• John Hawver

1987

My interest in investing began in 1987.


On Black Monday, I came back late from football practice and sat down with my Mom for a re-heated dinner. The TV announcer was commenting on the dramatic drop of the New York Stock Exchange floor.


Mom ran the family finances, she was a math teacher, bridge player, and the last person you wanted to show a bad math grade. She tracked everything on grid-style engineer's paper in a notebook; her bridge hands, the price of milk, expenses, and stock ratios, which she calculated by hand.


When the market news was repeated for a second time I asked if that was bad for us and what it really meant. Mom calmly got out her notebook and said, "Well, stocks just got cheaper, I should call Jim [her Merrill broker]."


Jim didn't answer on the first call. When he returned the call, Mom asked him to buy a few specific stocks. There was a long pause where you could hear Jim stating that not many people were buying. Mom just repeated the orders calmly, just like she was bidding a hand of duplicate bridge, and that was that.


Those investments worked out pretty well. I started investing a few years later.




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