Henrietta “Hetty” Green, famously known as the “Witch of Wall Street,” left an enduring mark on financial history. Upon her passing in July 1916, she was celebrated as the world's wealthiest woman, gathering a fortune equivalent to billions in today's terms.
An article from the financial education website bluetree provides insights into Hetty Green's extraordinary life and financial wisdom. We present a summary.
The Exceptional Upbringing of Hetty Green
Growing up in the 1800s as the sole heir to a prosperous whaling family, Hetty Green gained financial literacy by reading out loud the financial news to her visually impaired grandfather.
Hetty refused to comply with the societal expectations that were placed on young women of her era. When her father died, she was displeased that the inherited money was in a trust fund, making it impossible for her to invest the fortune herself. Nevertheless, she used the regular payments from the fund to build up her financial wealth.
The Path to Financial Triumph: Hetty's Unique Investment Strategies
Hetty pioneered 'Contrarian Investing,' a strategy focused on buying undervalued assets and holding them until market sentiment favored them. The synergy of this strategy and her anticipation of the 1907 market crash underpinned her enduring financial empire.
At the time of her passing in 1916, Hetty Green had amassed an estimated $100-200 million, a substantial fortune by modern financial standards.
Unjustly Labeled: The Witch Who Became "The Wizard of Finance"
In an era when women had limited rights, Hetty's financial success caused jealousy and resentment. The media unjustly branded her as the 'Witch of Wall Street' due to her frugal lifestyle. However, her legacy transformed into 'The Wizard of Finance' and 'The Richest Woman in the World,' recognizing her financial wisdom.
The full-length article can be read here.