Six point three four billion dollars. That’s how much profit NAB made last year. With that much moolah, one could eat fried rice every night for dinner for the next 1,736,986.3 years (assuming fried rice from your favourite Chinese takeaway is unaffected by inflation and stays at $10 a pop during that time). In short, that’s a lot of fried rice.
What is interesting about this information (the profit, not the fried rice) is that NAB released this information just after raising its variable home loan rate by 17 basis points. That’s right, if you have a home loan with them (or any other of the Big Four), you need to cough up just a little bit more. Apparently one reason for the interest rate hike is a new requirement from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority that banks, “increase the amount of capital they hold against their mortgages, as called for in the Financial System Inquiry”. Rather than reduce their profit margins, banks are just passing costs on to people who have home loans. Now for many economists this probably makes a lot of sense but for the rest of us we just want to know how much profit is enough really?
The cold hard fact is that business leaders make decisions like these because they want their share holders to be happy and nothing makes share holders happier than profits. It is a sad reality that unhappy share holders = sacked CEO(s).
While there are probably many good reasons to invest well, one bad reason is the assumption that more wealth will increase one’s happiness. “I thought if I could make 10 million dollars, then it must be too easy,” wrote billionaire James Altucher. “In fact, I honestly thought everyone else had probably already made 11 million dollars, so then I felt poor again. I now needed $100 million to be happy.”
Here’s some 2000-year-old wisdom from the apostle Paul: Learn to be content (Philippians 4:11-12). That way, life is good regardless of whatever situation you find yourself in. After all, why let circumstances (sometimes) beyond your control dictate how you feel?
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