GETTING RICH IN A HURRY.
The day of small things is better than that of great expectations.
In the year 1911, the United States post office department investigated a number of get-rich-quick concerns that did business through the mail. They had succeeded in collecting from the public the sum of seventy seven million dollars in twelve months. Prac tically nothing of value was given in ex change. This means that while the high cost of living played havoc with slender purses, the owners of these same purses poured out seventy-seven million dollars in the expecta tion of becoming rich in a day, or a month, or a year. A good many gentlemen, hitherto of stylish appearance, are now in prison in dicted for playing this game. And a good many more are not there who deserve to be. The tragedy back of this vast amount of money is its source. It was not given up by bank ers and brokers, but by poor people, who could ill afford to lose it. And another phase of the tragedy is this : they were hypnotized into parting with their money for a purpose of which they had absolutely no knowledge; a purpose that was in every case too unrea sonable to be thought of for a moment.
It would seem that the people in the hum ble walks of life are able to contribute col lectively a large amount of money to an en ticing enterprise. It is equally clear that they invariably lose their money.
Why? I. They are tempted by greed to get much for little.
2. They make no thorough examination of the proposition.
3. Hence, they know nothing about it.
4. They fail to recognize the true function of money invested. It must be remembered that the seventy seven million dollars referred to above, is by no means all that the people of the United States dropped into a bottomless pit in 1911. This was the amount of transactions that came within the province of the post office department to consider. How much more went into the same pit through other chan nels, no one can tell. It doubtless amounted to one or two hundred millions of dollars.
The conclusions from this are very evident, and they are these: 1. A large number of people have money to invest.
2. They do not know what to do with it.
Manifestly, they are in dire need of a few simple rules and observations about the use of their own money. And here they are : 1. It is impossible to get large returns on money in a short time.
2. The first thing to be assured of before investing money, is the reliability of the men who invite it.
3. Then the reliability and security of their enterprise.
4. If the men and the enterprise are all that can be desired, your money will earn approximately four and a half to six and a half per cent.
5. Many people are content to buy invest ments that yield even less than the four and a half per cent. They purchase safety of principal.
6. Some people invest money in business enterprises that yield six and a half per cent., or even a little more. They take what is known as the business man's risk.
7. What can a person of limited means do? • (a) He can deposit his savings in a sav ings bank. (The conditions for doing this are discussed in Chapter XI.) (b) He can purchase life insurance as a protection.
(c) He can purchase wisely selected real estate.
(d) He can buy, as his savings bank ac count permits it, a hundred dollar bond of a reputable broker.
8. Even these conservative ways of invest ing money must be scrutinized. Why? (a) As to savings banks : These are safe guarded in a few states. Select one of the best; even though you have to make your de posits by mail.
(b) Some life insurance companies are as solid financially as human ingenuity can make them. Patronize this kind alone.
(c) Some real estate is so situated as to become a constantly depreciating investment. It should be bought with judgment for ap preciation.
(d) Some hundred dollar bonds are not worth the price it costs to engrave them. Hence, every bond to which savings are trans ferred, should be examined with infinite care.