I was a curious 6 year-old when my Grandfather said those words to me.
At the time, I asked my Grandfather what it meant, but he just smiled.
But his words stuck with me and a few years later when I heard him say those exact same words to another 6 year-old, I had a better idea of what he meant.
He probably meant “do not take anything at face value.”
Today when I look it up, it means “be cautious in one’s dealings.”
That sums up my view of life and of finances.
When I see a curious 6 year-old in the future. I know not to say, “Be cautious”. That would be boring. But saying “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” makes one think.
I owe a lot to my Grandfather for making me think about nickels and finances.
For more information on the history of wooden nickels, see