John Jacob Astor Essay

869 words - 4 pages

How to Become the Richest Person in America

1. After reading the case study of John Jacob Astor; I was astounded- how an immigrant born in a none-too-prosperous butcher family ended up with millions of dollar, becoming the richest person in America? And it arouses the curiosity behind his success and abundance wealth. We want to know why he was successful and rich.
His success started with vision in mind of having his own fur business. I think vision helps one to get successful if one follows his/her goal consistently and disciplinarily. He was a man full of traits like attention to details, determination and had a great foresight. After he married Sarah Todd, he opened his own ...view middle of the document...

Astor saw the great value in trading in china. There they paid good amount for seal and sea otter pelt. Here, he was engaged in sealing fur and buying eastern goods like tea, Indian silks, nankeens and black India lute- strings. In 1800 he became the main owner of a vessel to carry fur to china and return with Chinese good. In 1809, he had five ships of his own to carry trade to china.

In 1808 he established The American Fur Company (AFC) with the capital of $1million dollar. It was his capital in AFC. In 1811, AFC collaborated with Michilimackinac Company and formed the south west company. Here a question may arise, Why Astor need to collaborate with Canadian company “Michilimackinac”? Because this, Canadian company had a great grip in the Mississipi and Missouri Valley. One of his strategies was, if the competitor puts the tough fight then buy them or work with them. This way, the market is accessible.
During the war, his business suffered. But this opened the door for new opportunity. He got involved in buying foreign currency –Guilders and Sterling. He held them until it rose in value. Mostly during that time he got involved in government loans and securities. He got profited from this process. After the war, his fur trade business boomed. Only form his fur trade business his total stock valued more than $800 million dollar.

He was also involved in Real Estate business. He bought many properties in New York. He spent close to...

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