Pioneering stock advisor Geraldine Weiss taught her granddaughter how to be a boss

story transcript

Shenandoah Weiss says that her grandmother was not like most grandmothers, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Geraldine Weiss, a pioneering stock market advisor, He died Monday at his home in San Diego, the New York Times reports.. She was 96.

According to the Times, Weiss ignored those who told her she should be a secretary and instead followed her passion, launching a successful stock market investing newsletter in 1966.

She published Investment Quality Trends under the name G. Weiss for a full decade, allowing her subscribers to believe she was male, before revealing her gender in a PBS interview in 1977. She became known as “the grand dame of dividends”.

Her granddaughter, who runs her own executive coaching business, spoke with How does it happen guest host Dave Seglins. Here is part of their conversation.

What was it like growing up and having the great lady of dividends as a grandmother?

Probably a different version of grandmother that many people had growing up. [chuckles].

But, you know, I have to think that it shaped me in some way, right? To be able to go to my grandmother’s office and see her at the big table in the office and know that she was the boss and see a big bull and a bear. [behind] she.

That was just a day-to-day thing. It was normal. That was my experience of what my grandmother did.

A large bull and a bear behind her. What do you mean?

She had, like, a piece of art behind her that was a bull and a bear that merged.

There was a sense of power about his presence and about the space in which he operated. And, yes, she was really full of life, full of style.

I have seen some photos. She never got bored, I get it.

It definitely never got boring, yeah. She loved the color. She loved the color purple. She loved a leopard print, an animal print. She loved her jewelry.

It was definitely about living life with energy and vigor. [laughs].

He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and he wasn’t afraid to live life the way he thought it should be lived.-Shenandoah Weiss

But more than the cosmetic, what was it like to see her in charge in her office?

My grandmother was never shy about sharing her opinion, you know, whether you wanted to or not.

My memories of her, being very little and being in her office, was just that she was the boss. If she didn’t like something, she said so. She had a commanding presence and she was never afraid to speak her mind.

But your grandmother didn’t start her famous newsletter until she was 40 years old. What did she do before that?

His two great loves are his family and his business. And I think she spent that part of her life really focused on his family. And then when [her children] they were, I think, old enough and time permitted, she really wanted to grow her business. And she did.

How did the Investment Quality Trends newsletter finally get started?

He always likes to say that he was self-taught. He went to the library in San Diego and read all the investment books he could. He went to UC Berkeley for, I think, business. But I feel like she really always talked about public libraries as the great resource that she used to come up with her financial theories and to really educate herself.

And then, I think, [she] he just got really passionate about it, and at some point decided he wanted to put some skin on the game and invest in it, and he did.

Tell us about your decision to write under the name G. Weiss.

That was a big surprise for me.

She really felt like that was what she had to do to be taken seriously, especially in the beginning. She felt that a woman would not be taken so seriously giving financial advice.

What do you think about that? And what did she tell you about her challenge of being a woman in investing in those days?

It’s really sad to think, you know, that’s what it had to be. [It’s] not completely shocking. I think that even in these times, it is not easy for women to be leaders, especially in the world of finance. I think there is a lot of representation missing.

You wish people could be who they are and present themselves as they are and be taken seriously. But I think it was probably a smart move, especially considering the times.

Shenandoah Weiss photographed as a baby with her grandmother and grandfather, Richard Weiss. (Submitted by Shenandoah Weiss)

It is true [that people often] suggested that I should be a secretary instead of managing the store?

That’s what she would tell me. And, given the gender stereotypes of the time, I think that was probably very true.

He didn’t talk much about it, except that he really did have the perseverance… to continue with his vision no matter what anyone told him. And, you know, that’s really, like, my grandmother’s spirit.

She had to put up with a lot of opinions about herself and just decide what was best for her.

How is your family, since now you have to remember them?

Obviously, it’s very hard for people to accept, but she lived a very long and vigorous life. She was 96.

She was a great force, you know, and she was the great matriarch of our family.

We are very lucky that because she built this business, this great business, there have been many media articles written about her over the years. And I’m grateful to be able to go back and visit them and read about her legacy, as well as, you know, look at her own photos and private stuff from her family. is special

Shenandoah, right, with her grandmother and sister. She says that her grandmother taught her to be her own boss and live how she wants. (Submitted by Shenandoah Weiss)

What advice from her do you think about most in your own work life?

Find something you really enjoy doing, and then it won’t feel so much like a job. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

A couple of years ago, when I told her I was going to start my own business, she was very excited. And she’s really a big advocate for people being their own boss…and finding what they love to do, and that really feeds them.

I also think living your life how you want to live it, you know, being really rooted in vitality.

He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind and he wasn’t afraid to live life the way he thought it should be lived. And I think those two lessons are important.

Is there a memory you shared with her that you’re thinking about today?

I was thinking of visiting her because of the pandemic. And she was being very careful about distancing herself from her, so I went there to have a kind of picnic lunch with her. She was 95 years old and then, you know, I showed up and she was in a big leopard caftan… Seeing each other together was important to her.

We just had this really beautiful afternoon. She was telling him a little bit about this coaching business that she runs, and she was just reflecting on how wonderful it is to be your own boss. And she is so happy that I found something that I love.

To be able to share that with my grandmother and see her joy reflected was really beautiful.

Written by Sheena Goodyear. Interview produced by Katie Geleff. Questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

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