Is money the root of all evil?
Updated: Feb 13, 2020
We hear people say money is the root of all evil, but it is true? I suppose it could be. It could be your personal truth. But how will that influence your behaviors and actions?
A lot of people certainly believe that money is the root of all evil. But this mindset can be sort of self defeating. What about all the good things that money does, and what you can do with it. Such as:
a) The Bill and Melinda gates foundation has given away $50.1 Billion since it has been established since 1994. In 2018 alone it gave $530m towards Polio eradication, $450m for vaccine delivery, and $400m to treat and prevent HIV and Malaria, and about $390 million for agricultural development.
b) Mark Zuckerberg Facebook founder and this wife donated $410m in 2018 for things such as disease eradication, improving education, and criminal justice reform. In 2018 the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative started a Neurodegeneration Challenge Network, to bring together 9 teams of scientists, engineers, and doctors to study root cause of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
c) In 2018 US democrat candidate and former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg donated $767m including $70m for climate change and $50m for opioid addiction. He also did a pledge to his alma mater at Johns Hopkins for $1.8 billion dollars in 2018 to fund student financial aid, and this was paid in full in 2019.
Meanwhile, some of the people I know that say money is the root of all evil are some of the least charitable!? Even if they have some. Sure money can be bad I suppose in the hands of a bad person. But, really depends on what you do with it. It can be earned in a bad way by stealing from other people, or it can be done by creating value for other people. In- fact some of the most wealthy people in the world are the ones that created the most value.
There is a misconception that to be rich it has to be at the expense of other people. By hurting or taking from other them. That it is a zero sum gain. One person can only be rich by making another poor. This sort of negative thinking is not a wealthy mindset in my opinion. For sure in some instances this can be true like what happened with slavery.
But today most of the richest people got there by providing some sort of value. Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk's net worth is over $40 billion and counting, but he is also working to solve one of the world's greatest problems of climate change with his electric vehicles which are the best in the industry with efficiency far beyond the competitors. There are also other things like his solar energy business, and work in space exploration.
Look at Warren Buffet. You might say oh he is "just an investor". "He doesn't provide any value to people". But, through Berkshire Hathaway for which he is CEO they own either direct ownership or significant shares in so many companies that provide value to people on a day to day basis. Railways, news media, insurance, paint companies, Duracell batteries, furniture companies, and more. Yes Berkshire hires people to manage these businesses which he would indirectly manage through people.
The value creation does not need to be direct. This is a misconception. You can create value for the world by investing your money in good businesses that create value for other people. This is actually one of the fundamental principles when looking for good things to invest in.
Even like a Floyd Mayweather the reason why he gets paid so much money is that when he fights people watch. Either to see him win, or praying for him to lose which he never does. He provides an entertainment for which we are willing to pay money, and thus he gets paid. Unlike most other boxers he owns his own promotion, so he makes extra because of that. He didn't steal the money. If nobody watched his fights or found them compelling to pay money to watch them he wouldn't make money.
The more negative you are about money you ruin your chances of getting it. You can have it for good or bad. Your intention can be good or bad. That choice is up to you. If you're an evil person I guess you could do more bad things with more money, but if you're a good person you can do more good.
That's why it is important not to generalize people who have money that they are necessary bad. They could be bad, but they could also be good people. If you believe they are inherently bad that limits you and your ability to build a better life for yourself.
The best way to get rich in my opinion is to give value to other people and this is how I think about my investing. Though some people might find it hard to believe. So what do you think? Do you think money is the root cause of all evil. Do you think it is possible to be a multi-millionaire or billionaire and be a truly good generous person? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.