- Pershing Square Capital Management founder Bill Ackman was known for colorful statements well before his notorious March 18 CNBC interview.
- The billionaire investor is among the few to win out through the tumultuous first quarter, turning a $27 million bet on credit protection into $2.6 billion when coronavirus risks caught up with the financial sector.
- Some commentators allege Ackman’s emotional 30-minute CNBC appearance was made to boost his investments, though the fund manager has rebuked such claims.
- Here are 12 of Bill Ackman’s most insightful quotes on markets, investing, and business strategy.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.
Bill Ackman made headlines in March for a passionate 30-minute CNBC interview, but his penchant for remarkable statements isn’t new.
The Pershing Square Capital Management founder is hot off a stellar first quarter, turning a $27 million position into $2.6 billion through credit protection assets in late March. When markets tanked on fresh coronavirus worries and debt ratings deteriorated, Ackman made enough profits to offset losses elsewhere in his portfolio.
The hedge fund manager was among the billionaires warning of outsized economic catastrophe should the US fail to properly combat the pandemic. His dire forecasts in a March 18 CNBC appearance helped push the stock market to intraday lows and drew allegations of fearmongering to boost his credit bets.
Ackman later clarified in a tweet that he believed the White House would properly address the health crisis.
“If that happens, we can win the war against the virus and the markets and the economy will soar,” he wrote.
The billionaire has been quieter lately, but several of the remarks Ackman has made throughout his career still ring true amid volatile markets and the sharp economic downturn.
Here are 12 of Bill Ackman’s most insightful quotes on markets, investing, and business strategy.
‘In order to be successful, you have to make sure that being rejected doesn’t bother you at all’
‘Investing is a business where you can look very silly for a long period of time before you are proven right’
Source: BuzzFeed News
‘I’ve seen very few people in the world accomplish anything unless they were optimists’
‘From day one, I was always unafraid to ask someone to invest because, I thought that, while capital was a commodity, good investment ideas were rare assets’
‘I’m not emotional about investments. Investing is something where you have to be purely rational and not let emotion affect your decision making – just the facts.’
Source: The New York Times Magazine
‘I think most investors overdiversify because they’re lazy. They haven’t done enough research into any of their companies. If they’ve got 200 positions, do you think they know what’s going on at any one of those companies at this moment?’
Source: The Street
‘If I believe that I am right, I will take it to the end of the earth until I am proven right’
Source: The Globe and Mail
‘What the market tells you in the short term is what a certain subset of people believe. That doesn’t mean they’re right.’
‘Capitalism does not work in an 18-month shutdown; capitalism can work in a 30-day shutdown.’
‘Everyone told me it was a really stupid idea to start my own hedge fund right out of business school. That’s how I knew that it was a good idea.’
‘The benefit of short-sellers to the markets is they’re sort of the canary in the coal mine. They are the early warning signal about a problem in the business, a problem in the capital markets.’
‘Since we believe that short-term market and economic prognostication is largely a fool’s errand, we invest according to a strategy that makes the need to rely on the short-term market or economic assessments largely irrelevant’
Source: Pershing Square Q3 2008 Letter
Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider:
When Wade Pfau isn’t writing books or winning awards, he’s teaching Ph.D students the art of retirement income. Here are 4 ways he says investors can reduce risk and thrive financially in the long term.