Over the years, Blaine Wiley worked with a financial advisor to save for retirement by investing in American Funds, which he says gave him a certain “comfort level.” At the same time, he passed along the importance of long-term investing and strong management to his children and grandchildren, many of whom are also invested in American Funds.
RECORDED November 2016
Blaine Wiley: Joan and I, we were married 1954, and I was in the Army. I mean a buck private. That’s as low as you can go in society. And then by the time I get back to college leaving the Army I have a daughter. I had to come up with $2.30 to get her out of the Army hospital, and I think I had to borrow something from somebody to get . . . I don’t think I had $2.30.
We were not living high off the hog for a lot of years. And the year after I got out of college as a young architect, that was the first post-war recession — 1958 — where everything went bust. You had to manage every cent you earned.
So as I said, we were married in 1954. So in 1980, 1981, our business was booming. My kids are by this time getting out of college so I had some, you know, disposable income. And we were doing stocks at that time with Joe, and I’m telling him, Joe I don’t want that phone call at 3:00 in the afternoon or 10:00 in the morning about dumping and getting out — hopping in and all that sort of thing.
And they said you know you really ought to get into mutual funds where you don’t really have to think very much. All you have to do is select the right fund, and Joe put me into AMCAP, which I knew nothing about. But he pointed out to me what you were essentially doing was buying management. You would pay a certain fee for, a certain percentage of your investment would pay for this management, and that drew me in. I liked that idea a lot. I just, it made sense to me. You’ve got to be in the American market someplace. You can’t . . . The tin can in the backyard, that doesn’t work. The American Funds they had a track record. And it was impressive. I was convinced that this was worth a shot. I’ve never taken a cent out of it.
If I talk about my family I sound like I’m bragging — and maybe I am but my wife Joan, she did a terrific job. We’ve got three wonderful kids, eight grandchildren. Oh my goodness, family is everything. Kind of think most of them are involved in American Funds. I believe they got their clue from me that I had the comfort level . . . that’s the word I've been looking for, the comfort level of investing in a really well-managed fund.
Well, financial security is, wow, is awesome. I mean, come on. I'm really not worried about where my next meal is coming from. I’ve got to worry about the ballgames, come on!
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