Fortune without the Fame

So you want fame and fortune, right? What about fortune without the fame? Would that satisfy your insatiable lust? Rather than obsessing over what you don’t have, study your predecessors. To that end, you’re gonna learn about somebody that obtained fortune without fame. It will provide a lasting impact on the way you save and invest.

First, you need to accept that reaching your financial goals cannot happen without thrift and self-restraint. Being thrifty does not mean you deprive yourself from enjoying life. It does, however, require sacrifice and at times even delayed gratification.

The first step is how the habit of thrift will help you to get ahead. And the second step is evaluating a real life example of an investing great who emulates this habit.

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So, let’s talk about an absolute legend and investing great Anne Scheiber. She’s proof that you don’t have to be famous, you don’t have to be born into wealth to become an investing great. She started out with just $5,000 and she amassed a $22 million fortune over a 50-year period.

What makes her feat especially remarkable is that Scheiber worked for the IRS and never earned more than $3,100 a year. While many people from her era were scared away from investing in the stock market because of the 1929 crash and the subsequent Great Depression, she bravely invested the little money that she had in stocks and over time, her portfolio grew from just a few companies to over 140 stocks, including giants like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Coca-Cola, Chrysler and Paramount.

Although Scheiber was a multimillionaire on paper, even generating more than $200,000 a year in dividend income at one point, she still lived in a nondescript apartment with peeling paint from the walls. She was the epitome of frugality.

In 1995, Scheiber donated her $22 million fortune to Yeshiva University and despite her hyper-extreme thrift, Scheiber is a model example of how to prioritize investment savings. She flatly out saved and out invested everyone around her. Up until her death, Anne Scheiber remained in obscurity. Even today, she’s not really a household name in financial circles, but that doesn’t diminish her greatness. Scheiber is the epitome of fortune without fame.

Scheiber’s diligence and thrift offer a lasting impression to all. What should we as investors do?

  • Be frugal without being cheap.
  • Understand that the absolute cheapest solutions aren’t necessarily the absolute best solutions.
  • Curtail any unnecessary trading activity.
  • Recognize that runaway investment costs and taxes hinder performance.
  • Obtain the maximum value for what you spend.

And if you’d like to read more about Anne Scheiber and other investing greats just like her, pick up a copy of my 5-star reader rated book, Habits of the Investing Greats, 26 Proven Tactics for Achieving the Financial Results You Want.

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