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On $11 an hour, Jersey man made millions

He saved, invested and lived frugally

By Karen Datko Sep 11, 2009 3:35PM

Paul Navone is one of those quiet millionaires next door. His friends had no idea he had money until he started giving it away -- $1 million to a college and another $1 million to a prep school.

 

The 78-year-old retiree never made more than $11 an hour while working in the New Jersey mills, according to a story by Joe Logan in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and to this day Navone buys his clothing at thrift stores, and doesn't have a TV or a phone.

 

Navone, the son of Italian immigrants, quit school and went to work at age 16. He lived at home and saved. After two years in the Army, he bought the first of several rental properties. He lived off that income, saved his wages and turned to investing, the Inquirer story says.

 

"Paul has always been the perfect client. He gave me money and never took it out," said broker R. Douglas Smithson, senior vice president for investments at Wachovia Securities in Vineland. "He took my advice, he stuck to a plan, and he reaped the benefits of it."

 

Navone, who lives in a small house in Millville, said, "My motto back then without realizing it -- and it is now -- is that I'll work for the money, and then I want the money to work for me."

 

Published Jan. 17, 2008

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