You read the story of Ronald Read in Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report. The Brattleboro, VT gas station attendant amassed an $8 million portfolio of investments by the time of his death in 2015 at age 92. While Read was stacking stock certificates on the west bank of the Connecticut River, just across the Brattleboro Bridge in Hinsdale, NH on the east bank lived Geoffrey Holt, who was amassing a fortune of his own.
According to reports, Holt lived in a trailer with no TV or computer, and didn’t even own a car. But by living frugally and saving til it hurt, Holt gathered a fortune of $3.8 million, which he left to the town of Hinsdale when he passed away.
Kathy McCormack and Robert F. Bukaty report for the Associated Press:
Residents would see Holt around town in threadbare clothes — riding his lawn mower, headed to the convenience store, parked along the main road reading a newspaper or watching cars pass.
He did odd jobs for others, but rarely left town. Despite having taught driver’s ed to high schoolers, Holt had given up driving a car. He opted for a bicycle instead and finally the mower. His mobile home in the park was mostly empty of furniture — no TV and no computer, either. The legs of the bed went through the floor.
“He seemed to have what he wanted, but he didn’t want much,” said Edwin “Smokey” Smith, Holt’s best friend and former employer.
But Holt died earlier this year with a secret: He was a multimillionaire. And what’s more, he gave it all away to this community of 4,200 people.
His will had brief instructions: $3.8 million to the town of Hinsdale to benefit the community in the areas of education, health, recreation and culture.
Action Line: You don’t need to live quite the Spartan lifestyle of Geoffrey Holt to save money, but his experience, like that of Ronald Read, is a guide to the power of saving til it hurts, and doing more adding than subtracting. When you want help building a plan to achieve your goals, let’s talk. In the meantime, click here to subscribe to my monthly Survive & Thrive letter. It’s free, just the way Ronald Read and Geoffrey Holt would have liked it.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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