By William Potter @

Patience and the awesome power of compound interest are the heart and soul of investing. The NY Times reports that Sylvia Bloom, a legal secretary from Brooklyn amassed a fortune of over $9 million dollars on a modest salary. What was the key to Mrs. Bloom’s success? Mrs. Bloom saved and invested and allowed the power of compounding to work for over six decades.

Since Ms. Bloom never talked about this, even to those closest to her, the fact that she had carefully cultivated more than $9 million among three brokerage houses and 11 banks, emerged only at the end of her life — “an oh my God moment,” said Ms. Lockshin, the executor of Ms. Bloom’s estate.

“I realized she had millions and she had never mentioned a word,” recalled Ms. Lockshin. “I don’t think she thought it was anybody’s business but her own.”

Ms. Bloom’s will allowed for some money to be left to relatives and friends, but directed that the bulk of the fortune go toward scholarships of Ms. Lockshin’s choice for needy students.

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