Friday, April 2, 2010

"Bum" hides small Fortune

If you haven't heard or read this over the last couple of days it is a classic.

The not so typical " rich bum" scenario which we sometimes hear of :

He was a common sight on the streets of the Swedish coastal town where he was dismissed as little more than a bad-smelling eccentric.

But unbeknown to them, Curt Degerman was a financial genius who used the money he earned from collecting scrap metal from rubbish bins to trade on the international markets.

Now 18 months after his death, his relatives are fighting a legal battle over a secret £1 million estate he amassed by investing in stocks and shares.

For forty years he spent his days touring the bins on an old bicycle stuffing the containers he collected into bags tied between the handlebars.

But after he died of a heart attack aged 60, it emerged that through shrewd investment he had turned the modest deposits earned from returning the empty cans into a fortune estimated at more than £1.1 million. Read more here.

The particular fascination in this story for me was of course the parlaying of comparatively insignificant sums of money made from selling scrap metal and bottles into a small fortune on the stockmarket.

It goes to show that anyone can make money if one is determined enough to and also shows, I might add, the merits of working hard, investing for the long-term and compounding investments, even though Curt didn't spend his money or get to use it in the long term.

The other very sad part that caught my eye was the long lost Uncle that turned up to challenge Curt's last will - a sad socialist law in Sweden and fast becoming acceptable in New Zealand depending on the judge one gets.

Lets just say most people would have contempt for him that he got something for nothing while Curt didn't have his last wishes respected or spend some of what he earned while he was still above the ground.

Hey, never judge a "bum" by his covering, you will be wrong more often than right.

RIP Curt and happy Easter to my lovely readers!


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