The Unknown Billionaire

Billionaires have dominated the headlines in 2021, tweeting about cryptocurrencies and meme stocks when they’re not busy taking their own company’s shuttles or rockets to space.

You probably haven’t read any headlines about this guy, though. If you’re like me, you’d never heard of him until reading the article that follows by David from Filled With Money.

David shares a bit of the unknown billionaire’s story while also telling us the lessons he’s taken away. While neither David nor you nor I are likely to become billionaires (or spend any time in space), there is always something to learn from studying the habits of successful individuals.

This Friday Feature was first published on Filled With Money.


There is an unknown billionaire who is not widely as advertised as Warren Buffett. However, the ideas and principles that he used to build his fortune is just as same. He is one of the greatest investors of our time but doesn’t like to get into the spotlight of the media. Who is he? His name is Herbert Wertheim.

If you ever see him walking down the street, you’ll mistake him for the average Joe. He practices stealth wealth and doesn’t need all the flashy things to make him happy. He’s a self-made billionaire who invested in great companies at good prices that got him rich.

While I personally have aspirations of becoming a billionaire, I know that I’m realistically not going to get there. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t read about other people’s stories to get inspiration and learn from them. The part that I love about Herbert Wertheim’s story is that he was an everyday person who made it happen.

He wasn’t born into wealth and he didn’t invent the next cryptocurrency to build his wealth. He did it the old fashioned way. That gives me the most amount of inspiration and comfort than anything else I read. It means that even though I realistically won’t get there, I still have a chance to get there.

I honestly don’t know how to create the next revolutionary product that changes the world for the better. I’m not that smart. All I know how to do is to get into a proven industry that generates money and ride the wave. The unknown billionaire did exactly that on steroids. That is the most comforting fact for me.

It means I still have a chance.



The Unknown Billionaire: Herbert Wertheim


Herbert Werheim is a now 81-year old self-made billionaire who is a community college graduate. He is the epitome of the everyday person achieving wealth through diligent investing habits. He also holds degrees from the University of Florida and a Doctor of Optometry from the Southern College of Optometry.

There was no need to go to a fancy ivy league school and be born to wealthy parents. In fact, he was diagnosed with dyslexia and wasn’t the best student. However, I’m willing to bet that he is far ahead of his peers who was born into privilege. He also spent his early years in the Navy and didn’t have a pristine resume to boot.

He started his business, Brain Power Incorporated, when he was 32 years old. Not when he was 16, not when he was in college, but when he was 32 years old. His company serves eye care professionals and manufactures products for them. While starting this business helped, his investments also helped him acquire immense wealth.

One way to spread the word of this unknown billionaire is to SMASH that social share button and post to your favorite social media! Herbert Wertheim is one of the most underrated persons to learn from out there. I bet you haven’t heard of his name in years, if ever.

He’s not a widely known figure and his story is not just inspirational but has lessons for the everyday common person. I know I learned a lot from his story, there’s no reason why your friends won’t learn from his story as well. Your friends’ lives might just get better by learning about his story so let’s spread the word!


Why You Should Care About This Unknown Billionaire


The unknown billionaire who is also self made was arguably the greatest investor to live. On par with Warren Buffett, or even surpass him. Herbert even started investing at a later age with less money than Warren Buffett yet still came out very good. That’s why you should care about him.

While Warren Buffett is a great role model to learn from, Herbert is arguably an even better role model. It’s just a shame that he’s not as well known in the media. I can’t imagine how many people can learn from his story.

No matter where you’re starting from, he is walking proof that you can still end up at a good place. Your past doesn’t define your future. You can still go to a community college and come out wildly successful. It’s only in your head. Don’t let others tell you that you need all this pedigree to get ahead.

It’s simply not that true. Others are wrongly attributing their successes to outside factors. The people who became successful became successful because of who they are as a person. Not because of some fancy degree. Remember that there are people who are Harvard graduates yet still do worse than community college graduates.

Whenever I’m feeling down that I’m not as ahead as I would like to be, I remember Herbert’s story. He inspires me to keep going and continue to wake up in the morning to work on my goals. That’s why you should care about the unknown billionaire. A good hero can be wildly beneficial to your life.

Don’t let his story fall through the cracks just because he doesn’t like shouting louder than the next person.


Things to Learn from the Unknown Billionaire


So now let’s break down the exact lessons that you can learn from the unknown billionaire.

1) You Have PLENTY of Time


Unknown billionaire teaches that there's enough time to get ahead.
The clock is ticking but don’t let that rush you.


Remember that he started his company when he was 32 years old. He took time to figure things out before deciding to start a company. Yes, Elon Musk started his company when he was 24. However, that’s not a necessary pre-requisite to be a billionaire. You can take your time to decide which company you want to start.

When you see successful people in media today, many started early. They focused a lot on business even in the early years. Don’t get sucked into that glamour. Herbert took his time to figure his life out before making any commitments to his career prospects. That’s an even bigger bonus for you.

It’s never too late. Jeff Bezos started Amazon when he was 30 years old. You don’t need to start a business in your teen years to make it in life. Maybe if you want to be the richest person on Earth but do you really want to be? Whether you’re the richest person on Earth or worth a couple billion dollars, is that going to make a difference?

Not that much. Therefore, take your time in figuring out what you want. There’s absolutely no rush.

2) Simplicity is Truly the Way to go in Building Wealth


There is no need to start a complicated business. Brain Power Incorporated manufacturers needed products for eye care professionals. The unknown billionaire just went into a business and created products that others needed. He doesn’t know how to create solar panels to harness the power of the sun.

What he did was he figured out what others needed to buy and created products to service that need. You can just go into a business that’s already proven to be lucrative. Real estate is another example. it’s not rocket science. Buy properties at a good price then lease that property out to others. That’s a tried and proven industry.

Or you can even go into investing in the stock market. You can just invest in a good company that’s going to do very well. While you don’t have to be smart, you do have to have the right temperament. Herbert bought and hold through many highs and lows of the stock market.

It wasn’t his smarts that got him to where he is, it was his behavioral characteristics.

3) You Don’t Have to be Impressive to be in the Top 1%


Unknown billionaire didn't have a Harvard degree.
A degree from Harvard is helpful but not necessary.

The unknown billionaire graduated from community college. No one in the media likes to highlight successful people as “community college graduates”. They love to highlight people who graduated from Stanford or Harvard. Therefore, readers get a misconception that an Ivy League college is a pre-requisite.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. You can still graduate from community college and make it in life. I graduated from a state school and have no intentions to go to an Ivy League college for an MBA. All I want to do is buy and hold investments and make my money that way.

There’s no need to go for flash. Go for fire. How others perceive or think about you doesn’t matter. A community college graduate just may be financially far ahead from a college graduate who took on many student loans. Take it from Herbert’s story and hopefully mine.


4) There’s ALWAYS a Way to Make More Money


Opportunities are truly unlimited in making money. However, it’s not going to come to you. You’re going to have to go and find it. Back then, the technology wasn’t sophisticated enough to where information was readily available. Even then, the unknown billionaire made it happen with less information.

We arguably have more information than how Herbert started out. Therefore, we even have a leg up. Not only is the stock market far more accessible with apps such as Robinhood, there’s far more ways to earn money these days as well. There is plenty of money to be made, you just have to find those opportunities.

Whether it’s today, 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, there will always be someone out there making money. Why can’t that person be you? There’s no reason why it can’t be.

5) You Don’t Need to Flaunt Your Status


Unknown billionaire has no need to show off his wealth.
There’s no need to show off your status.

The unknown billionaire is unknown for a reason. He’s not really well known but he doesn’t care at all. He doesn’t need everyone to know how great he is because he already knows how great he is. You don’t have to let everyone know how great you are, let alone who you are in the first place.

I love my privacy and I doubt that I will ever flaunt my successes and wins. I don’t care what people think of me and I gladly go out in public in T-Shirt and jeans. There’s no value to my life that comes with people knowing that I’m successful. You don’t need to let others know of your status.

Stealth wealth is gaining more traction and getting more popular for a reason. People learned to value their privacy more so than how others see them. There’s no need to make others jealous. You already know how great you are all by yourself.


Anyone Can be the Unknown Billionaire


After learning the unknown billionaire’s story, hopefully you are convinced that anyone can become one. It’s certainly given me hope that as long as I put my mind and actions into it, I have the chance to become an unknown billionaire. What gives me even more comfort is that I started earlier than he did.

By religiously reading personal finance blogs in college, I figured out the steps it takes to get there. Therefore, I started investing right out of the gate into my 401k. My 401k alone has $200k into it. While that’s not enough to get me to the billionaire status, I know it’s a better start than most.

If you want to better your life from where you are today, there’s always plenty of time to. Don’t let anyone rush you, you have more time than others are making it out to be. They are just using your emotions to cause hysteria. There’s a good chance that you’re even ahead of where Herbert was at his age.

You may have already started at a better position than Herbert. So then what matters is the endpoint. It means that you are on the path to success. While you don’t have to surpass Herbert, you do have to make sure you don’t waste the opportunity. You have one life, protect it at all costs.

Don’t let the unknown billionaire’s story be one where you read about it, and say “cool” and move on with your life. His story is impactful. Use it to your advantage and let it serve as inspiration and motivation for you. He already proved that it’s possible, so now it’s up to you to make the possibility into a reality.


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5 thoughts on “The Unknown Billionaire”

  1. I’m befuddled at the repeated statements that this billionaire graduated from a community college, yet the article states he graduated from University of Florida.

    Unless I’m missing something, UF is a 4-year university and has been so for decades. In Florida the nomenclature “community college” indicates a 2-year school.

    Perhaps the writer simply means to indicate UF is not an ivy league school? Given that it has well renowned medical and veterinary programs, I wouldn’t consider UF to be of humble stature.

    • Yeah, I know — I did my residency there and my wife got her dietetics degree at UF. She had a lot of friends in the pharmacy school that did 2 years at Santa Fe Community College and other community colleges prior to transferring into UF. I’m assuming Herb did something similar.

      Your friendly Gator Sedator,

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  3. Becoming a billionaire is very much like winning the powerball lottery. Anyone “could” do it but the odds are ridiculously against any one person doing it, regardless of talent. Plus while the lottery requires a ticket purchase the billionaire lottery requires talent and hard work just to be eligible for the drawing, but even with that the chances of you or me becoming one is basically zero. I’ve known several billionaires. I worked for one for 28 years. The one time I almost quit he jumped on his jet and flew to my office and spent a solid hour talking me out of it, and he was right! He was shrewd yet kind and owned 58 sizable companies as their only shareholder.

    I worked out and ran many miles with another one for several years. And I’m working (as a non-paid volunteer) with a third one right now in my retirement on an eight digit charitable project. They’ve all been extremely polite and community minded people. One was self made and two were born with the right last name, but all three are remarkably similar. My favorite was my employer, the richest man ever in his home state he drove a company pickup truck and loved to eat at the Golden Corral, which if you don’t know is an inexpensive restaurant chain in the South. He worked until he died in his late 80’s but he generally seemed to be having a great time of it.

    • Wow, what a story to have a billionaire actually spend his time, money, and energy to actually fly to you in person to talk you out of quitting. It shows just how valuable you were to the company.

      Thank you for sharing Steve, you have a lot of memorable stories to learn from.


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