William Ackman: Everything You Need to Know About Finance and Investing in Under an Hour | Big Think

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Everything You Need to Know About Finance and Investing in Under an Hour
Bill Ackman is one of the top investors in the world, and he's said that he's aiming to have "one of the greatest investment track records of all time." As the CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, the hedge fund he founded, he oversees $19 billion in assets.

But before he became one of the elite, he learned the basics of investing in his early 20s.

This Big Think video is aimed at young professionals just starting out, as well as those who are more experienced but lack a financial background.

Ackman takes viewers through the founding of a lemonade stand to teach the basics, explaining how investors pay for equity, a word interchangeable with "stock." In the example, the owner starts with $750, with $250 of that coming from a loan.
William Ackman is founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management. Formed in 2003, the hedge-fund has acquired significant shares in companies such as JC Penney, General Growth Properties, Fortune Bands and Kraft Foods. Ackman advocates strategies of "activist investing," the practice of using stock shares in publicly-traded companies to influence management practices in a way that benefits shareholder interests.

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💬 Comments on the video

I wish people would understand the information that is being shared instead of trying to find faults in the information. This presentation is extremely valuable information and I am sorry for the negative comments certain people are saying. Thank you for the valuable information. Thank you thank you. And to the comments about grey hair and a few dollars off, and pink lipstick...please control you're childish behavior. Some people are trying to learn and you are trying to ruin a good thing.

Author — Randy Thibodeaux


0:12 Bill Ackman
0:23 Lemonade Stand Example

*Starting A Business* (1:03)
1:17 Form A Corporation
• 1, 000 shares of stock, Investor invests for 500 shares

2:18 *The Balance Sheet*
Assets = Liabilities + Stockholders Equity

3:08 Fixed Assets and Inventory

4:19 *The Income Statement* 4:38

5:49 *_Growing The Business_*

8:05 *The Statement of Cash Flows* (SOCF)

9:05 *Evalutating Value*
10:26 Equity Investor took more risk, e.g. Equity Investor made more returns on investment

11:08 Debt and Equity 11:58

13:06 Assessing Risk
13:40 Government Bonds (Low Risk investment)

14:53 Profiting As An Entrepreneur

17:34, 17:50 Valuation: Determining A Company’s Worth

19:33 Selling Shares, Board Of Directors
20:36 Benefit of IPO


21:39 Investing
22:59 Interest Returns
24:00 The Importance of Not Losing Investment Money (Avoid Losses)

24:53 Keys To Successful Investing

- Don’t Invest In Startups
+ Invest In Public Companies
+ Invest In businesses you understand how they make money
+ Invest at a reasonable price
+ Invest In a company that you can own forever

27:26 A business you can own forever
Coca Cola, McDonalds
• A product people need
• Unique
• Brand Loyalty
30:23 High barriers to entry
31:57 Low Reinvestment Cost

*Controlled Company*

33:26 Investing

34:41 The Psychology of Investing
1. Be Financially Secure
2. Don’t get spooked by short term fluctuation
3. Do your own work
4. Invest at a reasonable price

• Mutual Fund
• A Good Money Manager Can Explain What/Why They Invest In
+ Good Reputation
+ Value Approach
+ 5 Year Track Record
+ Consistent Approach
• Hedge Fund

40:25 Recapping

41:20 This is just an Introduction
42:27 Invest In Your Future

Author — Michael Pisciarino


this is so well done especially by someone who is a CEO and took time out to do this, thank you

Author — green miner


Before you invest you should do a background check up on your source, Ensure You are investing through a solid foundation source to avoid losing money

Author — Asger Olsen


I watched this several years ago, I thought this guy was some cocky know it all. I ended up going into finance and this guy became someone I really looked up to. Holy crap.

Author — Addison Brown


The guy who shorted the market, bought Credit Default Swaps, said the sky was falling on CNBC, then made $2.8 Billion from the panic. Scumbag.

Author — Truth Keeper Films


Bill Ackman is 191cm (6’3) tall. He looks short here lol

Author — Enony Muz


Advisor and expert around the globe considers the stock market to be an additional income to every investors portfolios.. truly it is a win win business for everyone.

Author — Ahmet Nuri kedici


Idk about lemmonade but My milk shake brings all the boys to the yard...

Author — Mike Ll.


This guy is a billionaire and you people are trying trying to say he if off or that he does not know what he is talking about Lets see you make a Billion in your lifetime. I rather take advice from a billionaire than a person who is broke or thinks they know it all just because they went to some college.

Author — Candle Wax


Coming into this video from a perspective of a person that already understands all the terms said in this video, I love it. Even though I already knew about the concepts he was explaining, the way he connected the dots between how the different concepts work really gave me a new perspective. Thanks!

Author — GameRage Dad


This was a great video, I watched the entire thing and enjoyed everything about it
Thank you William Ackman for making this video, and thank you Big Think for posting it

Author — Cooldbg


Brilliant explanation. I am watching it for the 4th time, and every time I learn something new.

One funny thing. In 5 years of business, Bill did not ever give a raise to anyone 😂

Author — Alen Cerimagic


I gained so much value out of this. Thank you for putting this together.

Author — Carlson Chimangha


Are people really trying to argue with a man who's made billions by using the methods he's explaining here?

Author — Young Financier


Good information here, I got my finances running again making a couple of investment with a good broker, I regretted ever spending money on unnecessary things.

Author — Juana Miguel


Saw an Herbalife add before the beginning lol

Author — Lil Rallo


36:10 this is Egypt revolution against Mubarak the president

Author — AbdElRahman Mahmoud


This video was amazing I love how you broke it down to the lowest level for anyone to understand and slowly added concepts for more understanding

Author — Gilberto Martinez


I hope people watching this realize that ackman is one of the most praised hedge fund managers in the world and he broke down some very important concepts into easily understandable ideas. this man is a genius.

Author — Jack Comoss