If you’re a dividend investor, you should know who Grace Groner is

While I hold a few ETFs to track the market in my RRSP and TFSA (probably always will), I consider myself a dividend investor. My strategy is to buy established companies that have a history of paying consistent dividends and never sell them. I reinvest all the dividends I can, to buy more shares of the same stock. I’m doing this, to supplement my pension from work and my registered savings, to retire comfortably.

If you’ve read the Globe and Mail’s Me and My Money articles recently, you’ll know dividend investing (only just one form of investing mind you…) has worked extremely well for some buy and hold investors, including Susan Brunner to name one.

Thanks to my online friend known to many as “OperaBob”, I found another story about a dividend investor, a very inspiring one. I hope you enjoy it…

Grace Groner

Like many folks who lived through the Great Depression, Grace Groner was restrained with her money. From what I understand, her one splurge was a small scholarship program she had created for Lake Forest College, her alma mater, when she was young. She always planned to contribute more upon her death and when she passed away earlier this year, at age 100, her attorney informed the college president what that planned gift had added up to.

The gift to Lake Forest College was Grace Groner’s estate – which stemmed from a $180 stock purchase she made in 1935, now worth $7 million.

How did Grace amass an estate of $7 million???

In 1935, she bought three $60 shares of specially issued Abbott Laboratories (ABT:US) stock and never sold them. Abbott’s shares split many times over the next seven decades and Groner never stopped reinvesting the dividends. Long before she passed away earlier this year, her initial outlay had become a fortune. This spring, her fortune was her gift to Lake Forest College.

The article goes on to state…

The foundation’s millions should generate more than $300,000 a year for the college, enabling dozens more students to travel and pursue internships. Many probably wouldn’t be able to pursue those opportunities without a scholarship: 75 percent of the student body receives financial aid. Additionally, the internship program is not the end of Groner’s legacy, she left the small house she lived in to the college too. The article says this house will be turned into living quarters for women who receive foundation scholarships; the house will be called “Grace’s Cottage.”

Read more of this story by clicking here.

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