How to approach investing like the best investors in the world

The fact that you’re reading this article means that you realise what investing can do to set you up for your future – and you’re doing something about it!

You know that while you may not be able to control the market, what your kids do to the dog, or whether you’ll have the same job in 3 years, your attitude is totally in your control.

And your attitude about property investing can make all the difference as you’ll discover from 7 of the best investors in the world.

Whether it is stocks, shares, bonds or property, the principles for successful investing are the same.

John Neff: Don’t do what everyone else is doing

“It’s not always easy to do what’s not popular, but that’s where you make your money. Buy stocks that look bad to less careful investors and hang on until their real value is recognized.”

Heading the Windsor fund at Vanguard, Neff produced the best long term records compared to any money manager ever. He wasn’t your typical slick stockbroker. Instead, he was known to work in a messy office – and looked disheveled.

His approach was not to buy when everyone else was – and never bought a stock unless he saw it as a bargain.

My first mentor for business and investing was my grandfather. His words stick with me today:

“Son, you don’t buy in a hot and frenzied market, you are either too late or looking at the wrong opportunity.”

We have been warning people not to buy investment properties in overcooked markets for years. Those areas are always changing so you need to be ahead of the pack and choose carefully on facts and figures, not just because everyone else is doing it.

Phillip Fisher: Choose value over price

“The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.”

Fisher invested for the long term and known as “one of the great investors of all time”. He bought stock in Motorola in 1955 and held it until he died. He was known for the ‘scuttlebutt’ or ‘grapevine tool’: to find as much information as possible about a company.

As a property investor, it’s worth looking beyond the price to determine whether a property is a good investment. On your behalf, the Simple Property Investment acquisitions team checks the credentials, financials, and reliability of builders.

We physically scout the area and dig for future plans for the area. We spend hours doing the research so you don’t have to. That’s why the investment opportunities we send our mailing list regularly are so detailed.

(If you’d like to join our mailing list, please download your free ebook: Property Investment: 10 Essential Considerations and you’ll get our regular emails afterward).

Sir John Templeton: Invest rather than trade or speculate

“Invest – don’t trade or speculate.”

Templeton earned billionaire status through pioneering globally diversified mutual funds. Templeton didn’t get carried away by short term wins. He believed in investing for the long-haul.

“The relaxed investor is usually better informed and more understanding of essential values; he is more patient and less emotional; he pays smaller capital gains taxes; he does not incur unnecessary brokerage commissions; and he avoids behaving like Cassius by ‘thinking too much.”

Many people don’t realise the difference between property investing and property trading. Very simply it’s this:

Flipping a property is trading.

Holding onto property is investing.

Templeton’s observations are just as relevant today as they were in his day. Read more about the pros and cons of property trading and investing – or watch the short video below:

Warren Buffett: Be selective

“Wide diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing.”

Buffet was a believer in focusing on a few companies and industries. He invested with confidence in what he knew, rather than diluting his efforts and money in many companies. Still, there are others like John Templeton who believed in diversifying, as he believes there’s safety in numbers.

When you invest in property, it’s possible to focus on property – while also diversifying. You can diversify by investing interstate. By investing in different parts of the same state. By investing in different types of properties.

Bill Gross: You don’t have to do it alone

“Finding the best person or the best organization to invest your money is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make.”

Gross, the legendary “Bond King” ran one of the world’s largest mutual funds. He controlled more bond money than anyone in the world and was an advisor to the Treasury during the 2008 financial crisis.

His view to find someone to invest your money has merit – how much time, experience, and expertise do you have when it comes to property investment?

Yet there is also danger in leaving your money in someone else’s hands. What we always recommend is to do your research on the person or organisation you would like to get help from. Especially in the property investment industry which is unregulated. Check out this article on how to spot a property shark.

George Soros: Investing shouldn’t be fun

“If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring.”

Soros was known as “The Man Who Broke The Bank of England”. He made a $1 billion profit during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crisis. He was 13 years old when Nazi Germany occupied Hungary and he immigrated to England.

Soros knew early on that boring persistence pays off: “ I wrote to every managing director in every merchant bank in London, got just one or two replies, and eventually that’s how I got a job in a merchant bank.” (Consequences of the War on Terror, PDF)

As a property investor, emotions are best left out of decisions to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. Instead, facts, figures, and mindset are the key to successful investing.

Robert Kiyosaki: Savings matters more than earnings

“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.”

Kiyosaki isn’t known so much as an investor than as a great businessman. But he does have an attitude we can learn from, so we sneaked him into this list.

His most famous book: Rich Dad, Poor Dad educated millions of people about how to shed the well-meaning yet poor advice given by people we know. In his case, his real dad believed in working hard in secure job to get a pension in retirement.

His best friend’s dad taught him the mindset of millionaires: Make your money work for you. And it is this mindset that drove his business success.

Families and couples that don’t earn over $150k a year may feel like they don’t earn enough to invest. Yet they may save more than families that earn over $300k a year.

Kiyosaki teaches us that it’s not about how much you make – but how much you keep. And how you put that money to work. And that is where investing rather than trading can work in your favour to set you up with the life you want in 10, 20, even 30 years.

Summary: How to approach investing like the best investors in the world

If you’d like to join the families who are making their money work harder, take the advice of the world’s investing (and business) greats:

  1. Don’t do what everyone else is doing (John Neff)
  2. Choose value over price (Phillip Fisher)
  3. Invest rather than trade or speculate (Sir John Templeton)
  4. Be selective (Warren Buffett)
  5. You don’t have to do it alone (Bill Gross)
  6. Investing shouldn’t be fun (George Soros)
  7. Savings matter more than earnings (Robert Kiyosaki)

As Bill Gross mentions, you certainly don’t need to do this alone.

Give me a shout if you’d like to plan how you can begin investing in property (or keep building your portfolio). Or download your free e-book Property Investment: 10 Essential Considerations.

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