Attributes of Investors I Admire
This is a very short, sharp one today on a specific topic, and the reason I’ve chosen this topic is that a number of people have actually asked me this question, probably over a cup of tea or a glass of wine. And so, I thought it might actually make for a good topic for those of you listening. So, what is it that I’m looking for, and what is it that I admire in people who become part of my trusted advisor network? And I’m specifically talking about investors.
- Why you can’t do business with everyone,
- Attribute one: they are humble,
- Attribute two: they’re not elitist,
- Attribute three: they have a healthy relationship with money,
- Attribute four: they under-promise and over-deliver,
- Attribute five: they are compassionate,
- Attribute six: they give back to communities,
- Attribute seven: deep knowledge, and
- Attribute eight: they value time and are generous.
00:00:00 – Intro
00:01:15 – You Can’t Do Business With Everyone
00:03:29 – Attribute One: They Are Humble
00:03:56 – Attribute Two: They’re not Elitist
00:04:32 – Attribute Three: They Have a Healthy Relationship with Money
00:05:55 – Attribute Four: They Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
00:07:17 – Attribute Five: They are Compassionate
00:07:42 – Attribute Six: They Give Back to Communities
00:08:13 – Attribute Seven: Deep Knowledge
00:09:08 – Attribute Eight: They Value Time and Are Generous
00:09:49 – Outro
This is a very short, sharp one today on a specific topic, and the reason I’ve chosen this topic is because a number of people have actually asked me this question, probably over a cup of tea or a glass of wine. And so, I thought it might actually make for a good topic for those of you listening.
So, what is it that I’m looking for, and what is it that I admire in people who become part of my trusted advisor network? And I’m specifically talking about investors.Read More
You Can’t Do Business With Everyone
Over the last five to seven years, I’ve had the extraordinary privilege of meeting some epic investors, some ultra-high net worth individuals who have specialist skills in areas and strategies that would totally blow your mind.
But one thing that has become apparent to me as I become older and wiser is that you can’t do business with everyone.
I don’t know if many of you know this, but I’ve actually done a lot of study in the space of the yogic lifestyle and yogic philosophy, and one of the things that I feel has become very apparent for me is this idea that you should very much align with people who share your values.
The reason it’s really important is because I think that life is challenging enough. And when you surround yourself with people who share similar values to you, when you get stuck or fall down, those are the people that will ultimately come and support you.
I’ve probably extended that beyond even just my friendship circle to kind of overlap when it comes to business in terms of not only the people I work with, but in this case, I specifically want to talk about investors that I admire.
There are a number of people over the last five to seven years, maybe even longer, that I’ve been working with in the alternative investing space who are pretty good at what they do. But I just felt something I couldn’t quite put my finger on, some kind of sand in my shoe about who they were or how they did business. And it wasn’t like, that’s a red flag, it was more a subtle feeling of just misalignment.
The reason I’m flagging that is because I want you to understand when I’m thinking about people who are ultimately going to be part of my board of advisors, these are the things that I’m looking for.
Attribute One: They Are Humble
They should be really humble people who’ve got great humility and don’t brag. They don’t necessarily divulge lots of information about what they have to try and impress you. Some of them will happily share what they have, but more to give you a sense of what they’ve done.
Attribute Two: They’re not Elitist
Some of these guys that I call friends and who formed part of my board are literally some of the best investors in the world. And there’s no question too dumb, there’s no sense of, “You’re not at the same level as us.” And I know that earlier on, I definitely asked some super dumb questions, and I probably still do, but they’re very happy to take the time to explain the basics. So yes, the absence of elitism.
Attribute Three: They Have a Healthy Relationship with Money
What does it mean to have a healthy relationship with money? You’re looking for people who don’t operate from a place of scarcity. They’re not penny pinchers. They are mindful spenders. They can digest loss well, if and when it happens. They are able to articulate from a financial perspective how spending money in a specific way might bring them enjoyment, but they’re not frivolous.
One of the pictures that come to my mind is the image of the Wolf of Wall Street. I don’t know if they rent or hire these ‘little people’ to throw against the wall – and obviously, it’s an awful, awful thing, but that’s what comes to mind when I think of frivolous spending or the wealthy hedge fund managers that get gold coins and flick them into the ocean just for kicks, because they can.
I’ve had the great pleasure of even observing this in high, high net worth individuals – ultra-high net worth individuals with hundreds of millions of dollars – and, you know, they’re still mindful of their spending.
Attribute Four: They Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
In terms of how they communicate about the investments that they either share or deliver, is they under-promise, and they over-deliver.
One of the great frustrations I have with the wealth industry at large is that there’s a tendency to present deals in the rosiest possible light in order to make it a more compelling sales argument. But how I feel about investments is, I would rather see and understand what the good, the bad, and the ugly looks like so that I can at least make an informed decision.
The extension of that is, I think there are a lot of people making ill-informed decisions about what they invest in, because they’re presented with the future forecasts and the scenarios which are super rosy. And then, unfortunately, those people suffer if there’s a shortfall.
So, under-promising and over-delivering is actually a really good trait. I think the best you can do as an investor or a wealth professional is to talk in terms of risks and probabilities, and then really give people a pretty grounded view of what’s possible.
Attribute Five: They are Compassionate
Next is, they’re really compassionate. I think this is probably an extension of what I said earlier, but they actually care about humans, and they recognise that not everybody has what they have and that they’ve been fortunate. They recognise the role of luck, good fortune and preparation in their journey, they are very compassionate and care deeply for people.
Attribute Six: They Give Back to Communities
I guess this is an extension, that they give back to their community causes that they care about. There are investors I know who are worth tens of millions of dollars, who still will volunteer at school events or community events. And I just find that fantastic and amazing. They’re very devoted to their families.
Attribute Seven: They Have Deep Knowledge
The next is, and this is probably getting more into the nitty-gritty: they have deep knowledge. The investments that they actually specialise in might be very specific, and they have become masters or senseis in one particular area. It could be that it’s geographically broad, but the strategy itself is often very, very deep and masterful at one aspect of investing.
So, for example, there are people I know who are absolutely hands down experts at asset selection. They can look across a whole range of strategies and identify with a high degree of accuracy, whether investment A, B or C is going to be ranked one, two, and three.
Attribute Eight: They Value Time and Are Generous
Lastly, they value time. And they’re generous with it, selectively generous with their time. And I say that because in my own journey when I started out, I was all about how I could influence and impact as many people as possible. But I realised as time passed, if you’re not careful, you end up in situations where you’re trying to help too many people, and your impact isn’t all that potent. Stay in your lane, know what matters and what you’re good at.
The point of what I’m trying to say here is, be careful who you admire. Be clear about when you are selecting people who you want to align with from a financial perspective.
Try to think in terms of decades. A lot of wealth professionals tend to help you pick a deal that works today, in today’s environment. I think wealth building needs to become more about playing the long game.
If you’re going to succeed, you need to be really clear on who you’re looking for and what your criteria needs to be.
So, hopefully, me sharing mine with you has been useful. You shouldn’t necessarily replicate mine, but I think it’s one of those conversations that people don’t really think deeply about.
I know I think deeply about it, because I think alignment with people on all levels of life is really important. But it’s especially important when it comes to money and wealth.
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