“In 1923, seven men who had made it to the top of the financial success pyramid met together at the Edgewater Hotel in Chicago. Collectively, they controlled more wealth than the entire United States Treasury, and for years the media had held them up as examples of success.
Who were they? Charles M. Schwab, president of the world’s largest steel company (Bethlehem Steel); Arthur Cutten, the greatest wheat speculator of his day; Richard Whitney, president of the New York Stock Exchange; Albert Fall, a member of the President’s Cabinet; Jesse Livermore, the greatest bear on Wall Street; Leon Fraser, president of the International Bank of Settlement; and Ivar Kreuger, the head of the world’s largest monopoly.
What happened to them? Schwab and Cutten both died broke; Whitney spent years of his life in Sing Sing penitentiary; Fall also spent years in prison, but was released so he could die at home; and the others—Livermore, Fraser, and Kreuger, committed suicide.”
—Donald McCullogh, Walking From The American Dream
I shared this passage last December around the holidays. My purpose back then was not to depress anyone, but rather to remind us that there’s more to life than money. Many times, traders and investors get caught up chasing a dollar amount or attaining a certain net worth…but for what? I know I am guilty of this at times and I constantly need to remind myself that family, health, spirituality, and many other things should come first before wealth accumulation.
I know it’s not the holiday season. This is just a simple reminder on a random weekend in August to spend time with your family and loved ones because that is where true wealth and happiness exists. Even greater happiness comes from giving. Think of something that you can do this weekend to help others, such as charity or volunteer work, and then go out and do it! Trust me, there is no amount of money that can replace the feeling of an enlightened and rejuvenated spirit.
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