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  • Writer's picturePhil Kennedy

This is What Chuck E. Cheese and Money Have in Common

My nine-year-old son, William, recently exclaimed, "Dad, we're rich!" Desirous to quit my day job, I was inquisitive. "What do you mean?" He explained that he was down in my man cave/podcast studio and saw a 100 trillion dollar bill next to a golden bill that read "24K." This was the teachable moment I've been waiting on since he was born.

"Which one do you think is worth more," I asked him. "Well, of course, it's the 100 trillion dollar bill because that's way more!" I knew I was going to have to be delicate on this. Back before Americans lost their minds, there used to be a fun place call Chuck E. Cheese. You could play games and win tickets for prizes. I know this sounds like something that happened decades ago, but it used to be a thing.

I told William, "Imagine if a toy cost ten tickets, and you worked hard at the games to win. You take your ten tickets up to the counter, and you suddenly discover that the toy costs TWENTY tickets. Do you think that's fair?" He grimaced over the thought. "Now imagine this, buddy. You get an allowance each week. What would you rather have? A $5 bill that's worth $10 in a week, or a $5 bill that's worth $1 in a week." He bristled that I would ask such a stupid question. "Well, of course, I'd want the $10 because that's worth way more." the boy is nine, and he already knows more than the Fed Board of Governors.

At this point, William had questions about the "24K" bill that looks like a golden ticket awarded by Willie Wonka. "So how much is that one worth? Is it $5 like it says?" I smiled at the opportunity to teach him again. "No, Will. That one is worth almost $20 in gold!" The bill he is referring to is a Goldback from the Utah Precious Metals Exchange (and thanks to Mark Voelker for sending it to me!)

I place the bills side-by-side as a reminder of what happens when governments control money. History has shown that every fiat currency has failed because politicians always overpromise and underdeliver. For this reason, you cannot wait on Washington, DC, to help you. It would be best if you took control of your financial destiny so you can one day live the life that's promised in AARP commercials.

There are coaches for nearly every pursuit, but people have come to think they should handle their money independently. This belief couldn't be further from the truth. Planners, accountants, and advisors surround all of the world's wealthiest people, guiding them with a strategy to do even better. I also receive weekly financial coaching to improve my insight and motivate me to do even better for the Kennedy household.

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