The Fascinating Tale of the "Witch of Wall Street" | Summary and Q&A

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February 13, 2018
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Today I Found Out
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The Fascinating Tale of the "Witch of Wall Street"

TL;DR

Hetty Green was a shrewd investor who amassed a great fortune through frugality and exploiting lax investment rules.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did Hetty Green amass her fortune?

Hetty's family had a successful whaling business, and she inherited her father's estate. She also made risky investments, such as in Civil War bonds.

Q: Why did Hetty challenge her aunt's will?

Hetty was disappointed with her aunt's decision to leave most of her fortune to charity. She forged a new will in her favor but lost the legal case.

Q: How did Hetty's marriage and separation affect her financial situation?

She married a successful businessman but kept their finances separate. After discovering his massive debt, she separated from him and continued to manage her own investments.

Q: What were some of Hetty Green's eccentricities?

Hetty was known for avoiding taxes by frequently moving and using her dog's name on lodging records. She also neglected personal hygiene and frequently haggled over prices.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Hetty Green's family built a large fortune through whaling and her father increased it significantly.

  • Hetty started her business education at a young age and became skilled in investments.

  • She inherited her father's estate, invested in risky Civil War bonds, and challenged her aunt's will in court.

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