Savings and Standing Taller

Athol:  I have a slight hunch that “A.F. Bannerman” is a fictional person created in the marketing department of J.P. Morgan, but the quote attributed to him is rather good….

A.F.Bannerman:  “Your savings, believe it or not, affect the way you stand, the way you walk, the tone of your voice – in short, your physical well-being and self-confidence. A man without savings is always running. He must. He must take the first job offered, or nearly so. He sits nervously on life’s chairs because any small emergency throws him into the hands of others.

Without savings, a man must be too grateful. Gratitude is a fine thing in its place. But a constant state of gratitude is a horrible place in which to live. A man with savings can walk tall. He may appraise opportunities in a relaxed way, have time for judicious estimates and not be rushed by economic necessity.

A man with savings can afford to resign from his job if his principles so dictate — and for this reason he will never need to do so. A man who can afford to quit is much more useful to his company and therefore more readily promoted. He can afford to give his company the benefit of his most candid judgments.

A man with savings can afford the wonderful privilege of being generous in family or neighborhood emergencies. He can take the level stare of any man … friend, stranger or enemy. That ability shapes his personality and character.

The ability to save has nothing to do with the size of income. Many high-income people spend it all. They are on a treadmill, darting through life like minnows.

J.P. Morgan, once advised a young broker: “Take waste out of your spending; you’ll drive the haste out of your life.”

If you do not need money for college, a home or retirement, then save for self-confidence. The state of your savings does have a lot to do with how tall you walk.”



  1. Audrey says

    I completely agree with this. Just as ‘nothing tastes as good as being a healthy weight feels’, ‘no shopping spree feels as good as being financially secure feels’. My hubby and I often say how good it feels to not have a wolf at our door; a huge percentage of the population lives paycheque to paycheque. Life happens and we can all get hit with a setback, but I could not live my entire life that way. It’s just too stressful.

  2. Mustache says

    Well, since no one seems to want to leave a comment on this simple but great post, here I go: once I started saving, I felt so much better. I’m ways away from financial independence, but paying yourself first, just makes me feel so much better about my income. “Fuck You Money” is just great!

    I try to save 20% of my net income, I max out my company RSP and try to save all my side income too. If one cannot save, in the least max out your company benefit plan, it’s free money.

    @Athol Kay had a great post years ago about not getting a bigger house than needed, same goes for car, TV, vacations and so on.

    Live WITHIN your means, not above them. In today’s economy easily doable!

  3. Capsaicin says

    Concur wholeheartedly.

    It’s a great feeling to have solid savings in the bank, permitting one to be more judicious about opportunities rather than feeling completely beholden to the first thing that comes by.


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