The 5 Richest Tradies Of All Time and How You Can Become One

Tips & Tricks


A recent report stating Ozzie Tradies are charging like wounded bulls and the one about the billion dollar Tradie got us thinking about which tradies have truly nailed it and what can the rest of us mere mortals learn from them. Read on to find out who they are and how you can become one.


First up is Graeme Hart - Billionaire Towey

This ex tow truck drive and panel beater has amassed one helluva kitty and is now worth billions. His company, Rank Group, owns a bunch of packaging firms, consumer goods firms, car part companies and building supplies companies.


Graeme is the ultimate example of work hard, play hard having spent a good chunk of change on a multi million dollar super yacht collection (including this little thing) and famously only giving himself the odd half day off in the weekends as a treat. He never gives interviews but here’s a recent article published about him.


Tradify Job Management and Graeme Hart


He values his privacy so much he makes secret squirrel look like a singing canary, making it hard to get a grip on his philosophies and decision making process but there are a couple of things we can learn from Graeme - don't be afraid to make big bets but know the consequences of getting them wrong, there’s no substitute for hard work and that it doesn't have to be sexy to be worth a fortune.


Number two is Phillip Harrison - Billionaire Brickie

This billionaire brick layer has managed to acquire more than $2 billion in property and cash. Depending on the day and the news outlet these funds were acquired through investments, property, or gambling. Read more here. As it turned out this was just a tactic to get bail!


I think what we can all learn from Mr Harrison is that too many roids and too much Ice isn't good for business  or for one's ability to handle basic monetary concepts such as actually how much money do I really have in my bank account.


Number three - The Manson Clan - Builder Brothers

Haven't met them myself but by all accounts these guys come across as a bunch of authentic kiwi tradies who are super low key but super loaded. Read more here.


The business started in painting, renovations and real estate before moving into commercial and residential development on a large scale. At one point they were said to be buying or selling a property at a rate of 1 per day. Many of their multi-million dollar buildings are debt-free. The family are renowned in the sector for being the only NZ developers able to build without substantial precommitment from tenants.


On top of of their commercial activities they also invest significant time and money into various charitable foundations and have never forgotten where they came from.


Key learnings from these guys is it's not about becoming an overnight success, it's about crafting it out for years and putting in the yards. They also prove that when you’re playing the long game you don't have to search far and wide for opportunities as they can often be found right in front of you.


Number four is Matthew Pearce - $123 million CBA Gift

Matty found himself the proud recipient of a reasonably large gift from CBA, to the tune of $123 million. Im not sure what's more surprising, the fact it took them two weeks to fix it, or the fact that Matty resisted the urge to book a one way ticket to Costa Rica. Big up’s to this man’s will power.


Fifth equal - Mark Etherington, Shane Wilkinson, Chris Anderson - Aussie Builder Extraordinaires

I’ve probably unfairly lumped all these guys together but they do have some very similar traits. They’ve all managed to accumulated plenty of coin at a relatively young age and they mostly started out as carpenters or builders doing renovations.  


Now they own huge businesses specialising in hotels, apartments and commercial property. Various articles, such as this one, suggest that each of them has worked incredibly hard, taken on plenty of debt and risk while all the time remaining focused on workmanship, building great teams and giving back to the community.



Top tips for getting rich (Based on our top 5)

Hard work

Don't wait for some daft bank teller to accidentally give you a fortune, go out and intentionally graft it out for 15 or 20 years so you can reap the rewards later on.

Tradie Ethos

The skills and qualities  that make you a great tradie i.e. attention to detail, solution focused, pride in workmanship, team work,  can also help you make a fortune if you take some qualified risks.


By starting small and building out over time these guys now get to do things at large scale which means the profits grow. All these guys never stopped looking for growth.

Giving Back

It's probably part of the Tradie ethos but never forgetting your roots is something most of our richest tradies firmly believe in.

Tradify Job Management Software

To be fair there is no proof of this whatsoever but I’d like to believe that all of the above would have been Tradify customers had we existed when they started their businesses. The reason I say that is because if you really want to grow and scale a business, you’ve first got the get on top of the admin, and that's what Tradify helps Tradies do.


Good luck putting those tips into play. Let us know how you get on and remember the little guy once you’ve made your millions.