BetterInvesting’s Madison Heights, Mich., headquarters will be closed on Monday, Feb. 18, to mark Presidents Day. Our office will reopen for normal business hours at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 19. For your reading pleasure, we offer some financial facts about U.S. presidents. According to MSN Money, some of our nation’s leaders knew how to manage their own cash while others were disasters with the family budget.
Not doing so well, according to the article:
“After serving as America’s 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant invested his money with a brokerage firm run by Ferdinand Ward. Unfortunately for Grant, Ward was a swindler who ran the company as a Ponzi scheme, a la Bernie Madoff. When Ward’s scheme finally unraveled in 1884, Grant was left nearly penniless.”
“In 1893, William McKinley declared bankruptcy in Ohio while serving as governor of the state. That didn’t stop McKinley from becoming the nation’s 25th president just three years later.”
A little more savvy were:
One of the nation’s richest men at the time, George Washington ramped up his finances by marrying a very wealthy widow. When he had money problems, he diversified the family business.
“Unfortunately, shortly after marrying Martha, Washington’s tobacco export profits began drying up. As a result, he racked up large debts to a London merchant… Within a few years, Washington clawed his way out of debt by cutting back on his expenses, diversifying his income stream, and paying more attention to his finances. Washington successfully expanded his tobacco farming business to include other crops. He also diversified his operations into other areas, including fishing, horse breeding and even whiskey production.”
“Herbert Hoover was a mining engineer. It turned out to be a wise career choice. Not long after graduating from Stanford, Hoover went to work in Australia’s goldfields. His starting inflation-adjusted annual salary: $133,000. Hoover eventually moved up the ranks to become a mining industry executive. He was also a shrewd investor — so much so that Hoover eventually amassed an inflation-adjusted net worth of $71 million.”
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