Money

Billionaire Chris Sacca shares his No. 1 money tip for young people

Chris Sacca
Photo by Megan Mack
Chris Sacca

Chris Sacca is a leading man in the world of start-up investing. He was an early backer of Twitter, Uber, Instagram and Kickstarter, and those big bets helped the 41-year-old become a self-made billionaire.

Sacca has made guest appearances on ABC's hit reality show "Shark Tank," on which he's famous for sporting embroidered cowboy shirts.

His advice for young people, however, is more conservative.

"The best thing college students can do right now is to stop spending their money," says Sacca, according to an interview the investor did with USA Today.

"Being a cheap bastard now means so much more freedom and choices later."

Sacca has pulled himself through some tough times to earn the freedoms he now enjoys. Just before September 11, 2001, shortly after graduating from Georgetown Law, Sacca was laid off.

"Being a cheap bastard now means so much more freedom and choices later." -Chris Sacca, billionaire investor

"The tech economy imploded and it was impossible to even get a moving van out of Silicon Valley because they had all gone one way back to the rest of the country," says Sacca. "Prospects were bleak back then, and it tested my resolve."

Sacca eventually got a job in law before working at Google for four years and then starting his own Los Angeles-based investment firm, Lowercase Capital. Sacca gained widespread acclaim for his skill in picking the right start-ups and helping them grow. He ranks 3rd on the Forbes "Midas Touch" list of best tech investors.

For ambitious college students eager to follow in his footsteps, Sacca has good news and bad.

"There is no well-trodden route to where I am, no formula to replicate," he says.

"But," he adds, "without exception, everyone I've ever met who is authentic, daring, empathic, tireless and willing to ask for help has gone on to be happy and fulfilled."

So pinch your pennies when you're young and keep your priorities in order, and that will serve you well in the long run.