He may have only worn the crown as the richest man alive for a few short hours, but Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is still one very wealthy man. Here are some tips taken from Bezos' playbook for making money.
Don't Be Afraid to Branch Out.
With a net worth of about $80 billion, Bezos has made some fast cash since he quit his Wall Street gig at hedge fund D.E. Shaw and founded Amazon in 1995. Then, the average online retailer raked in about $3,000 in sales per year. In its last regulatory filing, Amazon recorded $37.9 billion in net sales just for the three months ended June 30.
In an interview with NPR in 1999, Bezos said Amazon's mission was simple: "be the Earth's most customer-centric company. And we mean that across any industry and across any time."
Notice Bezos never limited himself to just books. In 1995, your interaction with Amazon might just be books. But now, it's everywhere -- not just what you read, but how you read it since Kindle was introduced; how you eat with Prime Pantry or Amazon Restaurants; how you shop with Amazon Dash or Prime Wardrobe; how you consume media, now that even Netflix Inc. (NFLX) runs on Amazon Web Services. Amazon is essentially everywhere.
To be sure, trying to do it all won't always pan out. But be open to opportunities as they present themselves, and make sure you're the best in your field, or planet as Bezos would have it.
Consider Investing In Real Estate.
Bezos sure has. He's the 25th-largest land owner in the U.S., according to the Land Report.
His vast real estate holdings include several homes on a 10-acre lot near Medina, Washington -- where Bezos counts Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates as a neighbor. The property is worth $25 million, according to Wealth-X.
He's also got two neighboring homes in Beverly Hills worth about $25 million; a 27,00-square-foot, $23 million former museum in Washington; four apartments in the Art Deco tower in New York's Central Park West that come in at $17 million; and 300,000 acres of land in West Texas from which Bezos runs his Blue Origin space company.
Bezos has a vast array of holdings in other companies, both private and public, through his Bezos Expeditions venture capital fund. He's helped finance web development company Basecamp, biopharmaceutical firm Juno Therapeutics (JUNO) , financial and HR software company Workday Inc. (WDAY) and even Twitter Inc. (TWTR) .
Using his own cash, Bezos has helped bankroll Airbnb, Uber, and Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) Google. Through his Nash Holdings, LLC, Bezos bought the Washington Post for about $250 million.
Even if his ventures didn't work out, Bezos still holds about 17% of Amazon shares. Not too shabby, considering they trade over $975 each.
In his most recent letter to Amazon shareholders, Bezos gave this nugget of sage wisdom:
"Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you're probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognizing and correcting bad decisions. If you're good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure."
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