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FRIDAY Five: 5 Inspirational Investors

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Do you want to learn the secrets of being an influential investor? If you want to be the best, you should learn from the best.

We’ve selected five inspirational investors for you to find more about and we encourage you to do more research on each individual’s style and methods of doing business. If one of these investors doesn’t strike your fancy, there are lots of other inspirational people out there – take a look.

Five Inspirational Investors

Warren Buffet

Buffet is almost universally considered the most successful investor in the world when you consider the amount of capital he initially invested and the earnings he’s been able to yield. He started out with US$174k and today is worth approximately US$50bn.

Buffet focuses on buying companies in industries he knows, at a reasonable price and making long-lasting changes to reap the rewards.

Peter Lynch

Lynch managed the Fidelity Magellan Fund for over 13 years. In that time, his assets under management skyrocketed from US$20m to over US$14bn.

During his deliberations over new ventures, Lynch referred to a set of rules he’d think about:
1. Know what you know
2. It’s futile to predict the economy and interest rates
3. You have plenty of time to identify and recognise exceptional companies
4. Avoid long shots
5. Good management is very important – buy good businesses
6. Be flexible and humble, and learn from mistakes
7. Before you make a purchase, you should be able to explain why you are buying
8. There’s always something to worry about – do you know what it is?

Carl Icahn

Icahn is a bit of a polarising figure. To some, he’s known as a cut-throat corporate pirate, to others he’s a pioneer of shareholder activism.

Icahn tends to invest in poorly managed companies and once he buys enough shares to win himself a seat on the Board of Directors, he makes changes to senior management, or something else he considers a quick fix that will make a major impact. His approach has netted great results in his 30 years of experience.

Philip Fisher

Also known as the father of investing in growth stocks, Fisher managed his investment firm, Fisher & Company, from its inception in 1931, up until the day he retired in 1999.  Long-term investments were Fisher’s focus — stocks that you can hold onto and reap the dividends over the years.

He also developed a list of 15 characteristics to consider when investing in stock that were divided into management’s characteristics and business characteristics, covering everything from integrity and openness to change to good personnel policies and dedication to research and development.

You should also review the company’s accounting and financial practices, profit margins, and return on capital. Management should be accessible and an organisation should be willing to grow to either maintain or further their industry position. All this and more makes a potential long-term investment appealing.

George Soros

Are you bold and brash? Soros might be your investing hero, infamous for an incident in ‘92 when he took a chance on one US$10bn trade. By doing this he effectively “broke the Bank of England” but it all worked out in the end: he netted over US$1 billion in a single day and almost US$2 billion in total.

Soros identifies broad macro-economic trends and their place in highly leveraged plays in bonds and commodities. A bit of a wildcard, Soros doesn’t necessarily have a consistent evaluation method and is more of an emotional investor – often relying on gut reactions and feelings.

So there are a few powerhouses in the investment game – all with different specialties and strategies. Don’t limit yourself to these few leaders though, find one that inspires you.

Once you have, consider giving us a call to put your newfound investment interests to work. We can help you make the investment decisions that will provide a safe, comfortable future for you and your loved ones. 

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