Fortune Favors the Brave: The Most Successful Investors and Their Secrets
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While savvy investment forms a part of many business strategies, there are still some key differences between a standard businessperson and an investor. Certainly, if we had inherited a media empire from our fathers at the age of 21, we too could have grown it into an even larger media empire, just like Rupert Murdoch did… And who knows, we might have even been asked to do a cameo on The Simpsons too. It’s logically easier for a person who has already found some kind of business success and has received the subsequent profits to become an investor, since any loss of funds won’t be felt so strongly, unlike someone who is new to investing and might be inclined to invest more than they can afford in a risky venture. Murdoch himself has made many risky investments, such as the acquisition of Myspace for $580 million, which he ended up selling for just $35 million. So who are some of the most successful investors of the modern age, and what made them so darn good at it?
While some investors are motivated by a desire for personal wealth, Warren Buffet is not one of them. In 2006, Buffet pledged to give away 85% of his $46 billion personal wealth, making him the largest giver to charity ever. His financial acumen was evident at a young age, and Buffet was an entrepreneurial child, balancing a paper route with his side business of finding and selling old gold balls. He founded his investment company at the age of 25 and through a combination of analysis and luck, was able to foresee the worlds coming reliance on credit cards- he was one of the original investors in American Express.
An investor who keeps a low profile, Fisher shares an attribute with Warren Buffet- an ability to look into the future when it comes to what to invest in. Until she funded its growth, Pinterest was just another mildly interesting form of social media, and it’s now worth more than $330 million. She also bankrolled one of the pioneering 3D printing companies, Makerbot, which was then sold for $400 million- a significant percentage of which went to Fisher.
From 2010 until 2013, Slim held the rather nifty title of richest person in the world, a title he took from, and then lost to, Bill Gates. Slim developed an early interest in investment, buying bank shares in his native Mexico at the age of 12. By way of founding a brokerage firm and investing in construction and mining, in 1990 he was able to purchase Telmex, which now controls 90% of landline telephone services in Mexico, and also led to Telcel, a cellular network which now has 67 million users, seemingly due to Slim being able to see the impending mobile phone dependence.
He’ll always be known as that pretty yet dim guy on That 70’s Show, or as Mr Demi Moore, but actor Ashton Kutcher has established himself an astute investor, using his personal wealth to fund the expansion of startups such as AirBNB and Skype. Chinese tech giant Lenovo has such faith in Kutcher’s judgement that it keeps Kutcher on a significant retainer as a product engineer, inviting his input on expansion and new products.
You might see a recurring theme in the investors listed above- their ability to foresee future trends in consumption and online activity and invest accordingly. These forms of investment are naturally far more volatile than standard investment strategies, since an emerging purchasing trend or technology can die a rather abrupt death- just ask those who invested in LaserDisc. Established tech stocks such as IBM or Apple can make for a relatively safe purchase, with modest gains, and the same applies to high profile brands such as Coca-Cola or Cisco. While a successful Internet startup can yield a quick payday, unless you’ve undertaken heavy research, you can easily find yourself out of pocket. And if you’re lacking in confidence when it comes to investment, compoundstockearnings.com is a great place to look for tips, strategies and general advice. Who knows- one day you might even get a cameo on The Simpsons…