“To the Nines”

According to Investopedia, The Market Sum, by Caleb Silver, the value of the stocks for both Walmart and Amazon, the two giant retailers ended up 9% higher this year.

  • Walmart fiscal 2019 Revenue: $514 billion
  • Amazon 2018 total Revenue: $233 billion
  • Walmart fiscal 2019 operating cash flow: $27.8 billion
  • Amazon 2018 net income: $10 billion

So, the nines seem to have it. I know that I spend quite a bit of money at Walmart and Amazon. Add in my mortgage and the local grocery store and that is where most of my money goes. I believe that this news is no surprise.

However, I was surprised to know that there is no definitive explanation for the phrase, “dressed to the nines” according to Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price. He says it means wearing fashionably elegant clothing, but history fails to tell us exactly where that term comes from. Among the explanations that have been advanced, “the nine worthies of the ancient world, the British Army 99th Foot Regiment’s smart uniform, the nine buttons on the gloves owned by a medieval woman, and the nine muses.

Price reminds us that nine has a special significance in the English language even if we don’t know why. There is “cloud nine” and “the whole nine yards.”

The “whole nine yards” might come from the amount of cloth it takes to make a suit of clothes or the amount of cloth it takes to make the sails of a three-masted ship (3 yards for each sail) (The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer). Personally, I think it has something to do with football, soccer, or golf; nevertheless, it means “everything that is relevant.” And, “cloud nine” refers to a state of complete happiness. (Farlex Dictionary of Idioms, 2015)

I did say we should learn new things in 2019. I did think it would be something more than idioms that include the number nine, but I’d say that Walmart and Amazon both would agree that nine is a good number in this year 2019.

Walmart and Amazon are talking in the billions of dollars, but I am down here on earth with you and happy with lesser amounts. Although investing in real estate projects is a whole different beast than selling retail goods, it still offers rewards that include profit for your risk and your effort, and best of all, it may launch you into new directions, careers, and interests.white dressAs a private lender, you would expect a much more secure and short-term investment experience than you can get investing in the stock market or in retail sales. Your investment in the form of a loan to a borrower interested in remodeling and reselling real estate would be secured by the real estate, and the project would be completed and resold in a few months or a year. Let me know if I can be of help to you this month. I can be reached at





Austin, Texas



Ammer, Christine, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms.

Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. 2015 Farlex, Inc,

Silver, Caleb, 2019. Investopedia, The Market Sum https://link.investopedia.com/join/53o/00-fwd-marketsum

Price, Steven D. 2015. Endangered Phrases

Photo Credit: Lai Fong (Lai Fong of Calcutta, fl. 1870-1910) Attributed to [Public domain]

Photo by Bryan Schneider on Pexels.com



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