7 Simple Pieces of Advice from Bill Gates That Any Investor Can Use

If you want to know what it takes to be successful, learn from the motivating lessons that Bill Gates has freely shared with the world.
Last updated Nov 11, 2020 | By Ben Walker
Bill Gates

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Bill Gates is one of the world’s richest individuals and most generous philanthropists. Although his net worth is well into the billions, he’s known for donating much of his own money to causes that benefit the planet and all mankind. He’s also the co-founder of Microsoft, though he recently stepped down as a board member of the tech giant in early 2020.

Throughout his career as an entrepreneur and businessman, Bill Gates has faced plenty of challenges. He pioneered the rise of Microsoft through multiple decades and is one of the primary reasons the company is so successful today.

Following Bill Gates’ advice doesn’t mean you’ll become a billionaire, but it may help you reach your financial goals. If you want to make moves to retire early or thrive in an uncertain economy, you’ll need sound advice to get there. As you read through these quotes from Bill Gates, be sure to think about how you can apply his lessons to your life and your goals.

This is not investment advice and all investments come with the risk of loss, be sure to do your own research if you're going to invest.

7 simple pieces of advice from Bill Gates that any investor can use

“We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.”

Investing money and working toward your goals requires an eye for what’s to come years down the road. It’s important to avoid short-sighted decisions when you invest, which is the lesson we can learn from this first Bill Gates quote.

You may think you’re not ready for investing or saving for retirement because you don’t know all the ins and outs of the process. But the longer you wait to start building your wealth, the less time you’ll have to see it grow. You don’t need a lot of money to get started, either. With Stash, you can easily start investing for as little as $1 dollar per month. And then you can choose between thousands of stocks to invest in, though you don’t have to spend more than $1 a month if you don’t want to.

"It's fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."

Everyone should celebrate their successes because it’s important to take pride in the time and effort you put into achieving your goals. At the same time, also pay close attention to the failures you’ve had to endure along the way.

There’s no point in dwelling on a failure other than learning the essential lesson within experiencing one. When you start investing, you’ll learn that not every decision you make will be profitable or successful. Pay attention to the decisions that don’t work out and do your best to figure out why they didn’t work.

Once you can quickly identify and create solutions for your failures, you’ll be less likely to make those same mistakes again. This may lead to an overall greater rate of success and financial progress.

"Patience is a key element of success."

For the most part, success isn’t an overnight occurrence. Achieving success takes time and effort, so don’t expect to start investing and immediately reach all your goals. Have patience and set your sights on long-term success.

A robo-advisor like Betterment may help you build sustainable wealth over time instead of shooting for an immediate big score. Although there’s always a risk of loss no matter how you invest, Betterment can help you create a portfolio that aligns with your risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial goals.

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”

One of the best and easiest ways to learn is by having someone more experienced teach you what they know about a subject. In addition, you can learn on your own by patterning your decisions after similar decisions that experts in their fields make.

So to get better at investing, learn about investing from others who have more experience than you or can offer advice on specific topics. With the Public investing app, you get the opportunity to own a portion of any stock with as little as $5. Perhaps more importantly, you also get access to an entire community of investors. You can follow other investors, learn from their habits, and have conversations about investing with like-minded individuals. If you want to learn more about investing, Public is worth considering.

“Life is not fair, get used to it.”

As mentioned above, there’s always risk involved with any investment, which is something all investors have to expect and deal with. You could be doing everything right on your end with your investment strategy, but you still might experience losses when the market is down.

Losing money might feel unfair when you’re following sound investing advice, but it’s all part of the investing process. Take your hits, learn from them, and keep moving forward so you can progress toward your goals.

“Don’t whine about your mistakes. Learn from them.”

The way you react to the mistakes you make is a glimpse into how successful you’ll be in reaching your investment goals. If you make a bad investment, there’s no point in wasting your time complaining about it. The best thing you can do is pick yourself up and move onto making more worthwhile decisions.

If you want to spend any time dwelling on your mistakes, make sure it’s for an analysis of how the mistake happened in the first place. Maybe it’s something you can learn from and adjust in the future. Or maybe the market is reacting in a way you couldn’t predict. Either way, be easy on yourself and save the knowledge you’ve gained for a similar situation down the road.

“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”

It’s easy to feel like you can never lose when you’re on a roll with your investments, but that’s simply not the case. Having overwhelming success with investing doesn’t mean you can’t have failure as well. When it comes to investing, there’s always risk involved, so there’s no need to get overconfident with your decisions.

If you’ve relied on sensible investing strategies to have some financial success, don’t think you can suddenly change something and still have the same success. At the same time, you have to adjust with the market when needed to maintain your upward trend.

The bottom line

Bill Gates didn’t get to his current financial position through one long, unbroken string of success after success. As with anyone else, he had to learn how to achieve success and make the right investments to get there. He had failures along the way, but he didn’t let them stop his progress toward his goals. If you can adapt his same attitude of continual learning and steady improvement, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a savvy investor.

"Bill Gates. TED2011" by TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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