Archive for December, 2014

Final Round : Mike Tyson vs Theodore Johnson who is the champion?

We all know Mike Tyson, but who is Theodore Johnson? Here is a David vs Goliath story.

Mike Tyson, former heavy weight champ and the man who made more money than any other boxer, was at one point in time worth half a billion dollars, that would be around 3000 Crores today, making him both rich and famous by any standards. However Mike Tyson declared bankruptcy in 2003 and admitted on TV in 2010 that he was living pay check to pay check. It is difficult to think of this great boxer who made it big in life being broke.

Let us now move to Theodore Johnson, who, had he lived in India would have been called the ‘aam admi’. He joined United Parcel Service in 1924, as a trainee, drawing not more than 14000$ per annum salary, retired as Vice President of HRD, he set aside 20% salary and any bonus received to buy his company shares. At 90, He lived to see his wealth grow to 70 million dollars and could donate more than 36 million dollars to charity. This took time, obviously but here was a true life David, he was not famous, neither a great industrialist, yet he could amass close to 420 crores in todays dollars and could donate 200 crores to charity.

This is the power of compounding, an ordinary executive could become a millionaire by diligently saving and investing over long periods of time, whereas some one with 100’s of millions of dollars ended up bankrupt.

It does not matter how much you earn, but how much you retain and invest and for how long you can stay invested. It does not matter if you are one of the richest men on the planet, it is possible to spend it all and end up with nothing. Think about and decide whether you would want to be Ted Johnson or Mike Tyson??

(Source : In the book Money Master the game by Tony Robbins, he explains how simple folks become rich, and some rich folk become poor as they don’t understand the power of compounding and think some how the income will keep up with their spending. The story of Ted Johnson and Mike Tyson appears in the book )

Wishing you all a peaceful and prosperous new year 2015.


Wealth destruction effect of frequent activity.

The attached pic via @awealthofcs while meant to show power of compounding also shows that frequent churning of investments leads to wealth destruction and not creation. Keep in mind that returns are same for both options and the only difference is the taxes paid once every year vs once after 20 years. If we assume that due to frequent selling and buying we lose more on transaction costs, opportunity costs etc the returns would be even lower.

Charlie Munger, told that one of best traits is to determine  progress apart from activity, Everyone wants to be active but only few progress.

So, to become rich keep investing and stay invested, you will be progress and be richer.