As many of us begin the new year with resolutions to save more of our resources, throughout January we will highlight John Templeton’s relationship with thrift. Last year, Templeton Press launched Bring Back Thrift Week, a campaign designed to restore the week of January 17 through 23 as National Thrift Week, once a prominent celebration of thrift. To learn more about thrift, please visit our sister sites, Bring Back Thrift Week and Templeton Bookspark.
John Templeton highlights the importance of thrift in step 12 of The Templeton Plan, “Conserving Your Resources to Best Advantage:”
When John Templeton and his first wife, Dudley, got married, they made, along with the usual resolutions, a private pledge to put aside 50 percent of their total earnings for a personal investment portfolio.
For a full understanding of such a commitment to thrift, it helps to look again at Templeton’s Tennessee boyhood. In his hometown of Winchester, the honor and character of people were their greatest sources of wealth. And one of the major marks of character was thrift. People who didn’t save something—at least a few dollars of their weekly paycheck—were considered undisciplined and weak.
Thrifty people, on the other hand, were respected. So from the time he was young, Templeton learned that thrift was a character trait well worth developing. After the economic crash of 1929 the importance of thrift assumed a life-and-death significance. The 1930s gave ample evidence that to survive and prosper one had better save money and invest it wisely. Quite simply, conserving your resources to best advantage was essential to success and security. Those who saved received great rewards. Those who didn’t went under.