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How to Be a Billionaire

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How to Be a Billionaire

Proven Strategies from the Titans of Wealth


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Hey Regis: Stop thinking so small!

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Editorial Rating



  • Background
  • Engaging


If you ever wondered how Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or even John D. Rockefeller got so rich, rest assured it took hard work and restless individualism. Martin S. Fridson profiles self-made billionaires and describes the principles and strategies they used to achieve their wealth. Fridson identifies nine fundamental strategies, which become the basis for each of his chapters. His ideas may sound familiar – as may some of the stories he cites, such as the rise of Rockefeller and Bill Gates. However, Fridson combines these ideas and images compellingly, highlighting the major strategies and providing vivid portraits. getAbstract recommends this book to general readers, as well as executives, company owners and anyone who feels driven to get very, very rich.


The Basic Characteristics of the Super-Rich

If you want to become a billionaire, analyze the careers of past and present billionaires. Forbes listed 268 individuals who had a net worth of a billion or more dollars in the U.S. as of 1999. When you look at the careers of the self-made billionaires - such as the 14 individuals in this book - you will see that they followed these 12 principles that you can apply:

  1. Look for ways to turn ideas into money.
  2. Realize that rules are breakable.
  3. Recognize that copying pays more than creating.
  4. Keep on growing and improving.
  5. Hold on to your equity.
  6. Value hard work (it’s essential).
  7. Use financial leverage to increase your wealth.
  8. Keep the back door open.
  9. Be willing to make mistakes, and learn from them.
  10. Be frugal in what you spend, since frugality pays.
  11. Have fun and enjoy the pursuit.
  12. Develop a thick skin because you will upset many people as you rise.

Obstacles and Opportunities

A major obstacle that all prospective billionaires face is the menace of competition. Competition is dangerous because it puts a lid on the rate...

About the Author

Martin S. Fridson is a managing director at Merrill Lynch & Company and a member of Institutional Investor’s All-America Fixed Income Research Team. He is also the author of It Was a Very Good Year , Investment Illusions and Financial Statement Analysis.

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