Published On: December 8, 2017
Written by: Ben Atwater and Matt Malick
For its 100th Anniversary Issue, Forbes Magazine featured “Lessons and Ideas by the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds.” The magazine required the honorees to “actively participate in the project” by writing short, original essays. We read through the 100 essays and handpicked nine quotes that we thought most applied to investing and financial planning. We hope you enjoy . . .
“When you’re in the oil business like I’ve been all my life, you drill your fair share of dry holes, but you never lose your optimism.”
“Sometimes the best way to make money is when most people say you are wrong and nuts. It’s not easy to do, but it’s like in the Rudyard Kipling poem: ‘If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.’ You need to do a lot of work to be contrarian and you need to have the strength – you can’t just be a contrarian to be contrarian. You are not always right, and it sometimes takes a long time to prove it out. A lot of the time you are early.”
“As soon as you think you’ve completely figured it out, you’re probably in trouble.”
“The odds in blackjack actually aren’t that bad if you know how to bet. The problem is most people get chicken and pull their money off the table exactly when they ought to be doubling down. I didn’t have that problem.”
“Not everything of course always works as anticipated, but it helps to get into the habit of being curious and developing a willingness to accept the concept of risk.”
“My biggest mistake was that I always sold stocks way too early. If you’re great in this business you’re right six times out of ten.”
“That strategy is to find a good business – and one that I can understand why it’s good – with a durable, competitive advantage, run by able and honest people, and available at a price that makes sense. Because we’re not going to sell the business, we don’t need something with earnings that go up the next month or the next quarter; we need something that will earn more money 10 and 20 and 30 years from now.”
“This business oftentimes is more like an art than a science.”
“There were many times in my life when I would have liked to follow the herd. Instead, I have always followed my gut – and sometimes it’s been really lonely.
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