The greatest investors leave clues. When investing, investigate the clues left by the all time greatest investors.
1. Warren Buffet
Investment style: Long-term growth
Best investment: Coca Cola, 1988
Buffet began investing in 1954 with just $100. Now worth over $20 billion, Buffet invests largely in media, insurance, and consumer companies. Buffet recommends thinking like a prospective owner and sticking to businesses you understand. According to Buffet, great businesses possess simplicity, predictability, high returns, and strong cash generation.
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2. Sir John Templeton
Investment style: Global contrarian
Best investment: Japan, 1962
Templeton’s career began shortly before World War II when he borrowed $10,000 and turned it into $40,000 in four years. Famous for his Templeton Growth Fund, he built his fortune spotting opportunities internationally before others did. Templeton advises investing for real returns, keeping an open mind, and going against the crowd.
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3. Peter Lynch
Investment style: Growth and recovery
Best investment: King World Productions.
Lynch solidified his reputation as one of the world’s best fund managers while managing the Fidelity Magellan fund. He counsels investors to remain independent and open to new investment ideas, often spotted through observation and experience. Before stock investing, Lynch recommends stock investment investing research: categorizing ideas, summarizing the story behind the stock, and checking key numbers.
4. Philip Fisher
Investment style: Long-term buy and hold
Best investment: Motorola, 1955
Fisher started his own financial business in 1931 and managed it for the next 68 years. He specialized in technology growth stocks and buying great companies at fair prices. Superb at networking, he used a vast array of sources to gather information. He suggests looking for companies with high profit margins, high return on capital, commitment to research, and a superior sales organization.
5. George Soros
Investment style: Short term speculation
Best investment: Shorting the British Pound, 1992
Specializing in bonds and currencies, Soros turns broad economic trends into highly leveraged plays. He instructs investors to focus not on the amount of winners and losers but on the amount of money made or lost respectively. His Quantum fund has posted some of the all-time biggest profits, including a $2 billion dollar gain by shorting the British Pound and nearly breaking the Bank of England.
6. Benjamin Graham
Investment style: Value
Best investment: Teacher and mentor to Warren Buffet
A pioneer in value investing, Benjamin Graham initiated the use of fundamental analysis and value investing principles used by fund managers today. Graham recommends buying stocks trading below their historical P/E ratio and below their book value. Because they pose less risk, Graham prefers large companies with strong sales.
7. David Dreman
Investment Style: Contrarian
Best investment: Health care
After losing 75% of his net worth by following the crowd, Dreman became fascinated with the role psychology plays in investing, a role he considers the most important yet least understood. His portfolio includes a high percentage of financial and health care stocks. Dreman advises exercising strict discipline, and buying battered stocks with low P/E ratios and higher than average yields.
8. John Neff
Investment Style: Value
Best Investment: Ford Motor Company, 1984
While managing the Vanguard Windsor fund, Neff implemented a simple investment strategy focusing on companies with low P/E ratios and solid dividends. He avoided companies with exposure to cyclical downturns, preferring solid companies in growing fields with a strong fundamental case for investment. Neff instructs investors to sell when investment fundamentals deteriorate or the price meets expectations.
9. T. Rowe Price
Investment style: Value and steady growth
Best Investment: Merck, 1940
Known for the funds that bear his name, Price established himself as one of the world’s foremost fund managers. Originally a cyclical growth investor, Price switched to a more value driven strategy, investing heavily in commodities and energy. He instructs investors to concentrate on industry leaders with outstanding management, strong research and development, protection from government regulation, and low labor costs.
10. Ralph Wanger
Investment Style: Medium to long-term small growth
Best Investment: International Game Technology, 1988
Wanger’s Acorn Fund has been one of the top-performing growth funds since 1970. He recommends looking for companies with growing markets for their products, good design, outstanding management, high profit margins, and skilled marketing. According to Wanger, spotting trends lasting at least five years and selling reluctantly provide the greatest return.
The top ten investors of all time had varying strategies for successful investing: long-term growth, global contrarian, growth and recovery, long-term buy and hold, short-term speculation, value, contrarian, value and steady growth and medium to long-term small growth. Investing with stock options allows investors, regardless of strategy, the ability to tailor their risk/reward ratio to suit their own individual investment style.
Stock option investors can generate income in all of the various types markets: bull, bear and stagnant. There are many strategies available to stock option investors including: covered calls, naked puts, calendar calls, bull put credit spreads, long calls, bear call credit spreads, naked calls, iron condor, long puts, collar, covered combination, bull call debit spreads, calendar put, long straddle, short strangle, iron butterfly, bear put debit spreads, covered put, long strangle, short straddle, marred call, married put, extended collar and fixed return options.
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