Author: James J. Hester

Publisher: Arlington House; First Edition edition (1979)
ISBN-10: 0870004220

ISBN-13: 978-0870004223


Author James J. Hester just published in 2013 a new edition of How to Build a Small Fortune From Next to Nothing - The Penny Capitalist.  Originally published in 1979 by Arlington House, the new edition published by Access Consciousness Publishing updates the content for people today. His life-changing financial principles can dramatically alter your financial well being.


Once readers get past the many sections advising you to scour garage sales for bargains, which is wise yet commonly known advice, Hester opens the vaults to withdraw real pearls of wisdom for anyone struggling to make ends meet.


In these tough economic times, we all suffer from backbreaking taxation in both clear and hidden methods, Federal and state mandates that order us to buy insurance, and skyrocketing food prices. Buying these essentials causes most people to think they have nothing left over to save or invest. Hester points out that even one dollar compounded over twenty-one years can become $1,048,576.00.


His other big points include:


  • Buy something, so matter how little it costs.

  • Buy equities of real value.

  • Learn when and how to sell.

  • You can sell anything.

  • If you can’t sell, trade.

  • If you can’t sell or trade, keep what you have for a possible future market.

  • Look for free stuff.

  • $1 saves equals $1.25 earned.

Here’s one of the book’s secrets: “. . . keep your account separate from the family budget. What have you gained for the future if your capital has increased by 100 percent over the past year only to be spent to pay a current bill? This is a common problem for all low- and middle-income families. Most likely you can work out some kind of compromise policy under which you declare a dividend, establish an excessive-income account, or establish some other mechanism to balance the family’s current needs and wants against providing for future needs. What is clear is that if you are to be successful in increasing your capital, you will probably have to include some sacrifice of current wants in order to be able to spare something to invest.”


Add this book to your current “wants list.” Neither the $9.99 Kindle edition nor the approximately $25 paperback edition will break you, and you will probably glean enough good tips from his experience to return the investment many times over.


The 238-page book offers thirteen chapters that guide you through a winning series of steps that show you how to personally invest, manage reverse budgeting, play the stock market, seek out alternative investing, and make credit work for you. Most of these guidelines will be eye-opening for many readers. Hester overfills the book with charts, tables, and more tips than you can savor in one reading, and just to relieve the pressure of  trying to solve the grim puzzle of how to stretch a dime to a dollar, he relieves tension with a series of genuinely funny cartoons.  


Investing on a shoestring should never discourage those of us in the poor to middle class range. According to Hester, building a small fortune from next to nothing merely involves taking careful steps. You cannot win the war if you do not know your enemy. Since Hester has already been through the battlegrounds and apparently toppled the adversary, young people just getting started and older people segueing into unsteady retirement will both benefit from studying his tales. Visit for more information.

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