Our Favourite Words of Financial Wisdom

In the world of money, a ‘quote’ is usually an element of market data. But in the real world, a quote is of course a sentence or two which captures the imagination – a short, sharp and valuable insight. And here are our favourite ones for teaching important financial lessons…

‘A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.’ (Jonathan Swift) Click to Tweet

Man with credit card

Source: Bryan Rosengrant

Too many famous quotes on the subject of money try to tell you whether it’s a good or bad thing. The great English satirist (and author of Gulliver’s Travels) Jonathan Swift reminds us that it’s not that simple. Being aware of money, but not in love with it, seems like wise advice to us…

‘Money’s a horrid thing to follow, but a charming thing to meet.’ (Henry James) Click to Tweet

Frog with a crown on

Source: Charlton Clemens

Few writers have a more elegant turn of phrase than Henry James, and here he offers up a nice image for the different ways money can feature in our lives. What to do after we’ve ‘met’ the money is, of course, another question…

‘Put all good eggs in one basket – and then watch that basket.’ (Andrew Carnegie) Click to Tweet

decorated eggs in a basket

Source: Room Decorating Ideas

When it comes to handing out money advice, it’s hard to find many people with better credentials than Andrew Carnegie – who made an extraordinary fortune, which he then gave away almost entirely. By adapting a famous maxim, Carnegie shows how important it is us to take received wisdom with a pinch of salt.

‘Wealth — any income that is at least one hundred dollars more a year than the income of one’s wife’s sister’s husband.’ (H.L. Mencken) Click to Tweet

Mencken was more famous for his witty critiques of religion and politics than his money advice, but this definition of wealth certainly rings true! Telling people that money is relative is one thing, but illustrating that idea as vividly and personally as Mencken does makes the message all the more convincing.

‘It’s not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It’s the customer who pays the wages.’ (Henry Ford) Click to Tweet

This is a good one for people running their own business; a neat reminder that customers and employees are all part of the same process. It’s also a handy lesson in humility – Ford shows us that people at the top are essentially the middle men!

customer in palm of hand

Source: pixabay

I write on all areas of finance for BookCheck, so keep a check on my blog for more accounting, bookkeeping and finance based posts.

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