Understanding Money

Money Matters (February 2017)

By Chuck Dudley



First, an admission.

This newsletter is one from the archives, probably from the second year of my writing around 1998 or so. Sometimes it’s good to revisit some of the tried and true concepts to see if they still hold true. I think this one does………

moneyVirtually everyone who is successful knows how to earn money. Through a combination of education (either formal or on the job education), extra hard work, and experience, most folks have mastered this part of the money equation. Find something you enjoy doing, do it better than anyone else, provide superior user experience. It’s a winning formula repeated in millions of small businesses and practices across the USA.

The majority of us are very good at consuming, as well!! Americans really don’t want for anything, especially material goods. Some pay cash, but the majority have learned that leveraging (borrowing money) is easy and credit is readily accessible. How often do you get yet another credit card offer in the mail? We know how to make it, and we surely know how to spend it.


Money has a cost…………you either pay to use someone else’s or will forgo earnings on money you have accumulated (saved in other words). Financial institutions (banks, Credit unions, finance companies, etc.) love people who borrow money. They simply pay you a low rate on deposits and lend it at higher rates. Think about it, do you really know the rates on those several credit cards you have?

These institutions make a lot of money. Most everyone is in the finance business to help their bottom line including furniture stores, car dealers, big box stores and more. Everyone wants to be a banker!!


Understand, we are not against banks and financial institutions making money. We are all for it!! But individuals can learn from banking concepts and incorporate them into their finances, as well.

I remember my longtime mentor and Economics professor at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Chuck Britton, lecturing on lost opportunity costs in college. Once I found myself in the business world, I finally understood. Any dollar that you pay out is lost opportunity. Any dollar you can recover goes back in your pocket. Seems simple, but in practice people forget. It’s sure easy to put that new smart TV on the credit card, or use Big Box financing to get it set up today !!

Each financial decision we make gives us the chance to experience opportunity cost, either gained or lost.

Obviously, it’s better to recapture lost opportunity cost and return it to YOUR bottom line. It’s just one of the things we help people do.


If you really want to make sure you have right ideas for moving forward in a positive manner, we will listen. We’ve been able to help families and businesses learn to use money wisely, and we’d like to help you too. We would be honored to visit with you about how to help you and your business. My number is 501-318-0010, or you can send me an email at cdudley@argentfinancial.com.

An hour of your time spent analyzing your situation might make a lifetime of difference

Arkansas Insurance Producer # 1005698

That’s all for this month! If you’ve enjoyed what you read, please share Money Matters with a friend, family member or loved one.


Chuck Dudley



Argent Financial Group

Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2020, Argent Financial Group (Argent) is a leading, independent, fiduciary wealth management firm. Responsible for more than $30 billion in client assets, Argent provides individuals, families, businesses and institutions with a broad range of wealth management services, including trust and estate administration, investment management, ESOPs, retirement plan consulting, funeral and cemetery trusts, charitable organization administration, oil and gas (mineral) management and other unique financial services. Headquartered in Ruston, Louisiana, Argent was formed in 1990 and traces its roots back to 1930.

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