The secret to successful long-term investing is really quite simple. It doesn't require you to check every line of a balance sheet. It doesn't involve comparing valuation ratios or growth metrics. You don't have to learn technical analysis and chart patterns. It has nothing to do with branding, or having a moat, or efficient supply-chain logistics. The one key to successful, long-term, build-huge-wealth-that-you-can-hand-on-to-your-grandkids kind of investing is this:
FIND A GENIUS CEO and INVEST IN HIM OR HER EARLY
The greatest long-term investments are made in people, not companies. Find a creative genius with a passion for solving the world's problems through ingenuity and hard work, and once they go public, buy shares. Hold them for as long as the genius is CEO. Sell when they quit or die (unless another genius takes over).
Think of Larry Ellison, the genius at the helm of Oracle from its inception. If you had bought $10,000 of ORCL stock on its IPO day (March, 1986), today it would be worth $7.3 million!
Think of Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. A $10,000 stake in AAPL on the day of its IPO (December, 1980) is today worth $3.2 million!
Bill Gates and Microsoft? $6.4 million!
Jeff Bezos and Amazon? $2.7 million!
There are more recent examples. Like Zuckerberg at Facebook which is now nearly a 3-bagger since its May, 2014, debut. And think of how your $10,000 would now be $160,000 had you invested in visionary chef, Steve Ellis, when Chipotle went public back in 2006.
I personally think Elan Musk is one such visionary-genius worth investing in for the long run. His public company, Tesla, which makes electric cars (and soon, utility-strength batteries for home power generation) is a case study in the marriage ...