When you have some money in your hands and you see a number of things that you want to buy, what do you do? Do you buy all that catches your fancy or discriminate between a good bargain and a bad one?
There was this young lad who knew just the best way to use his money. No wonder he became the world’s first millionaire when he grew up!
He was just ten years old when one day, he heard a strange conversation between his father and a visitor to their house. He was requesting his father for a loan of 50 dollars. “I need the money immediately!” the visitor was saying. “I shall pay 7 per cent interest on it and return the loan as early as possible”.
Fifty dollars might sound like a pittance today, but way back in 1849, when this happened, it was a big fat sum of money. And the boy’s father did not have that much amount to lend!
Just then the little boy pitched in. In a small, hesitant voice, he asked, “What is seven per cent, uncle?” The two men turned to him. The visitor explained that ‘interest’ was what one earned for doing the favour of giving one’s money for a short time to another who needed it badly. “If you can give me fifty dollars for one year, at the end of that one year you will get back your fifty dollars and an interest of 7 per cent on it – which will be three dollars and fifty cents extra!” explained the visitor.
The little boy immediately leapt up. “All right, sir. I shall give you fifty dollars”. The visitor gaped. The boy’s father explained that his son had earned money by doing small odd jobs for his parents, like dusting, scrubbing and cleaning, ever since he was seven years old. As he did not spend money lavishly, he had saved most of it, and the money now amounted to fifty dollars.
This was John Rockefeller’s first investment. He was to make many more and bigger investments in the future.
When petroleum was first discovered and drilled in the USA, Rockefeller and his company, the Standard Oil Company, realized the full potential of this exciting new fuel and cornered a majority stake in the business. Very soon, Rockefeller became the world’s first millionaire!