So I was thumbing through my Norton Anthology of Early American Literature recently (yes, I’ll come out and admit I’m that much of a literary geek) and I started reading Ben Franklin’s “The Way to Wealth,” a 1757 compilation of his most popular money-related proverbs, all channeling the Poor Richard persona that made him a rich man.
It got me thinking that Franklin would have been a helluva blogger, and that “Poor Richard” would be a nice title for the blog I was going to start. If I want to record my ideas, questions and adventures in the world of financial education and matched savings as a strategy to help lift people out of poverty (in case you’re wondering, that is indeed what this blog is about), and if I aim to do so with some reasonably snappy writing, then who better to serve as the mascot and lend some literary gravitas to the undertaking than Ben Franklin, who penned such wonderful little sayings as “For age and want save while you may; no morning sun lasts a whole day” and “Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.”
You can imagine my disappointment when I tried to launch this blog and discovered that poorrichard.wordpress.com was already in use by a snappy-writing printshop owner/blogger in Macon, Georgia, who was obviously as inspired by Franklin’s success in the printing biz as I was by his success crafting aphorisms on frugality and finance. Just 55 million bloggers in the world! Come on, what are the chances that anyone else would want to blog under the pseudonym Poor Richard?
And with that revelation I gave up on my short-lived dream of being the 21st century’s Poor Richard. Yes, I suppose I could be Poor Rich or Poor Dick, both of which have an interesting ring, but I don’t want to cause confusion for the legions of Googlers who will soon be stampeding to find my blog. Anyway, that other guy’s name actually is Richard. How can I compete with that? But I look at it this way: I haven’t even completed a single post yet and already I can say my blog is on version 2.0.
As you no doubt have realized, I retained a nod to Poor Richard with the title “Asset Almanac,” which also has the virtue (in my opinion) of looking eye-pleasingly odd when it’s written as a url address without a space between asset and almanac (assetalmanac.wordpress.com). And now, without further title-ruminating ado, I’m officially in the blogosphere. In subsequent posts, you’ll learn what I’m on about with this idea of asset development, and you’ll discover whether I can actually find new things to say about it on a regular basis.