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Rags to Riches: Andrew Carnegie and the Weekly Round-Up #42


I don’t know about you, but I love to read “rags to riches” stories. Poor souls that seem to have zero chance of success end up proving everyone wrong with their determination and hard work!

Andrew Carnegie, a Scotland native, was born on November 25, 1835. His father was a mere hand-loom weaver, which left the family in poverty for much of their lives. While they did not have much money, the Carnegies believed very strongly in books and learning. Andrew could not afford to attend higher education, but he was often learning and growing on his own.

The family packed up their bags and moved to America in 1848. Upon arrival to the states, Andrew began working at a local factory in Pennsylvania and earned $1.20 a week. Eager to advance in his career, he landed a job as a telegraph messenger the next year, and then moved into a higher position as a telegraph operator in 1851.

Within the next couple years, Andrew worked hard and became very good at his telegraph duties. He was doing so well that in 1853 (at age 18 mind you) he was invited to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad as the assistant and telegrapher to Thomas Scott, one of the railroad’s top officials. Andrew learned quite a lot about business and the railroad industry in the next few years and was soon promoted once again. In 1856 (21 years old), Carnegie was named the superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad. This was quite an honor for such a young man.

As it turns out, Andrew was not only skilled at his day-job, he also turned into a very skilled investor. In fact, his investments did so well that he was able save enough money to leave the railroad and begin his own business ventures.

His main area of focus (which he no-doubt learned about when he was working with the railroad), was in the steel industry. Andrew stream-lined the steel-making process so well that by 1889, Carnegie Steel was the largest of its kind in the world!

With such a large and profitable business, Andrew realized how much he’d been blessed compared to when he had first come to America as a boy. So, in 1901, Andrew sold his business for $200 million (which is equivilent to about $5 billion today) and began giving away his wealth to those in need. He became a great philanthropist and is still remembered for his generosity today.

Can you relate to this story? I hope it motivated you to get better and do more in order to improve your future!

Weekly Round-Up #41

Once again, I have read quite a few financial articles this past week and would like to highlight a few of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them!

How and ATM Fee Saved Me $32 – by 20’s Finances

Save Big With an Entertainment Book – by Free Money Wisdom

How Much Risk Are You Willing to Take? – by Frugal Confessions

Feeling Guilty and Afraid of Taking Vacation? – by Financial Samurai

Persistence is the Key to Everything Money – by Budgeting in the Fun Stuff

How to Invest For the Long-Term – by Prairie Eco Thrifter

The Entrepreneurial Trend: Personality Traits – by Consumerism Commentary



My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.


    • Fixed! Thanks Tony.

  1. I see Tony noticed that several dates are 19…

    I really enjoy those rags to riches stories as well. One of my favorites is Jesse Livermore’s story. I have read it several times. Unfortunately, his ending is not so upbeat as Carnegie’s.

    • I actually haven’t heard of Jesse Livermore! I’ll have to look that up!

  2. Thank you for including me in your roundup!

    One of my favorite historical figures is Hetty Green. Although I could never be THAT cheap:).

    • Ha! I remember writing an article on Hetty as well! If only she was nicer though….

  3. I too like reading those kinds of stories. I find them really inspiring and grounding.

    Thanks again for the inclusion. I really appreciate it.

    • No problem! I like inspirational stories too. Maybe I’ll make this a habit each week – come up with a new rags to riches story! 🙂 Any votes for this? Anyone?

  4. Thanks for the mention! Dude, the Scottish were so frugal, it runs in my blood!

    • Haha, it just might! Keep up the awesome articles!

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