by Tammy Tillotson

“We’re all born with a Love Bank. The people we meet are
automatically assigned their own “accounts,” and every
experience we have with them affects the balances of love
units in their accounts.” — Willard F. Harley, Jr.

Money and love have historically battled a gruesome duel to determine which will ultimately succeed in “making the world go ‘round.”

The Love Bank
As the victor is largely a decision based on biased perception, an opportunity for the two to reign hand in hand has quickly become one of my favorite metaphors to discuss with beginning investors like myself. The concept of a Love Bank is brilliant, however it is also incredibly underdeveloped.

Large Bills or Small
People make deposits and withdrawals into these accounts that come in an array of sizes. Large deposits might result in a person feeling extremely loved, while large withdrawals can be extremely hurtful. Small withdrawals are usually received with understanding or neutrality, because they can always be replaced at another time.

It’s difficult to determine how much size matters. Small things can often mean much more to someone that one huge lump sum. It is important to remember that a balancing flow of transactions will yield a more harmonious relationship that one that is incredibly unbalanced.

Savings Account
So far, the idea of a Love Bank assumes that love is something that people save and accumulate within them. It would also assume that the more love units deposited would yield interest over time. The idea of reciprocity is established through the concept of interest. The people who have the highest love balances in their accounts are likely to be individuals that are loved and cared about a great deal in return. Putting love units into each other’s own accounts continues the cycle.

The Love Bank seems like a simple way to understand the exchange and flow of love from one person to another.

Minor Savings Account
The first understanding of the Love Bank is similar to opening a minor savings account. Deposits can be made easily enough, yet withdrawals or closing the account rely heavily on the approval of a parent or guardian. Learning to handle love units is something that older and wiser people seem to possess more knowledge about.

Beginning bankers often trust that advice and influence to determine which love bank accounts are the best investments and which will yield the most interest. The guidance offered tends to encourage short-term and low-risk investments.

Savings Bonds
Savings bonds are an ideal low-risk investment for beginners. They are purchased with minimal love units and promise that the love units will double over an extended period of time. The guaranteed return is often evaded by the time that it actually requires for this to occur.

After a short period of checking yes and no boxes, holding hands, and making goggle eyes at one another, the newness of the bond wears off. One of several things happens. Often, the return of the invested love units is incredibly more time consuming than what was initially thought to be the case. The love units are either removed and transferred into another type of account, or simply left alone and forgotten about. Eventually the bond will be remembered, payment will be collected, and the short-term account will be closed altogether.

Certificate of Deposit
Certificates of Deposit are deposits of larger amounts of love units, yet they are still a relatively low-risk investment. Beginners, that have learned the basics about how to manage love units, perceive their readiness to take this step, very often in high school. Since a larger sum of love is invested in this type of account, it is still assumed that there will be some additional interest earned as an end result. The love units are deposited at one time, and it is understood by faith that the return on the certificate of deposit will accrue over an extended period of time. The account may be open for one, two, or three years, and upon maturity, the love units can be rolled over for another period of time, or withdrawn completely, depending on how the person perceives the relationship.

Certificates of deposit are also somewhat competitive, and it’s smart to shop around. Different Love Banks offer higher interest rates to attract customers, and the wise investor searches for the highest return on love units.

It is also necessary to consider the fine print of the binding contract. Love Banks seldom promise a one-time no-penalty withdrawal on certificates of deposit. The penalty fees can be great.

Money Market Accounts
Money Market accounts are a more risky type of account in a Love Bank. They largely depend on the status of the economy, and there are often no guarantees. Money Market accounts fluctuate, sometimes drastically, with the highs and lows of the surrounding environment.

Basically, someone else is placed in charge of investing a person’s love units, and the person somewhat blindly trusts that the other person knows what to do. Many one-sided relationships fall into this category. One person handles the love unit investing, while the other person tags along for the ride. Benefits are reaped when the market is good, and consequences might result when the market isn’t doing as well as expected.

This relationship can often work quite well as the good and bad can often offset one another. However, this is based on the perception that the existence of the account is in some ways beneficial to both parties.

ATM and Debit Cards
To accommodate the rapidly changing world of technology and the fact that people are often far away from one another, some Love Banks are also equipped with ATM machines and debit cards. Love units can be deposited and withdrawn without ever having to physically come into contact with a real human being. A person simply has to know the correct pin number to access the account information from a distance.

Night Deposit Box
This is a service available at some Love Banks that apparently functions as a service for individuals who are only capable of making love unit deposits at nights. It often results from an intense phobia of visiting the bank lobby in the morning, which would nearly always result in an enormous withdrawal.

Another service of convenience, vaults are available at some Love Banks. Love units are safely guarded under intense security precautions, while the contents are unknown except to the owner of the vault.

It is important to note that the FDIC insures the units within bank accounts. If the FDIC only insures an account up to $100,000 how are love units insured? Is there a limit to the amount of love units within a Love Bank?

Perhaps, someone at the Federal Treasury or the U.S. Mint has a better answer, but it’s probably safe to assess that the neither the FDIC or State Farm is going to be found there.

Though I am more than a little leery of banking on love, I have come to a few conclusions in my own experience.

Parental or guardian support generally tends to promote the Trust Fund of abstinence. In contrast to the naive belief that the love units should be available to the minor to decide what to do with them at his or her own discretion, trust funds were established for a reason. Often people are incapable of making mature decisions when certain situations demand them. Love units are tempting, and there will always be someone who will deliberately drain an account if allowed access to it. The parental influence has already learned this lesson, and doesn’t want the minor to learn it any sooner than absolutely necessary. That is certainly worth trusting.

Contrarily, daring to find a few bank robbers does not always have to be a tragic event. The thrill of the adventure can be a worthwhile experience, yet always being willing to trade in the robber for the more practical and profitable bounty is a crucial key element.

The power of pennies should never be underestimated. A deposit is still a deposit, and any amount of love is still love.

If a person is only looking to gain interest in an investment, it is important to note that interest is also taxable.

People with Love Banks that offer Lifetime Free Checking accounts are few and far between. These banks are more understanding and tolerant of an occasional bounced check, and a minimum deposit is not required. Even when love units are withdrawn, the account is always open as long as there’s even the smallest balance of love available.

Since Love Bank accounts are opened and closed daily, there is only one easy way to locate these rare Lifetime Free Checking Accounts. Be an example. Ensure that your personal love bank offers them to others first.

Additional Resources

Harley, Willard. F. Love Busters. 2nd edition. Fleming H. Revell, Grand Rapids, MI, 1997.