James K.A. Smith has written extensively on how our hearts are—often unintentionally—formed by our habits. What investing habits are we participating in that may be subtly shaping our view of money?
William Cavanaugh: There’s this idea that there’s just this massive mysterious thing out there, over which we have no control, called the economy. And so, it develops an aura of inevitability about it.
Jason Myhre: I’m often surprised how few people even understand what’s going on inside of a mutual fund, that there are actually companies, and a connection to companies there. Or, the market is this big abstract financial thing. But we often forget that it’s simply composed of companies.
William Cavanaugh: Right. So the first thing I think that needs to happen in investing is, people need to see what’s going on. Right? They have to be aware of how it is that they give their money to someone, and then miraculously, it just grows.
So I talk about detachment from production, detachment from producers, and detachment from products. There are actual things being manufactured by people, and they’re being sold and the profits are in some way coming to me. And so, taking the veil away from that process, there’s a realism about it. It’s just coming down from this magical view of the world and seeing what’s going on. And I think we have a moral duty to do that. Right? I mean, I think people need to be convinced that our economic relationships are moral relationships, because they’re relationships with people.
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