No. of Recommendations: 8
Thanks, e, for the kind of posting that lets me take a deep breath and feel once again confidence in the way I have chosen to invest! I skimmed the thread just after Stray had responded, and had I written my reaction immediately, it would have been quite the same as yours:

The first thing he gained was the discipline of living within his means ... (and secondly) the stock had to yield at least 5% and the yield had to be increasing.

My parents began investing small amounts in the late 50's, at first much to my mother's chagrin. She didn't see how they could "afford" to put away $50 a month, but my dad insisted. By the time he passed away in 1988, that little collection of stock had grown, and grown, and grown, and had made it possible for my folks to undertake a big trip once every two years, sometimes to Europe to see their daughter (and travel extensively here), sometimes to exotic places like the Fiji Islands, or on a cruise through the Panama Canal, and once, like teenagers, to Australia, to go to an exhibition football game that UTEP was playing in Sydney. (They had retired in El Paso, my brother attended college there, and so the folks had become UTEP fans.) As a widow, Mom continued to be able to live a modest, but comfortable life on her small Social Security payments, her small widow's pension ... and the dividends.

One item contributed to the growth of the family portfolio which you didn't mention, e: Stock splits. In the 40's, Dad had worked for five years for Sears Roebuck before going into, and ultimately staying in, the Army. The few shares he had received as part of Sears' profit-sharing program just sat in the portfolio from then on, and every time Sears' stocks split, he had twice, or three times the number of shares, each of them paying dividends. In the course of those some 60 years, the few shares had been transformed into a few thousand - one of the nice little dividend generators.

There is also an intangible side to such a portfolio as your grandfather, and my folks, had, which you perhaps come to appreciate when you're older. While my folks certainly enjoyed their post-retirement trips, Dad wanted to know his wife would be financially taken care of if he died first - which he did. And Mom, in her turn, wanted to know that she would be able to pass on something to her two kids. Sometimes my brother and I would tease her about waiting to buy a new frig, or put in a new air conditioner. Her answer always was, "But I'd be using up your inheritance if I did that!" We managed to convince her nevertheless, by saying that Dad hadn't worked hard all his life for us, but for her. Nevertheless, I certainly appreciate having indeed inherited a nice little amount from her, which gives me the security to know that in addition to my own modest pension, and widow's pension, I have a financial net out there that can support me if necessary. Of course I am trying to preserve the substance, and add to it, and I do have the idea, indeed, that one day my kids - all of them hard-working, but none of them on the way to being rich !!! - will have the same pleasure in receiving a bit of a financial net themselves.

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