To celebrate 90 years, we asked our shareholders to share their stories on investing in Adams Funds. We were overwhelmed and humbled by the responses. Below are some of the many letters you have shared with us. Thank you for taking the time to write, call, and email us. We are proud to be a fund that is passed down from generation to generation.
MERLYN K. FROM DUBUQUE, IOWA – AN INVESTMENT THAT HAS GROWN FOR 70+ YEARS AND HELPED RAISE 9 KIDS
Here is a short story about my Dad, Merlyn K. and his Adams Express story:
IN ADAMS FUNDS70+
The Adams Express story for Merlyn K. started in the late 1940s, at the Loras College library in Dubuque, Iowa. As a young veteran on the GI Bill he was reading business magazines and The Wall Street Journal (because he found that more interesting than the organic chemistry that he should have been studying) when a little ad for Adams Express caught his attention. This ad described a mutual fund with shares selling for about $15.00...His recollection is that he bought 20 shares (an affordable start for a young college student) to begin an investment that has lasted and grown for 70 plus years and helped raise 9 kids.
Soon after that first investment, the former science and math major had switched his major to Economics and after earning a BA from Loras went on to obtain a Masters in Labor Relations from the University of Iowa.
He married his sweet wife Violet in 1950 and together they raised 9 kids and were married for 56 years until she passed away in 2007. He has been blessed with 20 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, with another on the way.
He worked as a Personnel Manager for Clinton Corn Processing until he retired in 1981. Still going strong at 93, he has spent his retirement years managing his investments....all while continuing to invest in Adams Express. Because he feels so strongly about investing, he gave all 20 of his grandkids some shares in Adams Express to teach them that even small investments can grow and to show them the better way to save is investing, rather than keeping funds in a savings account. His children also have benefited by being Adams Express investors.
With 8 of the 9 kids going to private Catholic school for 12 years, then all graduating from college, and the youngest child having Downs Syndrome....it took smart investing to reach a level of comfort and to be able to help his kids get through school.
Now the Adams Express investments have given him financial security and the ability to not only share his financial success with his kids, but also share his expertise in investing. As Merlyn and Violet raised the kids, there wasn’t always a surplus of money to invest, but each year some amount was invested. As the kids left the house, the amount invested got bigger. He took advantage of buying shares through a transfer agent, thereby only paying a clerical fee. Merlyn celebrates each year end with Adams Express capital gains and end of year dividends and appreciates what that has given him and his family.
Even a small stroke that has taken much of his eyesight this past year cannot slow down his love of investing in the stock market. Now he relies more heavily on listening to the financial reports on the TV, rather than reading, but he is getting along with some help. Merlyn is a true fan of Adams Express.
Sincerely, Joan C.
SCOTT G. FROM YORKVILLE, IL – SHAREHOLDER FOR 40 YEARS TELLS FRIENDS ABOUT ADAMS FUNDS
I first learned of Adams from my father-in-law, who was known to spend many hours studying the stock market. When my father-in-law discovered Adams Express, he decided to invest in both Adams Diversified Equity Fund and Adams Natural Resources Fund. He also gave shares to his children. When it came time for me to invest, I decided to also choose Adams. I certainly was not looking to get rich overnight, but I wanted a conservative investment that I didn’t have to worry about losing money. I also liked the consistent dividend Adams pays.
I have now been a shareholder for over 40 years - and I consistently invest monthly in the funds! Over the years, I’ve told many of my friends about Adams Funds, who in turn have also invested. I also set up accounts for my children and grandchildren to carry on the tradition.
Sincerely, Scott G.
BEN W. – MY DAD WOULD NOT ADVISE ANY OTHER INVESTMENTS THAN ADAMS
Happy 90th Birthday my friends at Adams Funds!
Ever since I was a little boy my Dad emphasized the importance of regular investing...and he would mention Adams Express. He would not mention or advise any other investments. When he died at 91, he left me and my siblings some Adams Express shares. I've added to that allotment over the years and have never regretted it. I will extend Dad's legacy of being a friend of Adams Funds to my Family...you can count on it!
Happy Birthday and many returns Friend!
JOHN M. FROM SEDONA, AZ – GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY BECAUSE OF ADAMS FUNDS
In 1981, I received 200 shares of ADX from my mother’s estate. Each year, I would reinvest my distributions, which have accumulated over the years to over 13,000 shares. About five years ago, I began taking the distributions in cash, which I have used to sponsor the Sedona Academy of Singers which includes eight interns and 32 singers. Without this investment, I would not be able to give back to my community in such an impactful way!
JUDITH R. FROM WOODWAY, TX – HUMBLE BEGINNINGS FOR FOUR GENERATIONS OF INVESTORS IN ADAMS FUNDS
Celebrating 90 Years:
During the Depression my grandfather worked on Wall Street at Chase Bank. He came from a humble beginning as the son of a Manhattan grocer and his grandparents had emigrated from Germany to New York City during the late 1870s.
In the 1950s I remember my grandparents speaking highly of “Petroleum Resources” as they called the stock and I would visit Grandpa’s stockbroker with him as he checked the ticker tape of his investments, including a major part of his portfolio, Petroleum Resources.
Upon his death in 1970, my thrifty and generous grandfather left his shares of Petroleum and Resources to his son and daughter, my mother. My parents often spoke of the company’s commitment to its shareholders and upon my mother’s death in 2008, I was very pleased and thankful to inherit a large portion of Mom’s shares in your company.
Now after three generations of our family owning Petroleum Resources Fund stocks, I continue to value being an investor in Adams Funds PEO and plan to bequest my holdings to the fourth generation of my family, my children--a son who is a CPA for an energy investment firm and a daughter in finance at PepsiCo Inc., all due to the intelligence and foresight of a young banker over 80 years ago!
Thank you for your positive corporate presence in the financial part of our families’ lives over the past several decades.
Sincerely and with appreciation,
DUNCAN C. – “THAT’S A GOOD STOCK!” FIVE GENERATIONS OF INVESTORS IN ADAMS FUNDS
I was born 7 months before ADX. When my father turned the administration of his and my mother’s trusts to me in the ‘70s, I asked him about ADX and he replied, “Oh, that’s a good stock.” Turns out it was one of the best that my brother, my sister, and I inherited in 1990.
Not so much a favorite with some asset managers who hate buy and hold. Holding ADX has been the way to go for the last 29 years. The standard option of dividends in cash and capital gains in stock has increased my ADX holdings to the highest value component of my portfolio. One small problem: one account manager said his company’s policies don’t let him follow that option for me, it has to be all cash or all stock. His company is no longer my account manager. Or my bank.
My plan for bequeathing ADX stock is not to sell the shares but to distribute them. I represent the second generation holding ADX in my portfolio, and the shares will be distributed to the third and fourth generations and for the benefit of the fifth generation, represented at the moment by two great grandsons- who will learn why their great-great grandfather said “That’s a good stock!”
R. Duncan C.
STUART U. FROM LOUISVILLE, KY – INVESTOR IN ADAMS FUNDS FOR 51 YEARS
WAYNE S. – LOCAL HISTORIAN BECOMES INVESTOR IN ADAMS DUE TO HOBBY
I am a mountain biker and local historian. While biking along abandoned railroad corridors, I would research the history of where I bike. A friend found a local historic photo of a train station. The photo was an advertisement for Adams Express. I was asked if I knew anything about Adams Express, so I began researching it. As I researched it, I became very impressed by its current investment strategy. I bought shares of stock in the company. So to sum it up: Adams Express put up an ad at a train station over 100 years ago. The ad caught my attention, and it worked. Nice investment for Adams Express.
ANONYMOUS - 39 YEARS AGO, ADAMS FUNDS WAS MY FIRST STOCK
ADX has been a favorite of mine since 1980. After receiving an inheritance I went to a broker I trusted for advice on what to do with the money. His first choice for me as a beginning investor was 400 shares of ADX because it would provide growth, income, and a means to learn about other good companies. “Read their reports and research the companies they invest in to learn about good companies in various sectors,” he said. I did, and it paid off. He also told me to reinvest the dividends, and I did that as well, so my original 400 shares has grown to over 7,000 shares. His advice and ADX have paid dividends in more ways than one, and I trust that it will still be a great investment when the company celebrates its 100th anniversary.
MARTHA B. - 50 YEARS AGO, WE INVESTED $500 IN ADAMS FUNDS
In 1965 my husband and I returned from our first visit to Europe. We had spent three months on a student grant and managed to come home with $500 unspent. We were advised to invest it in Adams Express, which we did. We opted for all the dividends to buy additional shares for about the next 50 years.
We are now taking the dividends in distributions. Our April 17, 2019 year-to-date distribution was $658.56. By the end of the year I expect just this year’s distribution will be over 200% our initial investment.
We are so pleased we made the initial investment (instead of a better car, new clothes, or entertainment) and we managed to let it reinvest. We are now enjoying the dividends and will have the accumulated stock to leave to our children.
LUCILLE G. FROM THOMASTON, CT – PURCHASED DURING THE STOCK MARKET CRASH OF 1929
Lucille’s father originally purchased ADX stock during the stock market crash of 1929. She inherited the stock in the 1950s and has never taken a dividend. Lucille is now 96 years old and has been very happy with the investment!
ROSINA C. – $100 INVESTED IN THE 1930s LEFT TO SEVEN GRANDCHILDREN
SAM M. FROM DURHAM, NC – ADAMS FUNDS DISTRIBUTIONS HELP PAY FOR EDUCATION
Dear Mr. Stoeckle:
Please convey to your Adams Funds team, my family’s congratulations on the 90th anniversary of this closed-end fund. I know these investment vehicles can be quirky but we have been pleased over the 15 years of our investor participation at the performance and consistent, dependable distributions without loss of capital. Right now some of the distributions at the end of the year go toward tuition costs for my daughter’s education.
We intend to add more shares as time proceeds. Thank you.
Sam M. & Family
BRAD L. – THIRD GENERATION INVESTOR IN ADAMS FUNDS
My grandfather bought stock in Adams back in the '60s, then passed it on to his children. When my father passed away, he passed it on to me and my brother and sister - now I reinvest every year and enjoy doing so! Keep up the good work.
TERRY AND LAURA L. FROM HUTCHINSON, KS - MY ONLY REGRET IS NOT PURCHASING MORE SHARES THROUGH THE YEARS
WALTER F. - 35 YEARS OF INVESTING ALLOWS GRANDCHILDREN TO GO TO COLLEGE DEBT-FREE
Our 5 grandchildren's college fund was set up when they were born enabling 4 of them to complete college debt free. One granddaughter did not finish college. When they were born an account in their name was set up as either a uniform gift to minors account or trust account. In retrospect I recommend the latter because you lose control after they reach their 18th birthday. When each child was born we invested $1,000 in Adams Express with dividends reinvested. Each birthday and Chanukah an additional $300 was added.
MARY P. FROM MADISON, WI – THIRD GENERATION ADAMS FUNDS INVESTOR
To celebrate 90 years of Adams Funds, you recently asked us to share stories of being an Adams investor. I may be a third generation Adams fund investor.
In 2010, I received some Adams shares upon the settlement of my mother's estate. She died at age 96, and she and my father started investing right after they got married at the end of WWII.
My father, R.W.P., enjoyed investing and started a small investment club with some of his friends in the 1950s. Upon the dissolution of the club, he bought out the other members. I think some of his Adams shares came from this time period.
However, my grandfather, L.R.P., was also an investor. In fact he made a living as a stock broker in the 1920s. I don't think there were any qualifications or requirements for calling yourself a stock broker in those days -- my grandfather was sharp as a tack but had only a third grade education. He settled in Cleveland Ohio as part of a great migration from the Appalachians, and in his own way was a progressive person who liked to be ahead of the times. He made good money in securities and investing, lost nearly all of it in the crash, and then gradually regained financial stability as did so many others.
I think he might have held some Adams, along with some Massachusetts Investors Trust shares -- two of our country's oldest investment firms. He died in 1952 leaving his estate with my grandmother, who died in 1972 passing the family's securities to my father and mother, who passed it to me.
I wouldn't be surprised if my Adams today is the same shares, since we tend to buy and hold. If the shares don't date to 1929, they would have been purchased as the Great Depression lifted or during WWII. They're that old.
I have no one to ask -- all these people are dead and gone, and no papers have survived. I don't know if Adams has kept their very old paper records, but if any contain our name I will not be surprised and it'll fit the narrative I was given over the years.
I am 72 years old and have no particular plans for these shares, but I always enjoy reading the various reports that come to me throughout the year and thinking of how long Adams has been in the family. Not many people remember childhood dinner table discussions of the difference between closed-end and open mutual funds, but we were raised on it.
Thanks for an opportunity to share, and I'll look forward to reading your collected stories. May we all have prosperity in the years to come.
ROB K. FROM STAMFORD, CT – LIFELONG ADAMS FUNDS INVESTOR
Although I may be late for a submission into the 90 year anniversary page, I wanted to at least let everyone know at the Adams Fund how gratifying it is to own your stock. I am currently 45 years old and have owned the stock for my entire life. My parents were investors at around the time I was born and slowly I began putting my allowance and other miscellaneous earned dollars into the fund in hopes those dollars would reinvest. Fast forward to 2020 and I have a substantial amount of stock, that I continually reinvest and see amazing dividends each and every year. Every December I look forward to getting the call from my mom and dad telling me how much they earned in their end of year payout and how that amount pays for their yearly taxes. Can't thank you enough for continuing to bring investors like myself amazing joy in knowing my hard earned money is safe and in a place that will continue to drive strong financial returns.
DON W. – 38 YEARS LATER, STILL AN ADAMS FUNDS INVESTOR
In 1981 my grandfather Lewis C. W. gave to me shares of Adams Express. He shared with me that he was sorry that the shares might not live up to any expectations. My historical curiosity grew and I looked up the Adams Express Company founded in 1835. I liked that the part that Adams Express Company was a competitor of WellS Fargo and America Express in delivering mail and packages. Adams was one of the few companies that still exists after the great 1929 stock market crash.
As for investing, I have done fine by the company so far. I hope that no one screws it up.
Thank you and namaste,