Feb 16, 2018

U.S. Presidents Weigh in on Your Finances

We celebrated Presidents Day this week. What advice might some of the presidents honored on U.S. bills and coins offer today?  

George Washington (quarter/$1 bill)

Our first president and the boy who, in folklore, could not lie about cutting down the cherry tree would advocate for the utmost honesty in your financial dealings. “Pay what you owe,” he might say, encouraging discipline with your finances.

Thomas Jefferson (nickel, $2 bill)

We’re ignoring Jefferson’s comment about banks being as dangerous as standing armies. Instead, we think the genius of Monticello, and author of the Declaration of Independence, would encourage you to be smart about your investments and plan ahead to achieve financial freedom.

Andrew Jackson ($20 bill)

Jackson fought against the banking institutions of his day, and unfortunately developed a reputation for corruption. But he was also a hero of the War of 1812, and “Old Hickory” might advocate you move forward with the financial steps to make you confident in your future.

Abraham Lincoln (penny, $5 bill)

Raised in poverty, hard-working Lincoln was a self-made man. Historians have written about his unique wartime cabinet of competent adversaries. Would Honest Abe encourage you to take the best advice, from knowledgeable experts? We think he might.

Ulysses S. Grant ($50 bill)

This Union general was twice elected president. Although his presidency was tainted by corruption scandals, he supported civil rights and international peace. The first president to establish the since-abandoned gold standard, maybe Grant would tell you to keep an eye on commodity prices.

Franklin Roosevelt (dime)

Roosevelt, who guided the nation through its worst depression and world war, famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Honored for his work founding the March of Dimes to combat polio (from which he himself suffered), Roosevelt might encourage you to work hard, help others and persevere to your goal.

Dwight Eisenhower ($1 coin)

Eisenhower led the Allied armies in Europe to victory in World War II. A popular president, he saw the post-war boom of the fifties – and became famous for his frequent golf games. “Ike” might remind you to have a little fun with your hard-earned money – at least, sometimes.

John F. Kennedy (half-dollar)

Two generations before Kennedy was born into a wealthy Boston family, his ancestors were impoverished Irish immigrants. Raised with a sense of duty and responsibility, Kennedy might encourage you to remember your community and think about giving back, with your money or your time, as you organize your financial life.