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Meet Dr. Herbert Wertheim, a South Florida optometrist and small businessman who in several decades, became a billionaire.
Wertheim, 79, is a self-made billionaire worth $2.3 billion, according to Forbes' The World's Billionaires list. His fortune comes from numerous inventions and buy-and-hold investing.
Wertheim - Investor - Americans - Forbes
Wertheim could very well be the most significant individual investor many Americans have never heard of, and he recently sat down with Forbes to prove it.
Madeline Berg, a reporter at Forbes following the money, flipped through Wertheim's brokerage statements which showed hundreds of millions of dollars in tech stocks like Apple and Microsoft, purchased long ago at their IPOs. There are dozens of other blue-chip stocks in the portfolio, ranging from GE, Google, BP, and Bank of America.
Wertheim - Path - Billionaire
Here is Wertheim's interesting path into becoming a billionaire.
In the early 1960s, he attended the Southern College of Optometry and after graduation started a small practice in South Florida. At nights, Wertheim spent his time tinkering on inventions, and in 1969, he invented an eyeglass tint for plastic lenses that filtered dangerous UV rays, helping to prevent cataracts.
Demand - Wertheim - Tint - Royalty - Breaches
Demand for Wertheim’s tint erupted, and he sold the royalty for $22,000. However, because of contractual breaches, he never collected any royalty funds from the deal.
So in 1970, Wertheim formed a new company, Brain Power Inc. (BPI). He established the company as a technology consulting firm, but at the same time, he reverted to developing tints, dyes and other technologies for eyewear.
Year - World - Neutralizers - Chemical - Lenses
A year later he invented the world’s first neutralizers, a chemical that restored lenses to their original state. At the time, he showed his wife a can containing the new chemical and said, ‘Nicole, what’s in this can is going to make us millionaires.’ ”
Between the tints, dyes, and neutralizers, Wertheim rolled the new technology into BPI, which became one of the world’s largest...
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