03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Learn To Invest Like A Rockefeller

Who said that? Some elderly retiree in Florida?

Nope. None other than oil man John D. Rockefeller, the wealthiest man the world has ever known. On inflation-adjusted terms, Rockefeller's early-20th-century fortune is estimated by Forbes to be more than $300 billion today -- roughly five times the wealth of today's richest man, Carlos Slim.

Making money
John D. Rockefeller had two goals in life:

1. Make $100,000.
2. Live to be 100 years old.

While he failed to achieve the second goal (by only 26 months), he satisfied the first one more than 1,000 times over.

Rockefeller quickly learned that the fastest and easiest way to make money was to sell "real" products that every household needed. When he discovered that crude oil could be refined into kerosene, a high-quality illuminating oil for lamps (automobiles and their need for gasoline would come later), Rockefeller saw the opportunity to help every U.S. family light up its house and jumped into the oil business in 1863.

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