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David Tepper Quotes

David Alan Tepper

David Tepper quotes: the Carolina Panthers owner discusses money management, winning and losing, pros and cons of being an alpha, and more.

“Those who keep their heads while others are panicking do well.”

“I think people should be self-reliant.  You should work and be self-sufficient.  That’s what I did.”

“Life takes funny turns.  That’s really important for you guys.  You’ve got a long life.  Don’t get upset by setbacks.  Setbacks are another way to say opportunity.”

“Just be yourself.  I think the best way to do it is to just go in there, know what you want, okay, and be true to yourself.  If you know what you want, then people will come through.  I generally think that.  If you don’t know what you want and you’re faking what you want, that will also come through.  I think you’ve got to be true to yourself.  Know what you want and do not be afraid to go after it, full stop.”

“When you’re starting out, there are no bad choices.  There really aren’t; I really do believe that.  You just keep driving at what you want.”

“Try to figure it out and you can have a lot of different paths.  So if you do know where you want to get to, just don’t stop driving there.  You don’t have to settle.  Just keep driving at it and it will come.”

“Not that money’s a bad reason to do it, but it’s good to have some inkling of what you want to do.  And like I said before, if you can figure out what you want to do, go for it and if you can’t, you’ll figure it out at some point and then go for it.”

“I can’t worry about backward, I’ve got to look to the future.”

“You can’t be too negative, but you can’t be un-cautious.  You have to be a little cautious.”

“For better or worse we’re a herd leader.  We’re at the front of the pack, we are one of the first movers.  First movers are interesting, you get to the good grass first, or sometimes the lion eats you.”

“You need leadership and it’s better to get more people involved.  Not one person can do it.  You need networks of people.  You need that local leadership.”

“We keep our cool when others don’t.  The point is, markets adapt.  People adapt.  Don’t listen to all the crap out there.”

“You want to be big enough that you can see everything and small enough that you don’t kill yourself with size.”

“This company looks cheap, that company looks cheap, but the overall economy could completely screw it up.  The key is to wait.  Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to do nothing.”

“It’s nice when you can buy cash, when it’s cheaper than cash.”

“What differentiates us is that we’re not afraid of the downside of different situations when we’ve done the analysis.  Some other people are very afraid of losing money, which keeps them from making money.”

“[On replaying losses in his head] It is the only way you learn from your mistakes.”

“Sometimes it’s time to make money, sometimes it’s time not to lose money.  We generally like something better than nothing.”

“For 15, 17 years you had a river flowing one way, just flowing, you could just say a money flow, reserves got up to $10, $11 trillion around the world… then you had the reserves flowing the other way.  What happens when you have two bodies of water flowing different ways?  What do you get?  You get turbulence, you get waves.”

“I’m not saying go short, just don’t be too friggin’ long.”

“I was only four or five years old but I could already do multiplication and complex adding.  I could barely even talk at the time but I could do math.”

“My English teacher threw me out of class.  He told me to roam the halls and act like the animal I am.  I’m doing the best I can.  I wouldn’t say I was a bad kid, though, just bored.  It wasn’t like I was a bad student.  I just didn’t take it seriously.  You can’t be totally shy and get the best acting award in high school.”

“When I was an undergrad, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, whether I wanted to go to law school, or go into business.  I decided on business school.  And I thought about acting.  Like a lot of people, I was the best actor in my high school.  When you’re the best actor in your high school, you think you’re going to be a famous actor until you meet the other 100 people that are best actors at their high schools when you go to college.”

“I knew I wanted to invest.  I liked investing and you know, junk bonds.  I just fell into it and it was kind of hot.  But it was what I liked.  I wanted to invest and I’m still doing it and I like doing it, so you’ve got to do what you like.”

“I have a combination of laid-back competitiveness on the field of play.  You see that with some athletes that come in with earphones on and are hanging with the music.  And then when you get them on the field, they’re focused and they’re fierce.  So in the outside world, I’m that easygoing person.  But if I’m on the field, I wanna win.  And we win a lot.”

“I’ve always tried to have a balance, so I’ve kind of met some of those goals.  I want to continue to have a balance.  I always promised myself I’d be a social worker.  It’s what I always say I’ll do when I grow up, so I probably want to get a little bit more involved with different charities.”

“We’re known as people that will fight till the end but I’m not going to fight something just to fight something.  I’ll fight if I have to, but I’m actually a lover and not a fighter at heart.”

“I am the animal at the head of the pack.  I either get eaten, or I get the good grass.”

“I don’t want to leave any room for excuses: what we should have done, what we didn’t do, what we could have done.”

“I think when it comes to decisions, I try not to be emotional.  To drown out the noise and look at the important facts.”

“I can’t really call myself a bull, I’m not probably as bullish as I could be because I have problems with earnings growth, I have problems with multiples.”

“I left Goldman Sachs.  I was thinking about going to another Wall Street place.  I didn’t want to do that.  That was crazy.  After you work on Wall Street, it’s a choice: would you rather work at McDonald’s or on the sell side?  I would choose McDonald’s over the sell side.”

“I was never afraid to go back to Pittsburgh and work in the steel mills.”

“Sometimes, if someone is an asshole, like a waiter at a restaurant, I think, I could just buy this place and fire that guy.”

“The football side was interesting; I was a little bit apprehensive last year.  But I kind of think I realized that the football side is business, too.  It’s just good management processes.  So the same sort of standard you’d set for a business you would set for a football team.”

“I’m not afraid to make mistakes, that’s the bottom line.  I want this organization, that was probably a little too rigid, to become an organization that’s not afraid to make mistakes.”

“I could buy an island.  I could buy a private jet – but I have NetJets.”

“I have too much money to quit.  I mean, somebody has to manage my money.  I’ll also put some money out to other managers so it will be a sensible balance.”

“[On only managing his own money] That may happen at some point, but not in the near future.  I love what I do and it’s good to have the discipline of outside investors.  It’s a complicated world out there.”

“My long term record is actually pretty consistent.”

“I am cautious, but I’m optimistic.”

“The more I make, the more I’ll give away.”

“Sometimes I can’t do it all, but if I can, I’ll do it.  I think that’s been a great decision in my life.  It really is a good decision, to really put personal things – family first – if you can do it.”

“And sometimes you just can’t, okay.  You really just can’t, but you know, make it up if you can’t.  Try to make it up, because that’s what life’s about.”

“I’m just a regular upper-middle-class guy who happens to be a billionaire.  I’m just a middle-class dad trapped in a rich man’s body.”

“I’m rubbing your balls for good luck!”

Related: Robert Kraft quotes.

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