Rules from the World's Top Investors

Mar 18, 2023 By Rick Novak

Investing can be complex and challenging, but some tried-and-true strategies have proven successful over the years. In this article, we'll look at six rules from six of the world's top investors and how you can apply them to your investment strategy.

Warren Buffett: Invest in Companies You Understand

Warren Buffett is one of the most successful investors of all time, and one of his key rules is to invest in companies he understands. This means avoiding complex financial products and focusing on businesses that have simple, straightforward business models. For example, Buffett has been a long-time investor in Coca-Cola, a company that produces a product he understands and has a strong brand and customer base. By investing in companies you understand, you can better evaluate their prospects and make more informed investment decisions.

Benjamin Graham: Focus on Value Investing

Benjamin Graham is considered the father of value investing, a strategy that involves buying stocks undervalued by the market. Graham's rule is to focus on stocks with a low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, which indicates that the market undervalues the stock. For example, Graham's most famous student, Warren Buffett, has long been a proponent of value investing and has achieved remarkable returns by investing in undervalued stocks like American Express and GEICO.

John Paulson: Take Advantage of Market Inefficiencies

John Paulson is a hedge fund manager who famously made $4 billion by betting against the housing market in 2007. His rule is to take advantage of market inefficiencies or situations where the market has mispriced an asset or overlooked a potential opportunity. For example, Paulson's successful bet against the housing market was based on his belief that the market had mispriced the risk associated with subprime mortgages. Investors can take advantage of opportunities others may have overlooked by identifying market inefficiencies.

George Soros: Follow the Trend

George Soros is a legendary investor who made his fortune by following market trends and making bets based on his predictions of where the market was headed. His rule is to follow the trend or invest in assets trending upward and avoid those trending downward. For example, Soros famously bet against the British pound in 1992, making $1 billion in a single day by predicting that the currency was overvalued and due for a correction. By following the trend, investors can position themselves to take advantage of market movements and maximize their returns.

Ray Dalio: Diversify and Build All-Weather Portfolios

Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates, one of the world's largest and most successful hedge funds. He has been known for his unique approach to investing, which focuses on building all-weather portfolios that can perform well in any economic climate. He also emphasizes the importance of diversification to reduce risk and increase returns.

Dalio's philosophy is based on the idea that different asset classes perform differently in different economic environments. He has identified four major economic environments: inflationary growth, disinflationary growth, inflationary recession, and disinflationary recession. According to Dalio, each of these environments requires a different investment strategy, and investors should aim to build portfolios that can perform well. Dalio also believes that diversification is key to reducing risk and increasing returns. He advocates investing in various asset classes, including stocks, bonds, commodities, and alternative investments like real estate and private equity. By diversifying across asset classes, investors can reduce their exposure to any one asset and increase the likelihood of achieving their financial goals.

Peter Lynch: Invest in What You Know

Lynch is known for his philosophy of investing in what you know and understanding the companies you invest in. Lynch believes individual investors have an advantage over professional investors because they can identify investment opportunities through personal experiences and knowledge. He suggests looking for investment opportunities in everyday life and industries you understand well. For example, if you work in the technology industry, you may have insights into emerging trends and companies that could be good investments.

Lynch also emphasizes the importance of researching and understanding the companies you invest in. He recommends looking for companies with strong financials, good management teams, and competitive advantages. Investing in companies you know and understand can increase your chances of making successful investments.


Successful investing requires discipline, patience, and a willingness to learn from mistakes. Following these six rules from some of the world's top investors can increase your chances of making smart investment decisions and achieving your financial goals.

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