10 most bad ass financial quotes ever – or are they?

Published October 12, 2015   Posted in Having some fun

Today, I thought that I’d do something a little different than my traditional blog post about our plan to give corporate America the middle finger.  This time, I’m going to burn a post by giving you 10 financial quotes for consideration.  Some of these quotes I’ve taken personal satisfaction from.  Others, personal insult.  Others still, motivation.

10 most bad ass financial quotes everWhich ones do you believe are bad ass enough to make it into YOUR quotation rolodex?

First, I thought that I’d start off with a quote from my own father, spoken so off the cuff 14-some-odd years ago shortly after I graduated college – a quote that never truly registered with me then, but certainly does now:

Some people are on the 10-year plan – my dad

He was referring to the idea that some people graduate from college and immediately start saving like mad, more or less spending the first 10 years of their post-education life by saving money and living extremely frugally, then calling it quits for the rest of their life.  For the record, my dad retired at 49.

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. – Will Smith

Spoken like a true financial poet, Mr. Smith.  Sadly, it’s also true.  Here is something less poetic: How many people spend stupid money on stupid shit to impress a bunch of people that they don’t know or like?  Probably more than you think.  In fact, YOU might be guilty.  I sure was.

The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket  – Frank Hubbard

In other words, don’t spend it.  If you invest your dough instead of folding it over and putting it in your pocket, doubling your money is only the beginning.

Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves – Albert Einstein

Now that’s a brain teaser if I’ve ever heard one – and leave it to Albert Einstein to tease your brain.  Do you think that Americans deserve the libel of “dollar chasers”?

We make ourselves rich by making our wants few – Henry David Thoreau

The “less is more” theory, and definitely one of the most bad ass personal finance quotes that I’ve ever read.  Controlling our wants enables us to totally take control of our future.

In investing, what is comfortable is rarely profitable – Robert Arnott

Whoa, really?  I gotta say that I’m doing fairly well and am pretty darn comfortable.  Or, maybe my comfort zone has just moved, or continues to move so I quickly become comfortable where ever I happen to be. What say you?  Are you enjoying “comfortable profits”?

Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy – Groucho Marx

Perhaps Mr. Marx was just being a Grouch-0, but does he have a point?  How many of the things that you dislike disappear as you collect more and more coin?  Maid services?  Pool cleaning crews?  Car washers?

Don’t tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I’ll tell you what they are – James W. Frick

This one might hit a little below the belt with some, but it’s also a to-the-point statement dripping with cold, hard truth. Reminds me of the age-old “Actions speak louder than words” phrase that I’m sure we all heard as kids – especially me!

It’s money. I remember it from when I was single – Billy Crystal

Touche, Mr. Crystal!  But, I personally have much, much more money now than back when I was single.  If you’re able to get your spouse on-board with your hair-brained scheme to achieve financial independence and retire early, your wealth potential can skyrocket. How about you?

The four most dangerous words in investing are: ‘this time it’s different’ – Sir John Templeton

This might be my favorite one…because, well, things are almost never different.  Whether you’re talking about a plan to “get rich quick” or lose weight or start a business, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. Hey, that’s another quote!

What are some of your favorite financial quotes that you live by?  Do any of these suit your fancy?

We track our net worth using Personal Capital


12 responses to “10 most bad ass financial quotes ever – or are they?”

  1. Maggie says:

    TWO POST MONDAY?! It’s like Christmas! And I love this one. I think Groucho’s is my favorite, followed closely by Will Smith’s. Will’s is more elegantly put (oddly enough), but Groucho’s is more broad. Money allows us to not work… so it’s like the tag line for early retirement, amiright?

    • Steve says:

      You’re too kind, Maggie! Yup, Groucho’s is definitely one of my favorites as well. It’s a succinct way of describing what money CAN buy. 🙂

  2. If it sounds to good to be true…RUN!

  3. A couple personal finance quotes that come to my mind:

    – “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds nought and six, result misery.” – Charles Dickens
    – “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” – Oscar Wilde

  4. I second Maggie — Groucho’s is my favorite, too. The thing we like least of all is working, and money will free us from having to do that! 🙂

    • Steve says:

      Amen to that! Money will definitely free us from working as well, because for us, money is quite literally the ONLY thing that our jobs are providing us any more.

  5. The James W. Frick one would be great for newcomers to the whole idea of early retirement – it’s tough but fair and enough to give a bit of a wake up call.

    I did a post on money quotes a while back and found that people who were defensive about money often used the quote “money is the root of all evil”. This turns out to be particularly dumb though because it’s misquoting a bible quote that was actually “FOR THE LOVE OF money is the root of all evil”, which has a completely different meaning!

    • Steve says:

      Hi InsiderAccountant – I agree, the insipid connection between money and evil is intellectually lazy and is used more as an excuse for someone’s personal inability to acquire real wealth more than anything.

      It is true that money can be used for evil, but to say that the root cause of evil IS money is as hollow as the Detroit Lions are bad.

      Thanks for reading!

  6. Mrs. FI says:

    Yay! A quote-filled post! How fun! There was a time where I’d search the internet for “quotes of the day” every day, just for the heck of it. Nothing more fun than digesting snippets of knowledge when you’ve little-to-no-time in your day. I’ve always been a big fan of the James W. Frick quote. Straight to the point with no room for argument and a statement that makes one re-evaluate what they prioritize in their lives. I don’t have any financial quotes that I live by but this post has certainly reawakened my love of quote-finding…so maybe I’ll have one soon 😉

    • Steve says:

      Thanks Mrs. FI! I like the Frick one too for precisely the same reason. Glad to have re-awakened your love of quotes, but hope that I didn’t open up a bag of worms for you! 🙂

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