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Self-made millionaires are a rare commodity.
Plenty of men and women succeed in business after having studied economics, the stock market, or finance in college.
But then there are the folks who did it all themselves – who earned every penny of their impressive fortunes from scratch with little more than a stubborn disposition and a tiny supply of cash.
Here's a look at five self-made millionaires and how they transformed an idea, a talent, and a small pile of cash into millions…
Five Self-Made Millionaires
Self-Made Millionaire No. 1: Tim Grittani. Four years ago, young Tim Grittani started dipping into the stock market with his $1,500 life savings. The 25-year-old managed to turn that initial $1,500 into more than $1 million today. Grittani admits his trading strategy was a risky one, having invested primarily in penny stocks instead of larger, more established companies like Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) and General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM). Grittani took advantage of low stock prices of less than $1 to help him grow his fortune.
While penny stocks are speculative as a result of being thinly traded, Grittani profited because of the inefficient market. Grittani spent his early college years playing and winning poker games – experiences that undoubtedly helped him hone his wagering skills and "all-in" mentality.
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Self-Made Millionaire No. 2: Nick D'Aloisio. Nick D'Aloisio is a self-taught programmer who started out his education on the subject with a copy of "C for Dummies" and how-to videos on the Internet. Once he became proficient with programming, D'Aloisio launched his first app when he was only 12 years old. From there, he developed a new app every time school let out for the summer.
At only 15 years of age, D'Aloisio developed an app called Trimit that condenses lengthy articles into short summaries of 1,000, 500, or 140 characters. A Hong Kong billionaire saw the app's potential and gave Nick $300,000 in venture capital to perfect it. The re-worked app went on to be called Summly, which Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) paid $30 million for.