Monday, July 16, 2007

Investing's Smartest Players

What separates the billionaire investors from the millionaires? What do the world's investing geniuses have that the rest of us don't? Besides good luck and a pile of money, that is.

When we came up with a list of the biggest brains in investing, we noticed how much each of them has influenced the way the world invests. And we noticed one other trait: Each saw opportunity well before the pack. John Templeton pushed international investing way before it was cool. Warren Buffett was buying up undervalued companies long before his brand of value investing became popular. David Shaw used high technology and smart PhDs to make money on countless split-second trades, now a common hedge fund strategy.

Many of the world's top investors got to the top by being first. They didn't follow in the footsteps of others or copy wholesale the investing styles of others. At the beginning of their careers, "they set themselves apart from the crowd," says Walter Gerasimowicz, chairman and CEO of Meditron Asset Management.

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