25 January 2019

For the Love of Money

My 1972 Ford Pinto, the first car I owned.

In 1974 I gave my mom 24 checks — half for my school loan, half for my car payment — with instructions to mail out a pair each month. I was 24 and had made the decision to convert my 1972 Ford Pinto into a “mobile home” and set off for adventure. With only a small insurance policy and $400 in my pocket, I felt completely free.

I never thought about why I loved money — I just did. It was only after teaching two years at an all-boys Catholic high school and taking that trip in 1974 that the reason why became apparent. Money equated to freedom, because money bought me time. And time is your most precious commodity. It’s why we work so hard to succeed in our careers, why we save and invest. Having cash reserves, no matter how modest, gives you options.

For example, in 2008 when the recession hit, the money we’d saved enabled us to accelerate R&D while others pulled back, which in turn led to the aggressive growth we’ve seen over almost a decade. We knew it was the right choice for our business and our clients, and we had the freedom to do it.

So I’m comfortable saying I love money. And you should be, too. Because money gives you the freedom to pursue your true values — whatever those values may be for you.


Fred Ode