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10 priceless lessons every investor should learn from Richard Branson

Credit: INMA/Jarle Naustvik

Richard Branson turned 66 recently and is undoubtedly one of the most inspirational and successful investors of our time. With a net wealth figure approaching $8 billion, there are so many principles that every person can learn from him.

Here are 10 principles that investors can take from the great man:

Keep it simple!

It is vitally important to present a clear, concise plan that investors can easily understand and repeat to their own people. In the first meeting, avoid overly complicated, numbers-laden presentations.”

Share market investors. If you can’t understand the company’s product, don’t buy it!

START

You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”

Some of our greatest lessons have been learned the hard way by investing in terrible companies like Lynas Corporation Limited (ASX: LYC) and Quickflix Ltd (ASX: QFX).

You don’t have to be a mathematics professor to do well

‘Although my spelling is still sometimes poor, I have managed to overcome the worst of my difficulties through training myself to concentrate.’

Peter Lynch had an exceptionally successful investing career by investing in companies that owned stores he liked shopping in. Sometimes a great investment is a company with great service, like Bapcor Ltd (ASX: BAP).

Love doing it

I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.’

If you don’t enjoy researching companies then maybe you should leave it to the professionals at The Motley Fool to recommend companies for you.

Don’t be pressured to buy if you’re not 99% sure

Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.”

Unsure of part of the business strategy? Not sure how the company quantifies its forecasts? Steer clear of investing in companies you aren’t really confident about. This could include companies like Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) that appear straightforward but are actually comprised of an incredibly complex mix of investments.

Stick in there

In a company’s first year, your goal should be simply to survive, and this will likely take everything you’ve got. No matter how tired or afraid you are, you have to figure out how to keep going.”

This isn’t directly related to investing, but don’t be put off if you pick up a falling Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) or disappointing BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), with your first pick and it doesn’t work.

But iterate your processes

Learn from your investments, record why you bought the company and if it doesn’t go as well as planned identify if it was due to a flaw in your research. If an investment didn’t turn out as planned resolve to knuckle down and make sure your next investment is a long term success like CSL Limited (ASX: CSL)

And focus on your strengths

Once you know what your own motivations and aspirations are, talk to your … colleagues about theirs.”

Get a kick out of investigating oil and gas companies like Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL)? Focus on becoming an expert on it and surround yourself with experts in the fields you don’t know too well.

Attempt to capture global trends and disruptors

‘I’ve had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their head and making sure those industries will never be the same again, because Virgin went in and took them on.

Disruptors can be fantastic investments. On the ASX, XERO FPO NZ (ASX: XRO) and Nearmap Ltd (ASX: NEA) are disrupting their respective industries and should reward investors over the long term.

Think outside the box

By starting ventures in complementary industries, Branson created a network of businesses that reinforce one another. Don’t diversify by investing in 10 different mining services companies!

How 1 Man Turned $10K Into Over $8 Million

Discover how one man turned a modest $10,600 investment into an $8,016,867 fortune. Learn more about this man and how you can start down the path toward financial independence. Simply click here to learn more.

Motley Fool contributor Andrew Mudie has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bapcor and Xero. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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