He Was the Cat’s Pajamas!

Emil Campbell of Raleigh North Carolina was a true animal lover.  He especially had a soft spot for those of the emil-campbellfeline persuasion.   It so happened that several of the animal shelters in the area were really in need of funding in order to continue their mission of assisting the often neglected and forgotten cat population in the area. Thankfully, Mr. Campbell was able to come through with a “small” donation of $1.7 million!

No, Mr. Campbell was not an executive making a large corporate donation or even a successful business owner who wished to help out the community.  Mr. Campbell was just another individual who lived a thrifty lifestyle which enabled him to accumulate a fair bit of wealth.  One who knew him described him thus:

“(He was) very frugal. He didn’t work a job that paid him a lot of money, but he pinched his pennies and he saved his money.” 

Whether the aim is to live a comfortable retirement, help family members or leave a legacy through community charities, wealth accumulation is possible through hard work, frugality and consistent investing.

A Christmas Gift

Juanita Ellen (Teubner) Schmeeckle was born on Christmas day 1922 during a season of schmeeklegiving that stayed with her the rest of her life.  A beautician married to a mechanic, Juanita could always be counted on by friends and family alike.  Whenever the chips were down, Juanita would always lend a helping hand.  This is why it was no “surprise” to friends and family that this millionaire left behind her $10 million estate for the betterment of children, the disabled, and the elderly.  That is a Christmas gift that will keep on giving for years to come.

 

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The Blue Chip Investor

Many of you are familiar with the story of Ronald Read featured in my book.  For some reason, the media latched on to the story of this Surprise Millionaire and how the one-time gas station attendant, janitor, and wood cutter amassed an $8 million stock portfolio.

As you know, we do not offer investment advice here at the Surprise Millionaires.  Our passion is to extol the virtues of hard work, frugality and consistent long-term investing as a pathway to financial success.  However, I thought it might be worth sharing this overview of Mr. Read’s investment holdings as a reflection of the man and what he accomplished.   Remember, anyone can accumulate wealth!

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Another Frugal Lady Makes Good!

vavra-blancheAnother frugal lady makes good!  Montana’s Blanche Vavra surprised her entire community of Billings with the gift she left behind.  This very nice lady was neither new money or old money.  In fact, her friends thought she was “no money”.  How wrong they were …

She Coached Her Way to Success

Eileen Russell the retired P.E. instructor and field hockey coach at the University of Georgia was a frugal sort.  Known for repairing the teams’ hockey sticks to save the university money, Eileen believed in stretching a dollar as far as it could go.  She was also quite fond of letting others know that she hadn’t much money herself.

Imagine everyone’s surprise when they learned that Eileen had left her $1.7 million estate to the university!  I think the comment below sums up the sentiment:

“UGA officials do not know how she amassed the money — and Jewett remarked that Russell’s salary and retirement package from UGA would not have amounted to such a sum…”

I think I can answer that question.  It was through frugality and wise and consistent investing; the hallmarks of a Surprise Millionaire.

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