The Remarkable Story of Ronald Read: Unleashing the Power of Dividend Investing

Written By Christian DeHaemer

Updated May 15, 2024

Picture this: An ordinary gas station worker and janitor dies and leaves an $8 million dividend portfolio for his family and charity. A man who lived frugally yet had a portfolio that generated close to $20,000 in passive monthly income. 

Sounds like a fictional story, right? But let me introduce you to Ronald Read, a true dividend investment success story. Join me as we explore the fascinating journey of this remarkable individual and uncover the timeless wisdom behind his approach to building long-term wealth.

The Unsung Heroes of Dividend Investing

Dividend investing often takes a back seat in the financial mainstream media. While active traders and value investors dominate the headlines, the unsung heroes of dividend investing quietly build substantial wealth through a proven strategy. 

But why is it so often overlooked? One reason is that dividend investing lacks the allure of quick wins and high-risk ventures that captivate the imagination. Another factor is that Wall Street prefers to sell complex financial products, reaping billions in commissions rather than empower ordinary investors to invest on their own.

The Inspiring Story of Ronald Read

Enter Ronald Read, an individual who defied the odds and achieved extraordinary success. Ronald, a gas station worker and janitor, left behind an $8 million dividend portfolio upon his passing in 2015. He never earned a high income, yet his commitment to frugality, hard work, and patience propelled him to financial greatness.

Ronald Read's investment philosophy revolved around key principles that are essential for dividend investing success. He diligently researched and selected quality blue-chip stocks, favoring sectors such as railroads, utilities, banks, health care, telecom, and consumer products while consciously avoiding technology stocks. 

His diversified portfolio of 95 securities included well-established companies like Procter & Gamble, JPMorgan Chase, General Electric, Dow Chemical, J.M. Smucker, CVS Health, and Johnson & Johnson. They say the paper shares in his safe-deposit box were stacked five inches high.

The Power of Patience and Compounding

One of the most remarkable aspects of Ronald Read's approach was his unwavering patience and commitment to long-term investing. He embraced the buy-and-hold strategy, allowing his investments to compound over time. While some of his holdings, such as Lehman Brothers, faced setbacks, the majority of his carefully selected securities performed admirably. One example was his investment in Pacific Gas & Electric, which grew significantly over the years through stock splits and reinvested dividends.

They say he was so cheap that he would walk blocks rather than put money in the meter, and that once at his favorite diner, a man — thinking he was homeless — offered to pay for his meal.

The Lessons Learned

Ronald Read's success was the result of several key factors that are applicable to all investors. First and foremost, he lived within his means, practicing frugality and saving diligently. 

Secondly, he invested his savings in companies with durable competitive advantages and long-term growth prospects. 

Thirdly, he stayed patiently invested, resisting the urge to sell during market downturns. And finally, he consistently reinvested his dividends, allowing the power of compounding to work its magic.

How to Play It

The extraordinary journey of Ronald Read serves as a testament to the power of patient dividend investing. His story dispels the notion that high income or advanced degrees are prerequisites for financial success. 

That said, many people didn’t start investing soon enough. Or perhaps they want to live a life dressed in rags,eating at the cheapest places. No, sir, the point of wealth is to enjoy it. Perhaps you’d like to live like a rock star on occasion. 

What if I told you there was a way to take just 10% of your portfolio and accelerate your gains using the same dividend strategy. I imagine you’d be all in.

To help you get started on your own dividend investing journey, I invite you to claim our free research report. Discover a $9 company that has increased its dividend by an astonishing 1,800% this year, raising its quarterly payout from $0.02 to $0.38, so that it now has a stunning 35% dividend yield.

Don't miss out on this valuable insight that could transform your financial future. View my report today.

Ronald Read's story is a testament to the power of dividend investing. It's time to unleash the profit potential of dividend investing and pave the way to your own financial independence.

Wishing you a prosperous investing journey.

Christian DeHaemer Signature

Christian DeHaemer

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Christian is the founder of Bull and Bust Report and an editor at Energy and Capital. For more on Christian, see his editor’s page.

 

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