Successful businessman and investor Peter H. Paulsen outlines his life journey and life lessons in his new book “From Brick and Mortar to Prosperity: How I Created Wealth.” His inspirational journey, which began in Germany during World War II, also included several years in the Quad Cities. Mr. Paulsen tells about his work as a […]
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Successful businessman and investor Peter H. Paulsen outlines his life journey and life lessons in his new book “From Brick and Mortar to Prosperity: How I Created Wealth.”
His inspirational journey, which began in Germany during World War II, also included several years in the Quad Cities.
Mr. Paulsen tells about his work as a bricklayer and moving to the “big cities” of the Quad Cities. In 1954, he moved to Moline, where he started earning $3 an hour as a bricklayer during the days and worked side jobs at nights and on weekends such as building a fireplace for a Deere & Co. executive.
During this era, Mr. Paulsen got married, became a business owner and a U.S. citizen, and remembers it as a wonderful part of his life. He went from a bricklayer to mason contractor to homebuilder in the region.
“We were young Americans, living the American dream,” he wrote.
“From Brick and Mortar” is largely a chronological account of Mr. Paulsen’s life journey. After his time in the Quad Cities, he writes of his family’s move to California in the 1960s (and the considerable efforts by Moline businessmen to convince the family to stay in the Quad Cities).
At the end of the chapters, Mr. Paulsen gives the reader several thought-provoking “Challenge Yourself” questions that review some of the lessons. Some of the questions include: Have you ever taken a stepping-stone job? Do you have the time and desire to manage your own stock portfolio? If your business begins to wane, what steps will you take to either adapt the business or sell it and move on?
The author states that one of the main reasons for his success is that he has been “very focused” doing one thing at a time during the many stages of his life. That focus has gone from getting an education to masonry work, single-family home development, apartment development, commercial real estate and investing.
Mr. Paulsen also gives his views on creating wealth. But there are no get-rich-quick tips in the book. Most of the advice and financial life lessons center on hard work, keeping a positive attitude and doing your research.
He writes that his philosophy for buying stocks is: Buy for the long haul; buy good companies with good fundamentals; buy stocks that pay a dividend; and hold unless the fundamentals are no longer there.
“Currently, I’m spending three or four hours a day on the computer, doing work related to my stock portfolio. I stay on top of everything,” Mr. Paulsen writes in his book.
In addition to creating wealth, Mr. Paulsen writes that it’s vital to give back to the community.
“Way back in my Moline days, I used to give generously to various needy programs. I did that because I had been a kid without a dad, a kid whose mother worked hard and who myself had to work hard from a very early age. … It’s the right thing to do. It’s what I was raised to do,” he wrote.
Mr. Paulsen, who now calls the Southwest home, recently donated $50 million for a hospital expansion at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Washington. The new hospital building will be called the Paulsen Pavilion.
Today, one of his top goals is to keep active because the word “retirement” is not on the horizon.
“I’m at my best when I take action, push forward and remain optimistic,” Mr. Paulsen writes.
“From Brick and Mortar to Prosperity” is available on Amazon.