WHO ARE YOUR FINANCIAL MENTORS?

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To achieve financial success, I identified successful investment mentors. If you aspire to be a great photographer, you want to learn from successful photographers. If you aspire to be rich, make an intentional effort to learn from individuals you aspire to be: other rich and successful people.

Two of my strongest investment mentors:

WARREN BUFFETT
Around the year 2000, I was talking to a good friend, Shirley, and she informed me she owned one share of Berkshire Hathaway stock. I had heard of this stock and knew it traded at a high price. But I was amazed when Shirley told me she paid about $20,000 for that one share. At that time her share was worth about $52,000. Today, a single share is worth about $324,000. {Shoutout to Shirley! I hope you still have that share!}. Berkshire class A prices, still amaze me, but more importantly I latched on to the man who would become my best mentor/role model – Warren Buffett. I later purchased Berkshire Hathaway class B shares, (MUCH MUCH CHEAPER, versus Class A shares, ~$201/share) which enabled me to twice attend his annual share holder’s meeting. At that first meeting I saw on stage two of the most impressive men I have heard: Warren Buffet, Berkshire Hathaway CEO and Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman.

Warren Buffett has never written a book. But he has something better, his Annual Shareholder Letters. Warren Buffett started writing to his partner’s in the 1950’s which evolved to a Shareholder Letter in 1965. You can read the majority of these letters, that many consider the best shareholders letters, using Google.
2017 Q3 Bershirehathaway Annual Report>

Some Interesting Facts About Warren Buffett
Warren has been investing for 76 years. He purchased his first stock when he was 11 years old, while he was working in his family’s grocery store in Omaha.
As a teenager, he took odd jobs, from washing cars to delivering newspapers, using his savings to purchase several pinball machines that he placed in local businesses. Building more savings to invest.

A graduate of University of Nebraska, with a degree in business in three years.
A financial and investment genius, nicknamed the “Oracle of Omaha” with a phenomenal memory and ability to grasp minute details about companies.
Warren graduated Columbia Business School, after being REJECTED by Harvard Business School. Talk about an embarrassing mistake, considering some of their graduates! (Oh, I should not say that. I graduated from that FINE institution.) While there, he was taught by Benjamin Graham and it was under Benjamin Graham that Buffett learned the fundamentals of value investing. Buffett stated Graham’s book, “The Intelligent Investor,” changed his life and set him on the path of professional analysis to the investment markets. {Plain English- Warren reads Company’s 10Q forms and stock charts like most of us read the funnies!}. See 3Q Berkshire Hathaway’s 2017 10Q.
2017 Q3 10Q Berkshire Hathway

Mr. Buffett is worth over $80 billion and is the 3rd richest American. {Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon, $120 Billion and Bill Gates, ~$90 Billion, former CEO Microsoft are the 1st and 2nd richest)
Warren Buffett was born August 30, 1930 and is 87. He loves his job and “taps dances to work, everyday”.
My favorite Warren Buffett quote – “IT’S A STRONG INSTINCT TO GET RICH FAST, BUT I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DO IT.” Listen to the Oracle!

PETER LYNCH
My best boss ever, Wendell Williams, told me about the Fidelity Magellan Mutual Fund. I had no clue, what a mutual fund was. {“A mutual fund is an investment vehicle made up of a pool of moneys collected from many investors for the purpose of investing in securities such as stocks, bonds, money market instruments and other assets. Mutual funds are operated by professional money managers, who allocate the fund’s investments and attempt to produce capital gains and/or income for the fund’s investors.”} The Fidelity Magellan Mutual Fund, buys a wide range of US and international common stocks. Some of today’s top holdings include: Caterpillar, General Electric, Celgene and Merck.

Wendell, was my boss, friend and a great mentor and very much encouraged me to learn how to invest in real estate and equities. Now I made one HUGE mistake, you must avoid. I blindly invested in this mutual fund because Wendell recommended it. It was a good investment, but you must ALWAYS do your due diligence prior to investing YOUR hard earned money. You most likely put up with a lot of CRAP, in your job. For dealing with it, you get paid. Before investing your hard earned money, clearly understand who you are giving it to. More on this topic later.

Peter Lynch, managed the Fidelity Investments Magellan Fund, between 1977 and 1990. Lynch averaged a 29.2% annual return, consistently more than doubling the S&P 500 market index and making it the best performing mutual fund in the world. During his tenure, assets under management increased from $18 million to $14 billion. An amazing accomplishment.

Lynch had a simple investment principle: “Invest in what you know,” Look around you. What products or services do you buy? Apple, Samsung, Ford, Netflix, Amazon, etc. What are your favorite stores, your favorite brands? What stores at the mall are always crowded? What field do you work in. Majority of my career was spent in oil and gas. I had better knowledge of oil and gas trends than the average American. Invest in what you know, AFTER, investigating the company and its future potential.

Lynch, uses this principle as a starting point for investors. He has often said “the individual investor is more capable of making money from stocks than a fund manager, because they are able to spot good investments in their day-to-day lives before Wall Street.”
Throughout his two classic investment books, Lynch outlined many of the investments he found when not in his office – he found them when he was out with his family, observing his kids shopping, driving around or making a purchase at the mall. Lynch believes the individual investor is able to do this, too.

Lynch argues against trying to time when to fully (go in or out with 100% of your money) enter and exit the market “Far more money has been lost by investors trying to time the market than has been lost in the corrections themselves.”

I have read a number of investment books. Some good and many just ok. Here are some I found value.
“The Snowball, Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder.
“One Up On Wall-Street” by Peter Lynch
“The Intelligent Investor,” By Benjamin Graham
There are a number of other great investors, out there. Some may be your own family members. Learn from these people and avoid some (not possible to avoid all) of their mistakes. Read books, blogs, magazines, whatever your preference. But learn as much as you can, for every dollar you lose, simply delays your dreams!

Powers Investments Management, LLC

This blog will provide, information and simple strategies, that will assist you to achieve YOUR financial objectives and long term targets. For over 30 years, I solved multi-million dollar problems, for Fortune 10-250, companies. My formal education includes: Business, Finance and Chemical Engineering {Problem Solving} at: Harvard, Rutgers and North Carolina State. And an additional 30+ years, managing my family’s investment decisions. I currently manage/advise people with net-worths ranging from the tens of thousands to several million dollars.

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