Stewart: "Our Wealth Is Work" - Jean Chatzky - Making money make sense
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Stewart: “Our Wealth Is Work”

I spent yesterday at Bryant University in Rhode Island with  900 women — telling them about The Difference — and how it is my belief that they are the only ones who have the power to take themselves from a life of financial struggle to one of financial success. We talked about optimism, resilience, connectedness — and how I believe today as I always have you have to do the work.  And they got it.  These women, like so many Americans, and I think like almost every hearty Rhode Islander, were not — they are not — looking for a free pass.

They are looking for a life where they can do important work that they believe makes a difference.  They are looking for the opportunity to give back.  They would like to be able to get to a point, financially, where they don’t have to worry.  And I believe they took from our time together the viewpoint that: Yes, They Can.

That was my big problem with The Secret.  It didn’t go far enough.  You can’t simply think positively and expect life to turn your way.  You can’t wish it and expect it to happen.  You have to do something.

Like so many of you, I’m sure, I’ve been following the Jon Stewart-Jim Cramer brouhaha.  Last night, after throwing darts back and forth — Stewart on his show, Cramer on Today among others — the two sat down together and had it out (see the first part of the interview below).  Stewart was dogged, relentless and armed with something Cramer didn’t have: Clips.  It made for an entertaining but somewhat unfair fight. 

What resonated most with me was this comment from Stewart:

Isn’t that part of the problem…selling this the idea that you don’t have to do anything?  Anytime you sell people the idea that…sit back and you’ll get 10-20 percent on your money, dontcha always know that that’s going to be a lie?  When are we gonna realize in this country that our wealth is work, that we’re workers, and by teaching this idea of hey man, I’ll teach you how to be rich.  How is that different than an infommercial?

My dad used to say (I’m sure yours did too) there’s no free lunch.  There is no Wealth Without Risk.  There is no raise without work.  The mirage of the last 10 years was just that — a mirage.  It’s time to roll up our sleeves and go back to the office.  Because although we can pine and whine and wish for the heady times to return, it’s a waste of time and effort that we could spend actually doing something.

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