Pins And Groats — Be It Ever Thus March 22, 2019March 22, 2019 Ben Franklin apparently did not say: “In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is freedom. In water there is bacteria.” But why ruin it? Below some things he apparently did say. But first: Gray Chang: “I periodically search for unclaimed property for friends, relatives, and acquaintances. The most I ever found was $3,000 for my kid’s schoolteacher and $2,000 for a co-worker. When you find something, notify your friend by phone or in person, not by e-mail or text, because it looks exactly like a scam message!” Groucho Marx roasting Johnny Carson, many years ago. Give yourself 2 points for each face you recognize. And the last name mentioned? Hermione Gingold? Author of What Time’s The Next Swan? (an autobiography so obscure, even Amazon doesn’t know about it; only her second, decades later, How To Grow Old Disgracefully)? She was my high school junior year “profile.” (The title refers to a mechanical swan she rode out onto the stage at a particular point in a show she was starring in; but she did like to drink; and after a while you can grow a little bored with a matinee performance; and, missing her cue and seeing the swan crossing the stage without her, she simply remarked to those nearby, “what time’s the next swan.” At 16, I found it all — the cigar she was smoking, the leering friend who ushered me in to see her, the rococo apartment — eye-widening. But 55 years later, I remember it well. Four points for me!) John S.: “While I don’t claim expertise after spending about five minutes on the internet investigating this, as the father of a student on an IEP, I’m horrified that your description of Success Academy schools yesterday has no hint of this story: Success Academy violated the civil rights of students with disabilities, New York state investigation finds.” –> Thanks, John. I hadn’t seen that story. It doesn’t describe any specific student or situation so it’s hard for me to get a sense of how horrifying the abuses may or may not have been. But overall, results for Success students with disabilities have been good. Where only 16% of NYC students with disabilities read and do math at grade level, 74% (English) and 90% (math) of Success students with disabilities do. Any abuses, oversights, and insufficient paperwork should, for sure, be addressed. I’m with you — and to the extent the criticisms are substantive, I’m quite sure Success is with you, too. But please be horrified, too, that only 16% of the disabled students in NYC’s traditional public schools are succeeding at English and math. That’s a problem Success Academy schools are working hard to address. And now, finally, the pins and groats. All I really did in writing my investment guide was convert them into dollars and cents, Roth IRAs and index funds. Thanks, George Mokray: Hints to Those That Would Be Rich: From Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1737 The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money. For £6 a year you may have the use of £100, if you are a man of known prudence and honesty. He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above £6 a year; which is the price of using £100. He that wastes idly a groat’s worth of his time per day, one day with another, wastes the privilege of using £100 pounds each day. He that idly loses 5 shillings worth of time, loses 5 shillings, and might as prudently throw 5 shillings into the river. He that loses 5 shillings not only loses that sum, but all the other advantage that might be made by turning it in dealing, which, by the time a young man becomes old, amounts to a comfortable bag of money. Again, He that sells upon credit, asks a price for what he sells equivalent to the principal and interest of his money for the time he is like to be kept out of it; – therefore, He that buys upon credit pays interest for what he buys, And he that pays ready money, might let that money out to use; so that He that possesses any thing he has bought, pays interest for the use of it. Consider then, when you are tempted to buy any unnecessary household stuff, or any superfluous thing, whether you will be willing to pay interest, and interest upon interest for it as long as you live, and more if it grows worse by using. Yet, in buying goods, ’t is best to pay ready money, because, He that sells upon credit, expects to lose 5 per cent by bad debts: therefore he charges on all he sells upon credit, an advance that shall make up that deficiency. Those who pay for what they buy upon credit, pay their share of this advance. He that pays ready money, escapes, or may escape, that charge. A penny saved is two pence clear. A pin a day is a groat a year. Save and have. Have a great weekend!