Make Money Mondays

I haven’t saved. I intend to work well into my 100s - Leon Louw (FMF)

My mother died before I knew her… It was a modest living, but I was very happy… My father was a truck driver… then became a teacher…

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

People who want to get rid of street traders should ask themselves what you would rather have them do…

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

I bought cheap shares of marginal gold mines… I was a very astute investor… I still didn’t feel rich… So, I decided to put the whole lot on what’s called a ‘time bargain’… I lost everything… I thought if I wasn’t going to be truly wealthy, why bother? … I would’ve been a multimillionaire in the 70s…

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about her or his attitude toward money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.) as part of his “Make Money Mondays, Personal Edition” feature.

This week he interviewed Leon Louw, Executive Director and co-founder at Free Market Foundation.

It is the 109th best “think tank” in the world, according to the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the University of Pennsylvania.

Louw became a Marxists and anti-apartheid activist at the University of Witwatersrand (1965 – 1968).

Louw started questioning Marxism after a life-changing event when he was an article clerk at a leading law firm.

Every day, I saw and occasionally patronised an old black lady who would sell fruit on the sidewalk outside our law offices. One day I saw the police kick her basket of fruit into the street and chase her down around the corner where they caught and arrested her. They threw her violently into their police van and drove off. I dropped what I was doing and followed. They took her to central Johannesburg police station where I spent the rest of the day trying to get her released.

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

The experience so moved him that he began working without payment to fight for the rights of illegal street vendors, taxi operators and owners of small businesses operating from homes.

He abandoned Marxism because of what he saw “in the real world”.

  • What does Louw believe about money?

  • Does it keep him up at night?

  • Does he spend like crazy or save compulsively?

  • How did his childhood experiences shape his views on money?

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and scroll down for more quotes from it).

My first job was selling fruit by the side of the road… My second job was working as a labourer making welding machines… I worked in a hardware store…

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

I realised that this woman under Marxism wouldn’t be allowed to sell fruit… The whole idea of stopping people freely transacting with each other is wrong… People should be free to interact with each other as they wish regardless of how rich, or poor, they are.

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

I don’t really mind the relative lack of money…

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

Recently, I reduced all my debt to zero…

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

I haven’t saved… I have to continue working and I intend to do that until I’m well into my 100s…

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

I no longer feel immortal… I have to think very carefully about my diet… sleeping is one of the best things you can do for your health… The book ‘Why We Sleep’… it’s an extraordinary book… the amount of damage you do to your brain… If you’re not having eight hours…

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

If I were extraordinarily wealthy… I probably won’t do much different… Lots of money would not change much for me… I would fly first class…

Leon Louw, co-founder - Free Market Foundation

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