This is it, folks! This is the exact kind of person I have been writing and blogging about these past few years. A wonderful gentleman, with a well-maintained home, well-ordered life and very respected in his community, who has quietly gone about amassing a huge amount of wealth which he is using to benefit others.
For those naysayers who comment that these people are really missing out by not spending their wealth on themselves, watch this video. Tell me what this gentleman has missed out on? It seems to me that he hasn’t missed anything. He is actually living the subtitle of my book, “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Wealth”!
John Shephard was a shy and quiet man happy to spend his time among the historical exhibits of the museum he so tirelessly curated. Fond of reading and classical music, Mr. Shephard lived a quiet and simple life centered around the arts and the museum that he loved. What few people knew was that Mr. Shephard had another hobby that paid off quite well; namely saving and investing his money. Upon his death in 2003, it was no surprise that Mr. Shephard left his substantial life savings to the museum. Apparently, his estate was so substantial that the museum was able to transfer a portion of the funds to a local foundation to help the community as a whole. Another inspiring story to add to our Surprise Millionaire collection!
The Surprise Millionaires from Aberdeen(shire) Scotland just keep on coming! I have now learned about Jean Alexander, a retired midwife and newborn health visitor who left an impressive 1.6 million pound estate to the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society of Scotland in honor of her late mother. The MS Society reports that they hope to use part of the donation to develop a program to assist caregivers of loved ones with MS just like Jean was at one time. A Surprise Millionaire leaves a powerful gift to help those who find themselves in one of life’s greatest challenges, what could be more wonderful than that?
A word to all of you potential Surprise Millionaires out there. Remember, the key to wealth accumulation is long-term, consistent investing. Markets may rise and fall, but the long-term, consistent investor will achieve the goal of wealth accumulation by practicing these simple habits. Remember the mantra of the Surprise Millionaires, “anyone can accumulate wealth”!
I recently became aware of a Surprise Millionaire who created quite a sensation a few years ago by the name of Matel “Matt” Dawson, Jr. more affectionately known around Detroit as the “forklift philanthropist”.
Born in Shreveport Louisiana, Mr. Dawson spent his formative years surviving the great depression and the inequality of that time. He wasn’t able to go to high school as he had to work to help support his family, but that didn’t mean he was opposed to scholastics.
On the contrary, Mr. Dawson believed that education was a tremendous thing and wanted young people to pursue their dreams without the worry of financial strain. This Detroit forklift operator who worked more than 60 years at his job gave a total of $1.25 million in scholarship money over his lifetime to deserving young people. He lived frugally, invested wisely and was able to help many others in the process. Another inspiring Surprise Millionaire story!
It appears that others are discovering the Surprise Millionaires phenomena. One financial institution is even attempting to educate its customers regarding the benefits of frugality and wise investing. The article is great and right on target but the statement that really grabbed me is one that expands on an idea I have spoken about at length here at the Surprise Millionaires:
“The correlation between being a millionaire and occupation is completely random. More than what you do for a living, the manner in which you live your life will determine your financial outcome.”
In other words, “anyone can accumulate wealth”! I say it much more simply but the message is the same. Consistent, long term, saving and investing will result in wealth accumulation. And just how do you maximize the funds you are able to invest? Frugality of course!
A quiet man in Chicago whose death didn’t really make the news certainly made the news recently. James A. Flavin, a man who wore old clothes, drove a beat-up car and lived in a small home in a poor neighborhood was thought to have an estate worth about $53,000. But then they opened that safe deposit box…
The Pittsburgh Press – Jan 23, 1978
Reverend Vertue Sharp was a Methodist minister and farmer who lived his life by the words of Jesus in Matthew 25 in which we are taught that whatever we do for the “least of these” we do for him.
Reverend Sharp sought to live out this teaching by leaving his estate of $2 million to two eastern Tennessee area hospitals upon is death in 1999 at the age of 94. Reverend Sharp accumulated his wealth thanks to wise investing, frugal living, and the sale of his farm.
Thanks to Vertue Sharp and his selfless generosity, many of eastern Tennessee’s most vulnerable residents will receive the care and attention they need to live healthy and happy lives. Another Surprise Millionaire lives out their life’s mission by helping others in their community.