Most people know that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are among the richest people in America. Do they have common characteristics that one could copy in order to become as rich as they are? Bill Gates has a family with 2 children and, as most people know, is the founder of Microsoft. Warren Buffet who is married with 3 children is the founder of Berkshire Hathaway. Bill is unusual in that he is a college drop-out. But there is something that ties them together which explains the method by which they became so fabulously wealthy. They founded their own companies and then kept growing those companies until they became fabulous successes in the business world. Bill started to grow his company out of a garage and Warren was a master salesman by the age of 10.
It is true that one can build on inherited wealth and increase that inherited wealth (or old money) but the classic way to build wealth from scratch in this country and around the world is to find a need, establish a company to fulfill that need and then grow that company as far as you can.
While my family was not among the top ten rich families in America, our wealth was built on old money which was then invested wisely over the years. One of the paradoxes of being on a list of the ten richest families is that there is always the possibility that the riches will disappear over time, or from a disaster, such as we have seen recently in the stock market. There is an old saying, “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” and this refers to the fact that the richest families in one generation may not be on the top list two generations later.
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