My long-widowed grandmother often extolled the virtues of saving for a rainy day. Because my parents shipped me off to live with her in Canada every summer, I couldn’t help but be influenced by her frugality. She had made it through the Depression more easily than most folks, but like other survivors of economic calamity, she clearly retained the lingering anxiety created by her brush with financial insecurity.

It’s not just individuals that yearn for financial security. Organizations also benefit from fiscal reserves. And while one purpose of those reserves is to provide protection against my grandmother’s characterization of unforeseen challenges, ASA’s reserves also serve other important purposes. They fund capital purchases, provide the society with resources to address unbudgeted special projects and generate revenue in the form of dividends. Last year alone, ASA’s reserves threw off almost $2.5...

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