Traveling through the countryside recently, I had the opportunity to stop and fill-up for gas at an old fashioned country store. I meandered inside to pay my bill because the gas pump did not have a credit card slot.
No problem, it was a hot summer day, time for some ice cream. I noticed a sign in front of the store that contained a message I had seen once before as a youth traveling south with my family.
The sign read: IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS PAY CASH. In other words, no credit cards, no checks, just good ole American greenbacks. Although it might seem impossible when so many people are currently trashing the dollar, the sign started me thinking about using cash as an investment, or getting a return on the dollar.
In addition, I also thought about all the opportunities for cash vs. credit.
It was time to put my theory to the test. First up was an antique shop where I found a medium-sized writing desk that was just perfect for my house. List price: $680.
“What’s the best price?” I asked.
“You’re looking at it,” the dealer said.
“I’ll tell you what,” I said, “I’ll give you $500 cash, right now.”
The dealer thought for a moment, and then said “Done.”
I saved $180 on a $680 desk, that’s 26%, not bad.
Next, off to a garage sale.
The proprietress was doing a brisk business, taking checks and credit cards. I however, had a different strategy. I saw a beautiful set of 8 crystal martini glasses worth $240.
The proprietress saw me looking at them and said, “Everybody looks, but nobody wants to buy the glasses.”
“I guess they just don’t want to put it on their credit card.”
Being bold, I said “I’ll tell you what, here’s a $100 bill, I’ll trade you old Ben for the martini glasses. Looking around, the proprietress wanted to see if anyone was noticing.
She grabbed the $100 bill, stuck it in her pocket, and said “Would you like them wrapped in newspaper?”
A 58% savings.
Finally, I decided to give this form of investment one more test. I dashed over to the used car lot, seeking out my dream car, a lincoln green Mercedes Benz.
Well, I won’t bore you with all the haggling and negotiating, but in the end I paid cash, and saved almost 30%.
In one day alone, I achieved price reductions of 26%, 58%, and 30%. That’s real savings, and in my mind, a solid return on my cash investment.
When cash is king, the deal gets done, often at very deep discounts.
For me, and from now on, IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS PAY CASH, has become a successful investment strategy.
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