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Financial Truisms

The world is moving at the speed of light and many like me don't like it. Recently, I went to get a new bank card and was told to download the APP. I said, "I don't want an app on my phone," and the woman said, "It's the way we communicate now." She tried to tell me all the benefits of banking on my phone and I told her I like the feel of money, I like paper statements, I like writing checks, and I like getting help from the walk-up teller. I feel pressured to take unwanted risks that I know will opens the door to cyber-theft and because of technology I have no other options. If the government can't keep the Russians out of their accounts, why would I want to give them access to mine? I now see why people in the old days stuffed their hard-earned money in the mattress.

Methods of the past allowed people to have tangible assets they could see and feel. You knew if you had money in the bank, you could usually withdraw it unless it was a holiday or the weekend. Then the ATM machine made it more accessible. I found it odd that they replaced the teller with the ATM, and we had to pay a fee for using the machine, but I still could access a live human being if I had a question. This "customer service" is rapidly disappearing and soon will altogether be gone.

An online dictionary states a truism as a "phrase or sentence that sounds meaningful and profound on the surface but does not impart any new information or ideas. Generally, a truism is self-evident or obvious." In other words, Truisms are statements rooted in accumulated experience proven over time which are accepted as fact.

I was looking up truisms online to see what common folks of the past said about money. Here are a few:

  • "Money is power, freedom, a cushion, the root of all evil, the sum of blessings. It doesn't matter about money; having it, not having it. Or having clothes, or not having them. You're still left alone with yourself in the end. The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket."

  • "Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants." Benjamin Franklin.

  • "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people that they don't like." Will Rogers

Recently, it seems we have lost many truisms about wealth and equity and they are being replaced by new self-evident statements which have no basis in truth but are being presented as fact. Here are some truths that have been proven over the years:

  • Self-esteem is not improved from getting a trophy (or money) you didn't earn.

  • Wealth is not gained by removing another's ability to earn.

  • Working hard to succeed does not make you privileged.

  • Equality cannot be achieved at the level of excellence and requires settling for the lowest common denominator.

"Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will."

Nelson Mandella


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