What Farmers Can Teach Us About Finances

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz on

I think this bit of wisdom from B.C. Forbes, founder of Forbes magazine, poetically gets across a pretty straightforward message: You have to get started early to see better results. And that certainly applies to investing. A lot of savers hesitate to invest because they worry about market volatility or think investing is too complicated. But while saving is important, history has shown that investing is the best way to make your money grow and beat inflation. And it doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, if you have a 401(k), you already have an easy way to get started. Still think it's too hard? Try these five simple steps to investing now so you can look forward to your own future harvests.

"Life on a Farm Is a School of Patience. You Can't Hurry the Crops or Make an Ox in Two Days."

This insight from a French botanist can certainly be applied to investing! While there may be a lot of current attention on fast trading, a long-term view is essential to weathering market ups and downs. Once you set your goals and create a diversified portfolio that matches your timeline and feelings about risk, you need to be patient. As is often stated, it's time in the market -- not timing the market -- that's the key to success.

"The Farmer Has to Be an Optimist or He Wouldn't Still Be a Farmer."

These words from Will Rogers can apply to many things in life. And certainly, being optimistic is as important in investing as it is in farming. When it comes to finances, you can't absolutely control what will happen any more than a farmer can control the weather; a market drop, a job loss or a pandemic can certainly set you back. But with the right attitude -- rooted in a solid financial plan -- you'll be able to more easily adjust and continue to make progress toward your goals.


So take a lesson from the farmers. Build your fences. Stop digging yourself into a hole. Plant your seeds (early). And with a little patience and positive thinking, you are setting yourself up to reap the harvest of a more secure financial future. Happy spring!


Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Certified Financial Planner, is president of the Charles Schwab Foundation and author of "The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances After Fifty." Read more at You can email Carrie at The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. To find out more about Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate, Inc.



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