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This Vermont janitor amassed an $8 million fortune unbeknownst to anyone around him. Here are the 3 simple techniques that made Ronald Read rich – and can do the same for you




This Vermont janitor amassed an  million fortune unbeknownst to anyone around him.  Here are the 3 simple techniques that made Ronald Read rich – and can do the same for you

This Vermont janitor amassed an $8 million fortune unbeknownst to anyone around him. Here are the 3 simple techniques that made Ronald Read rich ̵[ads1]1; and can do the same for you

Warren Buffett is said to have once said: “You don’t need extraordinary effort to achieve extraordinary results. You just need to do the ordinary, everyday things exceptionally well.”

It may sound too simple to be true, but if you doubt the wisdom of the Oracle of Omaha, you should hear the story of Ronald Read.

Read, a retired gas station attendant and janitor in Vermont, died in 2015. Nothing about his life or death was extraordinary, except for the fact that his estate was revealed to be worth $8 million after he died.

This was a surprise to large parts of Read’s local community. “He was a hard worker, but I don’t think anyone had a clue that he was a multi-millionaire,” his stepson told the local press after his death.

Read did not have the kind of career path you usually associate with a multi-millionaire. So how did he do it? Here’s a closer look at the three simple techniques that made him so rich.

Don’t miss out

Thrift

Ronald Read seems to have had a reputation for being extremely frugal. In fact, he probably could have given Buffett — who is famously frugal — a run for his money.

Read’s friends remember him driving a used car and using safety pins to hold his frayed coat together. He even continued to chop his own wood well after his 90th birthday.

It’s a painfully simple approach: Spending less than you earn gives you more to invest and generate wealth over time through investments.

“I’m sure if he made $50 in a week, he probably invested $40 of it,” Read’s friend and neighbor, Mark Richard, said, according to CNBC.

Investments

After he died, the Wall Street Journal analyzed Read’s personal portfolio. They discovered that many of his positions were held for several years – if not decades – and had produced huge returns during that period.

In 2015, Read’s portfolio included heavyweights such as Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL).

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Again, here’s another parallel between Read and Buffett. If these names sound familiar, it’s probably because you’ve also seen some of them in Buffett’s portfolio. In fact, Berkshire Hathaway held a significant position in Wells Fargo for several years, and Procter and Gamble is still part of its portfolio.

Both investors prioritized holding long-term positions in undervalued and overlooked companies. It’s what helped Read create his multi-million dollar fortune. But for both investors, the key ingredient was time – and patience.

Long lifetime

Ronald Read lived to be 92 and Buffett is 92 years old now. Both investors have benefited greatly from living and working longer than average. In fact, 90% of Buffett’s fortune was generated after his 60th birthday. If he had retired in his early 50s, most people would never have heard of Warren Buffett.

The power of compounding is magnified over longer time horizons. In other words, investing longer is more likely to yield better returns. Buffett’s compound annual growth rate of 9.17% would have turned $1,000 to $9,000 in 25 years and $13,900 in 30 years.

To be fair, none of us can control how long we live. Instead, start early and becomes in the market as long as possible is probably the best strategy. It is also advisable to let the winners run longer. Taking profits too early or switching positions too often increases costs and reduces the power of compounding.

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This article provides information only and should not be construed as advice. It is supplied without warranty of any kind.



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