15 Life Lessons From Top Hedge Fund Managers

Paul Tudor Jones and Glenn Dubin

Photo: Julia La Roche for Business Insider

The hedge fund industry is full of some of the brightest people in the world who are immensely successful in trading and investing. While they can definitely offer some valuable advice about investing, they are also full of bits of wisdom about life in general.    

We’ve included a round up of life lessons, principles and advice from a few of the brightest fund managers out there. 

Backstory: Right after college, PTJ was working for prominent cotton trader Eli Tullis in New Orleans. After a night of partying in New Orleans, he fell asleep at his desk and was fired. But he earned a lesson from it.

'Today, I will put my work ethic up against anybody's on Wall Street. Failure will give you a tattoo that will stay with you your whole life, and sometimes it's a really good thing. One other side note, to this day, I've never told my parents that I got fired. I just told them wanted to try something different. Shame can be a lifetime companion for which you better prepare yourself.'

Source: Commencement Speech to the Buckley School in 2009

PTJ: 'Everything happens for a reason.'

'So here is the point: you are going to meet the dragon of failure in your life. You may not get into the school you want or you may get kicked out of the school you are in. You may get your heart broken by the girl of your dreams or God forbid, get into an accident beyond your control. But the point is that everything happens for a reason. At the time it may not be clear. And certainly the pain and the shame are going to be overwhelming and devastating. But just as sure as the sun comes up, there will come time a time on the next day or the next week or the next year, when you will grab that sword and point it at that dragon and tell him, 'Be gone, dragon. Tarry with me and I will cut your head off. For I must find the destination God and life hold in store for me!''

Source: Commencement Speech to the Buckley School in 2009

Glenn Dubin: Failure is inevitable

'...you will experience failures both in your personal life and career. I hope you won't fail as spectacularly as I did and get rejected on your first 29 job interviews, but some failures in life are inevitable. Work through them and, most importantly, learn from them.'

Source: Stony Brook University

Dubin: You must be able to adapt. Things will change.

'...regardless of whether your goal is to become a teacher, doctor, engineer or business person, to be successful long-term -- to be at the top of your game -- you must constantly evolve and adapt to your surroundings. There is one constant in life that you can count on: Things will change.'

Source: Stony Brook University

Leon Cooperman: Family is the most important.

'There is nothing more important than family, the root for you and care about you the most. So stay close to your family under all circumstances.'

Source: Roger Williams University

Cooperman: Learn to be a good friend.

'It's great to have friends, but you have to know how to be a friend. Be trusting, friendly and supportive of your friends. Extend yourself whenever you can.'

Source: Roger Williams University

Cooperman: Don't do anything that you wouldn't want to see printed in the papers.

'Never do anything in life if what you did appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times that you would be embarrassed. Live your life as an open book, and that's the best way to.'

Source: Roger Williams University

Cooperman: Share you financial success with those who are less fortunate.

'When you've achieved financial security and success share with others less fortunate than yourself.'

Source: Roger Williams University

James Simons: Do something new.

'One thing I've always done is do something new. I love to do something new and I don't like to run with the pack. For one thing, I'm not such a fast runner. So if you're one of n people all working on the same problem in different places, well me, I know I'd be last. I'm not going to win that race. But if you could think of new problem or a new way of doing something and other people aren't all working on it at the same time. Maybe that will give you a chance. So do something new.'

Source: MIT

Simons: Work with the best people you can.

'Collaborate with the best people you possibly can. When you see a person, get to know a person, who seems like a great guy or great gal to work with on something, try to find a way to do it because that gives you some reach and some scope and it's also fun to work with terrific people.'

Source: MIT

Simons: 'Be guided by beauty.'

'Be guided by beauty. I really mean that. I think pretty much everything I've done has had an aesthetic component, at least to me. You might think building a company that's trading bonds, what's so aesthetic about that? What's aesthetic about it is doing it right. Doing it right. Getting the right kind of people and approaching a problem and doing it right. And if you feel like you're the first one to do it right, and I think we were, that's a terrific feeling and it's a beautiful thing to do something right. It's also a beautiful thing to solve a maths problem or create some mathematics that people haven't' thought of before. Be guided by beauty is not such a bad principle.'

Source: MIT

Simons: 'Don't give up.'

'Don't give up. At least try not to give up.'

Source: MIT

Ray Dalio: You have to know your weaknesses.

'I don't think that there's a problem if people have weaknesses and they know they have weaknesses. The greatest barrier that people have in their own personal evolution is not understanding their weaknesses and running into them all the time.'

Source: 7th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards

Dalio: Mistakes and problems are good because it's part of the process.

'In my opinion, I love mistakes. I love problems. Because I think all of that is part of hte process. I have a ski instructor who taught Michael Jordan how to ski and every time he would make a mistake he loved it. He realised that mistakes and problems are part of the process. He was an ordinary basketball player. Became the world's greatest basketball player because he evolved. He allowed himself to appreciate the mistakes.'

Source: 7th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards

Dalio: There's no correlation between money and happiness.

'It was interesting that took a course and studied happiness in all different societies. It was interesting that he found out there's no correlation between money and happiness. The thing that there was the most correlation was community. The people have a sense of community. Those who had a sense of community were happiest. I think that's true. It rings true for me.'

Source: Greenwich Town Party

Now let's learn something from another top fund manager...

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