There is an oft-quoted saying about learning a skill or lesson where the smartest learn from the mistakes of others and the not-so-smart only wait until they learn from their own mistakes - at which point it may be too late to change the course of things already in motion.
Now if the above is anything to go by, then it also must be true that the smartest also learn from the successes of others and adapt our strategies contextually to attempt to achieve the same success.
That is why this article is about revisiting the money lessons learned by some of the world’s most financially successful people - at least in the most popular sense of financial success - and figuring out if we can integrate them into our financial journeys.
One of the world's wealthiest men, a business magnate and a philanthropist, Warren Buffett is also widely considered one of the most successful investors.
Expert Tip - Do the Research
His foundational advice is to be keen on due diligence. There are two key focus points for investment research when evaluating a company, particularly if you're looking to be a shareholder. These are:-
The finance world has many notable men, but there are plenty of exceptional women in the financial world who are legends in their own right.
G. Weiss broke the glass ceiling and successfully entered an exclusively male-dominated field of ‘blue chip stocks’ markets.
Fun Fact: The origin of the term 'blue chip' is from the blue chips in poker, which have the highest value.
With that in mind, a blue chip is a nationally recognised, well-established, and financially sound company that predominantly sells high-quality, widely accepted products and services.
Some blue chip companies or stocks include Nike, Safaricom, Apple, Standard Chartered Bank (Kenya), EABL, Google, Coca-Cola, Equity Bank, BAT Kenya, The Co-operative Bank of Kenya Limited, IBM, KCB.
Expert Tip - Never is there a better time to buy a stock than when a company that's a “sound” company, for whatever reason, the company temporarily falls out of favour with the investment community.
Geraldine Weiss believes and advises that "Dividends Don’t Lie". An essential way to achieve investment success is to opt for solid-performing companies that regularly pay dividends. Here’s Why:
Due to different factors, we all make on-the-spot decisions, including financial decisions. As such, our eyes, ears and common sense are integral research tools, according to Lynch. True to this statement, he takes pride in the easy-peasy fact that many of his lucrative stock ideas come to mind when he's out and about.
Expert Tip - Only invest in what you understand.
Lynch has urged many investors to follow this as their investment strategy. In other words, rather than having a rigid view about a specific type of financial product and service, take note of what piques your interest.
By pique, Lynch means you should pay attention to what captures your attention in a way you cannot ignore - then, you must strive to understand it.
Now, to vet just how much you understand about any investment, ask yourself the following:
Mellody is an inspiring advocate for financial literacy. She is co-CEO of one of the top African American-owned money management and mutual fund companies in the United States, an impressive feat in and of itself.
As an established, influential leader, she often shares her pearls of wisdom on how to gain financial literacy, how to value people and how to value your time:
Expert Tip - Set daily goals you can work toward every day.
One of the well-founded ways to help you focus and learn discipline is to set a practical plan.
Mellody recommends setting goals that you can work toward every day. Remember, any effort can make a difference over time, but you have to get started. And more importantly, be consistent.
For example, if you choose to start saving and keep at it, watching your savings grow creates a sense of pride and comfort. Nonetheless, as satisfying and rewarding as it may feel to achieve any goal, do keep in mind that all effort or lack thereof has real-life implications.
So stick with it. Seize the opportunities that best fit your goals, and get started on your plans.
You’ve probably noticed that each of the above financial whizzes’ have and do, put in a lot of time and dedication into learning and practising what they learn.
So, why not take a step back, lend an ear to the pros and learn from their experiences?
“Stars do not pull each other down to be more visible; they shine brighter.”