Money-Making Secrets from 3 of the World’s Richest Men

These men acquired their fortunes by going down different roads, but along the way, they have offered up invaluable lessons.

Jun 22, 2014 at 9:41AM


From L to R: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Amancio Ortega. Photo: World Economic Forum and Eldiario

$212.4 billion. 

That's the estimated net worth of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Amancio Ortega, according to Bloomberg.

It's also roughly the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Portugal.

Needless to say, these guys are worth an incomprehensible amount of money. They each acquired their fortunes by going down different roads, but along the way, they have offered up invaluable lessons that can be applied to those of us with a fraction of their net worth.

Bill Gates: Know when to diversify
Bill Gates is the richest man in the world. He made his fortune by not only founding Microsoft but holding onto his massive stake in the business as the company's market value soared. As Microsoft's stock price went, so did Gates's wealth.

So it may come as a surprise that Gates now only owns around 4% of Microsoft. After years of riding Microsoft's stock, Gates choose to diversify his wealth, and most of his net worth is now tied up in Cascade Investment, a holding company that was formed with the cash received as the billionaire slowly unloaded his shares of Microsoft.

Gates now has large stakes in dozens of companies and is less reliant on the stock performance of Mircosoft, a company that's strategic actions are not solely within his control.

Amancio Ortega: Avoid the bright lights
Who? To most people, the name Amancio Ortega doesn't ring any bells. But for most, the store Zara will sound familar. Ortega is the man behind Inditex, the parent company of retails giants like Zara and Bershka.

Despite founding the company and being the guiding force behind its global expansion, it seems Ortega practically avoids all spotlights. It is reported that he's never had an office because he prefers to be involved in the factories or design teams. Another fashion legend, Coco Chanel, once said that "luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury." While many wealth individuals seek the media spotlight, it's clear Ortega is comfortable and happy flying under the radar.

Warren Buffett: Don't retire
Warren Buffett is 83 years old and has been unworldly wealthy for decades. As a 20 year-old student, he learned his stock-picking brilliance from the father of "value investing," Ben Graham, and quickly became a successful investor. Buffett likely could have retired at the age of 30, but he didn't.

Buffett identified his passion early in life and never viewed his work as "work."

Around his 50th birthday, Buffett's net worth stood at roughly $260 million. Today, it sits at nearly $65 billion. That means an estimated 99.6% of Buffett's net worth was accumulated after his 50th birthday. How's that for being over the hill?

Warren Buffett's biggest fear is about to come true
Warren Buffett's $65 billion could be in trouble though. He just called this emerging technology a "real threat" to his biggest cash-cow. While Buffett shakes in his billionaire-boots, only a few investors are embracing this new market which experts say will be worth over $2 trillion. It won't be long before everyone on Wall Street wises up, that's why The Motley Fool is releasing this timely investor alert. Click here to learn more about what's keeping Buffett up at night and the one public company we're calling the "brains behind" the technology.

David Hanson has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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