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Even Wealthy Money Managers Can Be Wrong

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you purchase individual stocks, you're sure to experience some losing trades from time to time. When you do, know that you're in very good company.

Warren Buffet lost a fortune investing in silver back around 1996. At another point he had his head handed to him when he invested heavily in U.S. Airways Group (LLC) only to see shares go the opposite direction.

This prompted the Oracle of Omaha to ask a now-famous question: "What's the quickest way to become a millionaire? Start as a billionaire and buy an airline."

Buffett has recovered nicely from his own misfortunes in life and will also be remembered as one of the most authentic philanthropists of our age. He advises investors and traders to learn from their mistakes and have a generous heart toward those who are less fortunate.

Another billionaire investor who's learned how to lose as well as win is Leon Cooperman, who founded Omega Advisors, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund in New York City. Cooperman knows what it's like to start from humble origins and how to learn from the polarity of life's lessons.

Cooperman began life as the son of a plumber living in the South Bronx, N.Y. He worked his way through Hunter College employed by Xerox (XRX) doing quality control projects until he went to Columbia Business School for his MBA.

It was his good fortune to then become employed by Goldman Sachs (GS). There he worked hard and eventually became the general partner, chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

When he left GS in 1991 he founded Omega Advisors. Everyone I know agrees he's done very well for himself. But he and his team at Omega have not had a perfect track record.

A good example is his recent large investment in Linn Energy (LINE). As of March 31, he and his firm owned over 7.1 million shares of LINE. Shortly before LINE's sudden SEC inquiry, Cooperman was publicly defending the value of the company. LINE shares have plummeted ever since.
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