Category Archives: PEOPLE

Domino’s boss scores massive multi million $$$$ pay day from cheap pizza

AUSTRALIA’S best-paid CEO has made his fortune selling pizza, it has been revealed.

A new report by the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI) named Domino’s Pizza boss Don Meij as the country’s highest-earning CEO, after he took home a whopping $36.84 million last year.

The pizza boss made his dough after he exercised options to acquire shares worth $35.7 million.

Don Meij beat out Westfield’s Peter and Steven Lowy, who made a combined $25.9 million in 2017, and Macquarie’s Nicholas Moore, on $25.19 million, for the top spot.

After the news broke, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the pay packets of our company chief executives were “extraordinarily high”.

“As someone who most of his life has worked in businesses that I’ve only owned or been a partner in, I find the amount, the pay rates for people working as an employee for a lot of big public-listed companies extraordinarily high,” Mr Turnbull told 3AW radio on Tuesday.

He said Mr Meij’s salary “seems like a hell of a lot”.

“They’d have to be extremely productive,” he added.

The new figures reveal Aussie CEO’s are enjoying the fattest pay packets in 17 years.

ASCI chief executive Louise Davidson told the ABC the results showed CEO’s were not with it.

“At a time when public trust in business is at a low ebb and wages growth is weak, board decisions to pay large bonuses just for hitting budget targets rather than exceptional performance are especially tone deaf,” Ms Davidson said.

According to the survey, median-realised pay for ASX 100 chief executives rose 12.4 per cent to $4.36 million while bonus payments rocketed by more than 18 per cent.

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Henry Sapiecha

How this woman woke up with $25m in her bank

 

Clare Wainwright found $25 million accidentally transferred into her bank account

SYDNEY woman Clare Wainwright woke up to find herself $24.5 million richer and her mortgage paid off.

The lawyer first discovered the millions in her account on October 25.

Clare Wainwright found $25 million accidentally transferred into her bank account. Picture: Facebook

In September, NAB sent a letter confirming a direct debit for loan repayments had been set up.

The letter said Ms Wainwright’s monthly repayments would be $25,102,107 – not $2500 – with the next repayment due on October 25.

Her bank NAB first requested $25.1 million from her bank, St George Bank, who then transferred the substantial figure, heavily overdrawing Ms Wainwright’s account.

Despite both banks being contacted about the error, the money is still in Ms Wainwright’s account.

“When NAB accidentally pays out your entire mortgage, and gives you an extra $24.5mil to redraw … do I skip the country??” she jokingly wrote on Facebook.

Ms Wainwright told Fairfax Media that she had not been tempted to spend the millions.

“I’m a lawyer, which is why I haven’t spent the money,” she said. “Mostly because I figured it wouldn’t play out that well trying to play dumb on that.”

Clare Wainwright said she has resisted spending the $25 million.

“I saw it and I thought ‘Oh my gosh, it’s 25 mil’ and I laughed,” she said. “I showed my broker and he said ‘Oh god, I’ll get them to fix it’.”

NAB told her broker that they would be in touch within three business days.

“They obviously don’t understand I could just skip the country,” she said.

Asked how she would spend $25 million, Ms Wainwright said: “Well, if I was allowed to use it, I’d pay off my mortgage and buy another place. Or an island.”

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Henry Sapiecha

Mystery Queenslander wins the complete $40M Oz Lotto jackpot!

UPDATE @ 11.15am: The hunt is on for the winner of last night’s entire $40 million Oz Lotto jackpot prize, with Golden Casket narrowing the search to the tropical Far North Queensland city of Cairns.

Earlier this morning Golden Casket revealed a Queensland entry had won the humungous Oz Lotto prize but with still no sign of the mystery winner, the selling city has now been revealed.

The entry, purchased at a Cairns Golden Casket outlet, was not registered to a Winners Circle Card so the identity of the new multi-millionaire remains a mystery.

Golden Casket is urging all Cairns residents and visitors who purchased a ticket in last night’s Oz Lotto draw to check their tickets.

EARLIER @ 8.30am: One Queenslander won the entire $40 million Oz Lotto jackpot last night, however the identity of the new multi-millionaire remains a mystery as the entry was unregistered.

The Queensland entry was the only division one winner, in what was the third highest Australian lottery jackpot of the year.

Queenslanders who purchased a ticket in the draw are being urged to check their tickets immediately.

Golden Casket spokesperson Matt Hart said he was eagerly waiting for Australia’s newest multi-millionaire to make contact and start the prize claim process.

“With $40 million up for grabs, last night’s Oz Lotto draw was one of the most hotly anticipated draws of the year and one Queensland player won it all!” he said.

“We can’t wait to confirm the humongous prize with our mystery winner! Just imagine how $40 million might change your life and the lives of your nearest and dearest.

“There are 40 million reasons why all Queensland players who had an entry in last night’s draw should check their ticket this morning.

“If you discover you’re holding the division one winning entry, hold on tight to that ticket and phone 131 868 as soon as possible so that we can start the prize claim process!”

We are on the hunt for x1 $40 Million unregistered QLD

Henry Sapiecha

Crystal Car Wash boss Anthony Sahade in a lather over council fine

Crystal Carwash boss Anthony Sahade is used to courtroom soap operas.

Mr Sahade, a Point Piper millionaire who has been in and out of Sydney courts for years over neighbourhood disputes on Australia’s wealthiest street, has most recently been in a lather about a fine from Randwick Council..He was expanding his wash facilites to cater for dogs

The council found an unauthorised dog washing set-up, including a basin and a fence, had been installed at a Crystal Car Wash site in Coogee in March 2015, and ordered its removal.

Mr Sahade then sought and was granted council approval for the dog grooming facility, and refused to pay a $1500 fine for the initial unapproved installation.

The matter went to court and his company Lenjade was convicted and fined $12,000, with $8000 legal costs.

Mr Sahade appealed the decision and last week the Land and Environment Court acquitted Lenjade, ruling there was not enough evidence to prove Mr Sahade directly authorised the development.

During the hearings, Mr Sahade likened managing franchisees to fatherhood.

“I tell my son, ‘You have to be home by 10 o’clock’ but he comes home at 11 o’clock and he uses his discretion and he’s sensible then it’s not a punishable sin. It’s no different to the franchisee having a go at putting a dog wash in to enhance his business,” Mr Sahade said.

“Even though it’s prohibited within the lease it’s not something that’s worth punishing him [for] because he’s doing what’s best for his business and what’s best for his business ultimately profits the whole Crystal Carwash chain.”

It is the latest in a string of legal proceedings involving Mr Sahade.

In 2014, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal ordered Mr Sahade and his son Victor not to “threaten or act in an aggressive manner” towards their neighbours on a battleaxe block on Wolseley Road.

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Senior member Richard Buckley said that, since May 2005, Mr Sahade’s conduct had been “characterised by a lack of civility, arrogance, threatening behaviour, a disdain for the rights of other lot owners and a disregard for the obligations imposed” by strata laws.

The same year, the Federal Court fined Crystal Carwash for underpaying workers by almost $180,000.

In 2012, Woollahra Council took Mr Sahade to court over a staircase at his mansion, which was built without permission.

Two months later, as Mr Sahade and a carpenter demolished the steps, a physical fight broke out with a neighbour.

CCTV footage of the fight captured Mr Sahade telling the neighbour: “You’re a goner”, various courts heard.

A magistrate dismissed assault charges against the car wash boss.

Henry Sapiecha

‘Stop buying $4 coffees’ & feel ‘Poor Me’ if you want success says young rich lister

A YOUNG rich lister who made his fortune off the back of Australia’s capital city property boom says his generation needs to stop buying $4 coffees and travelling if they want to own a home.

Developer Tim Gurner, 35, is worth nearly half a billion dollars but has delivered a brutal smackdown to some would-be first home buyers struggling to get a toehold in the market.

“When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each,” he told 60 Minutes in a segment exploring Australia’s housing affordability crisis.

“You have to start to get realistic about your expectations. There is no question we are at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high.

“They want to eat out every day, they want to travel to Europe every year. This generation is watching the Kardashians and thinking that’s normal. Thinking that owning a Bentley is normal, that owning a BMW is normal.

Property developer Tim Gurner made his fortune riding the property boom.News Corp Australia

Mr Gurner, who ranked 157 on this year’s Financial Review Rich List after making $473 million in 10 years He started out by>>>>…MORE

Henry Sapiecha

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Ever heard of the Australian Rae family? They just reaped in over $300m

It is one of the richest families in the country, and now the low-profile Rae family of Perth has pocketed more than $300 million from the sale of its New Zealand fuel retailing business to Caltex Australia.

In 2010, the family sold its Gull petrol retailing operations in Western Australia for an estimated $500 million

gull-founder-fred-rae-with-then-new-zealand-prime-minister-helen-clark-in-2007-image-www-money-au-com

Now it has offloaded its Kiwi interests, Gull New Zealand, for $NZ340 million ($324 million) to Caltex Australia.

A few years after the sale of the WA operations in 2010, the Rae family’s fortune was estimated by The West Australian newspaper at $392 million, which has been pumped up significantly with Thursday’s sale.

The family moved into petrol retailing in the 1970s after Gull’s founder, Fred Rae, had spent time working in both the house building game as well as building grain silos.

It built its stake in the fiercely competitive fuel industry by sticking to a low-cost strategy, which in New Zealand has seen it rolling out unmanned petrol stations, helping it carve out a handy 5% share of the market from the majors.

the-rae-family-has-offloaded-its-kiwi-interests-gull-new-zealand-for-nz340-million-324-million-to-caltex-australia-photo-gull-image-www-money-au-com

Gull New Zealand is an independent fuel importer and distributor, which brings with it a fuel import terminal at Mount Maunganui, on the north island, and the company’s petrol stations and retail outlets.

Caltex has established a large fuel import centre at the recently closed Kurnell refinery site in Sydney, while also establishing a buying and trading arm in Singapore to supply its Australian operations.

The New Zealand acquisition “optimises Caltex’s infrastructure position, builds trading and shipping capability, grows the supply base and enhances Caltex’s retail fuel offering through low-risk entry into a new market”, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

It was acquiring the company on a multiple of 8.2 times the forecast earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation for 2017, it said, which will decline to around 7.5 times taking annualised synergies into account. The acquisition is expected to increase earnings per share from the first full year of ownership.

Gull operates 77 retail sites in total, of which it controls 55 sites. Around a third of those are unmanned. It also operates a further 22 supply sites. The company sells about 300 million litres of transport fuel annually.

The Mount Maunganui terminal is the largest facility of its type in New Zealand, with total storage of about 90 million litres. Its retail network is concentrated in the northern half of the north island of New Zealand, and “is well placed to profitably grow via new to industry and/or new supply site expansions”, Caltex said.

Caltex would retain Gull’s brand, management and employees, it said.

Gull has a reputation for being a low-priced market competitor by operating a large number of unmanned outlets with payment by Eftpos or credit card, with no retail outlet. Its outlets are concentrated near its import terminal, with negotiations in the past with rival importers to acquire competitively priced wholesale product blocked when it has sought to expand onto New Zealand’s south island.

The bulk of the country’s population is located on the north island, with Christchurch the largest city on the south island.

The purchase by Caltex follows a period of upheaval in the New Zealand market following the exodus of US group Chevron, which operated the Caltex brand in New Zealand. This was bought for $NZ785 million ($750 million) by Z Energy, which now has close to 50 per cent of the local market.

Ratings agency Standard and Poors said the purchase “will enhance Caltex’s regional supply base, adding scale to its trading and shipping activities”.

“We view New Zealand as being a low risk market for expansion of retail fuel assets,” it said.

 

Samantha Wills- Australian jewellery designer took over 10 years to become an overnight success

Australian Jewellery designer Samantha Wills went from a Byron Bay NSW flea  market stall to becoming an international exporter. Here is her story

Australia’s global jewellery tycoon

Samantha Wills grew up in small town NSW and now controls a global empire of jewellery from New York.

Think of women who have risen to the top of Australian entrepreneurship and the list gets thin fast.

Ever rarer is a woman who has succeeded with her own name as the brand, who has become a celebrity herself in the process.

Samantha Wills, who grew up in Port Macquarie and now lives in New York, is a tycoon of her time.

Samantha Wills' jewellery is now stocked in 80 countries image www.money-au.com

Samantha Wills’ jewellery is now stocked in 80 countries. Photo: James Alcock

Personable, open and yet at also guarded and private, the 34-year-old businesswoman appears to effortlessly blend an air of celebrity with social media fanaticism and a unique product.
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But she says success has been a hard slog and she wants the many young women who worship her to know just how difficult it’s been.

“I think millennials are a generation of ‘slashies’. They’re a DJ/entrepreneur/fashion designer. With all those slashes between your job titles, you lose depth and integrity,” she says.

“Narrow down what you want to be good at, then focus on that. It might not work for the first six months or the first 18 months but it took me 12 years to become an overnight success.”

While she doesn’t go into gruesome detail, Wills was clear that growing a business took a hit on her personal life.

“I think the downside of having success was that when my friends were going off and having a good time, my business was in its infancy so I couldn’t have those normal early 20s experiences.”

samantha wills relaxes on beach image www.money-au.com

Early days

Wills started her company at the of age 21 after moving to Sydney.

“I was working in retail during the day and making jewellery at night to sell at the market. A friend offered me a spot at Australian Fashion Week which would cost $500. I though I would possibly make enough to cover the cost of the stall, but I ended up writing $18,000 of orders that day. I quit my job the next day.”

Now Wills is turning over $10 million annually and is stocked in eighty countries around the world. She has offices in Japan, Korea, Europe, the US and Australia.

Wills credits much of her success to her business partner Geoff Bainbridge who was able to commercialise back-end production and helped launch her to into foreign markets.’

samantha wills in new york fashion week image www.money-au.com

 

[2012] Presenting our bespoke couture pieces, in New York City, for Fashion Week 2012. – SWx #BelieveBig – LAUNCHING JUNE 12th, 2016

Celebrity sights

“Naively, when I first went to the US in 2010, I thought I was going over with a successful Australian brand and that would be enough. You think you can replicate that over there and it’s not the case,” says Wills.

“You need a much more refined offer. You need to know who your business competitors are and your media competitors. We ended up doing 18 months of research about the US before we moved our first order.”

The orders started coming thick and fast once actress Eva Mendes was snapped on a red carpet wearing Wills’ Bohemian Bardot ring. Wills’ jewellery has also been worn by Katy Perry, Miranda Kerr, Lady Gaga, Kate Bosworth, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Lopez.

“That ring Eva wore continues to be our best seller and we’ve made it now in 150 colours. It kind of became our signature piece.”

Samantha Wills trys out earrings image www.money-au.com

Sometimes (and only sometimes…) the @samanthawillsofficial PR Department, let’s me play with upcoming collections…. These are definitely my lust haves; the ‘Spanish Moss Grande’ earrings, in Amethyst + Rose Gold… Just added to the Waiting List at samanthawills.com (Which I’ll too be joining, because they won’t let me keep them). -SWx #SamanthaWills #SamanthaWillsOfficial ? @alimitton | ?? @stojb

Small-town Australian

Wills has recently signed to be an ambassador for Optus’ Believe Big campaign targeting small businesses.

“We filmed a campaign flashing back to 2004 through to my life now. I really want people to know the struggles and hurdles of funding success.”

While Wills credits her naivety for much of the company’s strengths, she sometimes regrets the decision to get going without any formal business training.

“Every day I wish I’d studied business or management. But, I learn as I go. I might have learned the harder way on the job.”

Asked why a New Yorker is the right person for this campaign, Wills says she still considers herself not just Australian but a “small-town” Australian.

“I still go to Port Macquarie five to six times a year because my family live there. We stock the range at one shop in Port Macquarie and every time I notice the town is really growing and evolving very quickly.”

DDD

Henry Sapiecha

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Shopkins success: Toy retailer Manny Stul wins EY global entrepreneurship award

Australian toymaker named best entrepeneur

Melbourne-based billionaire Manny Stul’s Shopkins success see him awarded EY’s World Entrepreneur of the Year title in Monaco.

Most Australian parents probably haven’t heard of Manny Stul, but they will know about his Shopkins.

Stul’s family-owned toy company, Moose Enterprise turned over $600 million last year and continues to carve out a global marketplace for its products, with its YouTube-friendly Shopkins range of dolls beating heavyweights like Barbie and Bratz.

The Melbourne-based toy maker beat 55 contestants to win the Ernst and Young World Entrepreneur of the Year title in Monaco at the weekend – the first time an Australian has won this award

Shopkins King Manny Stul celebrates his win at the EY World Entrepreneur awards ceremony in Monaco image www.money-au.com

Shopkins King’: Manny Stul celebrates his win at the EY World Entrepreneur awards ceremony in Monaco.

The global title comes after Stul, 67, won EY’s Australian Entrepreneur of the Year. Last month the BRW Rich listed put Stul and his family’s wealth at $1.24 billion.

The accolades come despite a huge setback in 2007, when a craft bead produced by Moose had to be recalled because it was found to contain a chemical that turns into party drug “GHB” in the human body.

Judges noted the disaster in their comments.

Young-children-have-been-swept-up-in-the-Shopkins-craze image www.money-au.com

Young children have been swept up in the Shopkins craze.

“Manny was our choice, not only due to his impressive growth, but also because the business he has nurtured has shown sustained global success. His mettle was tested when Moose faced a product recall that would have overcome less resilient and well-managed businesses,” said chair of the judging panel Rebecca MacDonald.

What are Shopkins?

For the uninitiated, Shopkins is a range of miniature toy characters fashioned on typically mundane items found in a supermarket.

What are Shopkins?

For the uninitiated, Shopkins is a range of miniature toy characters fashioned on typically mundane items found in a supermarket.

Shopkins have taken off worldwide.image www.money-au.com

The brightly coloured figurines are no more than three centimetres tall. Kids can collect, share and trade the figurines, which have unique faces and names. For example, there is a chocolate chip biscuit named Kooky Cookie, a candy bar named Cheeky Chocolate and an apple named Apple Blossom. They are sold with tiny plastic shopping bags and baskets, ready to be filled, much to the delight of parents worldwide.

A Shopkins 12 pack typically retails for $13 in Australian stores, while Shopkins Donatina’s Donut Delights sells for $29 and a Shopkins Collector’s Case costs $20.

Most Australian parents know Shopkins image www.money-au.com

Most Australian parents know Shopkins.

Stul has helmed the company for sixteen years, but credits innovation for the company’s success.

Movie move

Stul revealed his company would be releasing a movie based on one its products in October.

“Our next big move will be into entertainment and our next big move will be into licensing,” he said.

Stul claims Moose’s success in the US market is due to “cutting edge marketing”. Moose is the fifth biggest toy advertiser on American TV, he claims.

“We were the disrupter, and so there are people chasing us to where they perceive us to be,” he said.

“But we’ve moved way beyond that already.”

One-man band

Sixteen years ago, when Stul began his reign as CEO, he learned the nuts and bolts.

“I did everything myself, which was a very fortunate thing. Distribution, warehousing, finance, selling.

“I did all my own selling and packing for the first three years,” he said.

Now Moose currently employs around 50 people in Melbourne and 100 in China.

Stul credits his father, a cabinet maker, for teaching him how to handle staff.

“Everyone should learn this lesson”, he said.

“Whatever you pay a bad person is too much and whatever you pay a good person is not enough.”

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Henry Sapiecha

Atlassian: the Australian millionaire factory. Story in videos & pics.

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Atlassian surges in debut

Shares of Australian business software maker Atlassian soar in their Nasdaq debut.

They’re known as the “Royals” and “the chosen ones” — the select few invited to be in New York on Thursday morning to ring the bells celebrating the opening of the stock exchange and Australian tech darling Atlassian’s massive IPO.

About 40 Atlassian employees — many of whom were hand-picked by co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar in the company’s early years — celebrated overnight as they became multi-millionaires and Atlassian became a company with a market cap of $US5.74 billion ($7.9 billion).

Atlassian, a leading provider of collaboration software for teams with products, opened for trading on The Nasdaq Stock Market image www.money-au.com

Atlassian, a leading provider of collaboration software for teams with products, opened for trading on The Nasdaq Stock Market on December 10, 2015. Photo: Christopher Galluzzo

By the end of Thursday’s trading in the US, however, more than just those 40 became millionaires. Former Atlassian employees say more than 100 staff are now either millionaires or multi-millionaires.

It’s also understood the shares of a number of staff who joined in recent years are now worth six figures.

“There are going to be a hundred people who are going to be millionaires today — at least on paper,” a former Atlassian employee, who didn’t wish to be named, told Fairfax Media.

Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar (right) and Mike Cannon-Brookes image www.money-au.com

Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar (right) and Mike Cannon-Brookes. Photo: Trevor Collens

They added that the Royals had been “going out on lavish dinners and celebrations” while in New York in recent days and were already discussing how they should splurge their cash, and whether it should be on luxury cars.

Many are also considering investing their money in Australian start-ups, or starting their own.

“Mike and Scott’s legacy will be beyond Atlassian,” the former Atlassian employee said. “They want to make billionaires in Australia that are going to invest in Australian companies — the next wave of start-ups

Those likely to make the most from the IPO are those who joined between 2002, when the company started, and 2008. That’s when Atlassian offered employees the chance to buy shares at a much lower price than $US27, the price shares were trading for on Thursday as the market closed. For employees who were offered — and purchased — shares at 50 cents several years ago, their stake is now 5300 per cent more valuable.

While some employees chose to hedge their bets and sell some of their shares last year for $US16 to T. Rowe Price and Dragoneer Investment Capital in a financing round, many are understood to have held on to most of them.

When Atlassian received that financing, which valued the company at $US3.3 billion, Mr Cannon-Brookes declined to specify how many millionaires his company had made at the time, but said it was “not double digit”.

“That number [of millionaires] blew both Scott and I away,” Mr Cannon-Brookes said at the time to The Australian.

“That was probably the biggest achievement to come out of this [new investment] and [something] we hadn’t thought about.”

There’s never been a more exciting time to be an Australian — as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull would say — or, in this case, to be an Atlassian employee.

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Henry Sapiecha

The remarkable life and lessons of the millionaire janitor . Lesson in frugality for us all.

stock exchange watching image www.money-au.net

Ronald Read quietly accumulated a fortune worth millions by the time of his death at the age of 92. Photo: Bloomberg

You may have read about the remarkable life and times of Ronald Read. He was the gas station attendant and lifelong resident of Windham County, Vermont, who had quietly accumulated a portfolio worth a fortune.

As the Brattleboro ­Reformer reported earlier this year, Read died in June 2014 at age 92. Despite his relatively modest wages, he left an estate with “stock holdings and property” valued at nearly $US8 million ($AU10.1 million). His bequest was to leave most of it to the Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and Brooks Memorial Library.

His close friends and family were shocked when they learned the value of his estate.

There is wisdom to be learned from Read’s investing and life experiences. How a man of modest means accumulated so much wealth contains exemplary lessons for saving that apply to all of us. But there is also a cautionary tale about recognising the value of your finite time here on Earth. Perhaps learning to enjoy life while you can is part of that equation.

What do we know of Read? He served in World War II, seeing action in North Africa, Italy and the Pacific theatre. The local paper reported that when the war ended, he returned to Brattleboro. For the next 25 years, he worked at Haviland’s service station, which the Wall Street Journal reported was owned by his brother. He apparently did not enjoy retirement much, choosing instead to “retire from retirement” to work as a janitor at a J.C. Penney store until 1997. He was extremely frugal, saving money, avoiding waste and eschewing even modest luxuries.

What follows are the lessons from the remarkable Read.

The good

Not an active trader: Read had remarkable patience. When he died, he had a “five-inch-thick stack of stock certificates in a safe-deposit box.”

The key word is “certificates.” Keeping his holdings in cert form meant that any time he wanted to sell them, a laborious process was involved. He had to drive to the bank, remove the physical paper certificates from his safety deposit box, then drive over to the office where his brokerage account was. Only then was a sale possible.

Compare that with launching an app on your phone, then a quick finger swipe. Trading in the modern era is too cheap and too easy for our own good.

Time was on his side: Many of the stocks he owned he had held onto for decades, the Journal reported. To do so required a great degree of patience. It also helped to live to be 92 years old.

That patience allowed the power of compounding to work to his advantage. His gains grew on top of earlier gains, over decades.

Most investors don’t take advantage of time. They start saving seriously too late in life, they are not at all patient, and they don’t allow the years to work in their favour.

Dividend stocks do well; reinvesting the dividends does even better:

Read typically bought shares of companies that paid out regular dividends. He owned railroads, utility companies, banks, health care, telecom and consumer products. Those dividend cheques were then reinvested back into more shares of the same companies.

The reinvested dividends allowed him to keep making regular purchases over time. Read was not an active trader — he was an active buyer. There is a very big difference.

Avoid speculating; own blue chips: What did he buy? He owned 95 stocks, with many blue chips among them: Procter & Gamble, JPMorgan Chase, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Dow Chemical. He also owned consumer names such as J.M. Smucker and CVS Health. Like an investor named Warren Buffett, he avoided technology stocks and the hot stocks of the moment.

He did not own a concentrated portfolio; instead, he had a diversified portfolio with lots of companies in many sectors. This diversification allowed him to spread the risk broadly. Even owning failures such as Lehman Brothers had only a modest impact on his returns.

Charity avoids the tax man: The estate-tax exemption in 2014 was $US5.34 million ($AU6.78 million), or $US10.68 million ($AU13.58 million) for a married couple. Since Read was a widower, his $US8 million estate ($AU10.1 million) was not subject to federal estate tax.

But any size estate can do what he did, regardless of whether it is $US80 million ($AU101.7 million) or $US8 billion ($AU10 billion). Simply giving the money away to a qualified charity beats the IRS.

There is an estate tax in Vermont, and it ranges from 0.8 per cent to 16 per cent. But there is no gift tax in the state, and that means Read’s bequest to the local library and hospital passed unmolested to their intended beneficiaries.

Consider a revocable trust: Depending upon the circumstances (and the portfolio), some investors might want to take advantage of a revocable trust. Also called living trusts, they are an easy way to avoid probate. Heirs avoid a lengthy court process; assets transfer after the original holder dies.

In the case of Read, the process appears to have been rather painless. It took less than a year after his passing to get to his intended beneficiaries. Vermont is better than many states; your heirs may not be quite so fortunate, especially if you live in larger states with more complex laws. By many accounts, California is among the worst for beneficiaries; a three-way tie for next-most difficult is between New York, Florida and Illinois.

A revocable trust will cost you some dollars in legal fees to set up, but your heirs will thank you.

The bad

Certificates are a pain in the neck: As the Total Return blog pointed out, Read was lucky in that the certificates were all current and up to date. “That doesn’t always happen.” It can be a challenge to determine “all of the income-tax return info via dividends over the year.” Stocks that are not in physical form or in an account can be difficult or time consuming to trace. Certificates that are in electronic form and consolidated with an adviser or broker can save heirs lots of headaches later on.

Money is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself: Read might have benefited from reading one of the very first columns I wrote for The Washington Post back in 2011: “7 life lessons from the very wealthy.” That column discussed the insights about investments and experiences with wealth.

Among them were some specifics that Read might have enjoyed. Perhaps he could have given away his money while he was still alive. That might have provided some joy to him, seeing the effect of his legacy.

Understanding the value of your time was another. Of course, money has value, but so too does your time. One can wonder if we are using our limited time on Earth in a way that brings us additional life satisfaction. It’s a trade-off we all make.

The Washington Post

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Henry Sapiecha