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The most valuable lessons from five of the world’s best investors

Investment is an art, it takes a lot of intuition and often times some good fortune, but it ultimately falls back to knowledge and skills that experience can give.



The most valuable lessons from five of the world’s best investors

An African adage says that; No matter how tall you are, you can never see as far as an elderly and experienced man even if you climb a tree and He remains seated. The more popular English equivalent states that experience is the best teacher. The question then becomes, whose experience?

We learn to become a doctor, lawyer, programmer, writer from the wealth of knowledge and experience that our teachers have, so in many ways, other people’s knowledge and experience have always been the best teachers we have ever had.

Investment is an art, it takes a lot of intuition and often times some good fortune, but it ultimately falls back to knowledge and skills that experience can give. These few lessons are the cream off the experience of some of the greatest investors of all time. Perhaps to you, these renowned investors can be the instructors that help you make thrive.

1. Warren Buffet

The best investment you can make is in your own abilities. Anything you can do to develop your own abilities or business is likely to be more productive.”

Perhaps the best investment advice the Investment guru has ever given, Warren Buffet is the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. He is clearly one of the greatest investors that has ever lived and undoubtedly was the investor of the 21st century and has stayed very strong and relevant in this century as well.

He is consistently ranked among the wealthiest people in the world with a net worth north of $72 billion. So, typically when He speaks, you should listen. Investment is an art, but you are the artist so it makes sense that you have to invest first in yourself.

Investment trends are very dynamic and are bound to change with every new legislation, a Trump in the White house and even the economy of neighboring nations. Investing in yourself means constantly reading and improving yourself to take advantage of the rapidly changing investment clime. In Warren’s own words; “invest as much as possible in something that everyone has access to, something, he says, in which we can never invest too much.”

That thing is you.

2. Carl Icahn

“When friends and acquaintances are telling you [that] you are a genius before you accept their opinion, take a moment to remember what you always thought of their opinions in the past.”

Carl Icahn, Billionaire, activist and investor, He is as big a name as Buffett — in fact, on paper, he’s a more successful investor than him, with 31 percent annualized returns since 1968. When it comes to investing and especially activist investing, there are very few who have reached the pinnacle of success like the chairman of Icahn Enterprises LP.

The Need for a level head in investment cannot be overemphasized, in his humorous way Carl hits home a vital point; keep your eyes on the road and not on yourself. Great investments will bring with them success, but even then you must stick to the same disciplines that gave you that success and not get distracted by your own success or people’s opinions of your success.

What differentiates you as an astute investor from someone who wins the lottery or a bet is how long you last and focus amongst other things is key in maintaining success.

3. Mark Cuban

“I look at my annual budgets for everything and anything, and I look to see where I can save the most money on those items. Saving 30 to 50 percent buying in bulk–replenishable items from toothpaste to soup, or whatever I use a lot of–is the best guaranteed return on investment you can get anywhere.” One of the best ways to make sure you have money to use for investing is to pinch pennies on a day-to-day basis. You’re never too rich to save and shop smart. Period”

Mark Cuban is one eccentric investor that defines success in that He has literally done it all. The billionaire angel investor has done all sort of business; selling garbage bags and shoelaces growing up, buying a bar in college and cobbling together a computer company at age 25 after he got fired for not listening to his boss’s advice.

His investment strategy over the year has always disclosed amazing profits and here he releases one of his secrets; proper budgeting. The aim of budgeting for a good investor is not supposed to be allocating funds to cover all necessary needs and expenditure. It should be to save as much as possible.

With this thought guiding your budgeting, you will suddenly find that there are a number of options open to you that affords you opportunities for great savings. One of such options that Mark talks about here is buying in bulk. Mark has said it very well, need I say more?

4. Peter Thiel

“Everybody has a product to sell – no matter whether you’re an employee, a founder, or an investor. It’s true even if your company consists of just you and your computer. Look around. If you don’t see any salespeople, you’re the salesperson.”

The Social Network billionaire was one of Facebook’s initial investors and the co-founder of the PayPal. He is no stranger to making the right investments that pay big in the future. He almost has a prophetic propensity towards getting rapidly rising investment decisions right. He advises you to take you business as seriously when it is only you as you would when you have a staff of 300.

Your business has its edge and it is found in its business approach and unique product. This should also guide your decision to purchase or invest in a business.

5. Harold Simmons

“They accuse me of being a raider and I agree…I buy companies without being invited to . . . . That’s the definition of a raider, you should be one as well”

Harold Simmons owned a number of businesses before he passed on on December 29, 2013. His statement about raiders is a great note to end on. The lesson it contains is apt; There is no sentiment in business. Once it makes great business and money sense, do it!

Again, Investment is an art and lessons such as these are indispensable if you want to become a great money artist.

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Chidike Samuelson is an entrepreneur, a lawyer, business and relationship counselor, author and blogger. He is passionate about productivity and progress and encourages it in every way especially with His writing. He loves giving practical advice that can cause significant changes in a business, person or organization. He is the CEO at The Couch mentality, a website community where he does just what he is passionate about along with other gifted people.