In yesterday’s post, we discussed IFO’s Dad’s investing philosophy and style. We didn’t name it, but it’s easy to see it was “gambling.” After a few bad stock choices, Dad pretty much quit buying stocks and just went to all-cash after collecting his pension checks from the state and national government agencies where he had worked.
He also didn’t spend much, choosing the “lack-of-expense” budget format – food, gas and presents for grandkids. No insurance. No debt. No rent, except for occasional motels as he traveled the U.S. visiting friends and relatives.
Now for Part 2 of this series, where we discuss IFO’s Mother’s money management attitude and skills. She, too, had no experience or family background of investing in the stock market, but she was financially fearless.
With a tiny inheritance (of cash) from her long-departed father, she was responsible for buying our first house. We don’t know whether she got a mortgage or paid for the whole house at once. We moved several times, and Mother leveraged profit on each house to buy the next one. The last one, bought in California, had enough for a down payment and a low-interest VA loan via the provisions of the G.I. Bill.
Since she and her sister both worked as secretaries for attorneys, they acquired expertise and a longstanding interest in real estate. She was constantly fighting Dad, who thought real estate was too risky and expensive, plus he didn’t want to go into debt. Ah, if only he had listened to Mother? We’d all be rich now! Well, maybe not. Prices have spiked and crashed several times since WW II. And knowing Dad’s “luck,” he probably would have approved going into debt to buy RE at one of the peaks.
Tune in tomorrow for the third chapter in this little drama, as we show how the third generation dealt with wealth-building practices.