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Get Rich Quick: True Tales of Overnight Millionaires - Tracy Howe - 2 of 4

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The Entrepreneur

  • Name: Tracy Howe
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Frenchtown, N.J.
  • Source of wealth: In 2007, Howe and her husband, Peter Kraft, sold their college-recruiting software company for a multimillion-dollar sum.

How did you get rich? First of all ... “rich” means different things to different people. To us it doesn’t just mean money, it means a house full of people, animals and activity. It means a “rich” life full of things to do. We made our by money building a technology company, Goalquest, in higher education. We built it from scratch and sold it eight years later.

What did you buy? We bought a house in the Hamptons as an investment property, but we haven’t gotten our money out of it yet. Fortunately, the Hamptons is as near a recession-proof location as you can get, so we’re optimistic about this investment. We also bought a horse farm in Florida — we’re equestrians and show “jumpers,” and we participate at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Fla. That area, unfortunately, isn’t as recession-proof as the Hamptons. Not only didn’t we get our money out of that investment yet, but we’ll probably lose money on that one. The market in Florida is terrible. We also bought a few horses for us.

Smartest thing you spent it on? Our kids’ private education. It’s incredible how much we can see the positive impact the school is having on their development, maturity and confidence.

Dumbest thing you spent it on? A very expensive grand prix show jumper [horse] for our trainer to ride and then resell. That definitely did not work out the way we had hoped it would.

What are you doing now? We started a new business in social philanthropy called SequentialT. We sell sequentially numbered shirts to people around the world. Each shirt raises money for charity and counts people in to a united effort to make the world a better place.

Advice to others? Take the time to think through want you really want for the next stage of your life, and don’t rush into things too quickly. With unlimited amounts of money can come impulsive behavior. I think it’s important to reward yourself for your success, but then you need proper planning for creating long-lasting assets so that you never [again] have to feel financial pressures.

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