Learning from Ackman

Everyone is always learning and evolving in investing and business, that’s what makes it so great. I linked this investment letter/report from PershingSquare on Saturday, and what impressed me the most was just how dramatically Bill Ackman has changed from just a few years ago.

A few things I learned by paying attention to Bill Ackman’s career path:

  • Bet big when it is right, but make sure it is right or at least that you can recover if you are wrong (Gotham Golf, VRX, HLF)
  • Have a strong understanding of your investment (Pershing has written up and presented numerous investments with great detail)
  • Just because you are labeled a certain type of investor doesn’t mean all of your investments need to fit that category (recent investments have all been passive, but he is an Activist)
  • There is little gain in being promotional and it only brings more scrutiny (look up anything on his short on HLF)
  • Permanent capital is probably one of the most important attributes needed to successfully invest
  • Everyone makes mistakes – literally everyone