The Soldier, the Immigrant and the Mother

Earlier this week I wrote to you about one of my financial heroes — my grandmother, Peg.

The old battleaxe lived a hard life. But no matter how bad things got, she kept her family clothed, well fed and made sure they had a roof over their heads.

In response, many of you responded with tales of your own financial heroes.

My inbox was full of incredible stories of single parents… immigrants who dreamed of a better life in America… and more than anything else, folks who put their family above all else.

It was so inspiring I decided to put together a special edition of the Money & Crisis mailbag to feature some of my favorite stories.

We’ll be back Monday with financial expert Jim Rickards, who’ll be discussing how China’s financial blundering could cause the next global financial crisis.

But for now, sit back and enjoy some tales of true heroes…

All the best,

Owen Sullivan

Owen Sullivan
Editor, Money & Crisis

P.S. Have you ever wanted to turn your old stories into a book but you’re just not sure how? Well, I’ve been using James Altucher’s self-publishing course to kick production on my book into overdrive. It’s about my father’s life growing up in Ireland and how he came to live in the States. It’s been sitting on my shelf for years. But thanks to James’ step-by-step publishing course, it’s closer to being published than ever before. Check out the course for yourself here.

Soldier, Teacher, Father

By K. Byrne

My financial hero is my father.

He was a “lifer” in the army, fought in three wars that I know of, and grew up in a little town called Anadarko, Oklahoma.

He was poor. But because of how he saved, he was able to purchase a house for us in his “retirement” town before it was time to retire. He rented it out while we were stationed in Germany.

After he retired, he went back to school and earned a teaching degree! Then taught elementary school until he retired from that.

He scrimped, saved, and invested it all. And when he passed away he left my mom set for life!

I remember him taking me to the Harley store, wishing he could have one! But he said no, I need to save the money.

I could never understand why, but I see now.

In my eyes, my dad was the greatest man in the world (and still is). He raised me with his values, although I’ve not yet learned for myself.

Reading your story and thinking about my dad, I’m now ready to set aside money for savings.

A bit late as I’m 65, but I can do it!

3 Life Lessons From a Hardworking Hero

By J. Mulready

Being Irish myself, I laughed aloud when I read your post.

My hero was my Mom.

My Dad wasn’t a drunk. But he and my mom split when I was very young.

Mom wasn’t the best with money — often it seemed like money was just pieces of paper to her.

Being a single mother in the seventies was rough. It pretty much forced you to be tough.

But growing up she taught me a few things:

1) Never give up

Although Mom made major mistakes with money — like buying a ’69 LeSabre during the gas crunch — she never gave up. Her vast supply of gumption made up for her lack of financial savvy.

2) Be grateful

Mom would always point out people who were worse off than us. My brother and I would get into trouble sometimes, but nothing was as bad as not eating everything on your plate. You’d get your ass beat pretty quick if you tried to throw out food.

3) Improvise

Although we’d get into jams, watching mom improvise was the beginning of teaching ushow to make lemonade from lemons.

Life is Beautiful

By D. De-Ferraris

My Dad met the Americans during WWII, helping them in Italy.

His goal was always to come to America, the Promised Land. But first, he went to Australia to get his citizenship. His feeling was that it would be easier to emigrate to the U.S. from the British Commonwealth than from Italy.

It took 10 years of residency to get his citizenship. And from there we moved to Canada. We eventually ended up moving to the Detroit area since an auto company sponsored him.

We ended up staying in Detroit because he made more in one year than three years combined in Canada. Not long after, he got his GED.

He once told me that if he didn’t save at least $6,000 every year it wasn’t a good year. Back in the mid-70’s, that was a good amount.

From there he would invest in the stock market. He made sure to teach us about the market and how compounding worked. My parents lived a modest life and always below their means.

My Dad passed a few years ago but because of how they lived, they had a comfortable retirement. They were able to afford some vacations as well as being able to move to a warmer climate.

I remember them buying their retirement home without needing to sell their old home. That my Dad was able to provide not only while working but also in retirement is why he’s my financial hero.

Chris Campbell

Written By Owen Sullivan

Owen Sullivan isn’t a millionaire or one of the Wall Street elite. He was just one of the many folks who was hit hard when the housing bubble burst… and decided he was never going to let that happen again. Since then, he’s worked with industry experts to develop strategies and techniques to bulletproof his finances — and yours — against the next crisis. His methods don’t require years of financial experience. These are simple strategies that anyone can follow. After all, financial prepping shouldn’t be reserved for a select few.