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BEING, as I suppose, of a kindly nature, many young people, especially widows and single ladies, frequently call upon me for advice, when they have any business matters to transact. I listen patiently to their difficulties, and never express any surprise at their ignorance, which has made me see how much a little Manual of this kind has been wanted. Numerous excellent works are published (see p. 108 for a list of them), but the mistake their Authors generally make is in supposing the Reader to know something of business. I write for those who know nothing. My aim throughout is to avoid all technicalities; to give plain and practical direc
tions, not only as to what ought to be done, but how to do it.
Ladies rarely have any business to attend to before they attain the age of twenty-one. They are usually older when, through their father's or their husband's death, they find themselves possessed of money of their own, and are then first called upon to act. They naturally feel shy and awkward, at that time of life, in asking
such a simple question as, How am I to draw
a Cheque? How should I write to my Banker to send me some money?
I want to sell out
of the Stocks, what must I do? How am I to get a Power of Attorney? When once known, a person soon finds that all these things are very simple, and as soon forgets how difficult and strange they once appeared to her. I trust this little book will prove useful to many of those who have yet to learn.
TO THE UNPROTECTED.
WHEN an inexperienced person comes into possession of her fortune, and especially if it be a small one, her first inquiry is, "How can I invest my money so as to get the highest possible interest?" Let her rather seek to place it where her Capital will be safest. (By Capital and Principal is meant her fortune, or the whole sum she possesses.) The Duke of Wellington used to say, "High interest is another name for bad
security." In this country 4 per cent. is gene
rally the highest safe Interest you can receive : When 6, 7, 8, or
4 per cent. more usually so.
more per cent. is offered by
Loans, or Mines, beware of accepting it, as the probability is that you will lose both your Principal and Interest, as so many have done. Such an Interest cannot be given consistently with the safety of the concern.
Good Mortgages, and the Bonds, Debentures, and Loan notes of the leading Railway and Canal Companies, are very convenient investments for persons of small means, because the investors will at the end receive back the same sum they originally put in, and an unvarying amount of Interest paid regularly; also, in the case of a Railway or other Company not being wholly successful, the Interest of its Bonds, &c. is paid before the Dividends of the Shareholders.
Joint-Stock Banks.-A lady should not on any account take any Shares whatever in a Joint