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Investing Mentors – Common Threads

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By Investment Master Class

Many of the Investment Masters had the opportunity to work under great investors.  Larry Robbins worked with Leon Cooperman, Warren Buffett and Walter Schloss with Benjamin Graham, Stanley Druckenmiller with George Soros, Lee Ainslie & Steve Mandel with Julian Robertson to name just a few.

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When starting your professional life it's important you choose the right career and the right people to work with - where you can learn.  It shouldn't be about the money.  To be successful you're going to have to love what you do, and that's a lot easier if you enjoy who you're working with.

"If you're early on in your career and they give you a choice between a great mentor or higher pay, take the mentor every time.  It’s not even close.  And don't even think about leaving that mentor until your learning curve peaks." Stanley Druckenmiller

“Don’t worry about making the most money this week or next month.  When I went and offered to work for Ben Graham, I said I’d work for nothing and I meant it.  Just the idea of being turned on, look for the job that is going to turn you on”  Warren Buffett

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“In terms of starting something right out of business school… I wouldn’t worry very much about how much money you make.  I’d worry much less about compensation than I would about what you can learn” Bill Ackman

“It is important to find a decent, successful person to mentor you.  If you work with the right people and do what you like to do, then you’ve got it made”  Bruce Berkowitz

“.. one of the things about good mentors is you can learn on someone else's nickel. It's something you don't realize when you’re younger. But it struck me at a very early age to try to go find people that were the best in their particular businesses”  John Phelan

If you can't land the exact job you want you can continue your investing journey by learning from the Investment Masters.  If you take the time to go through the Investment Masters Class tutorials you'll notice many common threads between the Investment Masters.

Many of the Investment Masters also find heroes outside of investing...

“I have a mentor wall that is the first thing you see in my small office.  By identifying men who you really admire, you shortcut your learning curve tremendously” Frank Martin

"It is important to have a mentor and/or great heroes. If you don't have the former, the latter is really important. Pick the right heroes in investing, and in life, and then learn as much as you can from them. Over my career, I have been lucky and grateful to have mentors, but heroes are available to everyone and the reservoir of their wisdom is infinite." Christopher Begg

One of the greatest investors of our age, Charlie Munger, studied the great minds from history...

"I am a biography nut myself, and I think when you’re trying to teach the great concepts that work, it helps to tie them into the lives and personal ties of the people who developed them. I think that you learn economics better if you make Adam Smith your friend. That sounds funny, making friends among the eminent dead, but if you go through life making friends with the eminent dead who had the right ideas, I think it will work better in life and work better in education. It’s way better than just giving the basic concepts." Charlie Munger


A great place to start is with the most successful investor of our time, Warren Buffett. Buffett shares his wisdom through his annual letters, Berkshire meetings and interviews. Many of the Investment Masters have studied him.  Over the years I and many others have learnt a great deal from Buffett. I don't think there's much he and Charlie haven't worked out.

"I have read everything I could on Buffett. He is our business/investment role model" Frank Martin

“I think I have read almost everything Warren Buffett has written and I agree with more than 95% of his thinking” Lee Ainslee

“You should read the Berkshire Hathaway ‘Letters to Shareholders’ which are on the Berkshire website so they are free. That will be a great start” Mohnish Pabrai

"By far, the best investor of all time is Warren Buffett. I have read everything I could find (past and present) about him" Francois Rochon

"Going back and reading Berkshire Hathaway annual reports is worth the time" Arnold Van Den Berg

"In my opinion, Warren Buffett’s group of annual letters is the best teaching anyone could find in the history of business." Francois Rochon

"I started reading [Buffett’s shareholder letters etc.] and I’ve read over the years, just about everything, I think, Warren’s put out there." Ted Weschler

“I consider him [Buffett] a mentor, but while we see each other from time to time, I have learned mainly from watching what he does with Berkshire and reading his letters.” Wally Weitz

"Over the years, I have been most significantly influenced by the writings of Warren Buffett" Chuck Akre

"Another cornerstone of my re-education involved studying Buffett's investment strategy with even greater intensity.  There's no better way to do this than to read Berkshire Hathaway's annual reports... This wasn't a matter of idol worship. It was about choosing a teacher who had already discovered the truths that I still needed to learn" Guy Spier

Start learning from your mentors..

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