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Spectator Money

The world of wealthy tight-fists

5 February 2018

7:15 PM

5 February 2018

7:15 PM

Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of Ikea, was worth an estimated £40 billion. Yet the eighth richest man in the world drove an old Volvo, flew economy class, bought his clothes in flea markets and had his wife cut his hair to avoid the cost of a barber. Some other wealthy tight-fists:

— The oil entrepreneur J. Paul Getty, worth $6 billion when he died in 1976, famously installed a payphone for guests at Sutton Place, his home in Surrey.

— Wall Street financier Hetty Green was worth $200 million when she died in 1951. It would have been a little less had she not lived in a small apartment, used charity health clinics (leading, it was said, to the amputation of her son’s leg) and only washing the hems of her dresses to save on soap. She once stayed up much of the night searching for a lost two cents stamp.


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