Author Topic: My Grandmother's inspiring story  (Read 729 times)

redwood_canyon

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My Grandmother's inspiring story
« on: January 17, 2019, 11:12:39 PM »
This is a story about my Grandmother. A woman who has lived history and done really good for herself in a MMM style, long before it. She lived in New Mexico as a child, growing up on the railroad as her father was a rail master at a station. Growing up during WWII she was a saver, something which has continued to serve her through to today. Her father had done good for himself, never "rich" in society's standards of showing off and useless consumption. He lived and breathed the stock markets my grandmother told me. Before he passed away she went to visit and in his bedridden state the thing of most concern to him was how the stocks did that day. She read him the paper and it was just as prevalent to him on his deathbed as it had been his whole life. Soon after she arrived home from that trip to visit him he died. In his will he split his stocks between his children.

I forget the exact amount but she inherited around $20,000 in stocks (a lot back then). She went to Schwab and Fidelity to open accounts. I am not sure about what sort of contributions she put in throughout her working years. My grandmas passive income from her investments are something to inspire to. In recent years she has made ~$80,000 in dividends. She is home bound and watches TV all day, but that is beside the point. She got their through strategically taking advantage of her savings and a big windfall she received from an udder tragedy. If any of you are from the Bay Area you may have heard about the Oakland fires of 1991. Thankfully the family was away from the house that day. It was a total loss their home was just one of the 2,843 single family homes destroyed in that fire. The loss was terrible, all the family heirlooms destroyed. Here is the MMM part of it. There was an insurance compensation of $100,000 for loss and to help procure a new place to live. At the time my grandma had a job and a good income, so she used that money for her investments. She even told me that when her aunt came she scrambled to buy a suitable china set (the aunt sounded rather pretentious and judgemental) , because after the fires they rented an apartment and rebuilt their possessions utilizing the salvation army centers.

   Because of that smart move, she continues to live off of her investments today. It is fun she has a great love for saving and investing. Having dinner at her house one Friday, she was talking about some $200 dollar expense and how that's too much. My Dad responded, “But you just made $300 today, you can afford it.” It really takes you over when you think about the future in such a way as she did. Its powerful to think that because of a few smart calculated moves in her life she now make more in dividends per year than she ever made when she was still working. (I will take the time to note that she doesn't live lavishly and reinvests a majority of the dividends)

   You are probably wondering what she is invested in, she is mostly in dividend paying utilities. As she puts it, “People are always going to need them, even in the rough financial times.” She is immensely proud of what she has done. Right now she is not doing well and is bedridden not walking. It's scary to think we may be close to the end. But she says, “I know I am a burden in some ways, but not financially.” (My dad fetches groceries and runs other errands, it is great that she is only one block away.)

   I share this with her, my love of investment and financial freedom. As a graduation gift she helped fund the start of my investment account. This gift $1000 was not just money to me, it meant freedom. I have added a considerable amount since then with gift money and I note the amounts and givers. Someday down the road, I will be free, and it will be because of these small gifts and my hard work that I am there. This is not a story about legacy or family pride, it is about freedom. Her father helped give her freedom, years after he is gone that $20,000 still lives on. She helped to give me freedom, and many years on I will help give my children freedom. Money is not the end, it is a means to the end, which is of course freedom. My grandma has no worries about money, she owns her house, pays for her own food and medicine, and owns the car she passed down to me. It is a form of self reliance.

   We have bonded over this shared interest. When at University I get a call about once a week, for some financial talk. We talk about the ups and downs, in the recent dip we excitedly said, “The market is on sale!”. I know why on his deathbed my great grandfather asked how the stocks were doing. It was because he knew it would out live him. I’d like to think that some very very small fraction of his investments  is still alive in my growing investments. Someday I will look back on the best gift I ever received, $1000. For it was the beginning of my freedom.

 

Adventine

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Re: My Grandmother's inspiring story
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2019, 12:34:23 AM »
What a wonderful story and such a great legacy to inherit :)

misshathaway

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Re: My Grandmother's inspiring story
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2019, 06:19:22 AM »
Anybody who has a family member like your grandmother has a leg up on their own investing plan, because they see how the accumulation happened over time, and also see that you are able to let it grow if you are not spendy. It is one thing to read about it but more powerful if you see someone living it.

My father was like your grandmother. Unfortunately, unlike you, I was not interested in anything he had to say about money until long after he was gone. Good thing I still had his example.

BicycleB

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Re: My Grandmother's inspiring story
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2019, 07:56:41 PM »
What a wonderful story! I like that the family love comes through as well as the financial wisdom.

It reminds me a friend's story. Friend's Dad used to sit down with him every Tuesday in later childhood for "Stock Talk Tuesday." They would discuss individual stocks and why Dad was investing in certain ones. They always had a close bond (no pun intended). Friend retained his investing enthusiasm into adulthood, investing carefully in his early earning years and then becoming a professional financial advisor. Last time I talked to him, Dad was still healthy too.

Best wishes going forwards. I am glad you will carry such meaning from your family legacy.