You may know a successful investor by name, but you probably don’t know much about them as people or much about their career. For example, celebrity investor Mark Cuban worked as a bartender and disco dancing instructor and was known for his signature move, “The Mark Cuban.” He says these experiences helped him to understand how to work with people, which later helped him in his business career.
Let’s lift the veil of mystery about the world’s most successful investors (well, at least some of them in no particular order).
Warren Buffett is the chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational conglomerate holding company. Some of his biggest investments include Coca-Cola (over 400 million shares), Wells Fargo (over 500 million shares), Apple (over 900 million shares), American Express (over 151 million shares), and Procter & Gamble (over 92 million shares).
A fact about Buffett that not many people may know is that he has a pilot’s license. He also has a passion for bridge, is an avid player, and has participated in several professional tournaments.
Bill Ackman is the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, a hedge fund management company. He is known for his aggressive and vocal approach to pushing for change at the companies in which he invests, which attracted a fair share of controversies. Some of his biggest public positions are in Herbalife and Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
You probably don’t know that Ackman is an avid marathon runner and has completed several marathons, including the New York City marathon.
Carl Icahn is the founder and controlling shareholder of Icahn Enterprises, a diversified holding company that has been involved in high-profile activism campaigns at companies such as Dell, Netflix, and Apple.
Icahn is also known for his philanthropy, particularly his support for education. He has donated millions of dollars to Princeton University, his alma mater, the University of Michigan, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and the Mount Sinai Hospital.
An unknown fact about Carl Icahn is that he is a collector of contemporary art and has a notable collection of works by Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Ed Ruscha, and more.
Peter Lynch is best known for his tenure as the manager of the Fidelity Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990. During his time there, he delivered exceptional returns, averaging 29% per year. Lynch’s investing style is often referred to as “growth investing” – identifying companies with strong earnings growth potential, like Hanes, L Brands, and Federal Express.
Lynch is an amateur photographer. This hobby allows him to slow down and observe the world more closely, which helps him better understand the companies he is researching.
John Templeton was known for his contrarian investing approach and his focus on finding undervalued assets. He was the founder of Templeton Funds, one of the first mutual funds to focus on international investing.
He started an annual award called “The Templeton Prize”, which is considered the world’s largest annual monetary award given to an individual that has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.
Warren Buffett’s incredible life, Business Insider
Bill Ackman: the life and times of the activist investor, WNYC Studios
Profile: Carl Icahn, Forbes
Who is Peter Lynch? His notable investing strategy and career, Investopedia
John Templeton, Philanthropy Roundtable