First, ya get da money. Then, when ya got da money, ya get da power.
And den, when ya got da power, ya get da woman.
Pacino in the movie Scarf ace.
Power and the opposite sex aside, it is a fact that your continued existence anywhere in this world is dependent on you having the dough. But if you don’t – it is bad news. Without money, you cannot rent a comfortable home nor eat what you want.
Whether you like it or not, it is that simple. The French branch of British owned fast food chain Burger King launched a campaign called Politique Social – Social Politics. In this case, it consisted of selling two cheeseburgers for 10 French Francs, more or less £1 Sterling. But even then, without even that little cash to spare, well… I suppose you could apply for welfare assistance.
So what does money have to do with your privacy? Keeping your own money your own business (and nobody else’s) is getting increasingly difficult.
Again, the subject of money ties nicely into the subject “your freedom”. With sufficient cash and a few other essentials at hand, you may stay free and alive – at least as long as your money (and health) lasts. But if you do something stupid, you will give the rest of the world (which has no vested interest in your particular livelihood) the chance to locate your funds and confiscate them, leaving you destitute. And a good deal closer to starvation and death. In other words: no matter how much money you have, it is folly not to make painstakingly sure that people who wish you ill (or may do so in the future) have an absolute minimum chance of parting you from the very thing – money – that ensures your continued breathing. Not only should you therefore follow the 11th commandment (GTM – Get The Money) but also and perhaps even more seriously the 12th: Keep The Money And Make Sure It Stays That Way.
Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to remember the former and forget the latter, ultimately finding themselves in that most extremely uncomfortable of situations – having caused their own ruin by default. If there was ever a more senseless form of self destruction than that of spending (or moving about) your money in a way that is likely to enable others to rob you of it, we have yet to hear of it.
Whatever else happens one thing is certain: you will need to use money to pay for your physical upkeep – and for the gadgets and services that will come in handy when trying to keep your freedom. That is precisely the crux of the issue. You may have to do a bit of thinking when making various payments lest you accidentally give away either your intentions or your whereabouts. The same, by the way, goes for communications which are covered in a later chapter.
First of all, let us establish the various tools that fall under the category of “money”. Basically, there are three: cash, checks and credit cards.
It may seem trivial to go into such exhaustive detail on a subject as mundane as “money”. After all, spending it is not all that difficult – right? Getting it is more important? No – not if you want to keep your freedom and your privacy intact and unembattled. If that is your aim then you really have to start thinking consciously about spending. That being so, it may also induce you to spend less which is a nice detail. You build equity faster when you start making a habit of stopping to think for a minute before making a purchase: “How should I pay for this and, after all, do I really need this stuff?”.
To whet your appetite on the subject of just why money, in all its forms, is so important to use or spend, or move about the right way, let us exemplify by way of referring to the 1989 movie Midnight Run. A bounty hunter, played by Robert de Niro, manages to apprehend a fugitive embezzler who has jumped bail – having done so by outwitting a rival bounty hunter. To catch up with de Niro’s character, the rival bounty-man (on regaining consciousness) calls up the credit card company and, pretending to be de Niro, claims that his credit cards have been lost or stolen. In other words, he effectively renders the cards useless. De Niro later learns he is broke when trying to purchase Greyhound bus tickets to take himself and his prisoner back to the LA county jail. Thus, a simple phone call may be used to put just about anyone (including yourself…) in dire straits.
This DOES happen in real life, to real people, several times a week. The scaring fact is that you could become the next victim. In the three following chapters, we will look at CASH, at CHECKS and at CREDIT CARDS one by one. We will examine how to get maximum financial privacy from each of these three monetary tools. But first, a word on investments.