'The Cheapest Man Alive:' Millionaire Won't Fix Roof And Clings To '92 Town Car : The Two-Way Edward Wedbush's frugalness has paid off though. And may have helped his investment firm survive the financial crisis.
NPR logo 'The Cheapest Man Alive:' Millionaire Won't Fix Roof And Clings To '92 Town Car

'The Cheapest Man Alive:' Millionaire Won't Fix Roof And Clings To '92 Town Car

The Los Angeles Times has a fascinating profile of Edward Wedbush, whose investment company manages more than $15 billion in assets and is valued at $300 million.

It turns out that Wedbush has for years — and much to the dismay of his neighbors — left the roof of his house in disrepair. To this day, tarps cover about half of it. The Times reports:

Neighbors say they've written letters, passed along bids from contractors and even lined up buyers for the home, all to no avail. The tarps remain. The 78-year-old Wedbush occasionally climbs onto the roof in bathrobe and slippers to rearrange them, neighbors say.

"It's not as though this guy is poor," said Ronni Cooper, president of the Ladera Heights Civic Assn. "There's no excuse for this."

The Times says Wedbush owns a 1992 Lincoln Town Car, brings his lunch from home and personally signs expense-reimbursement checks of his company's 1,000 employees.

A current employee tells the paper he's "the cheapest man alive."

In any case, the piece tries to explain why he does this. Part of it, the piece puts forward, has to do with his Great Depression boyhood. But his frugalness has paid off big, and might explain how his firm survived the financial crisis when others collapsed.