER (V.O.): Okay, my new financial adventure is all set.


  43. INT. STUDY - LATER


  44. Peter looks uneasy.


  45. PETER (V.O.): I've only two days left to file my tax return. But I like to procrastinate on this matter.


  46. Pausing.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There's a lot of work that I don't like to do. In the first place, my journal for the year isn't update.


  48. Getting up from the sofa, Peter goes to a desk to turn on a computer.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've to shift into action mode now. I don't want to worry any more.


  50. Act 3


  51. INT. STUDY - LATER


  52. A tired Peter looks out of window.


  53. PETER (V.O.): Can I go swimming?


  54. Peter sees lightning. Then, he does pushes ups 70 times.


  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I won't lose count on exercises.


  56. Recalling.


  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My elder daughter will be working in a Japanese trading firm that uses a collection of numbers to highlight its brand.


  58. Reflecting.


  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Today, I've learned that numbers aside, they reflect one's values and aspirations.


  60. Pausing.


  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've also begun to count the days, as my wife and I will be having staycations. Meanwhile, I continue to make every day count.


  62. FADE OUT.


  63. THE END


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