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Remember When Things were better?

Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used to Be

After seeing Hollywood recycle yet another 70’s (or was it early 80’s) movie (Nightmare on Elm Street), I wonder what is the fascination with Nostalgia (especially in the financial world)? It is normal for people to look back and wish for a simpler time or a happier time, but the reason those times were simpler or better, was because we were kids, and our parents were dealing with what we are dealing with now (simple and trite answer I will admit, but close to on target too).

I started really understanding about Money and such when I went off to University in 1981, and at that time Interest Rates were through the roof. As an example you could buy a Canada Savings Bond with a 19% interest rate, which meant that money would effectively double in 4 years or less! Adults that I spoke to back then lamented for the days when interest rates were at 5%.

These days we have effectively no interest rates, and I actually heard people lamenting the good old days of the early 1980’s? WTF? When I bought my first house I locked in at 12% for 5 years, thinking I was some kind of financial guru, but got proven just how Nostalgia can trip you up (I expected Interest rates to go back up again, they did the opposite).

The good old days look good because you were younger, healthier and had fewer concerns (i.e. money, health and family), that is all.

I will agree that money is a heck of a lot more complicated these days compared to when I first started thinking about money for real, some of those changes are:

  • The dawn of the ATM and money being available outside of 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday to Thursday, from my bank.
  • Interac and direct withdrawal means the death of cash in our society. I remember taking out $150 to pay for groceries, and thinking how great it was when I finally got a cheque payment card with my local grocery store (can you even get one of those any more?).
  • Easy credit, I got my first credit card when I was 23, I have idiot companies offering my 16 year old credit now.
  • On line banking, stock trading, bill paying, etc., etc.,, the expression The cheque is in the mail no longer has the same value as one of the greatest lies of all time.
  • Greed is good being a credo to live by. Understanding that anyone who touches my money has their own plan on how to get more from me, is my view on life (in this case: Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.,etc.,).

These are the good old days folks, because in the future, things will change, but maybe it’s for the good?

Feel Free to Comment

  1. I want my mortgage rates to stay the same (low) but my savings account to pay me the 12-20% rates (with low inflation, too)!

    I’m in my 30’s but I still remember the ‘good old days’ as coming out of college and actually being able to find a job. Now, I look at all the job offers I got coming out of school and I don’t think any of them would be there today. The companies either don’t exist or the jobs have been moved overseas.

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