The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

An Abundance of Caution Can Stifle Progress

On March 19th, 2012, posted in: Uncategorized by

Have you ever heard the phrase “an abundance of caution?”  It is that overly cautious state of mind that freezes progress.  Well, maybe not completely freezes progress from happening, but certainly backs down the pace considerably.  Think the tortoise versus the hare.  Think writing a check versus swiping the debit card.  By the way, that dude is always in front of me. 

I experienced an “abundance of caution” in all of its glory on the way to work last Friday.  The driver of the vehicle in front of me had a particular affection for their brake pedal.  I get that we all need to brake from time to time, but braking as you approach a stop light turned green just in case it might turn yellow is a classic case of an “abundance of caution.”  Of course, my encouragement for the driver in front of me sounded something like this—“the light is green slowpoke, let’s GO!”

Another example is this old school thought that epitomizes an “abundance of caution” in the world of financial services.  It is this silly, unwarranted idea to “never put all your eggs in one basket.”  Really?

I ask people all the time to move their money from other institutions to SLCCU.  I inquire, “Why do you have money all over town?”  That is (at the very least) costly in time and energy. A little here and a little there is classic “abundance of caution.”  Simply put, if your “eggs” total less than $250,000, there is no reason to spread out your money.  It is all insured by the Federal Government through NCUA.  So, if you or someone you love has money all over town; has multiple checking accounts; or has loans everywhere, your cautious nature is costing you time, money and relationship.

Worse yet, please don’t be one of those folks who doesn’t like direct deposit because you don’t trust your money being transferred electronically.  That’s beyond old school—that is best described as pre-historic.  This “abundance of caution” is holding people back. 

Gas is $3.89 per gallon and what is your time worth?  Since most people get paid on the same days, most people show up in the credit unions’ branch lobbies on the same day.  Since most people work the same hours, most people show up at the branches at the same time. Since most people are in a big hurry because they’re tired and want to get home, most people get frustrated with the lines that sometimes stretch out the door. 

We’re pedaling as fast as we can to serve folks, but volumes of members trumps our speed and lengthens the lines.  All because of the need to get the paper check, see the paper check, write on the paper check, deposit the paper check, get cash back off of the paper check, and leave with a paper receipt.  YIKES!

The light is green as it relates to having all of your money with SLCCU and using direct deposit.  For god’s sake take your foot off the brake.

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