Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Changing costly cultural habits

In 2011 I remember having a discussion with someone who questioned my continuous advice that people should look towards solar energy at home, and if necessary borrow the funds to install it. At the time he said that he would rather to borrow the money to buy a new car, as data showed that the investment in solar was not a good payback.

That argument I couldn’t understand because while an investment in solar energy gives a return on investment, in savings and convenience, I don’t see how one gets any return at all from a car. Particularly if you borrow the money for the purchase. Well maybe there is the social benefits.

At the same time, in 2012, we saw where bank loans, and in particular personal loans (mostly for cars) increased over 2011.

Being the stubborn person I am, I went ahead with my plans to invest in solar energy at home, and today enjoy significant savings and much convenience. I have never regretted the decision and investment.

Today I spoke with someone who advised that many persons today are having difficulty servicing their car loans, and over the weekend I heard two stories where cars were seized by the bailiff while they were in transit. Additionally I have heard stories of businesses in trouble because some business people borrowed money to purchase motor vehicles, instead of saving the money or reinvesting it in the business.

This reminds me of a real life story where two men who were truck drivers in the 70s had $250,000 each. One decided to buy a house in Beverly Hills and the other a business, and continued to rent. Today the one with the house still has it and the one who went into the business could but many of those houses, and in fact has many investment properties.

These examples show that one of the most significant factors that cause financial hardship, even though there is a recession, is the cultural attitude of many in the country. This is illustrative of what investment advisors always tell you that there are two things that cause people to lose money – fear and greed. And in the Jamaican context I want to add another – the need to “profile”.

I have found in many instances that people who make bad financial decisions do so because they want to impress others with the so called badges of wealth. That is the car, house, and other accessories. So what they do is borrow the money and live today with the income they expect in the future.

This cultural attitude is what has caused financial distress for many Jamaicans. And I find that the ability to overcome this “profile” attitude is a significant step in regaining financial health. This is why one of the first things I mention in my book is the first step to financial reform is an acceptance of what needs to be done and an acceptance of the inherent problem.

When I was around sixteen, my uncle said to me. “its not how much you earn that is important but rather how much you earn”.

Some will come to grips with this problem and reform their finances but many more will not. They will continue to make mistakes and suffer from the need to live the culture of profiling. My own view is that this need is derived from an underlying insecurity but I am no psychologist.

This cultural attitude can be found in many countries and cultures but I think Jamaica has a big dose of it. If we are to overcome our financial challenges then there is going to have to be a radical reform of this culture, so that we can invest in productive assets, just as Trinidad did in the 1980s, while we invested in motor vehicles. After all it is the individual lifestyles that sum up to the overall condition of a country,and we must remember that economics is a social science and hence is based on cultural attitudes also.

If anyone wants to make the change they can, especially if they have someone advising them about it, but the deeper you have found yourself in this culture is the more difficult, and more help you will need.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Should that quote from your uncle be "its not how much you earn that is important but rather how much you keep"?

Anonymous said...

Should that quote from your uncle be "its not how much you earn that is important but rather how much you keep"?

Anonymous said...

Thanks very nice blog!

Also visit my blog post: slow carb diet

Anonymous said...

I am сuгious to find out what blog platform you are working with?
I'm having some minor security problems with my latest site and I would like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any recommendations?

Here is my web-site :: Please click the next website page
my web page > click through the following page

Anonymous said...

Shift your weіghtіng ontο уouг right buttocκ and gently roll
up and mastereԁ held tantric maѕsagе alloωs уou tо?
Τоtal RelaxatіonTantric гest mаѕsage uses the рοwers Gateωay tο spiгitualіty - the ѕubstance to an end.
mutual ѕуmptoms almost сrucial things that you have to know juѕt
аbout tаntric massage? Transiеnt ԁystоnіa
mimicking spaѕtic ԁiplеgіa can
be seen in some preteгmѕ who уou while eгotically
aeгatеd euphοny ρlays lightly іn the scrеen backgrοunԁ.


Ηere is my page: tantric massage in london

Anonymous said...

Howdy! This blog post could not be written much better!
Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
He constantly kept talking about this. I will send this
article to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good
read. I appreciate you for sharing!

My web-site; diet plans

Anonymous said...

I know this web page provides quality depending posts and additional data, is there any
other website which offers these things in quality?


my weblog: Diets That Work Fast For Women

Anonymous said...

An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker
who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch
due to the fact that I discovered it for him.
.. lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!!
But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this issue here on
your website.

My blog ... diets that work

Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images
on this blog loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Here is my homepage; airplane Simulation games

Anonymous said...

We're a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable information to work on. You've done an impressive task and our entire group will be grateful to
you.

My webpage: healthy waist to height ratio

Anonymous said...

I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog.

I am hoping to view the same high-grade content from you
in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing
abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal site now ;)

Here is my weblog ... how to lose weight fast

Anonymous said...

Very good post! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site.
Keep up the good writing.

Feel free to visit my homepage ... waist to hip ratio chart

Anonymous said...

Hi to every , since I am truly eager of reading this blog's post to be updated regularly. It includes good information.

Visit my weblog - how to file for bankruptcy in florida

Anonymous said...

Wow, this article is fastidious, my younger sister is analyzing these things, so I am
going to let know her.

Also visit my blog: calculate bmr

Anonymous said...

I really like what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and reporting!
Keep up the superb works guys I've incorporated you guys to my own blogroll.

Also visit my web site: calories walking calculator

Anonymous said...

Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that
I've really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!


Feel free to surf to my site: best registry cleaner

Anonymous said...

WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for
fat burning heart rate chart

Also visit my website diets That work

Anonymous said...

Hello! I could have sworn I've been to this site before but after reading through some of the post I realized it's new to me.
Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I found it and I'll be bookmarking and
checking back often!

Also visit my site safe diets

Anonymous said...

certainly like your web-site however you need to test the spelling on quite
a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems
and I to find it very troublesome to inform the reality
on the other hand I will definitely come again again.


Have a look at my web blog - cardioandcakes.com

Anonymous said...

I am really grateful to the holder of this site who has shared this fantastic piece of writing at here.



Here is my site http://trimextrindiet.com

Anonymous said...

Greetings! This is my 1st comment here so I just
wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I truly enjoy reading
through your posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same subjects?
Many thanks!

Feel free to visit my website - Trimextrin Reviews

Anonymous said...

Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe that this
website needs far more attention. I'll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

Also visit my website; Diet Plan Description: Uncooked Unfiltered Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is the music star condiment on this Diet. Neither of these outcomes is healthful when excessive. Seven days down to a few days are advised because quite a few because of these types of diets. FISH: Fish is an really important source of protein so many bodybuilders live right off cans of tuna. Category:

Anonymous said...

Usually I do not learn post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very
pressured me to take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been surprised me.
Thank you, very great article.

my web-site: acoustic guitar chords for beginners

Anonymous said...

I've been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It's pretty worth
enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more
useful than ever before.

Here is my web site - best way to lose weight fast

Anonymous said...

Understand that there's no quick fix for any relationship. A sense of humourEvery woman likes to get herself involved in a sexual relation. If you make the assumptions that you do slip up and she wants to go out and try and persuade your ex-will i ever get a girlfriend to get back with your ex.

Here is my website - how To get a girlfriend

oakleyses said...

christian louboutin uk, cheap oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet, tiffany jewelry, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, tiffany and co, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo outlet, uggs outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, nike free, prada handbags, burberry handbags, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton outlet, uggs outlet, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses wholesale, jordan shoes, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, nike air max, nike outlet, ray ban sunglasses

oakleyses said...

timberland pas cher, north face, nike free run, coach outlet store online, polo lacoste, kate spade, sac vanessa bruno, mulberry uk, hollister uk, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, burberry pas cher, north face uk, polo ralph lauren, lululemon canada, ray ban uk, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, hollister pas cher, coach purses, michael kors, nike roshe run uk, sac longchamp pas cher, nike tn, vans pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors pas cher, converse pas cher, ralph lauren uk, coach outlet, sac hermes, jordan pas cher, nike free uk, replica handbags, michael kors, true religion outlet, guess pas cher, true religion jeans, air max, nike air force, nike air max uk, new balance, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, true religion outlet, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe, hogan outlet, louboutin pas cher

oakleyses said...

nike air max, s6 case, ralph lauren, instyler, nfl jerseys, vans outlet, soccer shoes, oakley, iphone 6s cases, nike roshe run, iphone 6 plus cases, mont blanc pens, hollister, nike trainers uk, herve leger, iphone 6s plus cases, north face outlet, beats by dre, hollister clothing, chi flat iron, timberland boots, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6 cases, iphone cases, abercrombie and fitch, ghd hair, asics running shoes, valentino shoes, insanity workout, babyliss, jimmy choo outlet, longchamp uk, celine handbags, iphone 5s cases, mcm handbags, nike huaraches, ipad cases, p90x workout, reebok outlet, bottega veneta, north face outlet, hermes belt, wedding dresses, lululemon, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti outlet, new balance shoes, mac cosmetics, baseball bats, louboutin

oakleyses said...

barbour, converse outlet, swarovski crystal, moncler, canada goose, hollister, louis vuitton, links of london, juicy couture outlet, gucci, moncler, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, moncler, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, supra shoes, ray ban, hollister, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg, pandora uk, moncler outlet, ugg uk, louis vuitton, moncler uk, lancel, converse, moncler outlet, moncler, barbour uk, thomas sabo, ugg pas cher, replica watches, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, marc jacobs, doudoune moncler, canada goose, nike air max, toms shoes, swarovski, wedding dresses, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, coach outlet, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, vans, karen millen uk, louis vuitton, pandora charms