There is something about this story that I just love.

Are you familiar with Onni Nurmi? No real reason why you should be, especially as he died back in 1962.

Onni was a Finnish shopkeeper who was born in 1885 in the small Finnish village of Pukkila, set up a shop and went bust and left Finland to move to the US in 1913, leaving his alarmed creditors unpaid. However being deep down an honorable man he returned to Finland just before the 1929 crash and repaid his creditors. On his death back in 62 he left his home village 780 shares in a Gumboot company from neighbouring Sweden. The money was to be spent on improving the lives of the villages elderly.

For a few years the money didn’t go very far… but the company changed it’s focus and stopped making Gumboots and instead got involved with mobile technology and the company grew to become Nokia. The shares grew from a value of 30,000 to 90 million and the number of shares grew from 780 to over 800,000.

Needless to say PUkilla is now the elderly Paradise of Finland…. And it really does emphasise the importance of stock picking and understanding that the best investments should all be for the long haul. An important lesson in todays world of short termism.