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To Lease or Not to Lease

By Dave Ramsey
Author, The Total Money Makeover – These days it pays to be smart about money. That's why it's important to take this wise counsel from financial expert Dave Ramsey.

Use the golden rule

Dear Dave,

I make big commissions leasing cars, but I’d never lease one myself. Should I quit?


Dear Stan,

Yes, I think you should. I think you need to find something to do with your life that makes you feel proud.

I’m not saying you need to get out of the sales game, but find something that you could sell with great pride and joy—even to family or your best friend. Don’t just run out and quit today, though. Take a look at what’s out there, and start formulating a plan for some adjustments in your career track. If you can’t be proud of what you sell, or you wouldn’t buy it yourself, then you really don’t need to be selling it, do you?

I’m sure some people believe this is highbrow thinking, but it’s also a matter of honesty and the proper way to live your life. If you’re trying to get people to buy something you wouldn’t purchase, then basically you’re saying that you’re willing to lie to people just to make a buck. At the end of the day, it really is an integrity issue.

There’s an old rule called the Golden Rule. And I’m not talking about the one that goes, “He who has the gold makes the rules.” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, Stan. It’s as simple as treating other people the way you’d want to be treated.

Find something to do with your life that you can do with excellence, pride and a sense of higher calling. You’ll make even more money over the scope of your life doing work you’re passionate about, instead of something that makes you feel like you’re ripping people off!


The gold bubble

Dear Dave,

I agree that historically gold is an extremely volatile investment. But wouldn’t it be a good idea to take advantage of this gold bubble and its popularity due to the market’s current hysteria?

– Kevin

Dear Kevin,

A bubble is when an investment is no longer based on numbers, but on greed or fear. So, you’re right on about it being a gold bubble. That’s exactly what’s happening at this point. Now, should you take advantage of that? Absolutely not. You never know when a bubble will burst, but trust me—the bubble will burst on gold.

Here’s what happens during a bubble, using the real estate market as an example. Several years ago, Las Vegas was the fastest growing city in North America. People were drawn by the flashing lights and the commercials. Most of them didn’t know the city had a vibrant, legitimate economy without all the gambling and glitter. There was a gold rush mentality when it came to buying property, and an irrational level of excitement drove the prices. In the end, it was a lot like playing musical chairs. The music stopped, and lots of folks were left without a seat. Someone gets booted every time!

A lot of this stuff about gold comes from the foolish idea that it’s the standard the world is based upon. This simply is not true. Gold is not the standard that wealth is based on, and it hasn’t been since the days of the Roman Empire. Gold has no intrinsic value. As a matter of fact, silver is probably a better investment. It’s being used like crazy in manufacturing for microchips and other products, and because of this has an actual mechanical, utilitarian value.    

I work way too hard for my money to mess around and see it disappear in the blink of an eye. That’s why I don’t mess with bubbles. When it comes to investing, I want to be the tortoise—not the hare. I’m going to invest in things that are steady, slow, and have long track records of success!  


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Dave SaysDave Ramsey is a nationally-syndicated radio talk show host and author of the New York Times bestselling books, Financial Peace Revisited and The Total Money Makeover. His life-changing advice in the area of personal finance helps people get out of debt, stay out of debt and build wealth that will last a lifetime and beyond.

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