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That money is the root of all evil – Bullocks!

Apologies for the tone but  – money is the root of all evil…what a load of rubbish!

Mindless pursuit of money to the exclusion of good judgement – yep. But the having or the not having of money – no way.
Money is, like so many weapons of destruction, a benign tool. Nothing more. You can no more blame the dollar for someone being – sorry – an ass, than you can the knife in an armed robber’s hand.
It’s what you do with it, or what you do to get it that counts.
Consider a multi-millionaire who donates multi-millions to charity – is that evil? Is that money at it’s worst? Discretional money – money you have over and above what it costs you to live has the greatest potential to create great happiness or alleviate great pain by the simple act of you using it with care. And don’t forget charity begins at home. Why should you not work hard, invest wisely, create for your future and your children’s future, educate them to do the same and at the same time educate them to be compassionate and giving of their resources – material or otherwise? If your children see you donating your resources (time, goods, a compassionate ear or yes – even money)  are they not also inclined to do the same. Combined, are your efforts not wonderful?
I’ll tell you something, the very act of working hard and giving something your all is a reward in itself.
Because it is true that money is also not the only resource available for this positive pursuit. I meet many, many varied people in my work. I am privileged to be welcomed into the homes of families in all walks of life and you would be amazed and surprised what’s being done quietly and with little fanfare for the good of many. I have clients on somewhat limited resources, who organise massive events to raise funds for good works in areas close to their heart. They are not materially rich but they use their time to generate  money to research cures for cancer or improve the lives of the disabled. And equally, I have clients who are comfortable and those that are well above the average, and because I am fortunate to work with wonderful people they are almost universally all giving what they can, time or money. There’s that money word again, and being used for good not evil.
Here’s a new thought – money can be generated without being “at the expense” of the poor lowly battler! Imagine! My own business is based on saving money for everyday people on their home loans. I am paid no more to “sell” my clients into a dearer loan (not that I would even if I was because thats the exact opposite of why I got into this field) therefore I do my job well and it’s at noone’s expense!
Let’s repeat – I get paid well for doing a job well and noone is worse off for my efforts. Noone is disadvantaged.
There’s just too much rubbish put about that to be financially successful you must be a bad person, a taker of advantages – a user! Rubbish!
Whats all this got to do with property then? I was once told that “people who invest in property are greedy”, that it “should be illegal to own more than one property”, that the very essence of property investment is the reason for property prices being out of hand and the beginnings of the slippery slope towards armageddon… well not quite but you get the picture
This is a humongous load of tripe!! One could argue that property prices are fuelled in part by property investment – you could also ague against this so I’m going to walk away from this point entirely; but I will state uncategorically that property investors are in the business of providing cheap housing for those who are unwilling or unable to buy their own home right now, or ever. And it’s as often a choice.
Repeat – property investors provide cheap housing for battlers – that’s a headline I’d like to see!!
Think about it for a minute, think back to your early twenties, life is fun and your boobs are still where they ought to be. You’re starting out in your career and maybe you do or maybe you don’t have a lot of savings. One thing you definitely don’t have is a desire to stay at home with your parents for as long as it takes to save for a house so you move out of home – but where to go? Renting is cheap, easy and practical.
Perhaps you’re an early starter and you have a family & there simply isn’t room to live with anyone else. You MUST find alternate accommodation, and you would like it to be cheap.
Or perhaps you are a widow, in the twilight years of your life and you’ve been through more than your fair share of battles. You also need someplace economic to live.
Can’t  settle down, temporarily interstate, income is all over the place, new migrant, bad credit history, single parent coming out of a bad relationship, don’t want the headache of a mortgage…. there’s a million valid reasons and one thing in common: all of these people are looking for rental accommodation.
If we didn’t  have property investors (greedy bastards) then who would provide them with accommodation? The government you say?  Right, let’s look at this – where does government money come from?  A tree? Nope, it comes from your pocket and mine. That’s right – for the government to fund housing someone has to pay more in taxes, and that someone is you and me baby. Or, of course, we can shut down a hospital or two – what you don’t like that idea either? There is a solution….private property investment.
Property investors, purveyors of cheap housing so that the government does not have to, do receive tax breaks for doing so. Let me ask you this, would you throw potentially thousands of dollars a year into providing a home for someone else to live in without some incentive? Capital gains is nice but it’s a promise and not a guarantee, we need some incentive to encourage those who can afford to assist with the housing market.
Further, when it comes to retirement age those same property investors, if they’ve chosen wisely, will not be putting their hand out for government benefits, which means the future tax payers – our kids – wont have to fund their retirement. And further, if they cash out these properties they are going to pay capital gains tax on the money they have made, tax which will be used to fund the schools your (now) grandchildren will attend or the hospitals you hopefully wont find yourself in. (While on the subject, you keep more than you pay in tax so capital gains is never NEVER a reason to not try and improve your financial situation.)
So, evil money taking a burden off of the government and therefore our back pockets hey? I just don’t get at who’s “expense” this is?
And as for the price of rent itself – it’s actually a factor of supply and demand, there are not enough rental properties (not enough investors) therefore competition drives the price up. Market forces, as in all things, set the price, not fat cat investors. More property investment would actually result in cheaper rental properties – novel idea!
Thats the property angle, what about those who are in business, small medium or large – these money chasers daily take (calculated) risks that provide employment and succour and literally food in the bellies of so many Aussies. Yes, they make money off of the work of others, but it is not  as simple as that – its certainly not exploitation.
And there’s a really big point, the more money you make the more tax you pay – thats right, those that earn more pay more to fund more of the good stuff we all enjoy; the schools, the hospitals, the long windy roads that head off into the sunset. Yes, there are dodgy buggers who get around the system but I  wouldn’t trade that for sleeping at night without worrying about your house of cards falling down when the ATO catch up with you. That money thing, do the right thing and it’s no evil at all but try and do the wrong thing and you’ll find it’s a hotline to karma central.

And look – the opposite is also true, money does not buy you happiness.

I’m pretty sure there are some very wealthy people out there who are utterly miserable; but I am equally sure that if having money affords you choice, the choice to sit by a pool and drink a cocktail instead of attend a place of work for 40 hours a week, each week, that for most of us it certainly doesn’t hurt.  But again, any National Geographic magazine will show you a gorgeous smiling face who is utterly, blissfully happy and has never even heard of money, so no, money is not a necessary ingredient for happiness.

Happiness is a choice, a state of mind, a place that exists when you do your best with what you have and are grateful for it.

Let’s  quit making excuses and blaming pieces of paper for the evils of the world. You should – you must – do everything you can to improve your world and be happy about it.
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