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Andrew Carnegie: Distribution | Will Power quote 69

Category 3: Donate gifts

“I resolved to stop accumulating and begin the infinitely more serious and difficult task of wise distribution.”

Andrew Carnegie

Accumulating wealth does not bring the same long-term happiness and fulfilment as distributing wealth.

Andrew Carnegie believed in what he called “The Gospel of Wealth”: those fortunate enough to accumulate wealth should use it to benefit the larger society.

About Andrew Carnegie

At age 12, Andrew (1835-1919) came to America from Scotland. Two years later, he started working as a telegraph messenger boy in Pittsburgh. When he retired at age 65, he was one of the wealthiest in world history, with about $300 million. He focused his remaining 18 years on philanthropy.

Through his foundation, Andrew funded:

  • The construction of thousands of public libraries across the United States and Europe
  • Numerous universities, concert halls and other cultural facilities
  • Scientific research and other causes

By the time of his death, Andrew donated $350 million. His remaining $30 million went into an endowment.

Care to wisely distribute a portion to philanthropy?

While you may want nearly all your wealth to go to your family, you could also gift a percentage to philanthropy: 1%? 5%? 10%? Something else?

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