What is Golden Geese

Golden geese, or a golden goose, is a source of income or profit. For investors, golden geese could refer to investments assumed to yield high returns or assets which continuously generate income. For a retail business owner, this could be shoppers who are expected to spend a lot of money. From a government perspective, it could refer to high-income earners, expected to pay high taxes.

BREAKING DOWN Golden Geese

The term golden geese or a golden goose has a different meaning when used in different settings.

In investing the golden goose applies to an investor's nest egg or the principal of their funding account, which many advisors will tell their clients to preserve. An example of a golden goose would be a person who inherits $100,000. They have a choice on how to use that money. They could put it into the bank, and make monthly withdrawals to supplement their income, or they could invest the $100,000 into securities which pay interest or dividend. In this example, the $100,000 is the goose, and the dividends are the golden egg. As the fable goes, you don’t want to kill your goose by spending the money and cutting off the possible future returns, but instead, you want to keep the goose around.

In retail, the golden geese refer to a wealthy shopper that frequents a boutique and spends considerable sums of money each time. The boutique owner is going to benefit more from catering to the shopper’s whims and making sure the shopper feels appreciated and unique enough that the shopper will keep returning to lay the golden eggs. 

In regards to income taxes, the golden geese are those taxpayers who pay the highest rate of taxes. 

Golden Geese in Literature

Aesop's tale of the goose that laid the golden egg, a cautionary story about greed and unprofitable actions. Instead of being satisfied with the small but steady, one golden egg a day wealth offered by the goose, the couple who owned the goose killed it, hoping to extract all its gold at once and ended up with nothing. 

The second cautionary tale speaks to greed and jealousy. In the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale, "The Golden Goose," a simple man receives a goose as a reward for his generosity. The goose has feathers made of gold. When other people see the bird, they do not think the man should have it and want to pluck its feathers. They receive various punishments for their jealousy and greed.