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Before he died, Ronald Read, of Brattleboro, VT, lived a quiet, frugal life. The senior listened to records on a gramophone, not a stereo. He cut his own wood well into his 90s. He went to the local hospital's cafeteria for breakfast and had the same thing every day: an English muffin smothered in peanut butter and a cup of coffee. And he worked as a janitor and gas station attendant.
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What his friends and family didn't know was that his thriftiness was a cover, and he was investing most of his paycheck. He was pretty savvy, too. He read all those boring annual reports--and put his money into valuable blue-chip stocks that helped his modest investments grow. By the time he died at 92, he was worth $8 million.
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He left the bulk of his fortune to the Brattleboro hospital and library (the rest went to his stepkids). The hospital was so grateful, they made a video about his life that you can watch below. As one of his friends said, "He had a knack for investing. If his life would have gone differently, he could have been the CEO of Goldman-Sachs."