US Catholic Faith in Real Life

The Amish Economy

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Here's an investment tip for you: Invest in the Amish.

According to this NPR piece on banking in Amish country, Amish farmers don't default on mortgages, even though they have no credit history, let alone a driver's license.

In fact, Bill O'Brien of Hometowne Heritage Bank says none of his Amish clients have ever missed a payment. He has been banking for 20 years and is responsible for about $100 million in loans, with 95 percent of his customers Amish.

He knows the people he's making loans to, and he knows their parents. Missing a payment would bring shame on themselves, their family, and the whole community. Also, they don't spend money on gadgets.

Sorry, but you can't actually invest in them. Amish loans can't be turned into mortgage-backed securities because the homes don't have electricity, NPR reports.

I'm not ready to give up my Internet access quite yet, but it does seem we could all learn some lessons from the Amish now.

(Photo by Daniel Schwen from Wiki Commons)