How to Win in Business

Billionaire: This surprising money tip is some of the best advice I ever got

Tilman Fertitta's path to success began with a $6,000 loan. Since then, he has built a restaurant and hospitality empire consisting of more than 500 properties. Today, he is worth almost $3 billion.

Throughout, he has followed one unusual financial lesson, which he calls "some of the best advice" he has ever gotten: "borrow money when you don't need it."

Fertitta tells CNBC that this counter-intuitive tip makes good sense for two reasons.

First, borrowing when times are good allows you to have cash on hand when times are tough. Fertitta points out that it is actually most difficult to borrow money when you are struggling. In fact, that's when you most need reserves in the bank.

Second, by accepting interest rates as the price of doing business you gain one vital tool: liquidity.

Tilman Fertitta, entrepreneur and host of Billion Dollar Buyer.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Tilman Fertitta, entrepreneur and host of Billion Dollar Buyer.

"Don't ever worry about paying a little extra interest, because when times are tough, you'll have the money in the bank," says Fertitta.

Liquidity, he says, allows you to remain calm during times of financial crisis and to be "an opportunistic acquirer." For instance, if there is another financial crisis and businesses go under, Fertitta will be able to buy at a discount price because he has cash in hand.

Back in 2007, President Trump expressed similar sentiments, admitting that he was excited about the possibility of a housing market crash because low prices are good for bargain hunters. Wealthy people are able to make "more money in bad markets than in good markets," argued the developer.

Fertitta's advice can indeed help wealthy people get ahead. Borrowing during times of success can protect you from future financial misfortune and allows you to capitalize on opportunities.