Meager Income

Pay Off Debt, Retire Comfortably on Meager Income, Win the Lottery, Not Necessarily in that Order

The Secret Millionaire – Ronald Read

Posted on | February 1, 2015 | No Comments

I enjoy reading stories about secret millionaires. I find it fascinating when otherwise normal people manage to accumulate great amounts of wealth by working hard and saving. It gives me hope and inspiration!

I found out about Ronald Read when CNBC published his story on their web site: Janitor bequeaths millions to library, hospital. When he passed away at the age of 92 last year, he left 1.2 Million dollars to the Brooks Memorial Library and 4.8 Million dollars to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. The report indicated that he was worth a total of 8 Million dollars so I imagine he left the remainder to his spouse and family. With the $2 Million that were left, I believe his family can maintain a comfortable standard of living.

After reading the article, I was intrigued and left with a question though: How did he do it? As a follow up story CNBC gave some answers. I wish they had provided additional details. They only mentioned that his preference was for buying dividend paying stocks.

Most of Read’s investments were found in a safe deposit box, Read’s attorney, Laurie Rowell, told CNBC. Those investments included AT&T, Bank of America, CVS, Deere, GE and General Motors.

“He only invested in what he knew and what paid dividends. That was important to him,” she said in an interview with “Closing Bell.”

Coincidentally, I own three of the stocks he mentioned: Bank of America, GE and AT&T. I am also counting on these corporations to deliver many years of dividends so that I too can retire comfortably.

Although, I think he did great, I also agree with the statement below:

“One of the things that’s really important is for us to take a step back and say look it’s great that that happened over the last 40 years but there is a lower probability that it happens over the next 40 years,” she said.

His timing was perfect and having a lived a long time I’m sure helped him tremendously. Although not impossible, I also agree that it would be much more difficult for someone starting out today under the same circumstances to be able to become as successful as Mr. Read was.

Do you know any secret millionaires?


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