A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 18, 2016
“What is the definition of a financial genius?” (joke)

The “definition if a financial genius” was a popular joke in the 20th century. “Our idea of a financial genius is a man who can spend his money faster than he acquires it” was cited in a January 1907 newspaper. “A financial genius is a man who can have a family and money at the same time,” the New York (NY) Press added in March 1907.

“A financial genius is any one who can make money faster than his family can spend it,” the syndicated newspaper column “Office Cat by Junius” wrote in June 1931. “Definition of a financial genius: A man who has made more money than his family can spend” was cited in a 1951 newspaper.

“It has been said that the definition of a financial genius is a person who can make money faster than the government can take it away,” a letter writer to a North Carolina newspaper said in 1976.


10 January 1907, Brandon (Manitoba) Weekly Sun, “Pointed Paragraphs,” pg. 4, col. 3:
Our idea of a financial genius is a man who can spend his money faster than he acquires it.

19 March 1907, Washington (DC) Post, “Reflections of a Bachelor” (From the New York Press), pg. 6, col. 7:
A financial genius is a man who can have a family and money at the same time.

11 May 1909, Athens (OH) Daily Messenger, pg. 4, col. 2:
A Financial Genius.
“Pa, will you please tell me what a financial genius is?”

“A financial genius, my child, is a man who can spend money that he never had and which the people who think they are getting it will never see.”—Chicago Record Herald.

29 March 1917, Wanatah (IN) Mirror, pg. 7, col. 6:
A financial genius is a man who capitalizes his financial obligations as if he were a nation.

23 June 1928, Lock Haven (PA) Express, pg. 4, col. 1:
Our idea of a financial genius is a man who can have the old auto paid for by the tirne he wants to trade it.

8 December 1928, Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent, pg. 6, col. 3:
A financial genius is a man who can a pleasant evening with a gold-digger.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
29 June 1931, Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman, “Office Cat” by Junius, pg. 13, col. 2:
A financial genius is any one who can make money faster than his family can spend it.

Google Books
American Glass Review
Volume 55, Issue 1
1935
Pg. 34:
Glasshouse Gus gives as his definition of a financial genius a gent who is able to make money faster than the members of his family can spend it.

7 January 1937, Postville (IA) Herald pg. 3, col. 6:
The Wall Street Journal tells of the little boy who asked his father what a financial genius means, relates “Chords and Discords” in the Northwood Anchor. The father said a financial genius is a man who can earn money faster than his family can spend it.

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
10 February 1937, New York (NY) Sun, “POP—A Good Definition” comic strip by J. Millar Watt, pg. 36, col. 3:
SON: WHAT’S A FINANCIAL GENIUS, POP?
POP: A MAN WHO CAN EARN MONEY...FASTER THAN HIS FAMILY CAN SPEND IT!

Google News Archive
24 February 1948, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, Green Sheet, pg. 1 banner:
A Family Genius Is a Man Who Makes Money Faster Than His Family Can Spend It

20 December 1951, Cullman (AL) Democrat, pg. 7, col. 3:
Definition of a financial genius: A man who has made more money than his family can spend.

15 July 1976, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, “Public Pulse,” pg. A6, col. 5:
It has been said that the definition of a financial genius is a person who can make money faster than the government can take it away.
(...)
HAL B. LEWIS
Greensboro.

Google Books
Life Changing Thoughts:
Thousands of Inspiring, Life-changing, and Humorous Thoughts
.
By Gary W. Smith
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
2009
Pg. 232:
DEFINITION OF A FINANCIAL GENIUS: One who can earn money faster than his family can spend it.

Google Books
The World’s Greatest Collection of Clean Jokes
By Bob Phillips
Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers
2013
Pg. 67:
What is the definition of a financial genius?
A person who can earn money faster than the family can spend it.

Twitter
Carol Anne
‏@cacisa2j
JOKE:
- What is the definition of a financial genius?
- A person who can earn money faster than the family can spend it.
(Phillips, Bob)
5:47 PM - 30 Apr 2016

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Saturday, June 18, 2016 • Permalink