Often called "the Oracle of Omaha", Buffett is Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway and arguably the greatest investor of all time. His wealth fluctuates with the performance of the market but in 2008 his net worth was once estimated at $62 billion.
Buffett is a value investor. His company Berkshire Hathaway is basically a holding company for his investments. Major holdings he has had at some point include Geico, NetJets, Proctor and Gamble, Coca-Cola, American Express and Gillette. Critics predicted an end to his success when his conservative investing style meant missing out on the dotcom bull market. Of course, he had the last laugh after the dotcom crash because, once again, Buffett's time tested strategy proved successful.
At only six years old, Buffett purchased 6-packs of Coca Cola from his grandfather's grocery store for twenty five cents and resold each of the bottles for a nickel, pocketing a five cent profit. While other children his age were playing hopscotch and jacks, Warren was making money.
Five years later, Buffett took his step into the world of high finance. At eleven years old, he purchased three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share for both himself and his older sister, Doris. Shortly after buying the stock, it fell to just over $27 per share. A frightened but resilient Warren held his shares until they rebounded to $40. He promptly sold them - a mistake he would soon come to regret. Cities Service shot up to $200. The experience taught him one of the basic lessons of investing: patience is a virtue.
After Harvard Business School, in the worst admission decision in history, rejected Buffett as "too young" he applied to Columbia where famed investors Ben Graham and David Dodd taught - an experience that would forever change his life.
Ben Graham published Security Analysis, one of the greatest works ever penned on the stock market. At the time, it was risky; investing in equities had become a joke (the Dow Jones had fallen from 381.17 to 41.22 over the course of three to four short years following the crash of 1929).
It was around this time that Graham came up with the principle of "intrinsic" business value - a measure of a business's true worth that was completely and totally independent of the stock price. Using intrinsic value, investors could decide what a company was worth and make investment decisions accordingly. His subsequent book, The Intelligent Investor, which Warren celebrates as "the greatest book on investing ever written", introduced the world to Mr. Market - the best investment analogy in history.
"We enjoy the process far more than the proceeds."
"Entrepreneurial business favours the open mind." Richard Branson
The man known in the West as Jack Ma was born Ma Yun in 1964 in Hangzhou during China’s Cultural Revolution, during which his family was persecuted because of his grandparents, who were members of the Nationalist party that opposed the Communist party. If few things can characterize Jack Ma's background, education and path to success, they are failure, rejection, fighting, resolve, hard work, agility and vision. All throughout Jack Ma's life, from childhood till building a multibillion-dollar global ecommerce technology giant, he has failed many times, been rejected and called crazy, even by his father who warned him about his unique “dangerous” ideas that could have resulted in his imprisonment in an earlier generation.
Jack Ma has learned more from his and others' failures than through the traditional channels of education. Ma, a man of incredible resolve, has learned to fail better and fail forward. As he declared in an interview with Charlie Rose in Davos, "I failed a key primary school test 2 times, I failed the middle school test 3 times, I failed the college entrance exam 2 times and when I graduated, I was rejected for most jobs I applied for out of college. (Ma was the only one out of 5 applicants to the police force to be rejected and the only one of 24 applicants to be a KFC manager to be rejected. "I applied for Harvard ten times, got rejected ten times and I told myself that ‘Someday I should go teach there.’" In the late 1990s after starting Alibaba, Ma tried to get venture capital funding in Silicon Valley for Alibaba and got rejected for running an unprofitable business model. He eventually went back to China without funding.
In 2014, in what turned out to be the largest initial public offering to date, Ma and his team successfully raised in excess of USD 20 Billion for Alibaba by listing it in the NYSE stock exchange in the United States. That made Alibaba, a 15 years old e-commerce company that has its origins outside of the United States, one of world's largest companies as measured by its market capitalization that was approximately USD 200 Billion. Ma and his team are turning Alibaba holding group into a massive conglomerate by acquiring many smaller companies from technology related to logistics and beyond.
Jack Ma intends to use the internet and Alibaba’s influence to facilitate more globalized trade across borders beyond China and to help SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) across the world. Ma vows that helping SMEs to succeed is much like a religious calling for him.
His first business venture was a magazine called Student at the age of 16. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores. His Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic and expanded the Virgin Records music label.
He is the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom, according to the Forbes 2012 list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of US$4.6 billion. "Chance favours the prepared mind. The more you practice, the luckier you become," says Richard Branson as he smiles a very enthusiastic grin.
He was born in Blackheath, London, the son and eldest child of barrister Edward James Branson and Eve Huntley Branson. His grandfather, the Right Honourable Sir George Arthur Harwin Branson, was a judge of the High Court of Justice and a Privy Councillor.
Richard was educated at Scaitcliffe School (now Bishopsgate School) until the age of thirteen. He then attended Stowe School until the age of sixteen. He has dyslexia and had poor academic performance as a student, but later discovered his ability to connect with others. He struggled in school and dropped out at age 16—a decision that ultimately lead to the creation of Virgin Records. His entrepreneurial projects started in the music industry and expanded into other sectors making Richard a billionaire. His Virgin Group holds more than 200 companies, including the recent Virgin Galactic, a space-tourism company. He is also known for his adventurous spirit and sporting achievements. On one of his last days at school, his headmaster, Robert Drayson, told him he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire.
He says, "Entrepreneurial business favours the open mind. It favours people whose optimism drives them to prepare for many possible futures, pretty much purely for the joy of doing so." Richard's parents had a significant impact on his life. He had very talented parents who had an abundance of love for their children and were supportive of his endeavors from an early age. For example, when he was 15 he decided to breed budgies and persuaded his father to build a huge aviary. His father built it. They always encouraged him to go ahead and do what he wanted. His parents always treated him and his two sisters as equals. His parents always encouraged them to have their own opinions and rarely gave them advice unless they asked for it.
Michael Jordan may be the greatest basketball player in history. He led the Chicago Bulls to six National Basketball Association championships, twice doing it in three consecutive years. His season scoring average of 30.1 points per game is the highest in the league's history. And he won five Most Valuable Player awards, as well as making the all-league defensive team in nine of his 15 seasons.
But Michael Jordan has become much more than a basketball player. Today, he is a sport icon, one of the best-known athletes in the world. His fame has transcended his sport and transformed him into a marketing mega-power. His Brand Jordan with Nike is approaching a $500-million-a-year business worldwide.
But now, years after leaving the NBA and his final stint as a player with the Washington Wizards, Jordan has decided to speak out, not just about basketball, but his business goals, his personal pleasures and, most of all, his private life.
Said basketball great Michael Jordan on why he is lowering the price on his super popular Air Jordan brand sneakers.
MJ is sick and tired of blacks killing blacks over his high priced shoes. He wants to set a precedent by showing people that spending more money on something exclusive doesn’t make you special it just makes you a fool with money. Michael Jordan feels bad for all these young black males with these large Jordan shoe collections but they don’t have one red cent invested in Jordan or Nike Stock and he would like to save them from themselves. He will make the transition in lowering the prices nationwide slowly over the course of the next couple years to deter any backlash in the black community.
"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." Michael Jordan
Evan Williams went from 140 characters to more than $3 billion in less than a decade. The Twitter cofounder saw his net worth soar after his social media company went public to great fanfare in October. Though he still sits on Twitter’s board, Williams now focuses his efforts on blogging platform Medium, which raised $25 million in January.
Born in Clarks, Nebr., Williams grew up working on his family's soybean and corn farm. He dropped out of U. of Nebraska, learned to write computer code and, with a friend, launched a software-development outfit from which they created blogging platform Blogger. They sold it to Google in 2003. He spent 2 years at Google, then left to work on a startup that became Twitter. Williams was CEO from 2008 to 2010, before leaving to start social blogging platform Medium. He still has a nearly 10% stake in Twitter."
"Twitter isn't a social network, it's an information network." Evan Williams
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Elon Reeve Musk is the South African born, Canadian-American entrepreneur, engineer, inventor and investor who is CEO and CTO of SpaceX, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, and chairman of SolarCity. He is the founder of SpaceX and a cofounder of PayPal, Inc., Tesla Motors, and Zip2. He has also envisioned a conceptual high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop. No matter what's said about Elon there's no question that he's in it for humanity.
When he became hyper-rich after eBay bought PayPal he didn't spend his millions to develop a social media app. Instead he bought into an electric car company, declared that he wanted to send astronauts to Mars and invested in solar power.
Musk will soon reveal two new Tesla products: a "home" battery and a much bigger "utility scale" battery. Effectively Tesla will offer customers the opportunity to buy (or lease) a Tesla battery without shelling out $100,000 for a Tesla vehicle.
If you're a cynic you might say that Musk is just trying to create a new story for Wall Street to counter some of the skepticism that's emerged over Tesla's immediate financial prospects. The stock has been trading higher ahead of the announcement after dipping at the end of last year (it's still well down from its peak of $219 hit last September).
But that's not what Musk is doing. If you look at his companies Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity it's clear that together they represent his penchant for sustainable energy and his vision for a cleaner more responsible future for mankind.
To prevent global warming you need to completely change the transportation matrix and replace the internal combustion engine all together. That is part of Tesla's role for a cleaner future. To power Tesla's cars you need electricity that isn't generated by fossil fuels. That's clearly the contribution of SolarCity in the grand scheme of things. Musk wants to capture the free energy of the Sun and help save the planet. No wonder they based the Iron Man character on him.
And just in case some extinction level event should decimate the planet or it becomes uninhabitable SpaceX could play an important role in preserving mankind with their quest to habitate Mars. As Musk puts it, "It make us multi-planetary." We could use Mars as a lifeboat. Musk's whole system runs on power gathered from the Sun and if you want to do that at any kind of scale you need to store the energy.
"When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor."
Dream, Struggle, Victory...
emi Otedola was born in 1962 in the capital of Oyo. His family was well-known in Nigeria, as his father was Governor of Lagos State in 1992-93.
In 2003, Otedola founded Zenon Petroleum and Gas Ltd. The company dealt with marketing of petroleum products and distribution. Because of his great investment activity, Zenon managed to take the biggest share of Nigerian diesel market under control by 2005. Then, in 2007, they got an approval from banks to get a loan for building the largest premium motor spirit storage facility in Africa.
Later that year Zenon acquired almost 29% stake in African Petroleum, which is one of the largest fuel marketers in Nigeria. After some time, Otedola became a chairman of Africa Petroleum. He has become extremely rich and in 2009, was listed in Forbes. In 2010, the name of African Petroleum was changed to Forte Oil Plc. In 2015, they sold 17 % of equity to Swiss commodity trader, giving the company access to the global commodity markets.
According to an October 17, 2016 post, Otedola's net worth dropped to $550 million from $1.8 billion after a large share price drop in Forte Oil.
Otedola has a wife, called Nana Otedola. They also have three wonderful daughters and a son. One of his daughters, Florence Otedola, is also known as DJ Cuppy. She has become an international music producer and DJ. Moreover, she is also a tourist ambassador for Nigeria. His other daughter Temi, is a designer and style blogger.
"There is no successful businessman today that has not gone through the ups and downs.” Femi Otedola
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prah Gail Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. She is best known for her talk show The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was the highest-rated television program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. Dubbed the "Queen of All Media", she has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and is North America's first multi-billionaire black person. Several assessments regard her as the most influential woman in the world. In 2013, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama and honorary doctorate degrees from Duke and Harvard.
Oprah was born into poverty in rural Mississippi to a teenage single mother and later raised in an inner-city Milwaukee neighborhood. She has stated that she was molested during her childhood and early teens and became pregnant at 14; her son died in infancy. Sent to live with the man she calls her father, a barber in Tennessee, Winfrey landed a job in radio while still in high school and began co-anchoring the local evening news at the age of 19. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime-talk-show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated.
The power of Oprah's opinions and endorsement to influence public opinion, especially consumer purchasing choices, has been dubbed "The Oprah Effect". The effect has been documented in domains as diverse as book sales, beef markets, and election voting. Late in 1996, Oprah introduced the Oprah's Book Club segment to her television show. The segment focused on new books and classics and often brought obscure novels to popular attention. The book club became such a powerful force that whenever Winfrey introduced a new book as her book-club selection, it instantly became a best-seller.
"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams."
“When you are small, you have to be very focused and rely on your brain, not your strength.” Jack Ma
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