Washington and Lincoln: Financial role models


Today we celebrate President’s Day a holiday mostly associated with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. A day in which most Americans take time to celebrate American history. Another thing to recognize today, is how much Washington and Lincoln were notable savvy money managers.

Jacob Davidson of MONEY explains in his article, Money Lessons From the Presidents, how our early presidents saved their way to financial wealth.

George Washington: Master of Diversification

George Washington mastered the art of diversification. During the 18th century, Americans were making a profitable business to export tobacco to European buyers. Unfortunately, the bubble burst in the 1760s, leaving few, such as Jefferon, to modify their business tactic. “Washington was the first to figure out that you had to diversify,” explains Willard Sterne Randall, biographer of multiple founding fathers. “Only Washington figured out that you couldn’t rely on a single crop.”

Washington turned his attention to wheat,  he exported the highest quality overseas and sold the lowest quality of wheat domestically. In addition, when the value of land decreased Washington stopped buying new land and instead started renting out land he owned to others to make a profit. For example, he charged local fisherman to use his docks on the Chesapeake. Smart businessman!

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