Aside from Warren Buffett, another name deserves equal recognition for his penny-pinching ways: Ingvar Kamprad, the founder of IKEA. Despite his immense fortune, Kamprad’s financial habits were as humble as they come.

Kamprad, who passed away in 2018 at 91, was one of the world’s richest individuals. His net worth was around $58.7 billion at the time of his death, placing him as the eighth richest person globally.

Ingvar Kamprad is stingy and proud

Kamprad unabashedly declared in an interview, “I’m stingy and proud.” And he certainly lived up to this statement. He built a global empire with IKEA, yet his lifestyle starkly contrasted with his vast wealth. Kamprad famously flew coach, stayed in budget hotels, and drove a modest 1993 Volvo 240 GL for over two decades.

Kamprad’s thriftiness extended to his wardrobe. Even as one of the world’s wealthiest men, he shopped at flea markets, a habit he maintained even after returning to Sweden from a 40-year tax exile. “If you look at me now, I don’t think I’m wearing anything that wasn’t bought at a flea market,” he said.

His frugality even influenced his grooming habits. After paying about $27 for a haircut in the Netherlands in 2008 — an expense he found excessive — Kamprad told a Swedish newspaper, “Normally, I try to get my haircut when I’m in a developing country. Last time it was in Vietnam,” underscoring his commitment to cost-efficiency.

Kamprad’s thrift was not just about saving money; it was an integral part of his leadership style and corporate philosophy. He believed in leading by example, famously stating, “How the hell can I ask people who work for me to travel cheaply if I travel in luxury? It’s a question of good leadership.”

Personal habits to business legacy

His financial prudence extended beyond his habits to his business legacy. Kamprad ensured that his heirs did not inherit the billions tied up in IKEA. Instead, they received the significantly smaller Ikano Group, with assets around $10 billion. In 1982, he established the Stichting INGKA Foundation in the Netherlands, a charitable entity controlling the majority of IKEA stores worldwide through a series of holding companies. Another holding company, Inter IKEA Systems B.V., owns the IKEA brand and overall franchise, under a foundation based in Liechtenstein.

This elaborate setup preserved the IKEA brand’s independence from the Kamprad family, aligning with the founder’s vision of longevity for the company over familial wealth accumulation. Jane Gray, Senior Solicitor at Stowe Family Law, noted, “Trusts are a great facility to ringfence and preserve assets after you have died, but the downside is any control element dies with you.” She emphasized that assets in a trust are managed by trustees for the beneficiaries, not necessarily direct heirs.

Kamprad’s primary concern was the longevity of IKEA’s ethos, focusing on innovation and design over personal wealth. His story, while extreme, highlights the value of mindful spending and financial planning.

Source: IKEA Founder Was Worth $60 Billion But Drove A 1993 Volvo, Flew Coach And Got His Haircuts In Developing Countries: ‘I’m Stingy And Proud’

Related Stories

Billionaire Warren Buffet still lives in the same $31,500 house he bought 60 years ago

Millionaires’ migration amid economic turbulence

The post Ingvar Kamprad: IKEA’s Frugal Billionaire appeared first on The Independent News.