BookWatch: Alexander Hamilton made a dumb financial mistake — one you can avoid

The Father of American Finance—the man on the $10 bill—had rotten luck with his own finances. Chronically poor, Hamilton spent the bulk of his career as a public servant, which then, as now, paid less than the private sector. In 1790, the job of treasury secretary paid $3,000 a year (only about 10 percent of Washington’s salary), or about $73,000 in today’s dollars. It’s not chump change, but he had to support a wife, children, the charity and the loans to friends, and the dinners and schmoozing that’s expected of polite society.

Another factor to consider: the real financial genius in the family might be Eliza Hamilton.

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