Bill Ackman is a hedge fund manager and CEO who founded Pershing Square Capital Management. He is primarily a contrarian investor betting against popular companies by going short and buying stocks when they are not popular. He considers himself to be more of an activist investor trying to cause change through his investment positions.
Bill Ackman has had a lot of big wins and big losses in his professional investing and trading career but currently has a net worth of $1.9 billion.
Here are the top ten quotes from this billionaire who has seen the height of success and also some of the biggest public losses on his largest positions.
“I’m not emotional about investments. Investing is something where you have to be purely rational and not let emotion affect your decision making – just the facts.” – Bill Ackman
Trade based on the math not your own feelings, opinions, and ego.
“Investing is a business where you can look very silly for a long period of time before you are proven right.” – Bill Ackman
Contrarians can find themselves on the wrong side of a price move before finally being proven right.
“If I believe that I am right, I will take it to the end of the earth until I am proven right.” – Bill Ackman
Ackman believes in having conviction to stay with an investment even when price moves against him if he believes strongly in his thesis.
“Experience is making mistakes and learning from them.” – Bill Ackman
The key to become more experienced and knowledgeable about the markets is not in avoiding mistakes but in learning from them the first time.
“You can learn investing by reading books.” – Bill Ackman
Ackman is a big believer in reading and learning from other great investors through reading their books. I believe the same thing is valuable for traders to short cut their learning curve through the best trading books.
“Short-term market and economic prognostication is largely a fool’s errand, we invest according to a strategy that makes the need to rely on short-term market or economic assessments largely irrelevant.” – Bill Ackman
Bill Ackman believes in long term investing strategies as most short term price action is noise.
“As a result of over-diversification, their (active managers) returns get watered down. Diversification covers up ignorance. Active managers haven’t done enough research into any of their companies. If managers have 200 positions, do you think they know what’s going on at any one of those companies at this moment?” – Bill Ackman
He believes in making a few large bets on your best high probability ideas that create great risk/reward ratios over the long term.
“I think a very good system in a world with a lot of passive investors is one in which there are at least a few entrepreneurial investors, prepared to say what they think, prepared to propose a change in management, change in strategy, change in cost structure, capital structure.”- Bill Ackman
He believes large activist investors can create change for the good inside companies they have a large equity stake in.
“I think good private equity investors create a lot more economic value than they destroy.” – Bill Ackman
Ackman believes that private investors can create great value with the capital.
“I love what I do. I don’t do it for the money. I work on behalf of investors that I like and want to do well for. I’m a competitive person.” – Bill Ackman
Ackman enjoys the investing and money management game, after you are a billionaire, money is no longer the primary motivation for doing things. Billionaires can do whatever they want.