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Jonathan Hoenig - Savings Lessons From My Grandmother



November 25, 2010 – Comments (2)

Although I attended a prestigious university and worked on the floor of the world’s busiest futures exchange, the best investment advice I ever received came from my grandmother, Esther Shlensky, who died earlier this week at the ripe old age of 106.

Born in 1904, the year the Wright Brothers flew at Kitty Hawk and the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 49, this remarkable woman witnessed the 20th century’s entire economy – from WWI to Y2K. One dollar invested in the Dow the year she was born would have compounded at an annual rate of 9.09% and grown to $15,800 today.

As a child, she’d reward me for good behavior with a few coins while asking how much of it I intended to put away. “If you get a dollar, save a quarter,” she’d implore. That discipline stuck with me at an early age.

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2 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 26, 2010 at 7:33 AM, fewl10 (< 20) wrote:

Uh, yeah.  Saving really works in this environment-- where you have a bearded a$$hole protecting insolvent banks by printing money.  What would your grandmother do now?  Buy gold and put it under her mattress?

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#2) On November 26, 2010 at 11:41 AM, Teacherman1 (< 20) wrote:

I got the same advice and guidance from my grandmother, who would be 116 if she were still with us, and it has worked out well.

Saving is always a good idea, no matter what the economy may be going through at any given time. Sometimes you can save more, sometimes less. Think of it as "dollar averaging", or "penny averaging" if that's the case.  Over a long enough period of time, it adds up. 

Remember, no matter how bleak things may look at the moment, I just repeat a phrase I "borrowed" from one of my favorite authors well over 40 years ago.

"This too shall pass".

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and have a great weekend. 

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