Abigail Adams and Responsible Wealth Management
In honor of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, as the world celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, Aevitas Wealth recognizes the contributions of Abigail Adams (1744-1818). Perhaps better known as the wife of John Adams and First Lady of the United States, she had another title that isn’t widely known - one of the earliest documented female investors in U.S. history.
Abigail Adams advocated for women’s equal education and property rights and believed that women should use their intellect to help manage household financial affairs. During the Revolutionary War, John was away from their family, and Abigail managed finances and the family farm. Although married women had limited property rights, Adams began to refer to their property as hers. In 1783, John advised Abigail to invest in farmland. However, she ignored her husband's instruction and purchased U.S. government bonds instead. One of Abigail’s most notable investments was purchasing a bond that had declined to 15 percent of its face value, which she held onto until it was worth 85 percent; she made a significant profit. Her initial bond investment was speculative and risky because it was unknown if the government would ever make the interest payments. But, over time, Abigail consistently set aside a portion of her husband’s property and declared it her own, incrementally adding more and investing for sustained growth, making investment decisions that boosted the family’s prosperity and her own independence.
In 1776, while John was away at the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Adams wrote her famous letter stating that the Founding Fathers should “remember the ladies.” She added, “Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember all men would be tyrants if they could.”
Abigail’s behavior influenced a future society of responsible wealth management and demonstrated the value of female financial independence. Stories of women such as Abigail Adams can help guide and teach the next generation about financial literacy and instill a sense of responsibility and self-confidence. As your family’s financial partner, our goal is to strengthen and prepare generations to come for financial independence and success. The Aevitas Wealth Management team wishes you a Women’s History Month full of education, knowledge, and paving the way to gender equality.