Wednesday, May 13, 1936

“Old Bill” Suggests—

Edward A. Filene, a 75-year-old millionaire humanitarian, must be an interesting fellow to have for a boss.

“I’ve bought a house, Mr. Filene,” one of the employees in his Boston merchandising organization told him one morning.

“You have, eh? How much did you pay for it?”

“I paid $10,000, Mr. Filene. No, not cash, only $2,500 cash and the rest on mortgage.”

Filene looked severe.

“All right, then,” he said. “Your wages are cut $25 a week.”

The man gasped, then followed him down the corridor. “What are you trying to teach me, Mr. Filene? I know you don’t mean that, but what am I to learn?”

“You learn to tell me to go to hell. That’s your first financial job, to get your investments into such shape that you can tell me to go to hell. Now you’re tied down to a $7,500 mortgage ’till you can’t move. Now get along and take care nobody else finds out or they’ll cut you down in spite of me.”

That is one use of capital, a financial reserve to make the individual able to bargain without apprehension. But home ownership has many advantages, Filene to the contrary. A home, owned outright, makes more for good rest than a feather bed. But the old merchant is right on one thing.

A “past due” notice of mortgage interest is a poor pillow.

ROYAL F. MUNGER.

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