A small town in Florida was once the richest town per capita in the United States, all thanks to one shrewd businessman who urged his fellow townspeople to invest in Coca-Cola shares while they were still cheap.
In the midst of the Great Depression of the ’20s and ’30s, a banker named Pat Munroe noticed that people were using their very last nickels to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola. At the time, the Coca-Cola company was trading for less than cash in the bank, and shares were remarkably cheap. Not only did Munroe invest in multiple Coca-Cola shares himself, he urged many of his Quincy, Florida neighbors to do so. He was a trusted banker, and many of them followed his advice. At $19 per share, shares were relatively cheap–so Munroe kept urging, and the town kept buying.
Munroe’s observation paid off: the Coke shares, along with his ability to convince others to keep investing even when the market was down, was what saved the town of Quincy from the worst of the Great Depression. The farming town was able to keep afloat during hard times with its Coca-Cola dividends. These dividends have also reportedly saved the town every recession since then, and when crops failed.
In addition it brought wealth to the town; Quincy became the single richest town per capita in the entire United States, and at least 67 of its inhabitants were dubbed “Coca-Cola millionaires.” They amassed huge fortunes from their early shares, which they passed down through the generations of their families.
Today, Quincy is a quiet town with a population of less than 7,000, but look carefully and you’ll find signs of the huge Coca-Cola legacy on the little town, such as at the bank, and you might even see the grandchildren of Coca-Cola millionaires that continue to live there.