So why talk about the Erie Canal? Well, it serves to help illustrate a principle we teach in the Money Mastery program: “Money in motion creates more money.” Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal cut the cost of transporting goods westward by 95 percent. And it cut the time to ship those goods by 80 percent. This canal helped the West to be settled while many cities sprang up along the canal, the population surged and the economic benefits exploded. From one single idea meant to make transportation cheaper in an era where moving goods was labor and time intensive sprang a whole bunch more benefits that continue to provide prosperity to this day. This is what “money in motion creates more money” means — the ability to put money, ideas, and resources to work to make more money.
Now what about the Panama Canal? Well, its worth is similar to the Erie Canal because of how its creation put so many things in motion that created more opportunities and more money and resources. The canal is 48 miles long. It takes 6 to 8 hours for a ship to pass through the Panama Canal rather than the many days and weeks it once took ships to travel around the coasts of South America. Since its creation in 1914, there has been an increase in the number of ships passing through it from 1,000 in 1914 to 815,000 in 2012. This equates to 333 million tons of cargo each year cutting across from one ocean to the other. Making it possible for ships to avoid the dangerous passage around the tip of South America cutting months off travel time created an economic benefit that continues in massive proportions today.
So now let’s talk about you. If you will examine how you make your money, how you save your money, and whether or not you are putting your money in motion to create more, you might find how to improve upon this process. As you find ways of creating an Erie or Panama Canal in your own life, you too might be able to cut costs and multiply revenue.
Both these canals cost a lot of money and lives. But the rewards have been astronomical in comparison — they have both made a much better life for all of us. And so it can be with you. If you will re-examine how your money is made and processed, you have a chance to use technology, innovations, new resources and more, to improve on what you already have. If you can determine ways to get more income out of less time spent, you are the winner. Wealth is not about a certain rate of return from the market. True wealth is about learning how to get your money to work for you to make you more. Now is the time to think out of the box, just like our forebears did 100 and 200 years ago with creating of the Panama and Erie Canals.