Unleashing a powerful force….

Curious Rascal
4 min readMay 13, 2024

‘The force is strong with this one’. Darth Vader.

Ok, I love Star Wars, so this is an excuse to nerd out, but Darth did have a point about forces and how we individually or collectively choose to brandish them. In Physics, a force according to the children’s website Twinkl (you know my level) ‘is a push or a pull in a particular direction. Forces result from an object’s interaction with another object — when the interaction stops, both objects stop experiencing the effects of the force’. In everyday life, we supplement the definition with the characteristics of strength, energy or something miraculous.

‘There’s an unseen force which lets birds know when you’ve just washed your car’. Dennis Norden.

Outside of the forces defined by science (gravity, friction, tension, magnetic…..), I propose dormant forces. These need to be unleashed and wielded to experience the consequence of an interaction alongside their full miraculousness. My list includes imagination, curiosity, freedom, context, compounding….compounding you say?

My cost centres are fed up of me blathering about one of the most potent yet barely whispered mights twisting through our existence. Though even I am a little suspicious Albert Einstein supposedly termed compounding the 8th wonder of the world….! What do you mean by compounding I hear you ask? Simply, It means to grow or exaggerate something positive or negative. In financial terms compounding is earning returns on your investment and earning returns on the returns you have already received. It is almighty and brawny because it decrees with little effort other than keeping your money put, your savings will grow faster and faster, blooming at an accelerating rate. Money begets money. At its most unadorned it requires tracking down an attractive interest bearing bank account, depositing funds and ignoring it for a long time. However negative compounding is equally powerful…beware of outstanding debt…

Now I didn’t bring you here to bore you with my theories on wealth creation. Almost with religious fervour, I believe without financial security (and this is a relative concept), unhappiness ensues. Consequently the sermonising to my cost centres. I’m a compounding obsessive in my own monetary affairs and a founder trustee of a financial literacy charity. Hence it saddens me how poor across the general populace is our grasp, interest or fear of financial matters and skills and therefore how incomprehensible a concept such as compounding can be to many. Curiously, when you try to pass on the basic tenets to life long solvency, eye rolling is not limited to my cost centres. It is a world wide apathy and straddles income as well as educational bands.

Why is that? I don’t believe this is purely an information issue. If you want to learn about financial wellness, resources abound — especially here in the UK. This passivity appears to arise from a smorgasbord of inputs rather than a single impediment. I’ve listed a few below and i’m sure you could offer additional explanations.

  • Perhaps the savings and investment system is too complicated — full of jargon and confusing concepts. I would lay some of the fault at the feet of the financial services sector meant to be subsisting to serve the people. Surely we can explain using everyday language. Gamification, social media, apps are more prevalent tools for engaging us and can be harnessed in creative ways.
  • How confident are we in maths and numbers; even our teachers feel uncomfortable with basic elements. Numeracy confidence should begin from the young and financial education can be subsumed within curriculums. More holistically we need to consider psychology and behaviours can be significant hindrances in taking control.
  • Too many charlatans and scams paralyses some from taking risk or opportunities. Possibly regulators need to be more invasive? Perhaps people do not know which organisations they can trust for advice. Trust in today’s world is an issue many industries are grappling with. We do not need to re-invent the wheel in appropriating solutions.
  • Having free cash to put away is for many a pipe dream especially those working in erratic jobs or with unpredictable hours. Is a wider incorporation of social mobility analysis or development of personalised resources part of the answer? Or is even that too complicated. Building wealth at its heart is spending less than we bring in.
  • People learn from family and friends or those around them who have credence. Conceivably the process of wider financial inclusion should be slow if this is the mechanism for change.
  • We are usually motivated to learn in a time of need. Should we ensure resources, help and nudges are widely available at expedient points in time?

What did it take for you to stretch your financial muscles — mentally and in practice?

I stand by the mighty force of compounding and prevailing in the ear bashing of my cost centres. Though I never thought Darth Vader and I would have something in common….

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Curious Rascal

I'm keen to understand more of the world, people, history, science, making sense of the random because it helps me in life and improves my thinking.