Forbes and BRW are both publishing their annual “Rich Lists”
They make fascinating reading for people who are interested in investing, building their wealth and creating financial freedom.
The super-rich are different from most people – and not just because they have more money.
High-functioning and super competitive, they are known for favouring private jets, mega yachts, and mansions. But none of that is as important to most of them as pulling off a lucrative deal, creating a successful business, or bring to market a new product or technology.
By studying their behaviours, certainly their investing, I believe you can gain insights into how to succeed yourself.
The key insight I took from my reading this year is despite setbacks these people maintain their confidence and keep to their strategies.
There are a number of people on BRW’s list that have done quite well last year (mostly those in resources) but there is a plethora of high profile, very successful people who have taken big hits too…
Take a look at James Packer who has seen his wealth “decrease” this year by $1.125 Billion. OK, so he has plenty left but they are significant numbers. And yet does he look worried? No – he is continuing with his strategy, investing heavily in new businesses and expanding his investments.
Frank Lowy has seen his net worth decline by $200 million and yet again he is powering on. Kerr Neilson, one of Australia’s top fund managers dropped $1.43 Billion and yet there’s a (recent) photo of him beaming away. His funds, some of the best run in the country have performed “poorly” in the last year but his outlook is extraordinarily positive and he is going ahead with a $30 million donation to set up a public art gallery.
Gerry Harvey is down $230 million having seen the share price of his company tumble. BRW reports, “A keen stock market investor Harvey has invested about $50 million in equities since last August, and admits he ‘lost money all the way down’. Despite these knocks, the ebullient entrepreneur is still astute at sniffing out opportunities.”
I could go on but the key thing is that despite knocks they are maintaining their confidence, adjusting their strategy if necessary but continuing to invest, grow their business and expand their outlook.
This ability to see opportunity where others do not is one of the key attributes of the highly successful and one that I encourage us all to emulate. To maintain confidence in our strategy. To continue investing, to continue sniffing out opportunities and taking advantage of them when they are presented.
The BRW Rich 200 List, 25th Anniversary Edition is out now.
Moving to the world stage now U.S.News recently published their “Secrets of the Super Rich” edition in the US and it makes for fascinating reading.
Here is their list of the 7 Keys to Making a Fortune…
1. Perseverance Beats Education
While more and more people on the world’s rich lists are seeking higher education there is still a very large group who didn’t even graduate from high school. “Smartness is an ability to absorb new facts” says Bill Gates, “To ask insightful questions. A capacity to remember. To relate things that seem not connected at first.”
Sam Walton said, “I think I overcame every single one of my personal shortcomings by sheer passion. I don’t know if you are born with this kind of passion or if you can learn it. But I do know you need it.”
2. Make Your Own Luck
Harold Hamm quipped, “I consider myself very lucky when I work hard.” Eli Broad said, “I believe the harder you work, the luckier you get.”
Oprah Winfrey said, “I don’t consider myself lucky. I think luck is preparation meeting opportunity.” T.Harv Eker, author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind said, “No luck or anything else worthwhile will come your way unless you take action. And when you do, is it luck or is it the universe or a higher power supporting you in miraculous ways for having the courage and commitment to go for it?”
3. Gamble but wisely
Because they constantly see opportunity the rich are willing to take a risk. The very best make calculated bets designed to recoup their investment in a worst case scenario.
They also have an unshakable belief in their own ability – a supreme self-confidence that doesn’t factor in fear or failure.
4. Know Your Market Intimately
This business classic is critical to business success – to have a deep understanding of the market your business operates in.
5. Focus Obsessively, and work hard
Having a great vision or idea is a start but executing it requires focus, attention to detail and often the willingness to follow grueling work schedules. “The rich don’t base their actions on what’s easy and convenient.”
6. Timing is everything
All markets have their ups and downs but most members of the super-rich got there by riding a business boom or conversely by seizing opportunities that often accompany the inevitable busts.
7. It’s Not Just (or even mostly) About the Money
A widely held assumption is that money is what motivates entrepreneurs to succeed but researchers say that is just not the case. “Studies show the desire for financial success in no stronger among the super-rich than every day people,” say Charleston College’s Kelly Shaver. “No one is saying that they don’t like wealth; but what matters more to them is innovation, the intense commitment that have to an idea, and the difference it can make. Money is the by-product.”
To summarise… Persevere – stick to your strategy, even through setbacks, make your own luck by preparation and seeking opportunity, take calculated risks but protect your down side, know your business market intimately, maintain focus and work hard, take advantage of both upward swings in the market and downturns and keep interested and passionate about what you do seem to be the constant messages I get from this research.
It’s easy to lose confidence sometimes, especially when things don’t appear to be going so well, but those are the times you need your confidence most. It’s easy to be positive when everything is going your way but those who achieve success and happiness keep their heads when everybody around them is losing theirs.
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