Monday, January 03, 2011


Perhaps the only item with any monetary value that I received from my parents' estate was this booklet of World War II "postal savings stamps." The stamps, which were purchased in 10 or 25 cent increments, could be exchanged for a "Type E" savings bond when the booklet was full. Billions of dollars were raised for the war effort with some of these stamps (my mother's for example) remaining unredeemed. They still hold their face value, although inflation has made them nearly worthless. Today, any financial adviser would steer you away from bonds like this, pointing instead in the direction of better yields in the market or mutual funds (although these kinds of investments seem to have lost some of their allure in recent years.) My mother would have been better off redeeming these after the war; by investing in S&P stocks returning an average of 6% per year her $4 in stamps would be worth about one hundred dollars now, enough for a nice dinner for two.

She may have been better off, personally, if she had used the money to enjoy a dinner for two back then, but evidently she thought it a better plan to invest in our country's future.

By Professor Batty


Blogger kindredband said...

I remember her books of "green stamps" but I didn't know about these. Thanks for sharing this!

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