As self-made millionaire and professional life coach Tony Robbins compiled the lessons he learned from investors such as Carl Icahn, Warren Buffett, Ray Dalio and John Bogle into the personal finance book "Money: Master the Game," he noticed that the very best investors have four qualities in common.
Entrepreneur and author Tim Ferriss writes about Robbins' conclusions in his new book, "Tools of Titans."
Here are the four traits Robbins says top investors have in common.
1. They hate losing money
"Every single one of these [people] is obsessed with not losing money. I mean, a level of obsession that's mind boggling," says Robbins.
Often, the fixation on not losing money is part of a top investor's long-term strategy.
Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson's investment strategy, for example, starts with looking for a way to protect himself from losing money. "When he did his piece with Virgin [air travel] — that's a big risk to start an airline — he went to Boeing and negotiated a deal that [he] could send the planes back if it didn't work and he wasn't liable," Robbins says.
2. They minimize risk
"Every single one of them is obsessed with asymmetrical risk and reward. … It simply means they're looking to use the least amount of risk to get the max amount of upside, and that's what they live for," says Robbins.
The most successful investors do not subscribe to the philosophy that they have to take out-sized risks to get out-sized rewards.
3. They know they're going to be wrong sometimes and protect themselves
No investor is right 100 percent of the time. The best investors acknowledge that and hedge against their future mistakes. For example, they don't keep all their money in one place; they make sure to diversify.
"They absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, know they're going to be wrong … so they set up an asset allocation system that will make them successful," says Robbins.
4. They give back
"The last one that I found: Almost all of them were real givers, not just on the surface… but really passionate about giving … It was really real," says Robbins.
Indeed, two of the world's richest men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, co-founded The Giving Pledge, an organization that encourages the exceptionally well-off to donate at least half of their wealth.
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