Presidential Money Quotes

Besides their photos being on our money, many of our past presidents have had something to say about dollars and cents. This year at Arbogast Advisers, we thought we’d take a break from financial planning to celebrate President’s day with some of the more famous money quotes from past presidents. We put them in order of president, then added some commentary afterwards.

All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.

–John Adams

Adams knew from the beginning that for our country to be successful, we need to have a financially literate society. Without knowledge of personal finance, we would be thrown in to a time of “perplexities, confusion, and distress.”

Never spend money before you have it.

-Thomas Jefferson

Believe it or not, Jefferson died with an enormous amount of debt. He didn’t heed his own words here, and often spent his money before he had it. Of course it didn’t tarnish his legacy over all these years, but it did cause him and his family lots of grief at the time. This is one of the areas where you shouldn’t emulate Jefferson.

The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life.

–Theodore Roosevelt

Roosevelt had it right that endless pursuit of “get rich quick” schemes will cause people to end up with nothing. The “prosperity at any price” piece represents the need for logical pursuit of success. You can’t just throw money at the market hoping to making it big off of a lucky stock pick. Being logical about your saving and budgeting will drive your growth faster than investment returns ever will.

We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers.

– Woodrow Wilson

Wilson’s quote helps us to remember that it’s OK to dream big sometimes. If you don’t have a goal to accomplish, then you don’t have a reason to be working to get out of debt, or to save more money. Having a dream to shoot for will let you know if you are successful. When we work with financial planning clients, one of the first things we ask is about their financial goals. With those in place, we know where we have to aim to be successful.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

–John F. Kennedy

Kennedy, though his presidency was cut short in 1963, is regarded as one of the most influential presidents of all time. He speaks here of our country needing to help the poor, because that in turn, will help the rich. A thought that is often overlooked in society today.

These presidents really knew their stuff when it came to personal finance. Not everyone has the know how to manage their money on their own. So if you find yourself needing a little extra help with your finances, feel free to contact Arbogast Advisers LLC in Chico California. You can contact us at our website: