Saturday, May 29, 2010

Canadian Cash

How does a person get (and stay) rich? In some cases they inherit it, but that does not always mean that you continue being rich. Lots of people have lost family fortunes. There are rags to richest stories out there, but they are few and far between. If you are like me, the only way I can imagine becoming rich is by winning the lottery. Just in case we get lucky and win the lotto, here are some books by or about successful Canadians that may be interesting (and instructional?) to read.

Outliers : the story of success by Malcolm Gladwell.

Debuting at # 1 on the bestseller lists for the Globe and Mail and the New York Times this is an interesting study of success. The word outlier is a term meaning things that are outside of normal experience. This book showcases people who, for one reason or another, are outliers in life. Lots of people are really smart and/or really ambitious but not all of them are successful. There are tons of self-help, motivational, get rich quick guides out there but which one is "the one"–or at least "the one" for you? Gladwell states that it is not just the individual who is the cause of their own success but the time period, culture, community and family that they grew up in. Gladwell even points out one nine year period that produced more outliers than another period in history. Read his book to see if you were born in that period and you never know what may happen!

Ken Thomson: Canada’s enigmatic billionaire by Vic Parsons.

Ken Thomson was a chairman of Thomson Corp., a famous art collector and one the world’s wealthiest men. Ken’s first job was reporting for the Timmins Daily Press, a paper his father owned. He was a private man wearing shoes with holes in their soles and flying economy class. Yet he saw his company grow into a global electronic-publishing giant. One of the most public showing of his wealth came when he donated his 2,000 piece collection of art , estimated at $300 million to the Art Gallery of Ontario along with $50 million to expand the gallery and $20 million as an endowment fund.

Twenty-first Century Irvings by Harvey Sawler.

If there is anyone who has not heard of the Irving family in the Maritimes they must have been living under a rock. I grew up in New Brunswick at a very weird time in Canada’s history. Richard Hatfield and Pierre Trudeau had been in power forever The Irvings and the McCains owned the province, or so it seemed. K.C. Irving started out with a general store and gas station. Irving Oil is one of today’s leading regional energy companies, ship-building and newspaper companies. Arthur Irving, his son, would have made old KC proud.

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