THIS PAST FATHER’S Day, I was listening to a financial talk show. The host asked listeners to phone in and describe how their father influenced their thinking about money. Callers related that their fathers told them to save early, to not waste money, to avoid debt and a few other basic ideas like “don’t worry about keeping up with the Joneses.”
I told my wife I couldn’t recall my father ever talking to me about money. Sadly, the same was true about college and getting a job. “Maybe he gave you the best advice by setting an example,” my wife said.
My father didn’t have a career. He had a job. In fact, several jobs, including station master for a railroad and car salesman. He had little time for much other than work, seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., until the law prevented Sunday car sales.
Vacations were rare and short. For many years, he worked strictly on commission—no sale, no pay, just an advance. He sold several different car makes early on, but the last 20 years or so he sold Mercedes.
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