The Pleasure of Walking Tall

Reading Time: 5 mins

The following excerpt is a quote from a First Federal Savings advertisement from the early 1960s. This is one of the finest print advertisements I have seen in a long time on money that has a powerful social message (Oh God, I believe humans have stopped making such advertisements).

This is a newspaper advertisement from 1963 from First Federal Savings in
St. Petersburg, FL in the St. Petersburg Times.

One of my advisor colleagues shared it a few days back, and I was utterly overwhelmed with the deep meaning of the message. I knew it then that I need to create an impactful write-up around this piece and it should reach to as many people as possible. The timing couldn’t be better.

So here I am. But first, let’s reread the advertisement. At least 3 times.

The Pleasure of Walking Tall

Your savings, believe it or not, affect the way you stand, the way you walk, the tone of your voice. In short, your physical well-being and confidence.

A man without savings is always running. He must. He must take the first job offered, or nearly so. He sits nervously on life’s chairs because any small emergency throws him into the hands of others.

Without savings, a man must be too grateful. Gratitude is a fine thing in its place. But a constant state of gratitude is a horrible place in which to live.

A man with savings can walk tall. He may appraise opportunities in a relaxed way, have time for judicious estimates and not be rushed by economic necessity.

A man with savings can afford to resign from his job, if his principles so dictate. And for this reason, he’ll never need to do so. A man who can afford to quit is much more useful to his company, and therefore more promotable. He can afford to give his company the benefits of his most candid judgements.

A man always concerned about necessities, such as food and rent, can’t afford to think in long-range career terms. He must dart to the most immediate opportunity for ready cash. Without savings, he will spend a lifetime of darting, dodging.

A man with savings can afford the wonderful privilege of being generous in family or neighborhood emergencies. He can take a level stare into the eyes of any man . . . friend, stranger or enemy. It shapes his personality and character.

The ability to save has nothing to do with the size of income. Many high-income people, who spend it all, are on a treadmill, darting through life like minnows.

The dean of American bankers, J. P. Morgan, once advised a young broker, “Take waste out of your spending; you’ll drive haste out of your life.”

Will Rogers put it this way, “I’d rather have the company of a janitor, living on what he earned last year . . . than an actor spending what he’ll earn next year.”

If you don’t need money for college, a home or retirement, then save for self-confidence. The state of your savings does have a lot to do with how tall you walk.


I am sure you must be mesmerised too.

As an advisor who has met thousands of individual investors over the last 16 years, it is easy to spot a person who is very confident backed by his / her high savings. And vice-versa too. People with meagre savings coupled with a loan burden are the most vulnerable as Covid-19 has proved. A few of our investors who had very high savings and have lost jobs are the least worried because they know they have a good corpus to back them up. They are now spending quality time with family which could not have been earlier possible and are also learning stuff to keep them relevant and occupied. And there are few unfortunates who lost their jobs and has very slim savings to back them up in these tough times resulting in their stress levels going up 10x.

I remember when I first started my serious savings in the form of a Rs 10,000 SIP in Aug 2010, I didn’t realise the power of savings. But today, whatever little wealth I have created is all because of a disciplined regime of increasing my savings year after year. I continue to bump up my savings every year come what may. At present, my family’s SIP is Rs 8,70,000 per month, and hopefully, by March 2021, it should cross the Rs 10,00,000 SIP mark. And, I will not stop until I chase my dream of touching the coveted Rs 100 crore mark by age 50 and become One Idiot. And that reminds me, whenever I talk about the One Idiot goal, the first question people ask me is where I am investing my money and what is the expected return and very few people ask how much I am saving in the first place. Always remember how much you save & how long you save for is in your control, returns are not. So we should control what is controllable and leave the returns to markets.

When I look at many of my MBA friends (I did my MBA in 2004) they are easily earning in the range of Rs 30 Lakhs to Rs 1 crore p.a., but sadly the savings has not kept pace with their earnings while the expenses surely have. This can be attributed to the below phenomenon. They have all been victim of the normal approach of savings while the short movie One Idiot made sure I take the smart approach. This doesn’t mean I don’t spend. I do enjoy all the leisures of life after making sure that my saving for the month has happened. By doing this, I don’t feel guilty at all, mainly when I am on a shopping spree on Amazon.

Morgan Housel, one of the finest bloggers on the topic of money once said “The first idea – simple but easy to overlook – is that building wealth has little to do with your income and lots to do with your savings rate”.

And he further said “The worst irony in investing is that people have no savings when compounding is in their favour and a way higher savings rate when it’s not”

Today, I can connect with every word of his remarkable statement. And hence, I would strongly recommend you to follow his blog at www.collaborativefund.com/blog. Maybe your perspective on savings and investing will transform too.

This pandemic has highlighted even more the importance of planned savings. Most investors do not have an emergency fund (6-12 months of monthly expenses). People want to plan for their children’s education or a house purchase but will not think about contingency fund. In fact, this should be the first goal of any saver/investor. A sound emergency fund will help them precisely in these difficult times, so they don’t have to pull out from long term investments, especially when markets are also not supporting their cause.

In the Ad, Will Rogers put it this way, “I’d rather have the company of a janitor, living on what he earned last year…than an actor spending what he’ll earn next year.” Today, we are seeing many small-time TV celebrities are dying by suicide as they are not able to get work and has no meaningful savings to support them. In good times, they didn’t give much importance to savings as maintaining their flashy lifestyle seemed more critical. Even the King of Good times Vijay Mallya learnt this valuable lesson the hard way.

I have personally seen most people who have taken a housing or any other loan are comfortable working in the same company even if they are not enjoying it (mostly due to a terrible boss) simply because they have an EMI burden on their head and not a good savings plan to bail them out. As mentioned in the print advertisement, a person with high savings will always be confident about his/her work and will never become victim to office politics and indeed not a “Yes” man to his/her boss.

The importance of savings also takes centerstage today because we have to remember we have a finite period to earn money and this pandemic has proved that overnight business models can change and there is nothing called job guarantee. One of our doctor clients had to work overtime in a reputed hospital with a 20% salary cut. (Never heard doctors taking pay cuts and that too in a pandemic when they are required the most). As a result, they had to curtail/stop their SIPs, and we know that once there is a break in something, it’s challenging to build the momentum again.

Maybe this advertisement can push us to build our savings all over again if we have not done so already.

P.S – Pls read the advertisement one final time so that it stays permanently into your mainframe. Or even better if you can take a printout and frame it next to your desktop to serve as a constant reminder.

And I am very hopeful someday you’ll also experience “The Pleasure of Walking Tall”.

You may also like

Welcome to the One Idiot Tribe!

38 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    It was alwz good to listen you or watching you n your seminars…But nw its more fantastic reading your knowledgfull articles…great

  2. Incredible! This blog looks exactly like my old one!

    It’s on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout
    and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  3. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now
    broken and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but
    I had to share it with someone!

    Here is my web-site: game online club suncity (918kiss-m.com)

  4. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your blog.
    It appears like some of the text in your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know
    if this is happening to them as well? This could be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Thank you

    my web page; pussy888 exclusive bonus – 918kiss-m.com,

  5. excellent submit, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t
    understand this. You must continue your writing.
    I’m confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

    my website :: xe88 kiosk

  6. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought
    this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if
    you are not already 😉 Cheers!

    My blog post: mega888 ios download (mega888sg.com)

  7. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues with your blog.
    It looks like some of the written text in your content are running off the screen. Can somebody
    else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This might be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.

    Many thanks

    Have a look at my page hengheng2 ace333

  8. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I do believe that you should publish more about this
    issue, it may not be a taboo matter but generally people do not discuss these topics.
    To the next! Many thanks!!

    my homepage … id test king855

  9. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone
    else encountering problems with your blog.
    It appears as though some of the written text within your content are running off
    the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback
    and let me know if this is happening to them too? This
    may be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.

  10. Saya telah telah menjelajah online lebih dari
    3 jam hari ini, namun saya tidak pernah menemukan artikel menarik seperti milik Anda.
    It is cukup berharga bagi saya. Menurut pendapat
    saya , jika semua pemilik web dan blogger membuat konten yang
    baik seperti yang Anda lakukan, internet akan menjadi a jauh lebih berguna dari sebelumnya.

    Here is my web blog :: Joker388 net mobile

  11. Somеⲟne essentially lend a hɑnd tto make critically posts
    I mіght state. That is the first time I frequented your web page and so faг?
    I amazed with the analysis you made to create this рadticᥙlar put up extraordinary.
    Great process!

  12. Hеllo just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you
    know a few of the pictures ɑren’t loɑding correctⅼy.
    Ӏ’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in twoo dufferent
    browserѕ and Ьoth show the same outcome.

  13. Simply wanht to say our artiсle is as astounding. The claгity in yߋᥙr post is just excellent aand i
    can assume you’re an expert on tһis subject. Fіne with your
    permissіon let me to grab your RSS feed to kedp
    updated wiith forthcoming post. Thankѕ a million and ⲣlеase kеep up the гewardіng work.

  14. Hi there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new initiative
    in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable
    information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

    my page – download Playboy2

  15. Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉
    I may return once again since i have book marked it. Money and freedom is the
    best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  16. When someone ᴡrites an post he/she retains the thougһt of a
    userr in his/her mind that how a user can be aware of it. Sо that’s why tthis paragdaph
    iis perfect. Тhanks!

  17. Great itemѕ from you, man. I hɑve be ɑware your
    stuff prior to and you are just extremely wonderfսl.

    I actually like what you’ve got right here, really like what you’re sayibg аnd
    thе way in which by which yyou assesrt it. You are making it entertaіning annd you still take care
    of tо stay it sensible. I cant wait to read mսch more from yoս.
    Τhat is actually a wonderful ѕite.

  18. I am reallү loving the theme/design of your weblog. Do yoᥙ ever run into any intenet browser compatibilitү issues?
    A feww of my Ьlog readers have complained about my site not operating corrеctly in Expⅼorer but
    ⅼooks great in Firefox. Do you have anny tips to help fix this issue?

  19. Ahаa, its good conversation гegarding this paragraph here at thiis wweb
    site, I have read all that, so now mee also ⅽommenting at this

  20. Gеnerally I dоn’t learn article on bloցѕ, buut I wish to say that this write-uр
    νery compelled mme tto take a lok att andd do so!
    Your writing style has been surprised me. Ƭhаnks, ver nice

  21. My developer is trying to convince me to move
    to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on various websites for about a year and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard good things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can transfer all my
    wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really

    my web blog tracfone special coupon 2022

Leave a Reply