I have been noticing and studying many changes in the world of finance lately.
Let’s go back to the beginning of time. I imagine that long before money was used, people came up with a way to exchange goods and services. Maybe they used shells or feathers or other things in nature to track transactions.
The concept of money is believed to have been used around 5000 BC, but it took until 700 BC for societies to make metal coins. Countries then begin to mint their own unique coins and paper money of various values and designs.
It has been documented that the concept of banking emerged around 2000 BC when traders lent grain to farmers so they could plant crops and traders to transport goods.
When I was growing up, there were banks, but the easiest way to determine our financial situation was to put my hand in my pocket. If it turned out to be empty, you knew you were broke! It was scary to think about going to the bank and asking for help.
I remember, in my pre-teen years, when my paternal grandfather encouraged me to buy a “bond” so I could help the country and earn interest by cutting out coupons. I was introduced to the idea of making money through investing.
In 1946, the credit card was introduced in North America. That changed everything! Suddenly people could buy things without money in advance. If you paid the minimum amount on time, your limit has been increased. People have changed their mindset from the first to have the money to spend it on just getting enough credit to buy what they want.
Banking services have risen, and so have interest rates, as well as personal and social debt.
The Canadian Federation of Taxpayers claims that our current federal debt of 713 billion dollars is now growing by 878 dollars per second. If you’re ready for a stunning reality, check out a search on your computer for debtclock.ca This page shows that every single Canadian’s share of federal debt this month is just under $ 30,000.00. And this is just federal debt – not including provincial or personal debt.
And now that the pandemic has disrupted the economy, governments across North America are printing stimulus or helicopter money. The more they print, the less value it has. Think about how similar situations in the past have affected Germany and Venezuela. In the end, the dollar was worth so little that customers needed a cart full to buy a loaf of bread.
So what are the solutions? Many individuals and companies have invested in the stock market. Rumors predict an impending collapse due to economic problems and the devaluation of the dollar. Growing fear has resulted in the search for other options.
Many are buying cryptocurrencies that are digital assets with extremely high volatility. Options such as Bitcoin, XRP and Ethereum have been described as an investment that will turn individuals into millionaires overnight. The suspects describe cryptocurrencies as air that is driven by investor hope and can disappear at the push of a button.
The other group bought physical precious metals such as gold and silver. Instead of buying them as stockpiles of paper or putting them in vaults, they keep them in personal safes. They use historical trends to confirm their hope that the price will explode as the value of the dollar decreases.
Other commodities such as wood, copper and agricultural products are also considered wise choices because prices are rising rapidly.
Now I am definitely not a financial expert and I do not intend to give advice on how to invest. I am, however, a registered psychologist who knows that man’s “sleep factor” is important. Fear and high risk can harm your physical and mental health.
In this age of change, make sure you focus on what you can control, not on things you can’t control. Investigate well before any action. Limit the amount of input you have from “talking heads” that offer opinions, not facts.
Eat nutritionally. Exercise. Get enough rest. Pay your bills. Invest your time in activities that make your soul sing. Laugh often.
And most of all – it is measured by who you are – and not by what you have.