Becoming a successful investor for a living can’t be an easy thing to achieve. I read a saying once from the son of the famed academic economist Gene Fama, he said, “Your money is like soap. The more you handle it the less you have.” He was right about that because moving money has many cost consequences associated with it like transaction fees and tax costs. Not to mention moving your money at the wrong time could potentially cost you your entire fortune. The men on this list have achieved the best investor status by successfully maneuvering their money to make lots more of it. We have all heard the saying that there are some things money can’t buy, but I seriously doubt that these guys have ever come across that ‘thing’ yet. Money is most certainly an aphrodisiac and what women wouldn’t rather be with a rich man than a poor one? Ten of the men on this list have really got it all together. They are quite appealing to the ladies because they have brains, money, good looks and are basically good guys. Then you have five other men who are basically older, odder thinkers and some of the things they can’t buy with all their money is their youth and mental health back.
15. The Best: Ashton Kutcher
It’s hard to believe that Ashton Kutcher is an acclaimed millionaire investor today especially after having watched him play Jackie’s intelligently challenged side-kick boyfriend Kelso on ‘That Seventies Show’. Today, however, the all grown up Kutcher is a very successful venture capitalist and has investments in more than sixty companies. Companies like Airbnb, Foursquare, Skype and Lenovo all have had enormous growth with Kutcher’s involvement. He has even appeared on the ever-popular reality TV show Shark Tank as a guest shark. Kutcher has really shown that beyond the entertainment world he should be taken very seriously when it comes to financial investments. Talk about brains and brawns, Ashton’s got it all.
14. The Best: David Einhorn
On the Forbes 400 list of America’s richest billionaires, David Einhorn is the 44th youngest one with an estimated net worth as of February 2017 of 1.54 billion dollars. In 2013 he was also ranked #44 as Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world. The 49-year-old is the president and founder of a hedge fund called Greenlight Capital (a long-short value-oriented hedge fund) which was started in 1996 with only $900,000. The company since then has generated a whopping 16.5% annualized return for its investors and is ranked 18th among the world’s highest hedge fund earners. Some of the companies Einhorn has shorted are Lehman Brothers and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
13. The Worst: George Soros
87-year-old Hungarian-American investor George Soros only has $8 billion dollars left after donating $18 billion dollars to Open Society Foundations, his philanthropic agency. There are several reasons why many people believe George Soros is dangerous. He gives billions of dollars to left-wing causes, he influences US elections, he wants to curtail American sovereignty, he is an environmental extremist and he is a currency manipulator. He even has been quoted as saying, “I admit that I have always harbored an exaggerated view of my self-importance – to put it bluntly, I fancied myself as some kind of god”. Wow, with him being old and delusional, the only appeal he would have is to a gold-digger.
12. The Best: Mark Cuban
59-year-old Mark Cuban has quite an impressive resume which includes being an author, investor, businessman, philanthropist and TV personality which correlates to why he is on this list. Probably tied for being most known as a permanent shark on the reality TV series Shark Tank and for owning the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban’s net worth as of March 2017 was 3.3 billion dollars. He worked as a bartender and salesperson before starting a company called MicroSolutions which he sold to CompuServe and profited greatly from its sale and made 2 million dollars. He also wrote an e-book in 2011 which tells of his experiences in the sports and business world.
11. The Best: Daymond John
CEO, president and founder of FUBU, a clothing company for young men, Daymond started out with very modest beginnings by handing out flyers and waiting tables at Red Lobster. He started FUBU in his mother’s house in Queens and sold his stuff on the streets. Today he is a motivational speaker, author, businessman and another shark investor on Shark Tank. Daymon joined Shark Tank’s cast in 2009 and as of 2015 has since invested over 7.5 million dollars in projects. For the record, Daymond claims that Bombas socks and Al “Bubba” Baker’s boneless ribs are his favorite investments he made on Shark Tank.
10. The Worst: Warren Buffett
87 Year-old Warren Buffett breaks the bank with his unbelievable net worth of $81.1 billion dollars. It’s hard to imagine that kind of wealth, but Buffett has it and as of August 2017 he is the fourth wealthiest person in the world (1st Jeff Bezos, 2nd Bill Gates, 3rd Amancio Ortega). Some interesting things about him are that he was rejected from Harvard Business School and has lived in the same house since 1958. He spends 80% of his day reading and has never tweeted before. He uses a Nokia flip phone and plays the ukulele. Line up ladies.
9. The Best: Chris Sacca
Completing an Ironman, riding his bike across the country for a charity and having a whopping 1.2 billion dollar net worth as of May 2017, it’s no wonder Chris Sacca made this list. He started a venture capital fund called Lowercase Capital and is best known for being an early and large investor in companies like Twitter, Instagram, Lookout, Uber, Docker, Kickstarter and Twilio. The former Google lawyer is getting out of the investor game because he feels he has accomplished what he set out to do when he created his venture firm. With all his loot, however, Sacca is not immune from the sexual harassment issues of today, as he was accused of touching a woman’s face without her consent. I wonder how much that’s going to cost him?
8. The Best: Marcus Lemonis
Only 100 million shy of becoming a billionaire, Marcus Lemonis is probably best known for being the star of a reality show on CNBC called The Profit which is about saving small businesses. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, 44-year-old Lemonis was adopted when he was an infant by a Greek couple that lived in Miami, Florida. As CEO of Camping World, he teamed up with NASCAR and began expanding his portfolio. Lemonis became the star of The Profit in 2013 and he hunts for small businesses to invest in that are faltering. He has invested $35 million dollars of his own money in businesses that were featured on the show. Successful and nice, what more could anyone ask for?
7. The Worst: Carlos Slim Helu
Mexico’s Carlos Slim Helu’s has a net worth of 64.3 billion but even with all that money, he is famously frugal. He has lived in the same modest home for over 30 years and ever since he was a kid he has always practiced extreme financial restraint. He is known in Mexico as Mr. “Monopoly” and owns more than 220 companies in banking, restaurants, railways and telecommunication. His phone company Telmex controls 80% of the landlines in Mexico and a subsidiary company he controls as well handles 70% of all the cell service, so you really can’t make a call in Mexico without putting money in this man’s pocket.
6. The Best: Nathan Blecharczyk
With a net worth of 3.8 billion dollars, 35-year-old Nathan ‘Nate’ Blecharczyk is chief strategy officer and co-founder of Airbnb. Yes, Airbnb the online hospitality service that allows people to rent short-term or lease lodging from hotel rooms and hostel beds to apartment and vacation rentals. While in high school he created his own software business which was web-hosting to provide services to spammers. It made him enough money to go to Harvard University where he continued to write programs while he attended the university to pursue a degree in Computer Science. Young, smart, rich and always has access to the best places to stay on vacation.
5. The Best: Bill Ackman
Distinguished billionaire Bill Ackman is another hedge fund guy on this list. He is CEO and founder of a hedge fund management company called Pershing Square Capital Management. Ackman’s investment activities have had critical praise and criticism from the US government to general people. He is quite controversial as he considers himself an activist investor by using an equity stake in a company to put public pressure on its management. He is known for his market play in 2008 when he shorted MBIA’s bonds during the financial crises as well as his investments in Target Corporation and Chipotle Mexican Grill. Interestingly since 2012, he has held a short against nutrition company Herbalife for $1 billion dollars and it’s documented in a film called Betting On Zero. Maybe they should have titled it “A Hero Betting On Zero”.
4. The Worst: Sheldon Adelson
CEO and founder of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, 87-year-old Sheldon Adelson is a billionaire philanthropist and investor. His net worth as of November 2017 is an outstanding 37.2 billion dollars. He is the down on record for being the largest donor to a presidential campaign in both 2012 and 2016. He donated $25 million dollars to the Trump campaign in 2016. He had a son who used heroin and cocaine and he died of a drug overdose, so Adelson has a personal passion and is an avid fighter against legalizing cannabis. He believes that pot is a gateway drug and is against using it, so if you are a stoner he’s not the right guy for you.
3. The Best: Bobby Murphy
Named by Time Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in 2014”, Bobby Murphy has a net worth of 3.1 billion dollars at the ripe old age of 31. This is how he made Forbes list as the second-youngest billionaire in the world. Co-founder of the company Snap Inc. which erected the oh so beloved Snapchat on social media. Considered an engineer and entrepreneur, he graduated from Stanford University in California in 2010 with a Mathematical and Computational Science degree. A pretty smart cookie and a great catch for the young lady who doesn’t mind living in a 2.1 million dollar home in Venice, CA. Recently he was recorded as being the 1250th richest person in the world.
2. The Best: Scott Duncan
35-year-old billionaire heir Scott Duncan is not just a spoiled rich kid that inherited his billions, he is an investor. When his father died, Scott and his sisters each split the inheritance equally. His portion was 3.1 billion dollars, and as of 2014, Scott was worth 6.3 billion, doubling that inheritance amount. Scott was the first billionaire in America to not pay any estate tax since it’s temporary elimination in 2010. Through Enterprise Products the Duncan’s family fortune was made and the company still remains under the family control. Enterprise Products is a crude oil and natural gas pipeline company headquartered in Houston, Texas. Young, wealthy and responsible, you couldn’t ask for more in a guy.
1. The Worst: Carl Icahn
With a net worth of $16.6 billion as of February 2017, Carl Icahn is listed on the Forbes 400 as the 26th wealthiest person. I am beginning to see a pattern here, as another hedge fund manager makes our list. Back in the 80’s he got a reputation for being a corporate raider by profiting from things like TWA’s hostile takeover and stripping away their assets. In December of 2016 Icahn was asked by President Trump to serve as an economic adviser in his administration, but he was forced to step down from the position due to conflicts of interests.
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