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Shakespeare

Shakespeare on Finance

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For centuries, people have studied Shakespeare for his wit and his wisdom. He never wrote about finance, of course, but I have found that many of his lines contain important financial lessons. Let’s look at one such line from perhaps the most famous of his plays:

“Go wisely and slowly. Those who rush, stumble and fall.” – Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 3.

In this scene, Romeo asks his mentor, Friar Laurence, to wed he and Juliet as quickly as possible. In response, the friar counsels Romeo to “go wisely and slowly. Those who rush stumble and fall.”

You can probably guess the lesson here: avoid the temptation to rush into rash, impulsive financial decisions.

Have you ever noticed how often people act on impulse? Advertising companies sure do! So do car dealerships, banks and your local gyms. In fact, every time you go to the checkout counter at a grocery store, take a moment to look at all of those candy bars and tabloids strategically placed to take advantage of people’s impulsiveness.

Entire industries are built on capturing the human impulse. Most of the time these impulses are harmless enough, but the worst of them can have grave consequences. In fact, one of the greatest dangers to our financial health is that we don’t always think before we act. We rush into things. Read More