In 1856, with a loan from a local bank, Andrew Carnegie invested $217.50 in the Woodruff Sleeping Car Company. Woodruff’s went on to dominate the sleeping car business during the 1860s and within a few years Carnegie was earning thousands of dollars per annum from his first investment.

When war began in Europe in 1939, John Templeton borrowed money to buy 100 shares in each of 104 companies selling at $1 a share or less, including 34 companies that were in bankruptcy. Only four turned out to be worthless. Templeton turned large profits on the others after holding each for an average of four years...

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