Sat 10 Oct 2015
Investing has the potential to leading towards incredible wealth. While it helps to have a large sum of money to begin with, it is not always necessary. Through the right investment practices it is possible to continually build up wealth. However, there are some people who are just better at it than others. Usually through the combination of knowledge, skill and luck, these top 10 investors of all time have made their fortune through appropriate options trading, future trading and a variety of other methods.
Like many of the other investors on this list, he started up before online investing. He is best known for basically breaking the Bank of England. He did this by basically betting $10 billion on a single trade. This shorted the British Pound due to the size of the trade, but with this trade he net $2 billion in a single day. He is a macro economic investor, but it is important to understand he doesn’t have a clear strategy. he more or less just understands the situation and moves on from there.
Bill Gross shows it is possible to make money without stock investing or dealing with other common investing types. In act, he built up his fortune through simple bond investing. His company currently has around $600 billion in bond based investments. Of course, like any quality investor, he does understand the importance of having a diverse portfolio, so he personally invests in other stocks. When he makes an investment, he takes a “big picture” approach as he wants to invest with a stock for 3-5 years. He says he does this so there is no “emotional whiplash” should the stock fail to perform on a given day.
John, more commonly referred to as “Jack” learned about how to properly invest through mistakes. Mistakes happen in the business and trading world, which makes learning from these mistakes imperative. After graduating from Princeton University he eventually went on to work at Wellington Management Company where he become Chairman. However, he was eventually fired due to a bad merger. He took this knowledge to go and found The Vanguard Group, which is best known for being a low cost mutual funds company. He even gives out rules for investors to look at in order to make sure they are as successful as him. He says to start out with a low cost fund, look at any added costs associated with it and to not overrate previous performance on the fund. Instead, the past performance should only be used to determine if it is a consistently performing stock
Of all the investors on this list, Warren Buffett is probably best known. Before becoming the investment professional he is today, he held different investment jobs, with his most recent earning him $12,000 a year. He used this money an money from individual investments to accumulate his wealth to just under $200,000 before starting an investment partnership. His current net value now though is in the ballpark of $50 billion, so he really has taken a small amount and built it on his own. He made his money by buying struggling companies for a low price, then pumping money into the companies in order to improve it, which in turn helps increase the value of the stock price. He only focuses in on industries that he understands and feels comfortable with, which is a very important bit of information for investors. It can become easy to try to invest in a company that is hot at the time, but knowing a bit about the investment and what the company does can make it easier to make do the right decisions later on with the company.
Philip basically invented the idea of investing on growth stocks. In 1931, he opened his own investment company called Fisher & Company and actually managed it up until 1999, when he decided to retire at 91. All of his investments where based on long term growth. He would analyze a company and determine it’s staying power. He used a 15 point list in order to determine whether or not a stock was worth investing in. The two main points included the management characteristics and characteristics of the business. Beyond this, some of the points included conservative accounting, accessibility, long-term outlook and an openness to change. All of these points ultimately pointed Philip to what stocks to select. He went on to write a book about his investment philosophies titled “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits.”
Benjamin is the guy who taught Warren Buffett most of what he knows (although naturally Warren learned as he went along as any great investor does). Benjamin did not make any sort of investments without first financially analyzing the stock. He eventually went on to help create a very important act in the United States called the Securities Act of 1933. This act requires public companies to divulge all financial information so investors can have a better idea of what they are investing in. Benjamin is another individual who has penned a book to help current investors. Due to the fact that he helped shape Buffett, it has turned into a best seller.
For anyone who has investing in a mutual fund, this is basically the guy that created it. He founded a mutual fund in 1939. At this time, he purchased 100 shares of every company on the New York Stock Exchange trading under $1 a share. In total, he purchased stocks for 104 companies for a total of $10,400. Now over the following four years, 30 percent of these companies did go bankrupt, which is more common than people might think. Despite this, the remaining 70 companies he purchased stock in allowed him to sell the original $10,400 investment for $40,000. By multiplying his investment by four, he discovered that by purchasing a wide range of stocks, the successful companies will always cover any loss from failing companies. This is why having a diverse portfolio is important and why having stocks in a wide selection of different companies is important as well. Of course, John also made all of these investments from the Bahamas, which started another trend of “off shore trading.” However, he did this primarily to stay out of the light of Wall Street so others wouldn’t catch on.
Carl is one of the most famous investors in the entire world, but he can also be feared as well. This is because he locates a company that he believes can be successful but is poorly managed. He then goes and purchases enough shares to be able to vote himself into the Board of Directors and is able to gut the company of the people making the poor decisions. He then is able to sell his shares of the now much more successful company at a higher profit. Naturally, this is something that requires some money to begin with, but for someone who understand the market and business, it is a valuable operation.
While he didn’t start the company, Peter completely revolutionized Fidelity and it’s Magellan Fund. While managing the brand for 13 years, he took the assets of $20 million and grew it to $14 billion. He also surpassed the average return on similar funds by 29% annually. He has some very specific guidelines for investing. He starts out with a common idea of “know what you know”, or, in other words, only invest in what a person understands and already knows about as it makes it easier to know when to buy more or sell. He goes on to state it is impossible to predict the economy, so don’t try to and to avoid long shot investments. Investing only in companies with strong management is important and, before ever buying into a company, the investor should always be able to explain why they are making the investment.
To round out the list, Michael isn’t a flashy name, but he has maintained a 24% compound average annual return over the last 28 years. Each and every year he has seen at least a double in return on investment than the S&P500 average. He also did not do this investment with just individual stocks or mutual funds. He did it with stocks, bonds, currencies and other investments. His strategy focused on the long term by investing in the short term. He did this by holding onto his investments for anywhere from 30 minutes up to 30 days.