How a Janitor Amassed an $8 Million Fortune

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Vermont janitor and gas station attendant Ronald Read died in 2014, but he is still teaching us that frugal living pays off -- sometimes in a huge way -- if you're a savvy and patient investor.

When one-time janitor and gas station attendant Ronald Read of Vermont passed away at age 92 in June 2014, he was hiding a big — and impressive — secret. Today, that secret is helping both a hospital and a library.

Somehow, Read used his modest salary to accumulate an $8 million fortune.

Last year, Read’s lawyer, Laurie Rowell, told Reuters that Read came from humble beginnings and lived a frugal life, cutting his own firewood, driving a secondhand car and unbeknownst to everyone — even his own family and friends — making smart investments. Rowell says:

“You’d never know the man was a millionaire. The last time he came here, he parked far away in a spot where there were no meters so he could save the coins.”

According to CNBC, Read graduated from high school before serving in North Africa, Italy and the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he settled back in Brattleboro, Vermont, married a woman with two children and worked as a gas station clerk and a janitor.

CNBC says Read’s smart spending and investing habits allowed him to amass an $8 million fortune. He owned 95 stocks when he died in 2014, some of which he had held for decades.

Read’s impressive secret was only revealed after he died and it was discovered that he generously had bequeathed $6 million of his fortune to his city’s library ($1.2 million) and hospital ($4.8 million).

CNBC says Brattleboro Memorial Hospital is using the bulk of the money to improve and modernize its infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Brooks Memorial Library followed in Read’s footsteps, choosing to invest most of the donated funds so “it will continue to pay dividends and support us down the road,” explains library Director Starr LaTronica.

What do you think of Read’s impressive fortune? Are you trying to amass a similar amount of wealth? Sound off below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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