In 1982, when Forbes began ranking the richest people in the world, the qualification to be listed was only $75 million.
At that time, there were 13 billionaires on the list.
Today there are over 3,300 billionaires around the world.
From the stock market to businesses to commodities, they are all involved in some form of investing.
Here are some investing lessons we can learn from them…
1. Think Long Term
“Someone is sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
He buys stock in undervalued companies and holds them for a long time…preferably, forever.
Successful investing is not a get-rich-quick scheme.
Beware of hot stock tips, brand-new company start-ups, and shady investments that promise unusually high returns.
The bottom line: Go for long-term, stable investments over short-term, risky investments.
2. Make Mistakes (In a Good Way)
“Only those who are asleep makes no mistakes.”
Ingvar Kamprad, Founder of IKEA
Your mistakes are usually a determining factor in your success.
More success means more mistakes.
One of the richest men in the world also holds this mindset and that should tell you something…
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
Bill Gates, Founder of Microsoft
The results are in. Successful people are good at failing.
The bottom line: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Use them to learn and grow.
3. Notice What People Do, Not What They Say
“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”
Andrew Carnegie, Founder of Carnegie Steel Company
Most people love to talk. They love to “give advice”, but is their money where their mouth is?
Do they practice what they preach? And how’s that working out for them?
Successful investing (success in general, really) is about taking action, not just talking about it.
The bottom line: Only listen to successful people; people who do what they say.
4. Do What Everybody Else Isn’t Doing
“Ignore the conventional wisdom. If everybody else is doing it one way, there’s a good chance you can find your niche by going in exactly the opposite direction.”
Sam Walton, Founder of Walmart
If everyone is doing it, you should (at minimum) be skeptical. (Think Enron)
The bottom line: Never make an investment, just because everyone else is doing it or just because someone told you to. Do your research and make wise investment choices.
5. Invest in Businesses, Not Earnings
“I look at companies as businesses, while Wall Street analysts look for quarterly earnings performance. I buy assets and potential productivity. Wall Street buys earnings, so they miss a lot of things that I see in certain situations.”
Carl Icahn, Investor
Casinos are great places to have a lot of fun and lose a lot of money.
You don’t need the stock market for that.
Don’t get caught up in day trading before you know what’s going on.
Your chances are better on the card tables.
You should be investing in the business, not chasing high earnings from one day to the next.
Furthermore, the price of a stock should be one of the least important factors in your decision when you are looking to buy into a company.
The bottom line: Research the company. Invest in the company. Don’t worry about market hype and what the people on TV are saying.
This post originally appeared at MoneyMiniBlog.