Let me tell you a story.

It’s a story about a man named Ronald Read. He lived a long life in Vermont, USA and was the attendant at a local petrol station owned by his brother in Windham County. He lived a simple life but was a hard worker. He served in WWII, he worked at his brother’s service station for 25 years, retired after that but decided he’d rather work, so he ended up working as a janitor at a department store. When he died at the age of 92 in 2014, he had made enough to leave an estate with stock holdings and property valued at nearly $10 million Australian dollars!

What was his secret? He saved and saved and saved some more.

Saving and Investment

There are lessons to be learned from the late Ronald Read. He was known by his friends and family as being extremely frugal; most of his life involved saving money and avoiding waste and modest luxuries. He made smart investments and kept stock certificates in a safe deposit box and only touched them when he desperately needed them. And he was also an extremely patient man, which is a beneficial trait to have in the game of investment and trading. So here are a few lessons that we can derive from Ronald Read:

Be patient – Read held onto the stocks that he owned for decades. Holding onto the stocks for a long period of time helped him compound his gains over years and years of waiting patiently. Some investors only start saving and investing later in their lives. Some are not as patient either so they don’t accumulate many gains. Time should be taken advantage of when it comes to saving and investing.

Try your hand at blue chips – Read owned 95 stocks that consisted of many blue chips among them  like Johnson & Johnson, JPMorgan Chase and General Electric. He avoided technology stocks and trending stocks. Like Read, you can try your hand at owning stocks in many different companies in many different sectors. When your stocks are spread out, the risk is lessened so failed stocks will only have small impacts on returns.

Dividend stocks – Most of the company shares that Read bought paid out regular dividends. What he did with those dividends was remarkable. He used the dividend cheques he received from those companies to reinvest into more shares of the same companies. With those reinvested dividends, he was able to make regular purchases over time. This was a smart move.

These are the main life lessons I have derived from Ronald Read’s life. He made smart choices regarding saving and investing in shares and stocks. If you’re unsure of where to invest or even where to start, the best way to begin is saving what you have. If you have any outstanding debts you need to take care of, it’s best to deal with them while saving little by little. The trick is to avoid waste. For any financial advice on dealing with debts, consult with Australian Debt Agreements and they can help you find your way out of debt.