By Gerlad A. Kasten
I was a young ambitious kid envious of a rich man I knew.
So one day I asked him, “Chester, what is the secret of your success?”
‘Fear,’ He said wryly.” “The fear of inflation, the fear of not
getting what I wanted. I thought of every angle, every pit fall that could
arise, and then knowing what to expect, I went for it.
It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, It wasn’t…taking chances
was entirely against my nature and my up bringing, but if I
didn’t `go for it’, I would have my initial investment…but
little else. And that would also be a disaster. Here’s why:;’;
‘My wife andI was raised in the economic depression of the nineteen thirties
So at an early age we learned the importance of having money for survival.
Our credo was: if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. That was all very
well..for a time, but then we discovered that we were falling
behind the times. For example: Once we opened a ‘Programed
Savings Account’, that at the end of the proscribed time of seven
years, we would have $7,500. At that time a Cadillac cost $7,500.
Wow! When we get through saving, we could buy a Cadillac!
Not so. After the seven years of sacrificial saving, the $7.500
could only buy half a Cadillac.
We were disappointed, not because we wanted a Cadillac, but
because our blood money depreciated so quickly. However, we still
were $7,500 richer, so we bought a secondhand Henry-J with the
sweep fins. The poor mans’ Cadillac.
We were living in a large hard to get rent controlled apartment.
We were happy and rich. After all no young married couple
that we knew had a car, and five-thousand dollars in the bank.
However, something was bothering me way back in the depths
of my mind. Inspite of my regular salary increases and our frugal
money management, we were still slowly falling behind. Itw
exacerbated when our child was born. Then the large rent controlled
apartment became much smaller. My promotions and larger,
but my salary was just barely keeping pace, and somewhere along the line
our credo of `only buying what we can afford’ became just a theory
not a practice.
Now we had to think of the baby. The humid sunny summer days and
hot humid nights demanded that we have to escape theNew York City
summers. About that time I received a promotion that came with
an increase in salary, and five weeks vacation, . So with prudent money
managment and my increased salary, along with a mortgage, we bought
a small vacation house in the Southamptont beach area onLong Island’.
For a while we were very happy with our station in life, but that feeling
became short lived when a rumor that a lay-offf was coming very soon..
Then the horrible thought entered my mind,. What if I lost my job!,
the whole house of cards would collapse.
However, dispite the specter of disaster, we enjoyed the house immensely.
Our son enjoyed the cool nights, and the cleandy sandy beaches.
It was truly an investment that was worth the frugal management
hat was required to keep the good ship lollypop afloat. I didn’t figure the
expense of commuting to New York Everyday. The need for two cars Then
once again our `what if’ discussions arose, because It wasn’t long before we
realized we needed more oom in the city. the apartment was too small.
So more ‘what if’ discussions were required, but this time we had an ace in the
hole. It was the painting that I bought at an art auction inEast Hampton
One afternoon we happened to wander into the auction from
the furnishings of an old mansion that was to be remodeled.
I saw the painting. I was fascinated by the figure of a cavalier. His bright