Thursday, May 8, 2008

Want to earn like Warren Buffett? 24 tips

"An investor needs to do very few things right as long as he or she avoids big mistakes. " Warren Buffett

One of the world's most successful investors, Warren Buffett is the richest man on earth. Chairman of the Berkshire Hathaway, Buffett's wealth jumped by $10 billion to hit $62 billion during 2007. Buffett's life is an inspiration for investors across the globe.

So what makes the world's wealthiest man so rich? Buffett believes that successful investing is about having common sense, patience and independent research.

'How Buffett Does It', by James Pardoe is a great guide for investing in any market. A look into Buffett's simple, yet intelligent mantras for investing and minting millions.

1. A frugal billionaire Buffett believes in simplicity. He advises investors to take easy decisions. Never buy when you are doubtful. Invest only if you understand the businesses well.

2. Focus on not losing money rather than making it. Don't own any stock for 10 minutes that you wouldn't own for 10 years.

3. A proponent of value investing, he believes that one must take decisions on his own. He doesn't believe in listening to analysts or brokers. The best investing decisions come from oneself.

"It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results."

4. Buffett advises to invest in 'old economy' businesses, companies, which have been around for fifty years and will continue to have a long innings.

5. We have often heard of people suffering heart attacks when markets crash. Well, Buffett advocates a sound temperament for stock market success.

6. You don't need to be a genius to succeed in the stock markets. People who can stay cool will succeed in the long run. Always keep in mind the hidden costs, from commissions on active stock trading to high mutual fund fees.

7. Buffett always looks at businesses he can understand, look at the profits in the past, long-term potential of the company, good top level management of the company and companies that have a good value proposition. The strategy is to think about the business in the long term.

"You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right."

8. Invest in businesses with great management. Always keep a track of the management of the company. The top decision makers have a lot to do with the company's performance.

9. One of Buffet's biggest strengths is independent thinking. Many people go by what the experts says or what others do but belief in one's own judgement is the key to stock market success.

10. Patience pays, says Buffet. He says one must not worry too much about the price of the stocks. What's more important is the nature of business of the company, earnings capability and its future potential.

11. Don't target just stocks, look at businesses. How a company performs is key to its stock market performance. You must know the track record of a company before you invest in it.

"Price is what you pay. Value is what you get."

12. Prices keep changing. Don't get worried by the ups and downs. Investing is all about creating wealth. It's important to understand the value of a stock than its price.

13. He believes that franchisee businesses are good opportunities to invest in. Avoid hi-tech, complex businesses. Look for businesses that are set to diversify and grow.

14. Never be disappointed when markets fall. Take it as a buying opportunity. Buffet says one must have lesser number of investments with more money in each lot.

15. He advises to avoid diversification. Invest in companies with sound business models. Choose a few good ones and stay invested, it will give you the benefits.

"I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars; I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over."

16. Doing nothing pays at times! One must not jump at price fluctuations and take impulsive decisions.

17. Don't get carried away by market forecasts. Ignore market swings and remain an investor with a good business sense.

18. Buffett advises to be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. Buy when people are selling and sell when people are buying.

19. Make a list of companies, sectors that you find safe to invest in and try to stick to the list.

20. A sound business, strong management, good fundamental and low stock price should be a must-buy.

"Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can't buy what is popular and do well."

21. Try to ignore stock charts, says Buffett. They may not give the right indicators. A stock which may have done well earlier may not do so in future.

22. Buffet spends a lot of time on reading and more importantly thinking. Reading helps investors, so spend a lot of time reading about the stocks, companies and markets. A good investor must have a good knowledge base.

23. A good investor also needs to be efficient. Investors may have great capabilities but many do not make use of it. One needs to hone skills to meet the targets.

24. Good investors never rush to make money. They give time, thought and work on investment decisions. The mistakes that others make should be a lesson for you.

Stocks to pick: ONGC, Sterlite Industies, TCS

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