The Power of Saving [Fribble] April 12, 2000

Fribble The Power of Saving
Belated Thanks

April 12, 2000

Dear Mom, Nan, and Grandpa:

Just a note to say thank you!

I am sure that you do not have any idea, specifically, why I want to thank you. Sure, I have at least a hundred reasons to thank you: housing, love, understanding, compassion, education, morals, values, etc. But this thank-you is a specific one.

Thank you for imparting to me the value and power of saving!

Nan and Grandpa, you gave me my first shares of stock, Fifth Third Bank (now Fifth Third Bancorp) when I was eight years old. You followed that up with another gift of the same stock when I was nine. Granted, at that time I was probably a little underwhelmed with what was, to me, simply a couple of pretty pieces of paper.

Mom, you continued to give Grandpa an annual subscription to The Wall Street Journal for a Christmas gift. That intrigued me. I mean, this had to be a pretty special newspaper if it was going to count as a Christmas gift. That fact alone made me want to read The Wall Street Journal.

Grandpa, thank you for letting me peer over your shoulder periodically at that very special newspaper. Thank you for never making me feel like I was too young for
The Wall Street Journal, and thank you for answering patiently whatever inane questions I may have asked.

Mom, thank you for teaching me what a dividend was, and that I actually owned part of that Fifth Third Bank branch up the street. Thank you for taking me to the bank with you simply so I could stand inside it and marvel at what a bank was. Thank you for encouraging me to ask questions.

I know this sounds strange, but thank you for teaching me to do my own tax return and then letting me have first crack at it each year. I learned what a dividend meant when I saw the amounts that I received. I learned the burden associated with unearned income, and that capital gains, when incurred, were taxed more favorably.

Nan, thank you for taking me on the bus with you when you went downtown to the main Fifth Third Bank building and its magnificent safe. Thank you for letting me watch you clip the actual coupons from your bonds (does that date me?), for taking the time to explain to me the concept of debt and interest payments. And thank you for doing it in terms that a 10-year-old could understand.

Fast forward: When I graduated from college, I knew that I could sell that stock you gave me and buy a new car and that I didn't have to worry about getting a job immediately.

Thanks to the three of you for teaching these valuable lessons, but most of all...

Thank you for teaching me the lessons so well that I didn't buy that new car and I did get a job. The lessons that you taught me have provided to me a lifetime of enjoyment and enrichment. Those lessons have allowed me to understand and fully appreciate that I work very hard for the money I save and that my money can and should work just as hard for me as I did to earn and save it.

Thank you for a lesson that has lasted my lifetime. I hope to impart the same lessons to my son. I will also let him know that he has the three of you, and not just me, to thank!

Thank you! I have a healthy, if not entirely wealthy, portfolio as a result of your lessons.

And by the way, I still own those original shares -- and they've grown considerably!

With much love, gratitude and most of all thanks,

Your Son and Grandson