Dr. Claudius van Wyk
When we think of wealth we automatically think of money – especially if we don’t have enough of it. For some having enough will simply mean being able to pay for our daily needs. For others it could mean having enough to be able to pay for the goods and services we find exciting and meaningful. In this overburdened consumer crazy world it is probably time to redefine wealth and see it as having the resources to enjoy a life that is meaningful. And that we will find within our own values and beliefs.
Now it is not easy to break out of a ‘surviving’ mentality when you are under financial pressure, but it is possible. First you need to have an understanding of what money really is. In the old days we would barter eggs for vegetables, etc. A direct exchange of value was experienced. Someone would work on a farm and get produce in exchange for labour. Then someone got the idea of a promissory note – an IOU. The note would represent an undertaking to repay the value received at some later date. This was the beginning of credit.
But in many societies gold came to be the symbol of value. Because it was desirable you could exchange it for goods and services. Today many people still buy gold Krugerrands. Then in Britain bank notes were issued representing quantities of gold in the Bank of England. Theoretically your note could be exchanged for real gold. Coins of silver and copper also represented real value. But today things are different. Money in the form of bank notes and coins no longer hold any intrinsic value. Money now represents something else – it has become a token of perceived value.
In the modern financial world money has become a theoretical number in a computer. When your clothing store extends credit to you they have actually created money. This is the same as taking a loan for a car, or a bond for a home. You might reasonably ask on what value that money creation is based? Here is the simple truth – it is mainly based on the future value of your hard work. By taking credit you are ceding a portion of your future value-creating work to the credit provider. So essentially money is based, either on real assets that have some market value, or on your ability to do creative work into the future and for which you will be compensated. Since wealth therefore is about creating and optimising value, in these uncertain times you want to master your own value creation. You can log onto MEMBER PORTAL to scroll down and click ‘Personal Assistance Portal’ where you can follow the ‘Financial Wellness’ tab to find abundant information on rethinking the meaning of money in your life.