As a ten-year old child I was thrilled every year when summer would roll around. Not only was there no school but my cousin and I had the privilege to work (i.e. accompany) for our Grandfather who was a Tom’s Candy Distributor. To us he was Pa Pa but most everyone else knew him by his given name: Hugo.
Hugo was an amazing spirit. He always had a smile and laugh at the tip of his lips. His candy route took us on a 100 mile radius around Jefferson City, Missouri. It’s beautiful country which includes the Lake of the Ozarks. Our job was to carry the candy boxes into whatever establishment he was serving that day. Most customers ran bars or taverns. We were fortunate laws back then regarding kids and places that served alcohol were a lot more lenient then they are today. The one thing I noted was wherever we went patrons and business owners alike were delighted to see Hugo. People seemed to love him. I’m not sure if it was his gentle nature or just a feeling that this was someone you could trust and believe in. By the end of the ‘workday’ we’d probably put more candy in our mouths than put in work.
When we arrived home after "work," Grandma would have a nice meal prepared for us. After dinner Hugo would make his way to his desk to count the money brought in that day. We always enjoyed watching Hugo count the money. He’d dump out all the change and bills onto his desk and begin to sort them. The quarters were stacked four high, nickels five high and dimes ten high. We’d watch from desktop level as he deftly moved the money around. Once it was all organized he’d add up the totals and write them down. This was always a moment of great anticipation. Once totals were complete it was time for us to get paid.
If we’d been good, as in not too much trouble, we’d each receive one quarter. He’d hand us the quarter and say, “If you save this it will grow”. Frankly, we had no idea what he meant at the time and most of those quarters were immediately spent on baseball cards or more candy. However, I could see even then, he and Grandma were very careful about how they spent their money.
I share this story because Pa Pa and Grandma never had much of anything yet they were able to own a house, a car and take care of us kids. Much of my own personality and spirit emanate from Hugo. He saved every time he was paid. It wasn’t much but over 40 years it added up. “If you save, it will grow.” In many respects that concept is what this book is all about.
Diligent savings, unemotional investing, and careful spending can make anyone wealthy. I wish you all the best of luck.