Written and Edited by Alex Love, Interviews by various
There are a lot of people in the world today looking for direction. They want to know how to make money. How do they open their own businesses? How do I work for myself on my own terms? How do I plan for retirement?
Well, District 4 responded to these times of uncertainty by giving you a part two of one, extending on one of our most informative articles…take good notes, as District 4 presents: What Do You Know Too? Advice from the experts!
We begin this article with one of the greats, Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank:
Q. People just love to hate you [on Shark Tank] what do you think is behind that?
A. Listen, money as far as I am concerned has no gray area-either you make money or you are losing money. So you might as well tell the truth about it all the time. My point of view is, if you can’t handle the truth I don’t care it’s going to come back and bite you anyway-you have to deal with the truth all the time that’s my attitude on the show and if people don’t like it I don’t care.
Q. When you’re out in real life do you still maintain that same attitude as in the show?
I think it is very important and in real life I am pretty much the same-Listen when I do business I am not there to make friends. If you want to make friends go get a dog! In the sense that you tell people what you want-I am giving you money and this is what I want, this is what I expect from you, and again if people find me too direct then (he ends pause)! What away to start, honesty is the base, now what? For the next step we turn to Ron Baron founder and CEO of Barron Capitol Management:
Q. For those who may not be familiar with you, what is your investment philosophy and how much do
you now have into management?
A. My investment philosophy is to invest for the long-term in business that have bigger growth opportunities , uh, competitive advantages that make it difficult for other people to do what they are doing, and businesses that are well managed. When I am talking long-term the average holding that I have in my funds is about 6 to 7 years. The average mutual fund turns over its portfolio every 6 or 7 months, hedge funds are even shorter than that. Ours is 6 to 7 years, and so, it is unusual to invest in this way with a public Mutual Fund-(he pauses) and under management it’s about 17 Billion (he shrugs) maybe a little more than that.
Q. Give us a couple of examples, say from your real estate fund and your energy fund where you pick
companies a little differently than those who focus on those categories?
A. The energy fund is not really that clear yet, we just decided that this is something we might want to try because we had been successful with it in the past (he pauses) so it’s not quite ready for prime-time yet. But what is interesting about the success of the real estate fund is that it follows the path of all of our others-more importantly it’s about finding these things before you invest; 1.) Companies with a competitive edge. 2.) Growth opportunities. 3.) Specialties Management. Great advice! One should think of an investment as a long-term thing and not simple a get rich quick thing. And speaking of real estate- we end with one of my personal favorites, the self-proclaimed “Swedish Prince of Manhattan”, New York Realtor…Fredrick Eklund:
Q. Why did you succeed [in such a competitive business] do you think-
A. (He interrupts) Well I didn’t at first this is thirteen years later now, and it is nice now to look back and reflect (he shifts in his chair) but it wasn’t easy. I had no rolodex, no contacts, I had no help. I sat there behind my desk-and this was before internet and listing systems, circling [listings in the paper] with my pen (he pauses in thought)-but I got my first listing because I thought every client, no, every person I
met (he points around the room) could be a future client. Although, even that was not easy in the beginning. What I did was use the cockiness of my personality to influence people and to hopefully make friends in the industry!
Q. Tell me-because you sell hard to sell properties? How do you get them to really want something?
A. When I launch a building, no, or it can be anything. It is my job to build hype, by creating a sense of urgency. I do this before the property being sold is even listed. Right? Because after that it is really too late-by then it is accessible, you know to everyone [in a sense].
It’s like that the longer you hold it the more the right kind of people want it, and everybody else wants what everybody else wants (he gives a knowing look). It is my job to create this sort of need-and that’s how I get the highest price, you see.
Q. What do your super rich clients want?
A. You mean that the mega wealthy? The Billionaires?
A. Funny enough the number one thing is, believe it or not…is privacy! Because they spend all day making decisions and with people asking them for stuff, money and time etc…They want a place to recharge, where people are giving to them and not simple taking.
Q. You failed in Norway?
A. Yes, and it’s ok, failure is a constant with success. Success involves risk and not all risks pay-off. So it’s ok to say-we went bankrupted. We had the sales but not the numbers, and that’s ok. I have had so much other success that to fail is ok!
In conclusion, what can we take away from the mega successful, and how can we apply it to our personal situations? The following is some practical application, for your success
Be honest! Without honesty you cannot accurately access where you are starting from and that will hinder your decision making.
Invest in the long-term! This means choose people and companies to work with the understanding of how it would be effecting and affecting your life five years down the road.
Prep! You cannot finish a building without blue-prints. The same can be said for starting a business or finding clients, or going on to the next phase of life. This is not goal setting as much as it is realizing every big decision is simple a series of small decision that have come before.
I leave you with this quote from unknown:
“Every failure or success exist in your mind long before it manifest itself in your life!”