The world is full of financial gurus. And all of them are willing to give you financial advice, whether it’s helpful or not. Yet, studies have shown that the person who makes the most impact on our finances is often our mothers. While mothers haven’t always earned an income for their families, they’ve been teaching their children about finances for many years.
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we’d like to draw attention to five amazing women who changed financial history.
1. Abigail Adams
This shrewd investor is often known simply as President John Adam’s wife. However, Abigail multiplied her husband’s wealth by investing large sums into US government bonds. She bought low and sold high, making an impressive profit. Her husband was weary of this approach, but Abigail knew what she wanted and went for it. And it paid off in dividends.
“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” – Abigail Adams.
2. Victoria Woodhull
This woman was ahead of her time. Victoria was known as the first woman to petition for women’s suffrage in front of Congress and was the first woman to run for president. She also opened the first female-owned brokerage on Wall Street with her sister. During the 1869 gold panic, she and her sister claimed to have netted around $700,000. Victoria helped pave the way for women to have the right to vote and build successful careers.
“No man who respects his mother or loves his sister, can speak disparagingly of any woman; however low she may seem to have sunk, she is still a woman. I want every man to remember this. Every woman is, or, at some time, has been a sister or daughter…” – Victoria Woodhull
3. Henrietta “Hetty” Green
Henrietta made financial waves in the 19th century. Her wealthy father taught her about finances from an early age. By the age of 15, she had become his bookkeeper. When her father passed away, she inherited $7.5 million. Through lucrative stock investments, she eventually built her wealth to around $100 to $200 million.
She once said, “A good business woman is often sharper than a good business man.”
4. Muriel “Mickie” Siebert
Muriel was the first woman to purchase a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1967. She remained the only woman to be admitted for at least a decade. But Muriel fought hard to give other women a leg up in the business world. She even donated millions of dollars to help women get their start in business and finance.
“When a door is hard to open, and if nothing else works, sometimes you just have to rear back and kick it open.” – Muriel Siebert
5. Ann and Anna Jarvis
Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Mother’s Day. Well, you can thank Ann Jarvis and her daughter, Anna. After losing nine of her 13 children, Ann decided to help other moms fight childhood diseases. She organized the Mother’s Day Work Clubs in West Virginia and started providing poor mothers with crucial medical, financial, and sanitary resources. After her mother died, Anna organized the first observance of Mother’s Day at the church where her mother taught Sunday school for 25 years. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson designated the second Sunday of May as an official holiday to celebrate Mother’s Day.
“Mother’s Day is in honor of the best Mother who ever lived – the mother of your heart.” – Anna Jarvis
This year, remember to thank your mother for all that she’s done for you throughout the years. Thank her for teaching you about life, love, and finances. And remember that the best gift you can give your mother for Mother’s Day is the gift of financial freedom.