Henry Ford: How to improve your finances with these 5 tips

As Patrick Dwyer best describes Henry Ford, he has been a great inspiration for many entrepreneurs, a visionist who dedicated his life to innovation and resourcefulness. As a little boy he learned how things work, a common story in his childhood, tells that when he was 13 years old, he received a watch as a gift for his birthday and intrigued by how it worked he turned it apart and started learning on how machines were designed.

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Henry Ford could have followed his father’s steps, however, he wanted to explore his own path. He worked for several big companies, like the Edison Electric Illuminating Company, where he learned a big deal about engineering and electricity. In this article, Patrick Dwyer lists 5 tips Henry Ford would give you about finances if he lived in today’s hectic world. Although a lot has changed, he did build one of the biggest companies that is still a leading company in the automobile sector, and his method can help you improve your business finances.  

Be a continuous learner

Without a doubt Henry Ford was a man who was constantly learning, adding new abilities and updating his knowledge, even before starting with his Ford company, he had to be a pupil in Edison’s company, learning all about electricity, and with time he became chief engineer. When he built his company he started with one model, understanding and venturing with new models, came from his need of constant improvement and it’s with an open mind and will to learn that he could envision his new challenges which led him to success.

Who you surround yourself with matters, choose a great team

When Henry Ford started his third business venture, he knew he needed a great team by his side. He had the ability to identify and persuade young talented men who believed in his new challenge. They helped him make his vision come true. Henry Ford would recommend you, to form a great team to back up your company, helping you succeed with your product or service and increasing your income. Dare to hire the best, they are worth it. Hire people with desire to succeed and who believe in your dream.

Plan your taxes, beforehand

A great advice we are sure Henry Ford would give you is, that when creating a company it’s important to understand how the business world works, and that includes your taxes. Make sure you have that clear, what taxes need to be paid and if there are any deductions you can do, that can help you save money. Specially know when they have to get paid, paying them after can cost a big amount in interests. Month by month organize what taxes need to be paid, include them when you are doing budgets since the money needs to come from somewhere. Always have them as a monthly fee that needs to be paid and if you can pay them beforehand, you might even get a discount. Get your documents in order and for sure you will save money if you do them right. You can ask for an accountant for advice, that will save you a lot of headaches.

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Setting up an accounting system is a must

Henry Ford learned after 2 failed companies that your accounting system is a must. Organizing your income and expenses, knowing how much it costs to make your product or to provide your service and how much you can charge, will help you have your finances in order and understand where your revenue comes from.  Now today there are many ways of setting an accounting system, you could still have the traditional writing system of having it all in an accountant book but there are new systems and Softwares that can help you classify your finances. Ford was a technology supporter and he would recommend you get a system and make sure it has all the data you need, to understand where your revenue comes from and how you can increase it day by day.

Budgeting every dollar you spend on your projects

When starting a company, it’s important to have a financial plan, with long-term and short-term goals. With this in mind, the idea of a good budget and to know if your business is viable, you should spend less than what you earn. Analyze your regular expenses and always leave some extra for irregular ones that come along the way, after a few months of tracking how much you spend to make your company work, you will have a very good idea of how you can lower those expenses. When you make the decision of how much the product you’re selling will cost, you need to include all your expenses, that way you can cover them and even have a revenue. Include regular and irregular monthly obligations, not just how much the raw materials cost, how much time does it take to make one product and there you can calculate, workforce, amenities used, among other things you need to produce it, then add a percentage of revenue. As Ford recommended it’s not the employers who pay the wages, it’s the customer who should. Analyze all these expenses and you shouldn’t be struggling to pay your employees month by month and you will be heading to business success for sure.

One of the biggest industrialist in the world: Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie (November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919) was one of the biggest industrialist in American history who worked principally in the steel industry in the 19th century. He was born in a modest family in Dunfermline, Scotland but in 1848 his parents emigrated to the United States searching for better economic opportunities with Andrew as a child. He is considered one of the richest person in United States history and one of the most important philanthropists in North America, giving an estimated fortune of $350 million dollars to multiple charity foundations, hospitals, libraries, and universities.

Established with his family in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, Andrew started working in a cotton plantation when he was still a boy. Passing years, he worked as a messenger in a telegraph office and later as a secretary for the Pennsylvania Railroad. In a few years, Andrew replaced his boss to work as railroad division supervisor, where he could learn about the railroad and its operation. There he worked for more than five years and in this period he could make some investments in iron, oil, coal and some manufacturer companies growing up his wealthy. Later, Carnegie entered in the steel industry, and after some decades, he consolidates all his business in the Carnegie Steel Company.

The Carnegie Steel Company

The first steel company created by Andrew Carnegie was the Edgar Thompson Steel Works in Braddock, Pennsylvania. This enterprise was very rentable, due to different innovation processes that Carnegie led, like improving technology infrastructure and reducing different operation costs, which produced large utilities and revenues, letting Carnegie and his associates buy other companies. With all these new investments, he consolidates all of them in The Carnegie Steel Company, one of the biggest steel company in the American market for that time.

The Carnegie Steel Company continued making technological innovations; improving constantly its processes, making the steel production faster and reducing manufacturing costs, which was traduced in more profits for the company. Also, with its fast growth, the company created a lot of employees especially for less skilled operators and positioned as the major steel company in the United States.

The United States Steel Corporation (U. S. Steel Corporation)

In 1901 The Carnegie Steel Company was sold to The U.S. Steel Corporation, which was a new holding created by John Pierpont Morgan (J.P. Morgan), who was one of the biggest bankers in America at that time. The company was sold for $480 millions of dollars and the half of this amount went to Andrew Carnegie, making him one of the richest men in the world. The U.S. Steel Corporation was the unification of The Carnegie Steel Company, The Federal Steel Company, and The National Steel Company. This conglomerate of steel companies merged under the name of The United Steel Corporation and was the first billion of dollars company in the globe. Also, it was considered the major steel producer and the biggest company in the world. In its firsts years of operation, the company produced the 67% of all the steel consumed in the United States.

Andrew Carnegie and philanthropy

After the transaction with The U.S. Steel Corporation, Carnegie being one of the richest men in the world, let aside his business life and spent his last years dedicated to philanthropy. He was convinced that the richest men had the obligation to distribute their fortune for the benefit of the community.

Andrew Carnegie dedicated almost all his efforts to build public libraries in many English speaking countries, like United States, Canada, his natal Scotland, among other states. He was able to build 3.000 public libraries around the world with the main idea of promoting the knowledge and education in the society.

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Besides public libraries, Carnegie also contributed with more than $2 million dollars for the construction of The Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh in 1900. Two years later, he gave another $2 million dollars to start The Carnegie Institution in Washington D.C. He also contributed for the construction of schools and other education institutions. In 1901, Andrew gave $10 million dollars to build the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland which was a charitable trust to benefit Scotland universities.

In his last years, Andrew Carnegie dedicated more than $350 million dollars of his wealth to philanthropic projects, not only in education but also in science research, church’s, construction, and other initiatives to benefit people of different countries around the globe.

He used to say that “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced”, so he tried to give all his wealth to charity projects in different nations, like United States, Canada, Scotland, South Africa, Fiji, among others.

Related: 8 important tips famous financial titans would give you by PATRICKJDWYER


Andrew Carnegie died at age 83 on August 1919 in Massachusetts of pneumonia. The rest of his wealth was given to charity foundations and pensioners. He was married to Louise Whitfield and they had one daughter called Margaret. Carnegie was buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in New York.

Life lessons from John D. Rockefeller

John Davison Rockefeller was an American industrialist, born in Richford (New York), on July 8, 1839. He attended several public schools in Cleveland (Ohio). At 16 he became a librarian in Cleveland. He is the patriarch of the Rockefeller family, which to this day is still powerful and one of the wealthiest ones in the world.

In 1862 he partnered with Samuel Andrews, inventor of a revolutionary process for refining crude oil. After a rapid expansion, the company was taken over in 1870 by the Standard Oil Company, founded by Rockefeller, his brother William and several others.

In early 1872, Rockefeller helped create the South Improvement Company, a partnership that included the major oil refiners of Cleveland, reaching agreements with railway companies to obtain large discounts for members of the association. This agreement was annulled legally three months later, over the protests of the people, but by then almost all of the competitors of Rockefeller had been forced to sell or to associate with him. In 1878, Rockefeller controlled 90% of the oil refineries in the US and soon after had a monopoly of distribution channels.

In 1882, Rockefeller created the Standard Oil Trust, which was the first trust in the world, deemed as an illegal monopoly and forced to disband by the Supreme Court of Ohio in 1892 but, in fact, it was not dissolved until 1899. That year, Rockefeller established the Standard Oil Company in New Jersey and became its president until his retirement in 1911. That same year, the company was divided into several corporations by order of the Superior Court of the United States.

It is estimated that Rockefeller’s personal fortune came to reach $1 billion. His philanthropic contributions totaled $550 million. Of these, 80% went to four charitable organizations created by Rockefeller: the Rockefeller Foundation, the General Education Board, the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (now Rockefeller University) and the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial, created in 1918 and absorbed by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1929.

Rockefeller was a descendant of German-Jews who immigrated to the United States in 1733. During his modest beginnings as an accountant of the firm Hewitt and Tuttle, young John Davison began writing a sort of economic journal which he entitled “Ledger A”. That curious record, which is currently still preserved, and annotations contained in his autobiographical book “Random Reminiscences of Men and Events”, offer a masterly sketch of his personality.

Other curiosities

From a young age, John D. Rockefeller displayed a talent for financial transactions. With his family in Cleveland, around 1853, he sold stones of different colors and shapes to his schoolmates and the income accrued from these sales was kept in a bowl of blue faience, his first “safe”. It was not long before he earned $50, which would determine the future direction of the boy.

A nearby farmer needed precisely that amount to pay an urgent debt. John lent him the money with an interest rate of 7% After a year, he discovered that the loaned capital returned to his pocket with about $31 of interests. From that day on, he decided to make the money “work for him”.

From then on all of his earnings would be religiously recorded in the “Ledger A”.

His father, William Avery, was not an example of marital fidelity nor a role model for his six children. He’d be away from the family for long periods, and when he returned his pockets were usually full of money and he’d unfailingly return laden with gifts for his wife and their children. Much later, John discovered that his father was nothing but an impostor, visiting Indian reservations and selling its inhabitants all kinds of useless objects. His next business was much more profitable: pharmaceuticals, which he sold as a cure for cancer. From his mother, Eliza, John inherited not only the looks but also her strict Calvinist morality. At age 16 he got his first job at a brokerage and grain merchants firm, where he worked without looking at the clock, lost in that sea of figures that had him so fascinated. At night, in bed, he would mentally review the financial operations of the day, trying to discover the ways in which he could have earned higher profits.

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Image courtesy of AK Rockefeller at Flickr.com

The code of his life

Discipline, order and a faithful record of debit and credit was since the code of his life. The outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 was key to his fortune. Two years earlier, with the drilling of the first oil well, he realized that he could make a greater fortune with transportation and refining than exploitation. When in 1863 the railway company extended its line to Cleveland, putting the city in direct contact with New York through the oil region, he knew it was time. He was 23 years old and invested $4000 as a limited partner in the new firm Clark, Andrews & Co. Refineries emerged in Cleveland and enthusiasm for the black gold made him leave the grain trade. His partner Clark rejected the expansion of the firm, so they decided to auction the company. In February 1865 Rockefeller kept the company. The business, which would henceforth be called Rockefeller and Andrews, was Cleveland’s largest refinery, with a capacity of 500 barrels per day and earnings of one million dollars per year, which would double the following year. Thus he was able to negotiate preferential rates with the railroad, and that discount was essential to found, in 1870, a new company, with $1 million in capital: The Standard Oil.

An empire is born

In 1870, it was one of the largest refineries in the central United States. In 1872, along with two of the largest refiners of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, they could handle at their will the rates with the railways. In three months, Rockefeller had bought 22 of the 25 refineries in Cleveland. Standard Oil refined a quarter of all oil production in the country. Step by step they’d eliminate their competitors, and Standard Oil became a powerful trust, which refined 95% of the country’s total capacity. His management team was formed by a group of the most experienced financiers of the country. All of them were millionaires. For Rockefeller, the staff had always been an important ingredient; so he elected the most capable and enthusiastic ones.

Rockefeller died on May 23, 1937, in Ormond Beach, Florida.

8 important tips famous financial titans would give you

If there is something business people and entrepreneurs from today should value from important business men that were part of the development of the United States of America, is their experience and their achievements not only as businessmen but as persons, as individuals. More than all the legacy, transformed into companies, banks, buildings and physical assets, is it actually the knowledge behind all of that what is most valuable. The so-called “financial titans”, responsible for encouraging and making this country stronger and more developed are John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and Henry Ford.

Everything they learned from their multiple moments of crisis, obstacles and hard decisions they ever faced is what helped Americans build the country of today. Great industrial developments, huge advances in capitalism and more importantly, unique accomplishments in the economy and the history of a country that became stronger because of the actions of a small group of men, who one by one, never gave up or stopped believing in what they were capable of.

Today, and according to Patrick Dwyer, all the lessons and conclusions these men acquired, are tools that can be applied even to the modern world. Take a look at the 8 most important business and life tips these financial titans would give us today if they were alive.

Click here to read our recent post about “Rockefeller: from America’s most hated to America’s greatest donor”

Money does not guarantee happiness

Even though these men were financially powerful, they had the most developed and growing businesses in that moment, nevertheless, they were never popular for having great, happy families or lives. Money seems to be their greatest achievement but that will not always include living in a happy relationship and growing a loving and caring family.

Constant innovation

Rockefeller became rich and famous because he came up with using a product or fuel that during the refining process was being thrown away. After his innovative idea, this fuel became the number one fuel for the first version of carriages that were not pulled by horses. That is how Rockefeller became rich. He invented a better version of something that had already a good place in the market.

If you are going to risk it, risk it big

Everybody knows the bigger the risk is, the bigger the reward will be. It is actually how many things in the world work. Lower risks will offer more stability but if a big risk succeeds, the joy will not only be bigger, it will bring a much-unexpected sensation of happiness and a certain relief.

Keep your eyes open for opportunity

These titans of American history were absolutely visionary. They would recognize the smell of a good opportunity right away. The important thing here is to keep your eyes open and evaluate all the possible options that could bring many business opportunities, without even thinking about it.

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Choose your partners right

Partnerships can determine the future of any organization. It doesn’t mean you found the perfect match just because you like a person. Partnerships go way beyond empathy and in this case, a good networking is actually of great value. Building the right team will start to show the good effects of it. A good partner or teammate is an additional resource you can rely on when you need it the most.

The biggest rule is there are no rules

Everything is possible and allowed, as long as it will bring profit and benefits. Adaptability has a lot do with the plans these businesses are headed to. Since it was the first time for many things, rules didn’t really matter. Any new idea was welcome and everyone tried being open about the new decisions.

Success and wealth come when your product or service resolves a problem or a need many people have

This tip has a lot to do with being visionary, but also with always paying attention to those things people need or complain about. In the case of the titans, for instance, Henry Ford, provided cars that anyone could purchase, because of the low price, but the good quality at the same time, on the other hand, John D, Rockefeller provided kerosene to those who needed the light. This way each one of them became the author of revolutionary ideas that had the power to change the world forever.

Never underestimate consumers

Consumers have the power to transform the importance of a product or service, once a need is solved. They will be the authors of new trends which is why it is so important to always pay attention, to every single step consumers take and therefore how the market starts changing, responding or adapting to the new needs of those consumers that need it the most.

A Story Worth Telling

On April 14th, 1865, just five days after the end of the Civil War, president Abraham Lincoln is the last of the more than 600.000 deceased victims who perished during America’s bloodiest conflict. The country is divided. And the experiment called democracy has not worked out. But, what readers might or might not ignore, is that this is also the birth of a new era: the country is evolving and experiencing new developments and improvements. And the void left by the greatest statesman the United States of America has ever had will be filled by a new race of leaders: Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie, etc. They were the first generation of what readers nowadays know as entrepreneurship. They were today’s Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc. They were the people who first established the foundations for the so-called American Dream. They ruled, both literally and metaphorically, the boundaries of this nation. A group of highly intuitive, intelligent men like never seen before, during the next five decades, will be responsible for reshaping the United States of America, pushing the country towards the excellence. Due to their vision of the world, they inspired thousands of other Americans like Patrick Dwyer who kept on transforming not only the country but also the world with their philanthropic acts and their work.

In 1865 in the city of New York, the most suitable man for leading America is not a politician: he happens to be a simple man who started from scratch and built his own empire. Forty years ago, at the age of 16, Cornelius Vanderbilt bought a small ferry with a 100 dollars loan. Soon, he earned the reputation of being a ruthless businessman, capable of taking advantage of the others just to obtain whatever he desired. During those days, the competition amongst rivals was limited to brain vs. brain; effort vs. effort. The business process was somewhat similar to the Wild West, where a winner would go away rich, or richer, and the loser would remain poor or bankrupt. Vanderbilt was a man whose short temper was legendary: he would engage in fights with his rivals and walk away after beating them up. Sooner than later, his single ferry went on to become a whole fleet with which he would transport both goods and passengers across the seas to whichever country they were bound. Vanderbilt had previously realized the importance — and profitability — of transporting goods and people, and he knew that for this to be possible a certain infrastructure was required; infrastructure the government was not willing to provide, therefore, he decided to be the one to provide and build the foundations of the maritime substructure. During the next forty years, Cornelius Vanderbilt went on to build the world’s largest ship Empire. Years later, just before the civil war, he would achieve the unthinkable: after realizing the magnificence of the first American railroad — whose construction happened to be in progress at that time —, Vanderbilt sold his entire fleet and invested in the railroads instead, realizing that these trains would shorten the transportation times from one corner to another within the nation. His capacity to foresee the future implications of whatever thing was going on was a huge part of his subsequent success. His investments in the railroad industry proved to be highly profitable, in fact, after the civil war, Vanderbilt was America’s richest person with a net worth of 65 million dollars — or 75 billion dollars at the present time —, however, even though he had amassed such fortune, he could not escape the devastating and crushing consequences of the Civil War: his son, George, died in the war.

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This was a huge tragedy for Vanderbilt who had envisioned himself in his son; thus, the Commodore — as he was known — was forced to trust in his less brilliant son, William. Tormented by his loss, and right after William failed at several important negotiations, the competition no longer sees Vanderbilt’s empire as a threat. Nonetheless, Vanderbilt was a very wise and intelligent man capable of turning an apparent drawback into an opportunity: he had the Albany bridge closed — which was the only entering route to New York —. With this bridge closed, the other trains were unable to access the city of New York. By isolating New York, thousands of tons of freight could not access the city, which ended up hurting his competitors badly. The rumor hit Wall Street and the stock prices of the freight companies — his competitors — dropped, and Vanderbilt seized the opportunity and bought all their shares, thus, he went on to found the New York Central railroad. He was the sole ruler of the railroad industry.

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Railroads helped America to develop much faster since it was then possible to connect both the east with the west and vice versa.

Jim Simons, For the Love of Knowledge and Life

There are not many men in the business world who hold the characteristics James Simons does. The American mathematician is a successful hedge fund founder and manager, having created Renaissance Technologies, one of the most important hedge fund organizations in the world.

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With a net worth close to the $14 billion dollars, Jim Simons is known for being skilled in solving codes and a specialist in pattern reading and interpretation. He uses his knowledge in mathematics to analyze alternative investments in his company, providing more precise predictions compared to other commonly used methods. He is one of a kind in the mathematical community because of his achievements in a subject different to mathematics.

In this article, Patrick Dwyer will talk about James Simons’ life and most significant achievements through his career as a mathematician, hedge fund founder, and devoted philanthropist.

Childhood and early life

Born in 1938 as James H. Simons to a Jewish family in the small city of Newton, Massachusetts, Jim grew up in a working-class family who was dedicated to producing shoes.

Since childhood, Simons showed a big interest in studying subjects such as nature and mathematics. Despite his geniality, he was kind of aloof and often forgetful. These characteristics had an impact on one of his vacation jobs when at the age of 14 he started to work in the warehouse of a local store. He was distracted enough to forget where things were in the stockroom. Thanks to this, his supervisor instead of promoting him, asked him to become the store’s floor sweeper. When he explained to his supervisor that he wanted to attend to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he couldn’t help it and laughed at him.

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After applying to MIT, Simons was admitted in 1955 and started studying mathematics. He graduated three years later with a bachelor’s degree. During the time he spent at MIT Simons confirmed that he was on the right path and he was destined to become a mathematician.

After going to MIT; he pursued a Ph.D. also in mathematics, this time at Berkeley. During the time he attended his doctorate, he worked for the American mathematician Bertram Kostant, giving him an innovative and more abstract proof of Berger’s segmentation of the holonomy groups theory. In 1961, being only 23 years old, Simons completed his doctorate.

Career and Achievements

Once Simons received the Ph.D. in mathematics, he decided to embrace the academic career. In 1964 he started working in Princeton and became a staff member of the Communications Research Division at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), working breaking codes. Simons recalls having extremely loved this post since thinking about algorithms to solve particular types of code problems was natural to him.

While working at IDA, Simons gained the knowledge and skills he needed to use mathematical patterns to understand the financial data that would, later on, help him build his business. Also, during his time at Princeton, Jim also became a mathematics professor at Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. By the year 1968, he became chairman of the math office at Stony Brook University where he met the mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern and worked hand in hand with him to create the “Chern-Simons invariants”.

Being a curious individual, James Simons always felt particularly interested in financial concepts. During the 1970’s he started considering founding his own company in the financial area. In 1978, Simons left the academia and opened his own company dedicated to managing hedge funds, naming it Monemetrics, where he understood that he was able to use mathematical patterns to read financial data. Then, he began hiring the most capable minds he knew from his previous time at the academia. He contacted individuals from his time at Stony Brook and Princeton, such as mathematicians, codebreakers, and scientist, data experts and engineers.

His venture was successful enough to give him improved results every year. In 1982, Simons decided to change the company name from Monemetrics to Renaissance Technologies, which prolifically grew over the years. Renaissance Technologies nowadays is in charge of over $22 billion in assets managed by the three funds it handles and works with singular mathematical patterns based on computer codes to forecast price variations in financial tools and uses financial signal decoding strategies like pattern reading which has given the company a commercial advantage over competitors.

In 2009, Simons retired as the company’s CEO and became a board member. Like other businessmen such as Warren Buffett, Jim Simons decided to dedicate most of his time to philanthropic causes such as the funding of his own foundation (the Simons Foundation, created in 1994) with a $60 million donation to found the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook, and the Math for America organization – a not for profit organization dedicated to enhance mathematics teaching in public schools.

To read more about James Simons’ life, work, and legacy, you can click here.

John D. Rockefeller and the power of oil

When we talk about monopoly or oligopoly of oil we must inevitably refer to the companies drawn of the old Standard Oil, a company created after the American Civil War by John D. Rockefeller I.

Rockefeller, in a very short time, became a tacit monopoly of the US oil industry. He came to concentrate in their hands 95% of the exploration, exploitation, distribution and retailing of gasoline in the US He always thought that the oil business should be integrated vertically, that is, the same firm must control all stages of production. And the key business itself was to have under its orbit the distribution process, so he came to get an agreement with significant discounts with the railroads that controlled JP Morgan, agreed that turned to the ruinous dessert for all competitors, to which one to one was moving market, often by applying compulsive methods. That business actions, devoid of moral precepts, or codes, was common in the dozen entrepreneurs who began to control the US economy after the death of Abraham Lincoln.

The Rockefeller clan rose to become a hub in the economy and politics of the United States. Who in the past century were brilliant winners of money, in the 20th century were characterized as the brightest spenders.

But who was really Rockefeller, what its origin was and how he managed to get his wealth:

John D. Rockefeller was born on July 8, 1839 and just missed him three years to reach live a century, he died at 97 years old. This is something that men fail at a rate of one in a million. Being very young, her family moved to the city of Cleveland and the boy reached there as collector potatoes go on vacation, so they paid 4 cents an hour. His mother paid him a dollar to help him raise turkeys and memories of his childhood, when he was already a millionaire, always had a turkey farm on his estate. Then, as a teenager, he was employed on a farm where he was paid 37 cents a day.

Finished their basic studies, John D. would have none of University. He joined a good business school and after a few months of study, their teachers said it was able to be used. They helped him enter as a subordinate employee in a broker firm, where he soon prospered, he became cashier and later in counter. At that time and for the rest of his life, John D. was always interested in the affairs of the Church, so that Sundays were spent teaching doctrine in the Church of the town.

In 1859, when he was 20, he formed a brokerage firm with his friend Maurice B. Clark, but the money he earned not invested in loans, which was a very slow way to make money. John D. had a nose for fast business and decided to get into the oil business. The year was 1862 and there was room for everyone.

In 1866, the company was expanded. Later the younger brother, William Rockefeller and Samuel Andrews joined, and the firm was called William Rockefeller and Company. In 1870, the company became a corporation under the name of Standard Oil Company of Ohio, which joined other partners who contributed $ 1 million.

In early 1872, Rockefeller helped create the South Improvement Company, a partnership that included the major oil refiners Cleveland, reaching agreements with railway undertakings to obtain large discounts for members of the association. This agreement was annulled legal way three months later, over the protests of the people, but by then almost all competitors Rockefeller had been forced to sell or to associate with him. In 1878 Rockefeller controlled 90% of the oil refineries in the US and soon after had a monopoly of distribution channels.

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Image courtesy of Boston Public Library at Flickr.com

In just over 10 years, the young John D. had become a businessman and drove millions. A truly meteoric career that could only happen in those times. By 1873, almost all oil companies that refine it had joined Standard Oil, whose capital had increased to 3 and a half million dollars. The new company had to appoint trustworthy people who will take care of handling properties that could not be incorporated into the Standard Oil Company of Ohio, but in 1882, all of these properties were combined into a giant Standard Oil Trust, which was dissolved ten years later to form the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, which also had to leaving office in 1911 because the Antitrust Commission of the United States considered monopolistic. At that time, it was estimated that the Standard Oil Company owned three quarters of the oil states. For many people it had become the symbol of the concentration of US commercial power.

To read more about John D. Rockefeller, visit my post: Rockefeller: from America’s most hated to America’s greatest donor.