“The best way to guarantee a loss is to quit.”
~ Morgan Freeman
Not much in life is truly “guaranteed.” We can’t guarantee the weather, what other people will or won’t do, the direction of the markets, or even if we’ll be around to see tomorrow.
And even most “guarantees” have exceptions.
Your purchase is guaranteed – but only for 30 days, or unless you drop the item, get it wet, or use it in a hazardous way.
One company printed this tongue-in-cheek limitation about their own lifetime guarantee for their rugged luggage and phone cases: “DOES NOT COVER SHARKBITE, BEAR ATTACK, OR CHILDREN UNDER 5.” (The guarantee was honored even if a toddler broke the unbreakable case.)
After a couple of weeks of talking about banking fraud and scandals on our Partners for Prosperity blog, it’s time for a change of mood. After all, a number of recent studies show evidence that happy people make more money, and we’d like to help you be more prosperous!
Therefore, we scoured the internet to assemble some of our favorite jokes about money. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did assembling them.
“People are always worried about politics, about the presidents and all these figures, but really, they should be worried (about) banks; because banks own everything. they own you, they own us.”
~ Unnamed bank employee featured in video for BetterBanksLA.org
The definition of the Golden Rule was updated with this witty punch line, from a 1964 comic strip, The Wizard of Id: “Whoever has the gold, makes the rules!”
And in case after case of bank fraud and other financial institution crimes, the joke hits too close to home.
If a person robs a bank, they go to jail.
When a bank is caught robbing a person, the institution is fined, and most of the fine ends up in the pocket of the government and/or agency imposing the fine.
If a person uses someone else’s personal information for their own financial gain, it’s called fraud. Those convicted of it face steep fines and even prison.
When a bank was caught using its own customers’ personal information for gain, no one was prosecuted. Employees caught were let go, while executives and managers received bonuses and promotions.
“For $124.6 million and no risk of going to jail, I think I could probably sign my mother’s name to a MasterCard application when she wasn’t looking… If mom finds out what I did to her, I can always buy her a city block in Manhattan to make up for it.”
– blogger Martin Andleman, referring to the compensation of Carrie Tolstedt, who headed the Wells Fargo division that opened unauthorized accounts.
Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Wells Fargo was being fined $185 million because bank employees had created millions of fake accounts (using real customer information) to meet sales quotas. It’s the largest fine ever levied by the CFPB. But will it matter? And what, exactly, went wrong at Wells Fargo?
Sadly, the fraudulent activity making headlines in the last week has gone on for years. As reported on NYTimes.com, federal banking regulators admit that at least as far back as 2011, Wells Fargo employees were issuing unauthorized credit cards, setting up sham accounts, and signing up customers for online banking services… without customer consent. Some customers were merely annoyed (or unaware), but others were severely impacted, owing fees and suffering from damaged credit ratings when unpaid fees on fraudulent accounts were sent to collections.
If you think your finances are no laughing matter, you might be spending too much time watching the news or reading financial prospectuses. Because lately, we’ve noticed a lot of laughing going on as comedians talk about money, and people in the financial world using humor to communicate about financial topics. In this article, we profile three examples of people who are connecting money and humor, plus a fourth well-known comedian who gives us a worthy financial example to follow.
“The truth is funny,” insists Kathryn Cicoletti, aka Ms. Cheat Sheet, who spent over 10 years as a hedge fund insider. Working as a research analyst and then moving into a sales position, Kathryn created custom portfolios for institutional investors. A top revenue producer on her team, Cicoletti says that “commissions were good… but life was not.” Her lack of work-life balance crushed her spirit, and not even her half-a-million-plus annual income could resolve her growing dissatisfaction.
One of our favorite CPAs, Tom Wheelwright of ProVision Wealth, agreed to let us share the following article. Tom is author of Tax-Free Wealth and the founder of Wealth Strategy U, a membership site that answers tax and other wealth-related questions. Here’s Tom:
How To Add Leverage To Your Wealth Strategy
Leverage is simply doing more with less.
When I mentioned leverage in this context, money is what people think of most often. Loans, mortgages, other people’s money – all are forms of leverage based on money. While this type of leverage is important, it is equally important to use other forms of leverage in your wealth strategy.
Here are a few examples of other forms of leverage to use in a wealth strategy:
“Education costs money, but then so does ignorance.”
– Sir Claus Moser
A high school senior, Delilah Moore, was accepted to her dream school, Oberlin College. And after days of soul-searching, number crunching, and seeking advice on Reddit, she turned down her #1 pick. The reason? According to the April 28 Yahoo! Finance article, “I Decided Not to Go to My Pricey Dream School and I’m So Happy About It,” the decision “came down to the money.”