Career Woman

The story behind how Ingeborg Mootz became a forex millionaire in her 80s


The list of self-made millionaires who came out of nowhere without the advantage of family money, education or privilege is regrettably small. The number of these who happen to be women is sadly even smaller. One notable exception is Ingeborg Mootz, who became something of a sensation in Germany in the early 2000s. In case you missed her story, in her 80s, Mootz became known as “the million-dollar granny” for her remarkable success in forex trading. She has since become something of a role model for both women and the elderly entering the financial trading sphere for the first time.

Rags to riches

It’s hardly surprising that Mootz’s story has captured the public imagination. On paper, it’s a classic fairytale of rags to riches. Additionally, Mootz cuts something of an eccentric figure, a character straight from the pages of fiction. Yet for someone who became so well-known, the public facts about Mootz are few. A very private person, she seems content to let the bare bones of her story be reconstructed as a modern mythology.

Poor beginnings

Mootz was born in the tiny German village of Griessen in 1922. Griessen is part of the municipality of Klettgau in the south-western state of Baden-Württemberg. She grew up as part of a large and extremely poor rural family, and at the age of 17 was married to a man who singularly failed to lift her out of her dire economic circumstances.

Despite their poverty, however, Mootz’s husband refused to allow her to work. She was famously said to have told him: “If you don’t let me work, I’ll trade on the stock market instead.” While he lived, however, she never made good on her threat, and like many women denied business opportunities, she continued as a housewife and mother for nearly 60 years.

Energy shares

Mootz’s husband died in 1997, when she was 75. Suddenly, she was left with no income bar a small pension. However, some months before he died, her husband had bought shares in the German energy company VEBA. Despite her poverty, Mootz decided not to sell these shares but to hold on to them. It was a fortuitous decision. In 2000, VEBA merged with the industrial enterprises corporation VIAG to become E.ON. Over the next few years, E.ON acquired several other energy providers around the world and became a major global player in the energies market.

Forex trading

Before too long, Mootz’s shares had almost doubled in value. She went on to invest in two German banks, Commerzbank and IKB. A year later, she had made a 130% profit on these investments. At the age of 83, she decided that she had a natural genius for financial trading, and proceeded to get down to serious business. She entered the forex market.

Over the next few years, Mootz made several million euros, armed only with a newspaper and a telephone. She didn’t own a computer and had no interest in learning to use one, a fact that became an integral part of her story. Mootz became one of the wealthiest women in the world and wrote a short book about her methods, somewhat fictionalized, called Stock Market Detective.

A simple strategy

Mootz’s strategy, as she described it, was fiendishly simple: buy low, sell high. It sounds obvious, but in fact, this is easier said than done. To follow through on Mootz’s advice, one needs strong nerves, self-discipline and a willingness to engage in long hours of groundwork. For a start, you’ll need to find a broker who can offer you the best market access at the best prices, something that can be done through making a comprehensive broker comparison.

Thorough research

Mootz studied the financial pages thoroughly and taught herself the art of trading. Staying up to date with the latest financial news is essential if you hope to emulate her success, as is keeping on top of global events that may affect currency values. You’ll need to be aware of what’s going on in world politics, economic affairs, and even the environment if you want to predict which currencies are looking likely to succeed and which may soon be on the downturn.

At the same time, Mootz’s story is undoubtedly inspirational. She came from a background far more disadvantaged than most, and with no prior experience, education or connections, started trading in her 80s to enormous success. Most of us may never become millionaires like Ingeborg Mootz, but she proves that age, gender and economic background are not always the determining factors when it comes to making money on the financial markets. The takeaway here is that if Ingeborg could do it, then so can you.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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