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An Average Joe Who Is Not So Average

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In the below Washington Post article, columnist Barry Ritholts gives us the most recent story of an Average Joe who accumulates millions of dollars over his lifetime.

In this case, the Average Joe is a Mr. Ronald Read, a WWII veteran, gas station attendant and janitor who upon is death in 2014 left an estate of stock and property valued at close to $8,000,000. Granted, Mr. Read, who died at age 92, had a long time to accumulate such wealth, the number is still impressive. Even more so considering the modest salaries commonly paid by the jobs Mr. Read held during his life.(Although we do not know from the article if any of this $8MM included a family inheritance nor do we know what type of jobs Mr. Read’s wife held – leaving the possibility that she was the major bread winner of the household).

Mr. Ritholts uses Mr. Read’s success in accumulating wealth as a teaching opportunity, rehashing the oft repeated investing mantra of diversification, long term outlook and avoid speculating. Though the latter could be argued against in Mr. Read’s case as what is considered a blue chip stock today could have been a speculative investment 60 years ago. The article also discusses learning how to enjoy life and distribute your wealth while you are still alive. Though for Mr. Read, and other super savers/ investors like him, I’m sure the #1 enjoyment in their life was in the accumulation of their wealth and only after their death would they be willing to part with what they had accumulated. Let us know if you enjoyed the article.

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