Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist who led the massive expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century, making him one of the richest entrepreneurs of his era. He’s also very likely one of the most generous philanthropists of all-time, having given away over 74% of his wealth before he died in 1919. That said, if you want to know how sizeable Andrew Carnegie’s net worth was, and by extension, exactly how generous he was, then this page is for you.
We’ll analyze the net worth of Andrew Carnegie along with what his fortune would be worth in today’s money, as well as what his current earning power would be like today. So if you’re ready to be impressed and inspired, let’s dive in.
What Is Andrew Carnegie’s Net Worth?
In 1901 Andrew Carnegie sold his steel company to J.P. Morgan for a whopping $480 million. So, his net worth at the height of his wealth has been estimated at $475 to $480 million.
That said, Business Insider published an article back in 2011 that provided a scientific assessment of Carnegie’s net worth, which came out to around $309 billion. After adjusting for inflation this would put Carnegie’s net worth as of 2023, at approximately $418 billion.
For context, this mean that Carnegie’s net worth is more than 2x the fortune of the world’s current richest man, Bernard Arnault.
The Earning Power of Carnegie’s Fortune
What would you do with a fortune like that? Would you be as generous as Carnegie and give it all away?
Here’s what we would do. We’d keep the fortune, but opt to give away 99% of it’s earning power to charity every single year in perpetuity.
Why? Because it would allow us to give away more money overall, while still being able to live a reasonably rich lifestyle. In fact, after a little over 25 years, you’d be able to give away more than $418 billion, while still having at least $418 billion left in wealth.
It sounds crazy, we know. But, that math adds up.
Here’s how: If you invested that money into assets that paid out at least 4% every year in the form of a dividend so you could leverage the 4% rule, then chose to live off of just 1% of that 4% pay out every year while giving away the rest, it would look like this: You’d be earning $16.3 billion annually, you’d give away $16.2 billion each year as well, and you’d still be able to live off of $163.2 million every single year… forever.
That’s still a pretty good living for just living off of 1% of your fortune!
That said, here’s a detailed and mind-blowing breakdown of how much Andrew Carnegie’s fortune could yield him every single month, week, day, etc. using the 4% rule.
ANDREW CARNEGIE’S MONEY METRICS
|2023 Net Worth:||$418,000,000,000|
|**Earnings Per Year:||$16,720,000,000|
Note: this is a approximate earnings metric highlighting the earning power of Andrew Carnegie’s inflation adjusted net worth. It does not include how much he made from his business dealings, or any other ventures. These calculations are for entertainment purposes only.
Interesting Andrew Carnegie Facts:
- Carnegie was 12 years old when he moved to America from Scotland.
- Andrew Carnegie grew up in poverty and stopped going to school at the age of 12.
- His first job was working in a Cotton Factory, where he made $1.20 per week at the age of 13.
- By the age of 30 Carnegie became rich from investing in iron, railroad, and oil companies.
- Andrew Carnegie was 48 when he got married to Louise Whitfield of New York City.
- Andrew Carnegie was 65 years old when he become one of the richest men in history.
- Carnegie died at the age of 83.
How Did Andrew Carnegie Get So Rich?
Andrew Carnegie came from very humble beginnings, and he worked hard for many years for very little pay. Having come from an environment where his family had to learn to make a little go along way, saving money as he made more of it with every new job, was easy to do. This allowed for Carnegie to save and invest early on.
This habit would eventually provide him with seed capital, along with a $500 chunk of money he acquired from his mother’s mortgaging of her house, so he could making a handful of savvy business investments which would eventually set the young Carnegie up for big returns.
Andrew Carnegie was also an eager learner, and read voraciously to improve himself and his knowledge. And it was the combination of this relentless pursuit of knowledge, a strong work ethic, and his shrewd business sense, that he would go on to capitalize on countless opportunities across various industries.
This early financial success became the foundation that allowed Andrew Carnegie to eventually seize the opportunity to get into the Steel industry. And once he established the Carnegie Steel Corporation, his success and fortune would accelerate as he adopted new processes that allowed for him to align his ability to produce steel with the rapid global growth in demand that existed for it.
Related: The Andrew Carnegie Secret
Success Insights In His Own Words
That said, Carnegie wrote a book (The Gospel of Wealth), and commissioned the research and writing of one of the most cited success books of all-time, to share with others the insights that would allow for them to achieve success and riches for themself.
So, here are a few inspiring insights about success and wealth from Andrew Carnegie himself:
“The fastest way to double your money is to fold them in half and put them in your pocket.” – Andrew Carnegie
Click To Tweet
“Labor, capital, and ability are a three-legged stool… They are equal members of the great triple alliance which moves the industrial world.”
Click To Tweet
“The secret of success lies not in doing your own work but in recognizing the best person to do it.” – Andrew Carnegie
Click To Tweet
“Success can be attained in any branch of human labor. There is always room at the top in every pursuit. Concentrate all your thought and energy upon the performance of your duties.” – Andrew Carnegie
Click To Tweet
“Do your duty and a little more and the future will take care of itself.” – Andrew Carnegie
Click To Tweet
Read More: Andrew Carnegie Quotes
Here are some key Andrew Carnegie takeaways:
- Andrew Carnegie Net Worth (adjusted) **: $418 billion
- Andrew Carnegie Net Worth in 1901: $480 million
- Annual Earnings **: $16.72 billion
- Keys to Success: Hard Work, Investing, Self-Education, Taking Risks
There aren’t very many people who can boast a net worth as large as Andrew Carnegie’s. Even modern day Titan’s like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or Bernard Arnault have a long way to go before they achieve the level of riches that Carnegie achieved.
Carnegie’s legacy persists to this day due to his impressive entrepreneurial feats across various industries, especially the Steel industry. But his true legacy stems from the many lives he changed with his generosity of spirit, and the many libraries and resources his money provided for disadvantaged people all over the country.
Till you reach your aims,
Leave a Reply