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The magic pudding

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"The Magic Pudding is a pie, except when it’s something else, like a steak, or a jam donut, or an apple dumpling, or whatever its owner wants it to be. And it never runs out. No matter how many slices you cut, there’s always something left over. It’s magic.”

The Magic Pudding, Norman Lindsay 

The Magic Pudding is a classic of Australian children’s literature. The story tells of a magic pudding that keeps rejuvenating after being eaten. It is the pudding that keeps on giving and the book is appropriately divided into slices rather than chapters.

Some say Norman Lindsay wrote it to settle an argument with a friend who believed children were only interested in fairies – Lindsay reckoned they would prefer to read about food. Whatever the reason, The Magic Pudding was born – or should we say baked – in 1917 and has since been translated into Japanese, German, French and Spanish.

Have your pudding and eat it too

As a passionate supporter of Australian literature, there’s a strong chance Miles Franklin had The Magic Pudding on her bookshelf. Not just because the book is an Australian classic, but because of the story’s poignancy. Just like The Magic Pudding, her legacy would be defined by a gift for perpetuity.

Miles Franklin isn’t just recognised for her novel My Brilliant Career, but also for establishing the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Her initial endowment of almost £9,000 has been actively managed to grow to more than $1.45 million today (July 2023). Her giving has supported some brilliant Australian novelists including Thomas Keneally, Tim Winton, Alexis Wright and Michelle de Kretser. The annual award was worth £500 in the inaugural year of 1957 when won by Patrick White.

Ingredients of a magic pudding

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t…pays it.”

Albert Einstein

When the principles of compound interest are blended with careful investment management, you have a recipe to grow your investment in perpetuity. Compound interest means you receive interest on your initial investment and the prior interest added to your investment. So rather than taking your returns, you reinvest them, which makes a BIG difference over time.

Here’s an example of compound interest - A $100,000 deposit that receives 5% simple interest would earn $50,000 in interest over 10 years. Compound interest of 5% on $100,000 would amount to $62,889.46 over the same period. 1


As the value of your investment grows over time, compound interest accelerates which increases the value of your investment. It’s a self-perpetuating circle of wealth generation. That’s why compounding is such an important strategy if you want to leave a legacy for perpetuity.

The other ingredient is the sound financial management required to achieve the returns you need over time. And that’s where Perpetual can help you – as we’ve done for the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

At Perpetual, we help people to establish trusts of different sizes and for a variety of reasons. Whether you plan on giving now or via your estate, Perpetual can help.


1 http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/compoundinterest.asp


Want more information about giving?

Get in touch with our philanthropy specialists via phone 1800 501 227,  email or by submitting a form online.

Perpetual’s Philanthropic Services are provided by Perpetual Trustee Company Limited (PTCo), ABN 42 000 001 007, AFSL 236643. This webpage has been prepared by PTCo and may contain information contributed by third parties. It contains general information only and is not intended to provide you with advice or take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. The information is believed to be accurate at the time of compilation and is provided by PTCo in good faith. You should consider whether the information is suitable for your circumstances and we recommend that you seek professional advice. To the extent permitted by law, no liability is accepted for any loss or damage as a result of any reliance on this information. PTCo does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any wording in this document which was contributed by a third party. View the Perpetual Private Trustee Service Financial Services Guide.