The Essence of Wealth?

I spotted this quote over on The Big Picture today, and thought it apropos given the subtitle of this blog (“making the most of time and treasure”):

“Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures but in the use made of them.” ¬óNapoleon Bonaparte

(Whatever one thinks of Napoleon, he certainly knew something about both treasure and many of its uses!)

From this perspective, much of Wall Street, though it has accumulated “treasure”, knows nothing of “riches”. Money not responsibly invested is wasted wealth, as is the labor (“time”) of those involved.

It is also worth pointing out that banks do not own their money.¬† They merely borrow it from their depositors and other creditors.¬† If they accumulate riches (i.e. siphoning profits off the spread between their borrowing costs and their lending rates), it is only because they are better at making “use” of your treasure than you are!

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