Oh yes, life in plastic is fantastic
Viswanathan Anand on the government’s fiscal plan — and his own un-Johnny Depplike approach to money In the year when cashless became the byword, here’s looking at some of the most expensive items bought using a credit card
“I wanted to see the tax proposals especially with the churn we saw in the financial world this year. The government got a lot of money through demonetisation, which gives them a lot of f lexibility in other areas. I’m also curious about electronic payments, and how much we can minimise the role of cash. I’m happy to see the big push on infrastructure and housing, because that’s necessary.
Another good thing is that the fiscal deficit is not going to go up much.
The surcharge on those earning between ₹ 50 lakh to ₹ 1 crore is logical. I just hope the tax process is simpler. I also feel just a surcharge on a minority is not going to help much. We need to get more people in the net.
Speaking of sports, a higher budget will help. But addressing the issues of administration and policy is more important.
My approach to my money is simple. I ensure I have a good sense of what’s coming in and what’s going out. Once you have that you can pretty With cash seeing a crunch, it’s been a time when plastic has got all the credit. Rewinding to those episodes when big bills had precious little to do with big buys:
When Chinese billionaire LiuYiqianswipedhisAmerican Express credit card to buy Amedeo Modigliani’s ‘Nu couché’, his painting of a reclining nude
While I have advisers, I try to understand things myself too. The storyline any company gives you when selling stock has to make sense. If there was a stock I didn’t understand, I wouldn’t buy it even if my advisers told me to. I should be able to explain what I spent my money on and why.
When it comes to spending, I don’t blow money. But I also don’t compromise on the priorities — like travelling comfortably for tournaments, my son’s education, health care and my home. You can’t be penny wise, pound foolish. Otherwise, I’m not Johnny Depp (whose rumoured $2 million a month lifestyle has made him broke).
My one indulgence is holidays. I’m willing to spend a little more on those. And it keeps me motivated as well because at every point you must have something to look forward to. Some of the places on our list are Mexico, Peru, Australia and New Zealand.”
— As told to Akshay.Sawai1@timesgroup.com woman for $170.4 million, he hit two birds with one stone. Not only did he get his hands on a coveted piece of painting, but thanks to the number of air miles he accumulated in the transaction, he may just never have to pay for a plane ticket again. comes to acquiring what he loves. In the 1990s, his credit card was ch a r ge d wit h an approximate $450,000 on flow- ersforthenboyfriend-cummanager John Reid. Try beating that!
In 2011, a buyer bought a diamond through his credit card on a mobile app. The diamond engagement ring valued at $300,000 was bought off Blue Nile, a website that specialises in gold, platinum and diamond jewellery. The details of the buyer are still not known.
It would be safe to say that American businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad went over budget when he swiped his credit card for a cool $2.5 million on a painting, ‘I... I’m Sorry’ by Roy Lichtenstein, at a Sotheby’s auction. And this was in 1995. On the plus side, his purchase earned him frequent flyer miles of 2.5 million.
Over a decade back, Celine Dion splashed around $ 2 million on a hu mid i f i e r to keep her company at home and during her travels. Lesser mortals usually make do with one costing anything between $ 30 and $ 200 but Dion wanted the purest air to soothe her lungs.
PICS: GETTY IMAGES, THINKSTOCK PHOTOS