What if Ebenezer Scrooge Was Your Client?

Rick KahlerAdvisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

In A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens vividly brought to life one of fiction’s most famous misers, Ebenezer Scrooge. He was a “tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from whom no warmth could ever come.”

The common view is that Scrooge cared for only himself. While psychological experts have diagnosed him with various disorders, including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), pathological narcissism, and post-traumatic embitterment disorder, the argument that he only cared for himself doesn’t stand up. He didn’t care for himself any more than he did for others.

Consider that he chose to live in a warehouse flat described as dark, cold, and gloomy. He refused to spend money on heating, and he lit only a single candle because “darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.” His isolated and uncomfortable living conditions not only affected his physical well-being, but also contributed to his overall unhappiness.