It’s Impossible Not To Be A Millionaire
June 4, 2012 4 Comments
Curt lived in the Swedish coastal town of Skellefteå.He was born in 1948.As a child he was very clever and had a bright future but dropped out of school in his late teens after a personal crisis.He never completed school, married, nor had a family of his own.He chose to live an alternative way of life and largely kept to himself.
Curt Degerman was called “Burk-Curt” (‘Tin-Can Curt’) by the residents of Skellefteå.For forty years Curt was a solitary figure seen cycling around the town in his blue anorak and ragged trousers.He spent his days touring the recycling bins of the town on his old bicycle and rummaging through them, collecting bottles and cans .Curt transported the bottles and cans he found by stuffing them into bags tied between the handlebars of his bicycle.He sold the tins and bottles to shopkeepers and a recycling plant.
Curt lived on a pittance.He never spent any money and ate leftover scraps of food from the bins of fast food restaurants.In between collecting cans and bottles he spent his time in the town’s public library.He went to the library every day because he didn’t buy newspapers.In the library he would pore over the financial pages of the dailies displayed especially the Swedish business daily-Dagens Industri.He used this knowledge to turn the modest deposits he earned from returning the empty cans and bottles into a secret fortune of more than 12 million kronor ($1.4 million).
When he died,of a heart attack, in his sleep in the autumn of 2008 he owned mutual funds worth more than 8 million kronor.In addition, he had purchased 124 gold bars valued at 2.6 million kronor and had nearly 47,000 kronor in the bank.Curt also owned his own home, which was found to have 3,000 kronor in loose change, bringing the total value of his estate to 12,005,877 kronor.
Curt obviously made his money due to his own efforts.He didn’t have any lucky breaks such as winning the lottery or receiving a grand inheritance.By living parsimoniously ,saving assiduously and sticking it out for long in the stock-market to benefit from the miracles of compounding, he built a decent fortune.
His case shows that it is impossible to not become a millionaire so long as it is something a person wants.Also to become a millionaire you don’t need to be a highly paid professional or entrepreneur.Simple financial instruments like bank accounts,real estate,gold and mutual funds will get you there.
Also becoming a millionaire doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of the basics like food.My personal philosophy is more along the lines of growing my means to easily afford the things I want.And there are many ways to earn more than by recycling.
If I have to do without something I want ,to come up with the means to acquire something else, I want a date by which I can have the thing I had to do without.Self denial is often the easy solution.Being creative enough to have all the thing you want takes more practice.After all what is the use of wealth if not to assure us of always having plenty?And in a pinch there is always the option of taking another look at the expenses to channel more for the necessities.
And as a parting note,seeing how much Curt got done with his income from recycling, be motivated to recycle.