Hetty Green (biography) – The Witch of Wall Street

Hetty Green The Only Meanest in Guinness Book of World Record

Hetty Green Witch of the Wall Street
Hetty Green The Only Meanest in Guinness Book of World Record

A woman who wore a single dress for saving and did not buy toys for her own children. The unique combination of intuition, mathematical abilities and forecasting skills allowed Hetty Green ( Hetty H. Greene ) to become the richest woman in the world, even in terms of the current modern course. Find out how much you can save and decide if you’re ready to open stock quotes now so you can get millions in the future.

Hetty Green Biography (Timeline)

November 21, 1835 – Young Hetty Green Henrietta Howland Robinson was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Father Edward Mott Robinson (1800-1865) and mother Abby Howland (1809-1860) were members of the Religious Society of Friends and owned whaling.

1841 – At the age of 6, she began to read exchange reports at the request of her father, who had poor eyesight and was carried away by analytics.

1848 – at the age of 13, she began to keep records in the family business.

1850 – studying at a Boston school.

1864 – Father died and Getty inherits $ 7.5 million.

1867 – forges the will of the aunt.

July 11, 1867 – Married Edward Henry Green to save herself from prison, after signing a prenuptial agreement with him. Leaving for London.

August 23, 1868 – the son of Edward Howland Robinson was born, who was called “Ned” Green and January 7, 1871, the daughter Sylvia Ann Howland Green.

1875 – The Greenes return to New York.

1885 – Bankruptcy of a husband, divorce.

July 3, 1916 died on the threshold of her own home.

Hetty’s Financial Condition

According to his father’s will, at age 31, she became the heiress of $ 7.5 million in cash. Father bequeathed whaling to his brothers, but he was not interested in Green.

At the date of death, Getty Green’s condition in modern money was $ 200 million (revaluation for our years, this is $ 4.3 billion). Owned 8,000 land plots with houses.

Hetty Green Greed
There was only one dress in her wardrobe

There was one dress in the wardrobe, which changed when it completely deteriorated, just like the linen. She did not have transport and warm clothes. She was constantly looking for the cheapest products in the city, and she herself did the laundry. And the same attitude was with children. Her stinginess has become legendary.

The whole state was in cash, securities, debt receipts, real estate.

Back in 1900, when the income of an average American family a year did not exceed $ 500, the hunks earned 7 million.

Hetty’s Greed

So, it was rare to change underwear – only when it was completely worn out. She never used hot water, because at that time it was expensive, wore only one dress. When she hired the laundress, she insisted that she wash only the hem of her dress and dirty stains to save soap.

The newspapers she read made her son sell again. If that didn’t work, she put them on clothes for herself and the children to save on buying warm clothes.

She also inculcated thriftiness in children. Every week she took with her to the market, where she haggled for every penny, bought broken cookies because it cost less.

The use of hot water was considered wasteful.

When her son was 11 years old, he injured his leg while sledding. She had the money to go to the best doctor in the country. Instead, she dressed the most wretched clothes and went to the clinic for the poor. So that if possible, do not pay at all. After the doctors recognized her and refused free service, she bought the cheapest lotions in the pharmacy so that he would apply them to the sore spot. Later, the boy developed gangrene and had to amputate his leg. The mother felt guilty and began to devote more time to the business. She also did not allow herself $ 150 for a hernia operation and suffered from pain to death.

Throughout her life, Getty Robinson Green has not donated a single cent. She didn’t pay taxes; for her, only one thought was unacceptable – to give something to the state. A surprise for her was the adoption of a single income tax on profits in 1913, during the consideration of which her name was recalled more than once. Never had a car.

Wall Street Witch

A grandfather was engaged in raising a girl from 2 years old due to constant illnesses of his mother. He taught her to read financial statements and count on accountant reports. At 13, she was engaged in bookkeeping and saved family money, which was spent on specialist services.

She learned to count phenomenally before school, better than any computer that will appear after her death only 100 years later. And the girl was not interested in other areas at all.

Since childhood, she earned money on an equal basis with adult family members. She kept records, caught and sold fish, organized expeditions of her father’s whaling fleet, and supervised the construction of docks.

The young lady saw prospects only in the stock market. She skillfully predicted changes in stock prices, knew where to invest in order to get income. Many participants in the exchange repeated its actions in order to earn money, since all transactions were profitable.

After several years of successful trading, the nickname “ The Witch of Wall Street ” appeared due to the incredible ability to predict the rise and fall of securities, real estate prices, and promising areas in the economy.

Hetty Green Career

Getty made her first investments (or, as still encountered, Hetty Green) as a child. She opened a bank account and wore every cent that was saved on purchases and earned for fulfilling relatives’ orders.

At the age of 19, his father sent his daughter to New York for the whole winter, giving her 1000 cu on “outfits and ladies’ things,”. Hetty returned in an old dress and worn shoes, clutching a packet of papers tightly to her chest – bank shares.

After the death of his mother in 1860, he and his father moved to New York, which always attracted the future Wall Street thunderstorm, as it had more opportunities for earning.

All the funds received by inheritance from the father, who died in 1865, the daughter invested in bonds of loans of the Civil War of 1861-1865 and was actively engaged in trading on the stock exchange.

In 1867, aunt died and Getty expected to receive an inheritance, being the only niece. The disappointment overtook on the day the will was announced. Out of $ 2 million, only 65,000 a year relied on her, the rest was given to charity and unfamiliar people. The young lady forged a will, according to which everything was to become her and began a long-standing lawsuit. The examination established fraud and, to avoid prosecution, she gets married and leaves for London.


Getty engaged in currency trading on the stock exchange and correctly calculated the possibilities of the American economy after the Civil War, speculating on the exchange rate of dollars and pounds. In the first year, income amounted to $ 1.25 million. Bonds were purchased for 650,000 aunt inheritance received over 10 years.

The main mistake in the business was investing in rail traffic. This was a promising direction, but Green’s interests intersected with Huntington, the main competitor, who, in addition to money, could still influence the state administration, so all the courts for the purchased plots were lost and funds were no longer invested in this business.

All his funds were later invested in Chemical Bank and began to engage in usury. Since she saved on renting her office, the bank provided her with a workplace, and every day she went there to borrow money on the security of the real estate.

Thus, the business conducted in two priority areas – securities and secured lending, and took an only liquid real estate in megacities as collateral. The result of the transactions was the ownership of entire neighborhoods in Chicago, New York and other cities of the country.

The peak of investment activity was in 1907 during an exchange and banking panic. Securities fell in price, the country needed cash. Mrs. Green loaned to existing exchange offices and $ 1 million to the state on the security of bonds, and also bought out mortgages throughout the country. The state of the “witch” amid a general panic increased exponentially.

She carried out all calculations and operations personally, as well as knocking out debts from unscrupulous borrowers.

One of the components of success, in addition to accurate calculations of investment efficiency, is the availability of free capital.

Personal Life

In 1867, Henrietta married Edward Henry Green, who was 12 years older than his wife. The Vermont millionaire had aristocratic roots, perhaps counting on the state of the bride, but before registration was forced to sign a marriage contract. Getty immediately indicated that everyone has their own accounts and the spouse will never, and under no circumstances, claim her property.

Hetty Green Daughter
Hetty Green Daughter and son in law

Since women had few rights in those years, a spouse was needed only to obtain a position in society and the right to participate in tenders on the stock exchange. Marriage was also an investment.

The groom organized a luxurious wedding, paying all expenses. The couple settled on ManGetten in Edward’s family mansion. When the court accused Getty of faking her aunt’s will and threatened to arrest Green, they left for London, where their children were born. After 8 years, they returned to the States to wait out the effects of the financial crisis. However, Edward became bankrupt in 1885, having failed to restore his fortune. The couple parted. Mrs. Green was not going to support and maintain anyone. However, one must pay tribute to the paid medical care of the spouse until his death in 1902.

Interesting Facts and Quotes

Green was well versed in US tax laws. Each state has its own requirements and amendments. Not wanting to pay taxes, she constantly moved from place to place, conducted transactions in different regions of the country. In order to make taxes pay the richest woman in 1913 adopted the 16th amendment to the Constitution, which established uniform principles for the collection of income tax.

You should always buy cheap, sell expensive, combining this rule with three simple things – insight, perseverance and frugality

Hetty Green

This principle is the main successful business and is still used by managers in many business sectors.

The uniqueness of Getty’s life was that in the scale of her business, she stood on the same level as Morgan, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, but she did this in an era when women were excluded from the business.

Hetty Green Death

She died of a stroke in another dispute for half a cent with a maid in 1916 at the age of 80. Her condition ( which in current terms, amounted to about $ 4 billion ) was divided equally between her son Ned and her childless daughter Sylvia.

Ned immediately married after his mother died, and his first purchase was a car. After he got out of control of his mother, Ned quickly spent all his money.

Hetty Green was remembered for her analytical mindset. Her ability to predict financial ups and downs in the economies of countries, an ascetic lifestyle and incredible greed.

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