A very long time i believe that to make big money in the stock market you need two things number one large capital to invest and number two professional help and guidance but my belief was challenged when i read a story of a sweeper who made 55 crore rupees from the stock market and it was really surprising for me to know because i have seen smart people with fancy degrees fail in the stock market but on the other hand i was really surprised to know a sweeper was able to make 55 crore rupees from the stock market how is that even possible trust me this story can be an inspiration for all those who believe that making money from stock market is hard or impossible and most importantly this story has so many lessons that if we can learn and implement in our investment strategy then it is quite possible that we can also make a fortune in the stock market so to begin with what comes to your mind when you see a sweeper wearing old dirty clothes doing his exhausting job you might feel sorry for him or you might even pity him but what if i told you that sweeper is wealthier than your entire family wouldn’t that be a shocker for you and the family of ronald james reed felt the same shock when he died on june 2nd 2014 because that day his family discovered that reed was a secret investor with assets worth 8 million dollars which in 2014 was around 55 crores in indian rupees so to the entire world and even to his family ronald james reed was an ordinary sweeper but in reality he was a secret millionaire the story might sound very similar to clark kent’s story was an ordinary journalist for the world but secretly he was the superman so let’s try to understand how an ordinary sweeper managed to become a millionaire in stock market and what was his secret
Story of Sweeper Ronald James
Ronald James Read was an american philanthropist investor janitor and a gas station attendant and in the u.s a janitor is a fancy word for a housekeeper who sweeps the building cleans it and manages the property so ronald read comes from a humble farmer’s family and he was the first high school graduate in his family and reed had to walk 6.4 kilometers every day to his school and later reed worked as a military policeman in world war 2 and when the war was over he returned back to the u.s where he started working as a gas station attendant and continued to work as a gas station attendant for about 34 years and in 1979 when he was about 58 years old he retired from the gas station and took a part-time job as a janitor at jcpenney where he worked for next 17 years until 1997. and back in those days the jcpenney was a departmental store or a supermarket in the u.s just like we have big bazaar or dmart in india so after doing so many odd jobs for a very long time ronald reed died peacefully in the year 2014 and on the day of his death all his family members and friends were sad and at the same time they were also thinking at what point reid became a millennial how he knew where to invest without failing and if reid was so rich then why he was doing a odd job of a janitor in a departmental stores why didn’t he buy fancy cars or a big house and live a lavish lifestyle which everyone would have envied so the answer of all these questions lies in the lifestyle and work that they call for ronald read so to begin with ronald reid didn’t do anything extraordinary he just did the most ordinary things which any investor can do or follow in his investment journey
so when ronald reid was working as a gas station attendant he used to go to a cafeteria which was in the local memorial hospital where he used to have coffee and breakfast every single day and after that he used to go to the gas station for work but a few years later that cafeteria was closed so ronald discovered a new coffee shop where he started to have his coffee and breakfast every day and look at the coincidence the local hospital’s development director where ronald used to have his breakfast and coffee earlier was also a regular customer to this new coffee shop and he asked ronald to pay a visit to the nearby library whenever he is free where they can meet and they can spend time and this one random coincidence changed ronald reed’s life forever how let me explain ronald went to the library and became interested in the library he even bought a library card and started borrowing piles of books every week he studied with enthusiasm through studying these books he developed a genuine interest in how money works and most books he read were about stock market and finance and he was also found of a particular newspaper the wall street journal he spent hours reading books in that library until he became a wizard at picking the right stocks and mastered the art of investing and through this acquired knowledge ronald made his investment strategy which was going to make him a millionaire.
when ronald died in 2014 at that time he had around 95 stocks in his portfolio which shows that ronald knew the importance of diversification in investment so what is diversification diversification is a risk management strategy that mixes various investments within our portfolio he diversified his investment in many stocks across industries such as healthcare telecommunication public utilities rail transport banks and consumer goods and to many people’s surprise ronald even had stocks of lehman brothers which went bankrupt in 2008 but this bankruptcy had minimal effect on his portfolio because his investment was diversified in many stocks across various industries and ronald always invested in sectors which he knew about and had a deep understanding of the changes in those sectors and that’s why he never invested in technology companies because he knew nothing about technology so he concentrated mainly on companies he knew about and this reminds me of a quote from a famous investor and fund manager peter lynch who says invest in what you know and this investment strategy of ronald saved his investments from the dot-com bubble in the 1990s and ronald also invested mainly in a dividend stocks so that he can reinvest the dividend money in new stocks and further diversify his investment portfolio and no doubt this investment strategy helped ronald to build a strong investment portfolio but still the true reason for his success lies in his lifestyle there is a book called the psychology of money and in this book there is a chapter called wealth is what you don’t see which tells us the difference between being rich and being wealthy and this might sound a little bit confusing so let me help you understand the difference between these two with a simple example so there is a friend of mine for example sake let’s call him tarun who is 26 years old and started working at the age of 23 and he is working in a big IT company and he earns a very good salary from his job and recently tarun bought an SUV worth 20 lakh rupees and he also bought a luxury apartment last year worth one crore rupees and tarun also has a very good lifestyle where he goes on international vacations he goes to clubs and enjoy his life to the fullest so now tarun is a typical rich guy in our society but in spite of being a rich guy tarun is not wealthy why do i think so let me explain so tarun has an emi for his apartment which cost him 66530 rupees per month which he has to pay for the next 29 years and because of that he will end up paying around 1.4 crore rupees only in interest on the one crore loan for his apartment that means together tarun has to pay around 2.4 crore rupees in the next 25 years to the bank and his emi for the car is around 48000 rupees per month which he will have to pay for the next five years and he will pay another 6 lakh rupees as interest for his car so now the total value of his asset is around 1.2 crore which includes 1 crore rupees for the apartment and 20 lakh rupees for the car and his liabilities are around 1.46 crore rupees which is the interest he has to pay towards his home loan and his car loan and to calculate the network you subtract the total liabilities from the total assets and if you do the math then tharon’s net worth is – 26 lakh rupees and on top of that i should also tell you that an apartment and a car is a depreciating asset because if you buy a car or an apartment today then what will be its value after 25 years or after 30 years or after 50 years so if the value of a particular asset you own increases with time then it’s an appreciating asset for example land is an appreciating asset a fundamentally strong value stock can be an appreciating asset because if you take asian paints for example asian paint stock has appreciated in value consistently every year from the past 20 years and if the value of an asset decreases with time then it’s a depreciating asset for example you buy a brand new car the moment you drive with that car out of the showroom the value of the car will drop by 30 and the more you use the car and the older the car gets its value reduces and depreciates accordingly and also if you consider an apartment where you only own the apartment not the land then in that case the older the building gets the more it depreciates because the construction quality will become weaker with every passing year so now coming back to tarun he might look rich to the society but in reality he is a drowning indent and that’s why tarun is a rich guy but not a wealthy guy remember when i said wealth is what you don’t see and when it comes to ronald read it is very true because his neighbors friends and even family didn’t know that ronald made so much of money and he is a actual millennial he lived a very simple and normal lifestyle he never had a luxury car or an expensive house but ronald was a wealthy guy because he had assets in the form of stocks which were hidden and secretly made him a millionaire so now the question arises what are the lessons we can learn from ronald james reed not just to become a successful investor but also in general to become financially successful
Minimalism is all about owning only what adds value and meaning to your life because if you see ronald only spent money on things which were important ronald was a janitor so it was not necessary for him to wear fancy clothes or drive a luxury car ronald was financially disciplined he only spent on things which were needed and ronald focused on actually becoming richer rather than just look rich and most importantly ronald didn’t wanted people to remember him for his rich lifestyle or for him being a millennial but rather he wanted people to remember him for all the charity he could do from this money rather than just blindly spending it and trying to look rich and impressing people he didn’t like.
2. Giving Back to the Society
When ronald died he gave two million dollars to his step children he donated 4.8 million dollars to the memorial hospital where he used to have his breakfast and he donated 1.2 million dollars to the brooks memorial library where he learned how to make investments which helped him become a Millionaire
This way ronald james reid a janitor a sweeper who was a secret millennia rather than wasting his money on fancy cars and luxury homes had a kind heart to give it back to the society and I personally think that was his secret to become so successful in the stock market because a stock market takes from those people who come to stock market to make quick and easy money and stock market gives back to them who are genuinely interested in understanding stock market finance and investing because ultimately it’s the passion that drives success in any field and in case of ronald reed he was never interested to make quick money which he could spend showing off a rich guy’s lifestyle but instead ronald was humble he invested in stock market not to make quick or easy money but instead he invested in stock market because he was genuinely interested in investment and finance and he went to library and genuinely studied about it and for ronald it was not the money but the game of stock market that interested him and that is the reason I personally feel ronald reed was so successful at stock market and i hope this inspiring story of ronald read has taught you that to become successful in stock market you don’t need a very high income or a professional degree to make a fortune.
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