Greed, for lack of a better word

Why are protesters concentrating on Wall Street, when we are all to blame for greed?

w

hy are people occupying Wall Street anyway? Why not Main Street? Or why not East Island Highway, or Memorial Avenue for that matter?

Not to pick on any particular street, but my point is: greed is everywhere. We have all fallen victim to it on occasion, and I’m willing to bet that many of us have been perpetrators of it as well.

We may not want to admit it or realize it, but at times it gets the better of us. It is human nature.

So what is the difference?

In my opinion, it goes back to the 1989 movie entitled Wall Street, and the words of Gordon Gheko as played by Michael Douglas. This may sound harsh, but in my opinion many on Wall Street still believe that “Greed is good.”

Why else would they, after bringing the global financial system to its knees in 2008, seemingly feel no remorse? Why else would they, after being bailed out by governments and avoiding what should have amounted to bankruptcy, unemployment, and possibly poverty, be paying themselves big bonuses again.

Why are they back to their old tricks?

The suits on Wall Street are quick to point out that they are not entirely to blame for the financial crisis of 2008. Governments, for example, should share in the blame, because they introduced policies aimed at increasing home ownership so that more Americans could achieve the dream of owning their own homes. And it is true that these policies, which encouraged easy credit, were contributing factors.

But — there is a major difference.

While ill-conceived, at least these policies were enacted with good intentions, and not out of greed. And more importantly, these actions were not criminal.

Unfortunately though, many on Wall Street feel that because everyone was doing it, that it wasn’t really that bad.

But it has gotten to the point where practically everyone believes that there has to be some serious change.

People have had enough.

Hopefully this won’t just fade away, and politicians will get the message and actually do something.

If the movement continues to strengthen, some day they may act, if for no better reason than out of their own greed for power.

But even so, we would be naïve to believe that we can eradicate greed, and that someday soon we’ll all be able to freely seek advice and conduct business with others without having to worry about ulterior motives.

We can, as individuals, find ways of structuring our business relationships in ways that alleviate the need to worry about the motivations of those we are doing business with.

This approach, by the way, can work very well when dealing with a financial advisor.

So much has been written about ‘finding an advisor you can trust.’ But really, while trust is important in any business relationship, maybe you would be better off structuring a relationship with your financial advisor whereby you would not have any reason not to trust him or her.

Please feel free to call or e-mail if you would like to know more.

Jim Grant, CFP (Certified Financial Planner) is a Financial Advisor with Raymond James Ltd (RJL). This  article   expresses the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Raymond James Ltd. This article is for information only.  Securities are offered through Raymond James Ltd., member Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Insurance and estate planning offered through Raymond James Financial Planning Ltd., not member Canadian Investor Protecion Fund.

For more information feel free to call Jim at 250-594-1100, or email at jim.grant@raymondjames.ca. and/or visit www.jimgrant.ca.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kwalikum Secondary School. (SD69 photo)
COVID-19 case confirmed at Qualicum Beach high school

Public health staff are completing contact tracing

Adam Walker visits the VI Free Daily/PQB News studios. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Adam Walker eager to get to work as Parksville-Qualicum MLA

Podcast: Longtime Qualicum Beach resident discusses politics, much more

Firefighters try to put out a structure fire on the Island Highway in Nanoose Bay early Saturday morning. (Nanoose Bay Volunteer Fire Department photo)
Horses in nearby stable saved as building burns down in Nanoose Bay

Firefighters called out in the early-morning hours Saturday

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Phillip Tallio was just 17 when he was convicted of murder in 1983 (file photo)
Miscarriage of justice before B.C. teen’s 1983 guilty plea in girl’s murder: lawyer

Tallio was 17 when he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of his 22-month-old cousin

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Brenda Schroeder thought she was reading it wrong when she won $100,000 from a Season’s Greetings Scratch & Win. (Courtesy BCLC)
New home on the agenda after scratch ticket win in Saanich

Victoria woman set to share her $100,000 Season’s Greetings lottery win

7-year-old Mackenzie Hodge from Penticton sent a hand-written letter to premiere John Horgan asking if she’d be able to see her elf, Ralph under the new coronavirus restrictions. (John Horgan / Twitter)
Elf on the shelf an acceptable house guest, B.C. premier tells Penticton girl

A 7-year-old from Penticton penned a letter asking if she’d be allowed to see her elf this year

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

Most Read