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Six Investment Lessons from Six Billionaires

By Amber Lee Mason, editor, DailyWealth Trader
Monday, May 5, 2014

If you're thinking long term, it's not all about "stock picks"...
I recently attended the Stansberry & Associates Spring Editors Conference in Nassau, Bahamas. Every year, we come together to present our best ideas and hear from a few of our best contacts and industry insiders.
We threw around a lot of specific opportunities for making money... But those weren't necessarily the most valuable ideas we discussed.
After highlighting a handful of his top stocks, for example, one money manager (who asked to remain anonymous) started talking about the billionaires he has worked with in his career... and what he learned from them.
If you can take these ideas to heart, his list will be more useful than a hundred winning stock recommendations. Here it is...
•   From Julian Robertson, who founded the legendary Tiger Management: Make sure you've got a great elevator pitch for your investment idea.

​Julian's office was on the 48th floor. You had to be able to describe your idea before you got there. If you couldn't describe your idea that quickly, it was probably too complex and unlikely to work out well.

•   From John Griffin, who was Julian Robertson's right-hand man: Have the courage of your convictions.

When you find a great idea, make sure you're putting a meaningful amount of money into it.

•   From Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of private-equity giant Blackstone: Demand excellence of yourself. Don't cut corners.

When Schwarzman greeted new analysts, he said, "Folks, I've looked at all your resumes. You got A-minuses in college. But an A-minus performance does not work here."

•   From Peter Peterson, co-founder and former chairman of Blackstone: Make great returns by avoiding mistakes.

It's not necessarily the 3,000% winners that will give you great long-term results, it's avoiding the total losers.

•   From legendary trader George Soros: Understand the big picture.

George was a macro genius. When discussing private-equity investments the firm was making, he recognized that company-specific fundamentals were important, but his real value-add was making sure investors understood the structural and secular forces that could move entire industries and economies.

•   From Steve Cohen, founder of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors: Ask,"What is the most important thing?"

Steve would have dozens of ideas pitched to him daily, usually by analysts who were experts in that field or security. Steve was uniquely adept at cutting through the noise. He could identify and solve for the most important thing, allowing him to make an informed, decisive action.

The money manager wrapped up his talk with this advice: "Take your best practices... and all the things you've learned from the folks you respect... and create your own ideas."
If you have lessons like these at hand and practice putting them to work, you'll end up creating a lot of great ideas.
Good investing,
Amber Lee Mason

Further Reading:

"If you're not an experienced trader," Amber writes, "it's easy to lose a lot of money in a short amount of time." She says your best bet is to follow the "fifty-five-ten" rule. Learn what it is right here: Shocking Advice from a Newsletter Publisher.
In a classic DailyWealth essay, Dan Ferris shared "The 3 Secrets of Self-Made Billionaire Investors." If you really want to get rich in stocks, he says these three rules should be your foundation. Learn what they are here.

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