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Thread: Who became Millionaires During the Depression and How Did They Do It?

  1. #1

    Default Who became Millionaires During the Depression and How Did They Do It?

    Someone posted a thread earlier about the top ten most successful businesses during the Great Depression. Someone else pointed out that most of these businesses benefited mainly from WWII, part of the Military Industrial Complex, etc.

    My question is besides investing heavily in the Military Industrial Complex, who became millionaires in the 1930s and how did they do it? In other words who went from rags to riches during this period? I'm sure some (maybe most if not all?) of the millionaires held gold during this period.
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    Good question, I would like to know too.

    The next few years will turn quite a few astute investors into millionaires. There is always big money to be made in hard times if you know what you're doing.

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    My parents told me that a lot of people made a great deal of money by having money saved and then buying up property for cents on the dollar. This time is different though, because our dollar may be worthless. Also, it's questionable whether we really own the property we buy.
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    I think the Kennedys did.

  7. #6

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    Is there a way to do it with honor tho? is what we want to know.

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    Not sure how old you all are -- the ads in the back of comic books for joy buzzers, snakes in cans, bugs in ice cubes etc made this guy a fortune during the depression:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soren_Sorensen_Adams

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyjade3 View Post
    Is there a way to do it with honor tho? is what we want to know.
    In capitalism the honorable are usually crushed by the greedy. Average income in the 1930's was about $1400 a year so to become a millionaire you had to amass 700 times what the average person made. If you were honorable and cared about your fellow man, how could you get that while 25% of people didn't even have a job? Who could you get your million from?
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    Cheap crap to cheer people up!
    But it was pre-Walmart then. Pre-China cheap crap too.
    Hopefully people will transcend cheap crap.
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  11. #10

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    it comes down to...can you pay your property taxes? if so...good...if not....you lose.....

  12. #11

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    So the gist of this thread is... sell whoopie cushions or insinuate yourself into the military industrial complex. ??? C'mon. We're more creative than that.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    In capitalism the honorable are usually crushed by the greedy. Average income in the 1930's was about $1400 a year so to become a millionaire you had to amass 700 times what the average person made. If you were honorable and cared about your fellow man, how could you get that while 25% of people didn't even have a job? Who could you get your million from?
    We don't need a million. We just want to thrive a little. Do a little better than scraping by. OK so in hyperinflation, that's several trillion. whatever... This isn't about numbers of pieces of paper, its about doing a little better than survival. Including black market stuff, which will eventually include (in addition to toilets and drugs) healthcare, education products, various services like plumbing and HVAC repair outside the regulatory structure, etc.... I'm guessing things that your immediate neighbors might need and be willing to pay or barter for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by axiomata View Post
    Being a lawyer and putting together a $40,000 investment in the twenties is not going from rags to riches.

    40k was quite a bit of money back then. A house was probably around 1k. I'm talking about people who maybe owned their own farm and had a family.

    How did they not only "make it" but how did they get ahead?

    Same goes for the Kennedys. Joseph Kennedy was old pals with FDR. I'm not talking about elites with powerful connections. I'm asking how did average Americans become wealthy during this period?
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    Sir John Templeton -

    Templeton became a billionaire by pioneering the use of globally diversified mutual funds. His Templeton Growth, Ltd. (investment fund), established in 1954, was among the first who invested in Japan in the middle of the 1960s.

    He is noted for buying 100 shares of each company trading for less than $1 a share in 1939 and making many times the money back in a 4 year period.

    In 2006 he was listed in a 7-way tie for 129th place on the Sunday Times Rich List. He rejected technical analysis for stock trading, preferring instead to use fundamental analysis. Money magazine in 1999 called him "arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century”. He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1968, thus avoiding U.S. income taxes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Templeton

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChooseLiberty View Post
    Sir John Templeton -

    Templeton became a billionaire by pioneering the use of globally diversified mutual funds. His Templeton Growth, Ltd. (investment fund), established in 1954, was among the first who invested in Japan in the middle of the 1960s.

    He is noted for buying 100 shares of each company trading for less than $1 a share in 1939 and making many times the money back in a 4 year period.

    In 2006 he was listed in a 7-way tie for 129th place on the Sunday Times Rich List. He rejected technical analysis for stock trading, preferring instead to use fundamental analysis. Money magazine in 1999 called him "arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century”. He renounced his U.S. citizenship in 1968, thus avoiding U.S. income taxes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Templeton
    This is probably a better example, but still he graduated top in his class at Yale, and was in a major fraternity there. His main reason for getting rich was just buying a bunch of cheap stocks.

    There's got to be a story of someone who was just a regular guy, not top of his class, not already having a lot of money, but someone who just became wealthy through hard honest work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmericasLastHope View Post
    This is probably a better example, but still he graduated top in his class at Yale, and was in a major fraternity there. His main reason for getting rich was just buying a bunch of cheap stocks.

    There's got to be a story of someone who was just a regular guy, not top of his class, not already having a lot of money, but someone who just became wealthy through hard honest work.
    Once the government controls come in to effect there is NO LEGAL WAY for a small player to rise through the ranks and make it to the big time - because the big players are the ones who put the rules forth to the government to control competition.

    As someone in the thread noted - Al Capone was able to make it big. Because he didn't have entrenched businesses using the government to keep him out of business he was able to grow his own operations. In Fact, he made money mostly by exploiting the regulations of the government on the black market - without the extreme government regulation there would have been 1000 regular honest people making 10 times what Capone made, but with it we get a few criminals that are able to put together a small fortune.
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  19. #18

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    Check out how the Mafia did in the 30's. You may find some clues there.

  20. #19

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    just a guess, but the banksters who caused the depression and bought all the assets
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  21. #20

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    As someone already mentioned, the folks who actually had some savings going into the depression were able to scoop up good land and other assets extremely cheap. If they held on long enough, those folks made out very well.

    As it is now, this recession is nowhere near the price depression spiral that was seen during the depression. It would have to get pretty ugly from here to find the kind of bargains that were around then.

  22. #21

    Default I'll take the "booze" business

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyjade3 View Post
    So the gist of this thread is... sell whoopie cushions or insinuate yourself into the military industrial complex. ??? C'mon. We're more creative than that.
    Unregulated, Untaxed and popular during a depression. Not sure if it qualifies as "honorable" though. At any rate those who can produce goods people need or want desperately at a good price can do quite well. The revenuers usually lose their clout during a depression.

  23. #22

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    I think we will need a new financial revolution after this depression. The old investment way won't work anymore.

    Good bye to the old investment bank styles. Some new style will come from this, but what I don't know.
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  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by canadian4ronpaul View Post
    just a guess, but the banksters who caused the depression and bought all the assets
    That's how it works, crush 'em to bankruptcy, pick up their valuable assets for a few pennies on the dollar during liquidation or just flat out steal them, repeat.
    Last edited by Truth Warrior; 03-05-2009 at 03:47 AM.





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