Tom Kight

By John David Sutter Published: April 25, 2008
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Name: Tom Kight

Current financial situation: Comfortable income from energy properties. Kight spends most weekdays trading stocks from his northwest Oklahoma City office.

Largest amount of debt: $400,000.

Road to recovery: Borrowed heavily on credit cards and negotiated with creditors to avoid bankruptcy without losing any property.

Words of wisdom: “You’ve got to have a game plan and you’ve got to be willing to stick to it. Most people don’t. They have the best-laid plans but something comes up and they say ‘I’ll catch up next month,’ and it never happens.”

A longtime oilman and private investor, Tom Kight has recovered from financial blows delivered by volatile markets.

The oil bust of the 1980s left him $400,000 in debt. But he managed to recover without sacrificing leveraged assets that he correctly anticipated would some day to regain significant value.

“I owed a lot of different things,” Kight said. “At one time I had 20 credit cards. I borrowed on credit cards to pay banks.”

Although his methods were unorthodox, his success was built on extremely careful money management.

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