Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant (1629) * Oil on canvas, 105 x 149 cm * Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tours

My father-in law Dick Young wrote this timeless issue in May 2006 in his monthly strategy report: Richard C. Young’s Intelligence Report. Check back in a week or so for more on one of my favorite investing lessons. As you can see I have a somewhat vested interest in the results.

Read more of Dick Young’s investment strategy here.

Simple Is Sophisticated

Debbie and I recently made the pilgrimage to Vermont’s Authentic Designs ( to order much of the inside and outside lighting for a New England home we are renovating. At a most bucolic setting, skilled craftsmen turn out masterful creations with the aid of 150 year-old machines. On one such machine was taped the company’s guiding principle: Simple Is Sophisticated.

Authentic Designs & Simplicity

America’s oldest manufacturer of colonial and early American lighting fixtures likes to keep things simple and tidy. Whenever feasible, manufacturing operations at West Rupert, Vermont’s Authentic Designs are hand ones, helping to eliminate the cold, artificial uniformity created by mass production techniques. All exposed metal parts are individually cut, bent, and shaped, using methods employed two centuries ago.

Over the decades that I have been writing to you, I have steadfastly emphasized the “keep it simple” approach to investing. And henceforward, I’m going to embellish my keep-it-simple wording with Authentic Designs’ “simple is sophisticated.” I think this fabulous little old-world manufacturing company has beaten me to the punch with its great catchphrase.

Rich as Croesus

I want you to begin on your quest for sophistication through simplicity by focusing laser-like on compound interest. Here is an amazing story. I call it my grandchildren’s “rich as Croesus” strategy. (Croesus was the last king of Lydia from 560–547 B.C.)

Be sure to check out Authentic Designs.