How Hetty Green managed to make $2 billion
Hetty Green has become a legendary figure in the United States, not only because she remains the wealthiest woman in the world, even though she died in 1916. Henrietta is an example of incredible avarice in the presence of enormous capital and ample opportunity.
Hetty was born in 1934 into a family of whalers in Massachusetts. Moreover, her father owned a marina and many ships, which he rented out. This provided the family with a high income. Hetty’s father noticed her mathematical talent early on and introduced her to the family’s accounting business.
At 15, Hetty went to Boston to receive an education in a private school. This period was difficult for the girl, as she absolutely did not know how to get along with other people or establish friendships. As a result, Hetty left school and took an accounting course, especially since exact sciences were incredibly easy for her.
Even from a young age, green was distinguished by stinginess and excessive frugality. Once, her father gave her a thousand dollars to live in Boston for a month and buy new clothes. However, as time passed, Henrietta arrived in the same clothes, with the shares purchased for 1 thousand dollars.The impetus for her financial career was her father’s death. His business passed to his sons, and he left his daughter several million dollars. And Hetty’s brothers were not happy about such a parent’s will. They demanded that the girl share the money. In response, she threatened to kill them, and to prove her words; she burned a few ships. Green’s inheritance was invested in bonds, but she wanted more money and went on a crime spree. Her aunt, when she died, left her US$65,000, even though her capital was much more significant. Green forged a will, listing US$2 million as her inheritance, but police uncovered her fraud. Fleeing imprisonment, Hetty and her husband came to London. Here she began to increase her fortune actively. She staked on the exchange betting on the pound’s weakening, through which she earned US$1 million. The money Henrietta invested in shares of railway companies.
Green’s finest hour was the crisis of 1907 when she bought up bankrupt stock brokerage firms for a minimal price.
Despite her wealth, Hetty was highly miserly. A prime example of this was the story of her son’s broken leg. The woman did not want to pay a private doctor and pretended to be homeless. She took the boy to state clinics, demanding free care. When she was refused, she only gave her son painkillers for a week, so her leg had to be amputated.
At current exchange rates, Hetty’s net worth was $2 billion, most of which went to her son after her death. However, he did not have his mother’s talents and, in a short time, completely squandered the inheritance.