“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.”
Money is a means of exchange, not a store of value. But there is the age old human desire to maintain wealth for future use, instead of current consumption. So how should we go about it? And is storing wealth a good idea to begin with?
It’s useful to note that there is a profound difference between a good investment and a good store of value. A good store will maintain value, a good investment is expected to generate value.
There are two kind of investments. One is productive, the other is ‘financial’. The productive kind is using some of our wealth to cut costs, or increase productivity. By buying machines. Or improving our education. Not only our own wealth increases, but also that of the community that we belong to as a whole.The financial kind is exploitative. It does not create wealth, it redistributes wealth. To the community it is a zero sum game. The basic driver of ‘financial investments’ is the lack of cash of the multitude. Financial ‘services’ and ‘investments’ exist to ‘help out’ those who are strapped for cash. With a loan, for instance. Or ‘insurance’.
Gold is not a good store of value. Simply because it’s value is not stable. It rises and declines. It has been appreciating over the last decade because of broad speculation, fueled by the Money Power itself, that it will be money again. More and more countries non-aligned with the American Empire are looking to gain independence from the dollar by creating gold based units. Even America itself seems to be moving toward a Gold Standard of some sorts.
This won’t last long. A Gold Standard will create the deflation the Banking Fraternity seems to want. And when the masses will have risen, creating the havoc our masters seem to be aiming for, and do away with the horribly deflationary Gold Standard, killing economic growth and horribly raping debtors, gold will be relegated to the 2002 $200 dollar per ounce territory once more. Sure, this is still quite some time off, and it will go up before it goes down. Way up, actually, if this scenario indeed comes to fruition.
So if storing cash is not the way and buying gold is not saving, but an exploitative ‘financial investment’, then what?
The crucial thing to understand is that storing wealth is not about ‘liquidity’, but about ‘net asset position’. It’s not about the cash in one’s pocket (or bank account), it’s about the assets on the balance sheet. For millionaires this is a total no brainer but most people are financially illiterate, so it’s worth while mentioning this.
Another thing, cliche or not, to keep in mind is, that it’s always good to have more than one egg in the basket.
The first thing I’d suggest is to pay off debt. The financial wizards have skewed the system so badly that they can nowadays somewhat plausibly claim debt is actually favorable in many cases. Forget about that. The least we can say is that being in debt increases the wealth transfer to the Money Power through interest. It’s a bind that makes us vulnerable to all kinds of shocks. Dump all your cash in paying off debt, it saves interest payments too, so in terms of your net asset position and net income stream it is always a decent proposition.
Investing in local businesses, your own perhaps, or your education, new tools, new skills. These are all very worthy ways of disposing of cash while improving one’s net asset position. This is a serious mutual win-win. In fact, local business men would be far more proactive. It allows them access to capital they desperately need and it also is an excellent way of committing their customers to their business. To local people it is beneficial, because it strengthens their local economy tremendously, in this way a fist can be made against the combined onslaught of Wal-Mart and non-lending banks.
There are spiritual laws governing this issue. Money must flow, it must circulate. Even if it is not directly beneficial to one’s self, it still is a wise way of dealing with money. It makes you tap into the abundance of Providence.
“Do not be afraid of poverty. Let money flow freely. I will let it flow in but you must let it flow out. I never send money to stagnate – only to those who pass it on. Keep nothing for yourself. Hoard nothing. Only have what you need and use. This is My Law of Discipleship.”
Saving money stagnates the flow of abundance. I know this is hard to digest for many people, but it is worth mentioning nonetheless.
And the final issue is this: storing wealth, accumulating wealth is vastly overrated. In fact, it is highly risky. Jesus was not kidding when He warned us we cannot serve two masters. Accumulating wealth leads to poverty of the Spirit. This is a Law of Nature. We can own what we need and use, all the rest is simply a hindrance. It requires care and attention. It must be maintained. It can be stolen. We become defensive (because) of it. It distracts us from our main priorities in life. Long before Jesus, Buddha was already explaining this.
First and foremost: the desire to store wealth is a sign of fear. Fear for the future. Fear of want. Anything driven by fear leads us astray. It is uncalled for.
Providence provides. We can really trust on that. We must shed the fear of want and we must shed our desire to measure our ‘standard of living’ by the norms of our neighbors. We should not be working hard to create wealth, but to learn how to live in tune with the One Volition, to do His will, because that is the real source of everything.
Yes, the Old Testament tells us to be frugal, work hard and create wealth. But that is the Old Covenant. That is Law. Christ brought the New Covenant, based on Grace.
The gospels clearly are very outspoken on hoarding and wealth accumulation. Most (but certainly not all) people will agree wealth is of lesser import than family, let alone our own life, but Christ implores us to even shed the fear of losing them:
“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”
So we can hardly be surprised to read a few verses later:
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
To many people these matters may seem abstract. They are not. They are fundamental, simple and to the point. All they require is a little contemplation and appreciation.
Hoarding cash is obstructing the flow of life itself.
Wealth accumulation is a very low priority and can easily overwhelm our perception of our real priorities.
Economics, if it is to be a sacred science once more, must be in accordance with the simple laws of the Spirit.
"Stand up for what you believe in. Even if you stand alone."
~ Sophie Magdalena Scholl
"Let it not be said that we did nothing."
~ Ron Paul
"You must be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi
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