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Woman’s $180 Stock Buy Balloons to $7M

Sometimes buy and hold REALLY does pay off


In the town of Lake Forest, Mich., Grace Groner was known as a good woman. With no kids or family, she devoted her time to her friends and her alma mater, Lake Forest College.

What no one knew was that this sweet, elderly woman was a millionaire. When she died at more than 100 years of age, she left more than $7 million to Lake Forest College, reports The contribution stunned the college administration and the people who knew Groner.

Her fortune was the result of one of the best long-term investments ever. In 1935, Groner invested $180 with Abbot Laboratories (NYSE:ABT). That bought her three preferred shares at $60 each. In inflation-adjusted dollars, that’s about a $3,000 investment in the pharmaceutical company.

Over the 77 years that Groner held the stock, it increased in value 39,000 times. A similar investment in the S&P would be worth just over $27,000 today.

Groner also donated her home to the college. It will be used as a dorm for women.

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