The Best Reasons We Should Still Listen to Benjamin Franklin

The Best Benjamin Franklin Quotes

Benjamin Franklin was one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a polymath who accomplished many things in his lifetime including authoring Poor Richard’s Almanack and co-founding the Library Company of Philadelphia. But what he’s perhaps most famous for are his wise words which are still relevant today. Here are some of the best Benjamin Franklin quotes. 

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.”

“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”

“I am for doing good to the poor, but… I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.”

“There will be sleeping enough in the grave.”

“Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”

“You may delay, but time will not.” 

“We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

“A place for everything, and everything in its place.”

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.”

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.”

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

“I guess I don’t so much mind being old, as I mind being fat and old.”

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

“No gains without pains”

“Honesty is the best policy”

“A Penny saved is a Penny earned”

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“Well done is better than well said”

“God helps those who help themselves”

“There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self”

As you can see, Benjamin Franklin was a man ahead of his time whose quotes are just as applicable today as they were over 200 years ago.

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The Key to Franklin’s Success: Diversification

Perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from Franklin is the importance of diversification. When it comes to investing, this means spreading your money across different asset classes in order to minimize risk. For example, rather than putting all of your money into stocks, you might also invest in bonds, real estate, and cash equivalents like CD’s and Money Market accounts. 

Of course, diversification isn’t just limited to investments. It’s also important to diversify your sources of income. That way, if one stream dries up, you’ll still have others to fall back on. This is something that Franklin understood very well. In addition to his investments, he also had income from his businesses, his writing, and his diplomacy work. 

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The Power of Compounding Interest

Another key to Franklin’s success was his understanding of the power of compounding interest. This is the idea that when you invest money, you not only earn a return on your original investment, but you also earn a return on the returns that your investment has already generated. 

For example, let’s say you invest $10,000 at an annual rate of 7%. After one year, you’ll have earned $700 in interest (7% of $10,000). But in year two, you’ll earn 7% not just on your original $10,000 investment—you’ll also earn interest on that $700 in interest from year one. That comes out to an additional $49 in interest (7% of $700). And in year three? You guessed it—you’ll earn interest on both your original investment and the interest from years one AND two. 

Franklin understood that compound interest could create wealth over time and he took advantage of it by investing early and often throughout his life. In fact, he once said:

“Investing money is like planting trees; the sooner you do it the better.” 

In today’s world, there are endless opportunities for investing and achieving financial security. However, with so many options comes the potential for confusion and even paralysis. That’s where the teachings of Benjamin Franklin can help. By following his advice on diversification and compound interest, we can set ourselves up for a bright financial future—just as he did all those years ago.

Benjamin Franklin’s Greatest Successes and Failures

Benjamin Franklin was one of the most accomplished individuals of his time. He was a statesman, diplomat, scientist, inventor, and philosopher. He played a pivotal role in the American Revolution and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. He also negotiated the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. In addition to his political achievements, he was also a successful businessman and inventor. Some of his most famous inventions include bifocals, the lightning rod, and the Franklin stove. 

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Despite all of his successes, Benjamin Franklin also had his share of failures. One of his biggest failures was his attempt to create an American colony in present-day Ghana. The colony was meant to be a haven for freed slaves, but it quickly ran into financial trouble and was eventually abandoned. He also faced criticism from some of his fellow Founding Fathers for his proposal to ban slavery in the new nation. Regardless of his failures, Benjamin Franklin remains one of the most revered figures in American history. 

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Franklin’s Early Life

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the tenth son of Josiah Franklin, a soap and candle maker. His mother Abiah Folger was Josiah’s second wife; she had borne Josiah ten children before dying in childbirth with Benjamin. Growing up in a large family did not afford Benjamin much formal education; he attended school for only two years before being pulled out to help his father with the family business. 

Franklin as a Young Man

In spite of his limited formal education, Franklin proved to be an avid reader and learner. At the age of 12, he began working as an apprentice printer for his older brother James at the New England Courant. James often published stories that were critical of Boston’s government officials; when these stories landed him in hot water, he had young Benjamin write them under a pseudonym so that he would not get into trouble. In 1723, at the age of 17, Franklin ran away from Boston to Philadelphia after falling out with James over publishing one too many offensive articles. 

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Franklin as a Diplomat

In 1776, Franklin was chosen as a delegate to the Second Continental Congress where he helped draft and sign the Declaration of Independence. After serving two terms in Congress, he returned to Philadelphia where he served as Pennsylvania’s delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. The following year he represented Pennsylvania at the Annapolis Convention where delegates called for another constitutional convention to discuss ways to improve commerce between states. As delegates gathered in Philadelphia for what would become known as the Constitutional Convention, they selected Franklin as their president.  

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Franklin retired from public life in 1788 but reemerged two years later when tensions between France and America threatened to boil over into war. President George Washington appointed him as minister plenipotentiary to France where he worked diligently to keep peace between the two nations. In 1783 he helped negotiate and sign both The Treaty of Paris which officially ended hostilities between America and Britain and The Peace Accord between Britain and France which brought an end to their conflict. For his efforts he became known as “The First American.”  

Benjamin Franklin is best remembered as one of America’s Founding Fathers but he was so much more than that; he was also a diplomat, scientist, inventor, businessman, and philosopher. Although he experienced both success and failure throughout his life, his legacy continues on. Today there is a statue of him in Paris near where he once lived and numerous schools, foundations, roads, buildings, parks, bridges, medals, and awards all bearing his name. It is safe to say that Benjamin Franklin left an indelible mark on both America and the world..

Franklin was a wise investor, and his autobiography is full of financial advice that is still relevant today. One of the most important things he teaches us is to never give up. If we keep working towards our goals, even when times are tough, we can achieve great things. Franklin’s life is a testament to the power of hard work and determination, and his wisdom can help us all live more purposeful lives.