If you want to make a ton of money, you could do worse than follow the example of JosephP. Kennedy. Most people know him as the father of JohnF., Bobby and Teddy. But what a lot of people don’t know is that he was able tobuy (er, strongly influence) his sons’ rise to political power with a lot of cashand a lot of owed favors. How much cash? In one six-year span, Kennedy sawhis wealth increase from $4 million to $180 million. This would be theequivalent of $2.8 billion today. One of his side businesses alone (Hollywood moviestudios) garnered him an additional $5 million ($62 million today). Amazingly, that growthin wealth took place between the years 1929 and 1935; the dog days of the GreatDepression. So, you don’t have to sit around waiting for the economy to get betterbefore you undertake your search for great wealth. Just start doing the things the Kennedyway.Learn as much as you can at an early age

Let’s say you have a good personality. Your friends tell you that you could make a lotof money as a salesman, so you go into sales. You call people on the phone and visit themwith your shoes shined and your smile wide, but nobody’s buying. And why shouldthey? You don’t know anything. If you think all it takes is a goodpersonality to make a lot of money, here’s a news flash: Education matters.Knowledge on a technical matter helps a lot, and it’s best to find a niche. Kennedy started by attending an elite Boston prep school followed by Harvard.However, upon graduation, he started out working at what most would consider a dead-endjob: as a state-employed bank examiner. After accumulating a thorough knowledge of thebanking industry, he was able to parlay that experience into becoming the youngest bankpresident in the country. President Franklin D. Roosevelt later saw the value of hisfinancial expertise when he named him the first chairman of the Securities and ExchangeCommission (SEC). At one point, Roosevelt was asked why he chose such a crook.“Takes one to catch one,” the president replied. So maybe Kennedydidn’t always play fair when it came to making money on investments. But he spenttime gaining the know-how. You should do the same.Real estate is still king

If there’s anything the last couple of years have taught us it’s the folly oftrying to make money in real estate. Right? Look at all the fools who saw the value oftheir homes shoot up in value. Then when they borrowed against the equity and theirhome’s value dropped they were left with debts they couldn’t pay back. If there’s one thing we can learn from old Joe Kennedy it’s that realestate is a fine place to build wealth in both the old Depression and the new one. The keyis to look for value (that means properties that are undervalued relative to the market).Kennedy did so as owner of the Old Colony Realty Associates, Inc., which specialized indistressed real estate (there happens to be some of that lying around today if you haveany capital). Real estate is where Kennedy chose to invest his money after he sold hisstocks right before the 1929 market crash. And we’re not talking aboutresidential real estate. Kennedy’s big score came from the purchase of MerchandiseMart, which was the largest building in the world when it opened in Chicago in 1930. Hepaid $12.5 million for it in 1945, but in a few years he was collecting more than that inannual rent. Read on for more wealth lessons from Joseph Kennedy... Continue Reading

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