My name is Olle van den Boom. I recently moved from my home country, the Netherlands, to Nicaragua to join ECI Development for a 3-month internship, which ended just a few weeks ago. My last name literally means from the tree, which is interesting since I work a lot with trees. In Nicaragua, I helped to grow, maintain and made sure the timber of the Teak trees was delivered to the market. When I first got to know the company, I was very enthusiastic. Personally, I had thought multiple times about exchanging some of my Euros for trees. Below I present 3 reasons why I would rather own trees than Euros.
1. Trees Mean Built-in Growth
Baby Teak Trees at ECI Development’s Nicaragua Plantation
Trees are wonderful plants that produce a phenomenal product: timber. The beauty about saving trees is that it doesn’t matter what is happening in the rest of the economy. The trees couldn’t care less about what is going on in the world, they don’t even care about social unrest. The trees just keep getting a little bit bigger, getting more useful, and therefore, increasing in value.
2. 2000-year History vs. 20-year History
The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” – Winston Churchill
This is about perspective. Teak is a timber species that has been utilized for more than 2000 years, to build high quality, long-lasting products, including boats. This is still the case in modern times, virtually all luxury yachts have teak decking or some teak features. This versus the Euro which has only existed for 20 years, is peanuts compared to the 2000 years that teak has been around. Who knows if the Euro will even be around for another 20 years…?
Teak Trees under Constant Care on the Nicaragua Plantation
3. The Dollar Isn’t Productive
“ING customers are furious because their bank may charge negative interest on consumer savings.” – RTL-news
The times when you could live from the interest payment of your savings are long gone. On the 1st of August 2019 I read an article about the fact that the ING Bank in the Netherlands is considering NEGATIVE interest rates. The same has been happening to the European Central Bank (ECB) itself. This means that depositors, people like you and I, will need to pay the bank to deposit money. The interest rates have been falling since the introduction of the Euro. The falling interest rates make saving this currency rather unattractive, especially in a time when bank leaders are using words like negative interest rates.
The ECB’s Interest Rates on Historical Lows – Graph from TradingEconomics.com
The Euro, just like another currency, is a payment method. However, based on the current trends, it is clearly not something you want to save.