Jean de La Bruyère’s Thoughts On Money, Wealth, And Fortune

The French essayist and philosopher Jean de La Bruyère achieved a degree of notoriety for his work Characters (Les Caractères ou les Mœurs de ce siècle), which he published in 1688.  He died young, at the age of 50 in 1696; perhaps his pen might have produced more marvels had fortune provided him more longevity. 

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Some Thoughts And Opinions On Investing

I’m certainly not a finance person.  At least I don’t consider myself one.  I am just a country lawyer.  I have no magic formulas for anyone, unless common sense and my own experience can be considered a magic formula.  I have no magic wands, no hidden secrets, no rabbits to pull out of a top hat for you.  But I do have some modest experience in dealing with my own money and investments.  I’m also a practicing bankruptcy attorney–a job I’ve been doing for over 20 years–and have represented a very large number of individuals and businesses.  I’ve seen what things get people into trouble, and what things do not.  One begins to notice recurring patterns, and I have tried to distill these into cautionary principles.  The result is what follows.

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Money Is Of Secondary Importance In War


Human nature being what it is, there will always be many different reasons why wars begin.  All of these reasons ultimately find their roots in human passions:  greed, the lust for power, or simply a desire to “put fortune to the test” (fortunam temptare) as the ancient Latin historians would say.

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