Bill Ackman cites his best investments, praises Elon Musk, and warns against following conventional wisdom. Here are his best 6 quotes.

© Reuters/ Allen Fredrickson
Bill Ackman. Reuters/ Allen Fredrickson

  • Bill Ackman talked about his best investments, innovation and “improbable possibilities”. 
  • He praised Elon Musk, warned against following conventional wisdom and offered up some advice. 
  • Here are the billionaire investor’s 6 best quotes from a lengthy Twitter post this week. 

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman has talked about his best investments to-date, warned against following conventional wisdom in business strategy and beyond, and how the greatest opportunities for discovery and profits are found. 

Load Error

The Pershing Square Capital CEO also praised Tesla boss Elon Musk, offered up some lessons he’s learned over the years, and touted the importance of challenging the status quo in any field. 

Ackman made the comments in a lengthy Twitter post on Sunday, after he offered to donate $150,000 to charity if American scientist Dr Peter Hotez debated vaccines on Joe Rogan’s podcast. 

Here are Ackman’s 6 best quotes, lightly edited for length and clarity: 

1. “The greatest opportunities for discovery, innovation, understanding, and profits often exist in the unexplored paths, the unasked and unanswered questions, and in the improbable possibilities.”

2. “Our best investments have been: (1) in the stock of a real estate company going bankrupt, (2) from betting that a triple-A rated company was insolvent, and (3) betting that a virus in China would cause a global economic shutdown.” (Ackman reportedly made $800 million on bankrupt CRE in 2009, earned $1.4 billion after shorting the largest bond insurer MBAI that same year, and turned $27 million into $2.6 billion by betting that the coronavirus pandemic would tank the stock market in 2020.)

3. “Each of these investments were met with extreme skepticism at the time they were made. In each case, we were the naive ones when we made these investments. We were not bankruptcy investors, experts in bond insurers or credit default swaps, nor did we know anything about viruses or pandemics.” 

4. “I have learned from experience that the experts, the government, and conventional wisdom are often wrong. ‘Inflation is transitory.’ ‘C19 did not escape from the Wuhan lab.’ ‘Ukraine will fall in less than a week.’ ‘Its not possible because it hasn’t been done before or because it hasn’t happened before.'” (Ackman and many others have criticized the Federal Reserve for reacting too late to an inflation surge that started in 2021, and then unleashing an aggressive monetary-tightening campaign that has raised risks of recession and financial instability.) 

5. “It is often the outlier with no experience in a field that challenges the status quo, that makes the important discovery, that has the unique insight, or creates the transformational innovation. Elon Musk was not an expert in payments, electric cars or rockets. The ‘experts’ were at Visa, GM and NASA.” 

6. “When you are part of the establishment, it is hard to challenge the conventional wisdom. You are incentivized not to. And when your economic livelihood can be threatened by an alternative point of view or a new innovation, you are less likely to believe it or its viability.” 

Continue Reading