economics | December 19, 2012

Finance Speaker David Chilton: Be A "Cheap Optimist"

"In the next three, to seven, to ten years we're going to have some challenges," finance speaker David Chilton says in an interview after one of his recent keynotes. The Dragons' Den host spoke at the Farm Forum Event this month, and shared his knowledge on the economy and money management within the agriculture industry. Known for his optimistic outlook, Chilton's opinion is well-respected because of his firm grasp on reality and his ability to deliver concrete solutions to economic problems. He explains that it's clear we have some hard times ahead while the economy recovers, but that the long term forecast looks promising.

In the meantime, he advises that we all take a step back and not overextend our credit. "We can have some external shocks that could tip the economy," he says,"[so] you've got to be a little careful." Even though the economic climate is improving, he says that it is far too easy to go overboard on spending when times are good. It's human nature, Chilton notes, but we have to learn to look to long term trends when it comes to spending and making investment decisions—rather than only living in the now. "You have to be a cheap optimist," he says in the interview. Your overall outlook should be positive, but you should still play it safe and be prepared for any situation, good or bad. That way, when a unique opportunity presents itself, you will be in a good financial situation and have access to capital instead of being plagued by debt.

These are points he makes in his wildly popular bestseller The Wealthy Barber. In his book, and in the speech, Chilton advocates for living within your means in order to become financially successful in the long term. While most of his keynote focused on how to cash in on the current trends in the agriculture sector, the finance speaker's advice extends to any industry.

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