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Hetty Green


giofranchi
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Farnam,

thank you very much for posting this on your blog:

 

http://www.farnamstreetblog.com/2012/12/hetty-green-the-richest-woman-in-america/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+68131+%28Farnam+Street%29

 

My favourite quotes:

 

A girl ought to be careful about the man she marries,

especially if she has money.

 

When good things are so low that no one wants them, I buy

them and lay them away in the safe; when owing to some new

development, they go up and my shares are so needed that men

will pay well for them, I am ready to sell.

 

Railroads and real estate are the things I like.

Government bonds are good, though they do not pay

very high interest. Still, for a woman safe and low

is better than risky and high.

 

Common sense is the most valuable possession

anyone can have.

 

Ah! If we all could learn more from the women in our lives...!  ;)

Just out of curiosity: someone (Parsad, of course) knows how many women are members of the board? I would read their posts with much attention!

 

I have purchased both the book and the audiobook.

 

giofranchi

 

 

 

 

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Glad you enjoyed it. A friend put me onto that book and it was a great read.

 

She was a fan of "My Symphony," a poem by William Henry Channing that is somewhat along the Munger lines of thinking (he doesn't exactly 'talk gently')...

 

My Symphony

 

To live content with small means;

To seek elegance rather than luxury,

And refinement rather than fashion;

To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich;

To study hard, think quietly,

Talk gently,

Act frankly;

To listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart;

To bear all cheerfully,

Do all bravely,

Await occasions,

Hurry Never.

In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.

This is my symphony.

 

 

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Agree Farnam has a couple great blog sites.

 

I read book this past summer- enjoyed it very much.

 

Its an incredible story considering how women were viewed back in the day. They were not yet able to vote yet she became a very important player.

 

She was obviously very smart and courageous (buying when everyone else was selling). Despite often being the only person able to buy or provide financing she tried to give her clients a deal i.e. she did not gouge them- her thinking was that they wanted them to remember that she helped them so that they would think of her later.

 

Sadly I think there was some mental illness there- I think she took her frugalness a bit too far.

 

I could be wrong but I thought this story would make a good movie as she certainly was an interesting and colorful character.

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I read a little bio about her once.  I think it was on the Forbes website.  I remember that she had inherited some money when she was fairly young, and had ended up pretty rich, but when I did the math using the figures they gave her returns weren't that high. 

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Glad you enjoyed it. A friend put me onto that book and it was a great read.

 

She was a fan of "My Symphony," a poem by William Henry Channing that is somewhat along the Munger lines of thinking (he doesn't exactly 'talk gently')...

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing. The poem sounds a lot like one of my favorite poems

 

<a href="http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/if/">If by Rudyard Kipling</a>

 

If

 

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

 

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;

If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same:.

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

 

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I read a little bio about her once.  I think it was on the Forbes website.  I remember that she had inherited some money when she was fairly young, and had ended up pretty rich, but when I did the math using the figures they gave her returns weren't that high.

 

The times where very different than. The economics of business ,the supply and base of money.

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Just out of curiosity: someone (Parsad, of course) knows how many women are members of the board? I would read their posts with much attention!

 

Daphne doesn't post that much, but she's been a board member almost since we started the old MSN BRK Board.  She knows everything about Fairfax as well.  Perhaps, Daphne and some of our other female boardmembers could enlighten the men on here...myself included!  Cheers!

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Glad you enjoyed it. A friend put me onto that book and it was a great read.

 

She was a fan of "My Symphony," a poem by William Henry Channing that is somewhat along the Munger lines of thinking (he doesn't exactly 'talk gently')...

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing. The poem sounds a lot like one of my favorite poems

 

<a href="http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/if/">If by Rudyard Kipling</a>

 

If

 

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too:

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or being hated don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

 

If you can dream---and not make dreams your master;

If you can think---and not make thoughts your aim,

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same:.

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools;

 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings,

And never breathe a word about your loss:

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

 

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings---nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much:

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And---which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

 

Thank you for posting one of my favorite recitations from adolescence.  :)

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Perhaps, Daphne and some of our other female boardmembers could enlighten the men on here...myself included!  Cheers!

 

Thank you Parsad, I think they will surely do!

I remember sometimes ago I purchased a book titled “Warren Buffett Invests Like A GIRL – And Why You Should Too”… I bought it, but never read it… Now I plan first to read Hetty Green’s biography, then to discover why Mr. Buffett invests like a girl!!  ;D

 

giofranchi

 

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I think it's worth noting that every study I've seen on the matter indicates that women, on average, are better investors than men despite not knowing as much about investing. The level of knowledge about investing is very low across the board, admittedly, but most of women's outperformance comes from temperament. They're generally not as sure of themselves, and they don't trade as frequently (so they have lower frictional costs).

 

If anyone is interested, I'll see if I can find the study I'm thinking of.

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