How a Secretary Built a Fortune

In the May 10th edition of The New York Times, there was an incredible story about a woman named Sylvia Bloom.

Ms. Bloom, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 96, worked her entire life as a secretary.  She also managed to accumulate a $9,000,000 fortune.

What I find so fascinating about this story is that no one who knew her had had any idea that she was worth that kind of money.

The article demonstrates a perfect example of how to build wealth by letting your money compound over many years, as I describe in my book, The Stock Market is for Everyone.

Ms. Bloom did three critical things – things that you must do in order to build wealth.

  1. She paid attention.  When her boss bought shares of companies, she didn’t just place their orders.  She had the presence of mind to piggyback them, and each and every time buy a smaller amount of the same stock(s) for herself.
  2. She lived well below her means.  This is huge.  Most people suffer from lifestyle-creep – meaning that the more we make, the more we spend.  Look, I am in no way saying that we shouldn’t enjoy life.  But we do need to be smart with our spending.  Ms. Bloom packed a bag lunch for work each day, and took public transportation.  These are two excellent examples of ways to keep spending down that any of us can model.
  3. She got rich slowly.  She let time do its thing, allowing her investments to compound over decades.

Warren Buffett was quoted on this week’s episode of The Motley Fool’s Rule Breaker Investing podcast as saying that most of us are interested in getting rich quick as opposed to getting rich slowly.  Ms. Bloom, and the other investors mentioned in this Times article, prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that when your goal is to get rich slowly, you will!

Please share your thoughts on what I’ve written here, and please share this page with others.  If you haven’t picked up a copy of my short investment guide, please do so.  My mission in writing this blog is to see all of us enjoy wealth through stock market investing.

Enjoy your weekend!

4 thoughts on “How a Secretary Built a Fortune

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