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PAR VALUE: The stated, or face, value of a legal claim or financial asset. For debt securities, such as corporate bonds or U. S. Treasury securities, this is amount to be repaid at the time of maturity. For equity securities, that is, corporate stocks, this is the initial value set up at the time it is issued. Par value, also called face value, is not necessarily, and often is not, equal to the current market price of the asset. A $10,000 U.S. Treasury note, for example, has a par value of $10,000, but might have a current market price of $9,950. The difference between par value and current price contributes to the yield or return on such assets. An asset is selling at a discount if the current price is less than the par value and is selling at a premium if the current price is more than the par value.

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Fact 2: Our Subjective Values

Upon leaving Scarcity Stan's Bakery Shoppe and Confectionery Palace our pedestrian's excursion drops into Mega-Mart Discount Warehouse Super Center. A quick tour of this mecca of mass production -- lasting no more than three days -- is likely to reveal within the 20 gadzillion square feet of floor space a number of sales racks, shelves, and tables filled with merchandise marked down for clearance. A prominently displayed sign on one sales rack boldly declares that the regular $24.99 price has been drastically reduced, for this week only, to $3.98. What a bargain! What a sale! We have the chance -- "for a limited time only" -- to get stuff valued at $24.99 for only $3.98! With a bargain like this, how can we lose?

It's easy to lose, if you don't understand the concept of value. Most of us have several "bargains" stored away in the attic, closet, or garage that never have seen, and probably never will see, anything resembling use. What seemed like a great "bargain" at the store, does nothing but occupy space at home. (By the way, does anyone have use for a distributor cap for a 1949 Ford?)
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time flipping through mail order catalogs trying to buy either arch supports for your shoes or an AC adapter that works with your MPG player. Be on the lookout for strangers with large satchels of used undergarments.
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Approximately three-fourths of the U.S. paper currency in circular contains traces of cocaine.
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