Just the other day I was texting back and forth with an old college roommate. We talked about our homes, yards, and fertilizing lawns. The stuff that 50 year old people talk about except we are in our 30’s. He reminded me of how far we’ve come since college.
My friend came from nothing. His family didn’t have much and they couldn’t really help him out at all. He worked full time while also going to school full time. Also there were plasma donations and other side jobs. This wasn’t for fun money or retirement, it was to survive on. There wasn’t a lot of extra room for fun. In fact I remember him missing out on a lot of things because he was either studying or working. But it all worked out for him. He graduated with me and he kept going to further his education. Now he is working for one of the prominent medical facilities in the country and making a very impressive salary as a Nurse Anesthetist . He had a plan and had the patience to see it through.
The same guy who was eating Ramen noodles for a high percentage of meals 10-12 years ago is now buying 500 shares of AT&T (among others) at a crank. A tiny one bedroom basement apartment without appliances has been replaced by a 3600 square foot home that houses a wife and a couple of children. As the biblical saying goes, do not despise these small beginnings. And as Axl Rose sings, we all need a little patience.
Have Patience To See Things Through
Warren Buffett started his empire with one stock purchase. Arnold as a youngster began building his massive physique with a single repetition. Usain Bolt at some point had his first race that made people drop their jaws. These might be extraordinary examples but the world is filled with success stories of all shapes and sizes. I love seeing the progress of fellow bloggers. Index fund builders and dividend stackers , whatever your pleasure, they all start off the same. The tiniest of accounts will grow to be substantial if you keep contributing funds and let time do its thing. Don’t believe me?
Take janitor Ronald Read for example. He started small back in 1959 with a single stock purchase around the age of 37. He spent the next 60 years living below his means and investing what he could. Ronald favored dividend paying stocks so he could actually see money arrive in the mail which he then would use for future stock purchases. When he passed away at age 92, he owned at least 95 businesses worth about $8,000,000. That’s the power of compounding folks. Not bad for a janitor’s salary huh? He was most likely making around $20,000 per MONTH at the very end in just dividend payouts. Need another example?
Anne Scheiber retired from the IRS in 1944. She had only $5,000 saved up and an annual pension of $3,100. This gal lived very frugally (perhaps too much so) and over the next 50 years she invested and saved most of her money. She lived to be 101 and died in 1995. Her net worth was a staggering sum of $22 million!
Both Ronald and Anne donated most of their estates to charity. When they passed, their respective friends and families were blown away by the amount of money and assets they accumulated over the years. This was buy and hold investing, not day trading. They didn’t own mansions or fancy cars. Didn’t have designer clothing. Stealth wealth at the highest level. They lived life on their own terms and then left the fruits of their labor to causes that were important to them. But it took time (decades) and definitely took patience.
Good things take time, my own life is an example of this. My wife and I started off in a tiny basement apartment, moved to a townhouse, then to a decent sized older house, and now to a bigger and newer home. Our retirement accounts were in infancy 10 years ago and have now grown to be fairly substantial. Although we have a ways to go, I feel we are on track if we stick to our plan and operate with good common sense. After all, time is our biggest asset.