Melissa from Scotland contacted me about a BBC news article which mentioned that a Scottish midwife, Jean Alexander, had left 1.6M pounds to a multiple sclerosis charity. The article mentioned that Ms. Alexander was considered to be a shrewd investor in the stock market. I suspect that she was not only shrewd, but also generous and lived below her means. I have consistently found that people from Scottish ancestry in America account for a disproportionately large share of the millionaire next door population. As I wrote in The Millionaire Next Door:
No other ancestry group has such a high concentration of millionaires from such a small concentration of high income producing households.
In Millionaire Women Next Door, several of the major case studies are about women with Scottish ancestry including Mrs. Jessie Bridges who spent much of her adult life as a bookkeeper and lived in a lower middle class neighborhood. Even her friends were surprised when she donated $500,000 to each of the following: the YMCA, Salvation Army, college foundations and the local hospice.
In Melissa’s email, she concluded with:
I’d also like to say a big thank you for the part-time millionaire stories in Millionaire Women Next Door. I have MS myself and live on welfare benefits here in Britain, but while I may never be able to work full-time again it gives me great hope to be reminded that this is not the ONLY way to become economically independent. Your books cheer me up immensely, which is why I am constantly reading them (and why I needed the hardbacks – the paperbacks simply didn’t survive!).
2 thoughts on “The Millionaire Next Door: Light on Consumption, Heavy on Giving”
Moderation and hard work appears to be built into my own Scottish heritage. I hail from Clan Ferguson (Fergushil branch, to be more exact).
The clan motto is “dulcius ex asperis” which means “sweeter after difficulty.”
I, too, am of Scottish heritage. We are close to being PAW’s. However, with that said, most of my relatives are rather good savers, but not affluent due to lower than average incomes.
My wife & I chose our careers well and it has been helpful. That said, thank you for once again highlighting the Scottish heritage.