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Billionaire Thoughts

By Dian Vujovich

By now we’ve all read Forbes’ most recent list of the richest 400 Americans, know a few of them have homes right here and that most are poorer today then they were a year ago.

Feeling better yet? Well, not so fast: Even with the various markets in the tank one still needed $1.3 billion to be included in the lineup—that’s up $300 million over last year.

Striving to be a wealthiack is one thing, making it quite another and keeping it after you’ve made it even trickier. With that in mind, Forbes asked a number of their billionaires about wealth and money. What follows is some sage advice from three self-made billionaires:

• Donald Trump: Forbes writes that The Donald inherited his fortune and then grew it. Lots of people seem to forget that inheritance part. Appears as though he’s No. 158 on the list.

The Donald told Forbes that the biggest threat to the real estate industry now is fear. “People sometimes don’t realize that real estate runs in cycles. That’s normal.” And if you ask me, that’s also a big “duh!”

Figure his comment means if you find a piece of property you think is undervalued in a location that’s always desirable, go for it. (Any chance I could earn a billion for sharing that advice?)

• John Paul DeJoria. He’s the Paul Mitchell hair products/services and the tequila –Patron Spirits– guy. This year he was brand new to the list and landed the No. 261 slot. Pretty good for a guy who used to sleep in cars before making it big.

Something else he’s big on is thinking that everyone deserves health care—at a not to pricey price for taxpayers.

Re the stock market, he said he thinks it’s a “little overvalued for today’s economy.”

Asked if money still motivates him: “Yes, I can do more things with it to create more jobs and opportunities as well as lend a helping hand. It goes back to the saying of give a man a fish, and you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish, and you have fed him for a lifetime.”

You go, John!

•Wilbur Ross. Hometown boy and No. 196 on the Forbes list this year; Ross made his moola mainly from leveraged buyouts.

On becoming an entrepreneur: “New entrepreneurs should know that it is better to back a mediocre idea that is brilliantly executed than a brilliant idea that is poorly executed.”

On gold: Trade it.

Regarding success: ” Success is having made the last deal work. It is a never-ending process.”

And there you have it. Billionaires bearing fruit for everyone. More at: http://tinyurl.com/ydgs33w .

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