Edward Daken amassed quite a fortune through hard work, frugal living and wise investing. However, unlike other surprise millionaires, Mr. Daken amassed his wealth for the express purpose of leaving it to worthwhile causes. It seems that years ago Mr. Daken read a story about another gentleman who amassed wealth through frugality leaving his wealth to a local school district. Mr. Daken must have thought, “if he can do it, so can I”. And then … he DID!
A word to the wise for all of you potential Surprise Millionaires out there. When you leave a bequest to a church, charity or organization, please make sure that entity actually exists! A couple of Surprise Millionaires in Virginia did not follow this advice and left a few unforeseen entanglements behind.
We had an interesting discussion today at breakfast. My daughter was talking about one of her friends who was “really rich.” She talked about how her father was a heart surgeon, that they lived in a big house, and how she was always bringing new things to school. These are the types of things that people […]
What would you be tempted to do if you inherited a small sum of money? Pay off some bills? Buy a new car? What if you did nothing with it, except maybe invest it? And what if you never touched that money and left it to one of your children and they did the same thing? Well if you did, you would be just like the Curtis family.
Retired school teacher Barbara Curtis inherited that aforementioned small sum from her father who had inherited it prior to her. Barbara, known for her frugality knew just what to do with her little windfall and the results were amazing!
The house had stood on South Broadway in St. Louis for decades and it had been in the family since 1951. It really wasn’t much to look at; this house from another era. In fact, it sold for just $30,000 in 2013. But oh what stories its walls would tell if they could! Tales of a family barely scraping by, trying to make ends meet. Or of a loving and dutiful son who put his family’s well-being ahead of his own. It is the tale of an American family who not only survived but thrived through adversity. And for that dutiful son, it was a story of hard work, frugality and wise investing that enabled him to “surprise” everyone…
Emil Campbell of Raleigh North Carolina was a true animal lover. He especially had a soft spot for those of the feline 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.
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!
I recently reported on a Surprise Millionaire who super-sized her saving and wealth accumulation leaving it all to Alzheimer’s charities. However, it appears that we have more than one wealth-accumulating superstar in the bunch.
Eugenia “Gene” Dodson was known as a selfless person who lived her life in such a low-key way that no one knew she was worth millions. This one-time beautician put her money saving and investing habits into overdrive with a single purpose in mind; to leave as much money as possible to the twin charities of diabetes and cancer research.
And that is just what she did, to the tune of $35 million!