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What if Money Came with an Instruction Manual?

A big stack of U.S. billsI make it a point not to give smug internet entrepreneur Jakob Lodwick any press (even our local “youth is the future” advocate Will Pate distances himself from this prat), but he does make a good point in a recent blog entry of his:

What if money had instructions on the back? Basic economic facts, wise slogans, etc? I think it would be useful.

In case you’re a little shaky on the first principles of money, here they are:

  1. In the absence of other factors, more money is better than less money.
  2. Real money is better than fake money.
  3. Money now is worth more than the same amount of money later.
  4. If given a choice, it’s better to spend someone else’s money than your own (thanks to BNK for telling me about this rule).

One particular reason I dislike Lodwick: this video, in which he suggests that the way to keep a company vibrant is to harass the old people so that they leave. Perhaps if he listened to some of these old people, he might already know a little bit more about the instructions for money.

[Jakob Lodwick’s blog entry found via The War on Folly]

5 replies on “What if Money Came with an Instruction Manual?”

the ‘old people’ thing was tongue-in-cheek, but I doubt that’s actually one of the reasons you dislike me.

#4 is only true if they’re not charging you for the privilege. Otherwise, you’re stealing from your future to pay for your present, and that’s bad.

@jakob: Ah, but in the absence of other contextual information, you are what you write (or in this case, shoot on video).

Besides, I did give you props for a good idea…

@Mike: Generally true, unless the expected gain outweighs the charge, such as in the case of taking out a business loan or a mortgage under the right circumstances.

Identifying those right circumstances, however, has proven to be a tricky proposition for a lot of people, however…

It’s a bit like Orwell’s Rules for Writers: “Break any of these rules sooner than do anything outright barbarous.”

For somewhat advanced users, I might revise #4 to be “if the interest is lower than the expected return” with the addendum: “If you’re gambling, be honest with yourself about it, and do your best to know the odds.”

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