In a world full of opportunity and investment choices, figuring out to make the smartest career and investment moves for the best chances at achieving great wealth can feel overwhelming. Sometimes having too many choices and directions can be paralyzing. If only I could just win the lottery and become a billionaire overnight or pick up stock picking and become the next Warren Buffett, you might find yourself daydreaming on your way to and from work each day. The more I invest, the more I admire what the greats like Buffett and Soros have accomplished. It is mind boggling how much money they’ve made.
There are certainly many famous investors who have had incredibly successful and long, prosperous careers. They make all of their accomplishments look easy. But in reality it could take your entire lifetime to try to match their polished and prized skill sets and you probably still wouldn’t even come close. Trying to learn everything about how high profile investors have managed to overcome obstacles over the years is no easy feat. Although it would be fascinating to learn every detail about every decision these exceptional investors have made in their careers, it’s pretty doubtful you have that kind of time to spare.
So how can we gain enough useable insights and helpful advice from investing icons like Warren Buffett, George Soros, and Jack Bogle to quickly analyze and apply them to your own investments? Instead of spending years pouring over hundreds of books and trying to reenact everything they’ve done, keep it simple and take a fast track approach.
Here are some wise and helpful quotes from famous investors on various investing strategies, trading styles, research philosophies, and self-improvement to help you become a better investor. Use them to your advantage!
There are as many different trading strategies as there are investing ideas. In other words, the possibilities of how to trade are endless. But you may know that many super successful investors have favored value strategies or hybrid approaches of value combined with growth in their investing experience. Here are some examples.
“If you are not willing to own a stock for 10 years, do not even think about owning it for 10 minutes.” – Warren Buffett
“The underlying principles of sound investment should not alter from decade to decade, but the application of these principles must be adapted to significant changes in the financial mechanisms and climate.” – Benjamin Graham
“Markets are constantly in a state of uncertainty and flux and money is made by discounting the obvious and betting on the unexpected.” – George Soros
“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett
“Generally, the greater the stigma or revulsion, the better the bargain.” – Seth Klarman
“All intelligent investing is value investing – acquiring more that you are paying for. You must value the business in order to value the stock.” – Charlie Munger
“There’s a virtuous cycle when people have to defend challenges to their ideas. Any gaps in thinking or analysis become clear pretty quickly when smart people ask good, logical questions. You can’t be a good value investor without being an independent thinker – you’re seeing valuations that the market is not appreciating. But it’s critical that you understand why the market isn’t seeing the value you do. The back and forth that goes on in the investment process helps you get at that.” – Joe Greenblatt
Stay Proactive And Disciplined
Selecting an investment strategy that works well for you isn’t the only step you can take to achieve great wealth. Applying a disciplined, determined, and proactive approach can help you get ahead and break away from the herd. Stay curious and determine what your risk tolerances are. They may change over time as well along with your investment goals, so it’s beneficial to monitor your investment performance as regularly reassess your objectives and targets.
“We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest.” – Warren Buffett
“Don’t look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack!” – Jack Bogle
“There is no substitute for hard work. There is a little luck along the way, but there is no substitute for really super-hard work, first in, last out.” – Mary Callahan Erdoes
“Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this.” – Dave Ramsey
“The main difference between me and other people who have amassed this kind of money is that I am primarily interested in ideas, and I don’t have much personal use for money. But I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t made money: My ideas would not have gotten much play.” – George Soros
Research Has Its Rewards
Being a successful investor isn’t based on pure luck, especially when you look long-term. A lot of research and knowledge comes into play and the investing greats know how vital it is to gather information, analyze data, understand what you’re buying, study market movements and industry trends, and stick to one’s investment philosophies before making critical trading decisions. At the same time, remember that it’s impossible to know everything, so focusing on what you are familiar with first is a great place to start.
“If you’re prepared to invest in a company, then you ought to be able to explain why in simple language that a fifth grader could understand, and quickly enough so the fifth grader won’t get bored.” – Peter Lynch
“Wide diversification is only required when investors do not understand what they are doing.” – Warren Buffett
“If you don’t study any companies, you have the same success buying stocks as you do in a poker game if you bet without looking at your cards.” – Peter Lynch
“Our job is to find a few intelligent things to do, not to keep up with every damn thing in the world.” – Charlie Munger
Believe In Yourself
While it may seem like Soros, Bogle, Buffett, and others have super-human abilities, they are just people after all. Instead of telling yourself that you’ll never be able to accomplish similar feats, build up your confidence and don’t be afraid to try and take risks.
Practice smart investment principles, listen to your instincts, and learn from both your wins and losses. Don’t forget that it’s impossible to get the market right every time and even the greats suffer losses. But the key is having the discipline and resilience to bounce back and avoid repeating mistakes.
“On the abstract level, I have turned the belief in my own fallibility into the cornerstone of an elaborate philosophy. On a personal level, I am a very critical person who looks for defects in myself as well as in others. But, being so critical, I am also quite forgiving. I couldn’t recognize my mistakes if I couldn’t forgive myself. To others, being wrong is a source of shame; to me, recognizing my mistakes is a source of pride. Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition, there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.” – George Soros
“If you have more than 120 or 130 I.Q. points, you can afford to give the rest away. You don’t need extraordinary intelligence to succeed as an investor.” – Warren Buffett
“Twenty years in this business convinces me that any normal person using the customary three percent of the brain can pick stocks just as well, if not better, than the average Wall Street expert.” – Peter Lynch
“Every once in a while, the market does something so stupid it takes your breath away.” – Jim Cramer
“The prevailing wisdom is that markets are always right. I take the opposition position. I assume that markets are always wrong. Even if my assumption is occasionally wrong, I use it as a working hypothesis. …I watch out for telltale signs that a trend may be exhausted. Then I disengage from the herd and look for a different investment thesis. Or, if I think the trend has been carried to excess, I may probe going against it. Most of the time we are punished if we go against the trend. Only at an inflection point are we rewarded.” – George Soros
“In all realms of life it takes courage to stretch your limits, express your power, and fulfill your potential…it’s no different in the financial realm.” – Suzy Orman
“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” – Donald Trump
“Invest in yourself. Your career is the engine of your wealth.” – Paul Clitheroe
A Little Advice Can Go A Long Way
While you may not have the luxury to spend years studying to amass the wealth of knowledge of some of the world’s greatest investors, you can take a fast track approach to strengthening your financial knowledge and investment principles by familiarizing yourself with some of their sage words of advice.
A lot can be said in just a few words about different ways to apply investment strategies, self-discipline, research, and believing in yourself in order to grow your knowledge and confidence in investing. Many of the finance greats advise that long-term value strategies, trading what you know, and believing in abilities are the fundamental building blocks to their success that you too can choose to follow.
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