Hear ye! Hear ye. It’s time to celebrate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, “The Bard of All Time.” It’s the year of #Shakespeare400 on Twitter, a scheduled 2016 jazz mock-funeral for the Bard of Avon on the bayou of New Orleans and a whirlwind two-year Hamlet tour for The Royal Shakespeare Theater around the globe – and that includes Mongolia. It’s also an opportune moment to talk about Bardonomics and the weighty matters of managing your pounds, pence and shillings not to mention how “to put money in thy purse.”
What you may ask might England’s national poet and a playwright be able to teach us about money, managing finances and investing? To borrow from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, let’s count the ways with a few Bard inspired financial recommendations.
Borrowing: Let’s begin with Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and the memorable words of advice given by Polonius to his son Laertes in Act 1, Scene 3.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
For loan oft loses itself and friend,
And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
The advice of Polonius will ring true for eternity. There are countless caveats to lending money to friends including compromising the friendship not to mention losing your money. As for borrowing, it continues to be a pervasive problem in America with the average U.S. family carrying a credit debt of over $15,000. Hone thy husbandry and lessen thy debt
Investing, The Eighth Wonder of the World: In Shakespeare’s love poem Venus and Adonis, he suggests that money, or gold in this case, loses its potential to generate wealth if it sits idly.
Foul-Cankering rust the hidden treasure frets.
But gold that’s put to use more begets.
Perhaps no one put forth a more eloquent and compelling argument for investing you money so it can beget more money than Einstein: “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…. he who doesn’t … pays it.” In short, To be enrolled in a 403b should not be a question! And by the way!
Enrollment Workshop at BHS: March 10, at 3:00 PM – Bring your phone and a laptop.
Patience, the Cornerstone of Successful Investing: While Iago in Othello may be viewed as one of Shakespeare’s most unsavory and duplicitous characters, he certainly has his share of memorable lines.
How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal by degrees?
In the words of the legendary Investor and the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, patience is one of the foundations for successful investing: “Successful investing takes time, discipline and patience. No matter how great the talent or effort, some things take time: You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.”
If the Bard were a financial advisor, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear him say: Frailty thy name is investor. Individual investors tend to be slaves to their emotions and lack the required discipline and long-term vision. The path to successful investing can be a tortuous one but can also be successfully navigated with a combination of patience, prudence, a method (a plan) and, of course optimism.