Anyone remember when our money was backed by gold? Top of the dollar bill said “Silver certificate”? Today our bills say, “Federal Reserve Note”; called fiat currency. Fiat currency is government IOU’s (political promises). The value of fiat money is based on supply, demand and faith in the issuing government. Adam Smith said, “All money is a matter of belief.” […]» Read more
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Anyone remember when our money was backed by gold? Top of the dollar bill said "Silver certificate"? Today our bills say, "Federal Reserve Note"; called fiat currency. Fiat currency is government IOU's (political promises). The value of fiat money is based on supply, demand and faith in the issuing government.
Adam Smith said, "All money is a matter of belief." When the world loses faith, the currency becomes worthless paper.
I'm concerned about Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's recent announcement about targeting inflation:
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Remember the saying, “Everything comes to those who wait?” Investment gurus lectured us about patience and compounding. They blared, “Save $100/month, invest at 6% and you will be a millionaire when you retire.” Current interest rates make that impossible. 25 years ago, if you bought US treasuries, the compound interest doubled your money in 12 years. Using today’s interest rates, […]» Read more
I gave myself a wake-up call. Our recent article “Thinking About Retiring? Better Think It Through!” was a jolt for sure. For decades the mantra was save money and grow your wealth. We banked on the “rule of 72”. When the accumulated interest equals 72, you would double your money. Earn 6%, in 12 years you will double your money, […]» Read more
A friend recently asked me, “How is anyone going to be able to retire?” Since 2008, the retirement landscape has changed radically. This Atlantic article, How Retirement Was Invented provides some history: “In the United States, starting in the mid-1800s, certain municipal employees…started receiving public pensions…. By the 1920s, a variety of American industries…were promising their workers some sort of […]» Read more
Anyone remember the commercials for “Friendly Bob Adams” of Household Finance? They advertised “debt consolidation loans”. Bring all your payment booklets, pay off your debts and consolidate them into one loan with a lower monthly payment. Theoretically it took the pressure off those living from paycheck to paycheck, up to their eyeballs in debt. A friend worked there and often […]» Read more
I grabbed the clicker; “Turn off the damn TV!” No, I didn’t turn off hyped political commentary; it was the Weather Channel. They blared; millions of people were going to “suffer” from the current heatwave. The next headline, “US could set disaster record this year”, followed by 3 minutes of videos of every kind of natural disaster imaginable. They also […]» Read more
At the local convenience store, my wife Jo handed the clerk a $5 bill and waited for her change; finally asking for it. The clerk said, “We have a coin shortage. We have to round things to the nearest dollar.” Screw that! She dug in her purse, cobbled together the correct change and demanded the clerk give her a dollar […]» Read more
I ran into the house crying. My grandmother grabbed some ice and pressed it to my face. I was a first-grader and had never been on a farm before. I knocked down a wasp’s nest with a broom. I got nailed, and it hurt! My grandfather looked at the welt. He smiled, and calmly said, “Now you know why I […]» Read more
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