When I decided to become a professional investor, I was already a very experienced one. I had been a stockbroker, somewhat of an investment banker, an institutional salesperson, and the founder and CEO of a public company.  Still, I had never lived off just my own capital, mainly because I did not have enough of it. So in 2001 when I finally accumulated enough capital, I set aside the time to read many of the most popular investment books of the era.  I didn’t read them to find out how to invest, or what can of strategy I would use.  I already knew that. What I wanted to know is what the great investors had in common, if anything.

So I read many of the great books with a yellow highlighter in hand. The following is what I found great investors have in common. Let’s start with the pithiest and wittiest of them all, Warren Buffett.  The rules are not numbered by order of importance.

Rule 1. Don’t lose Money Dont Lose money

This is perhaps Buffett’s most famous saying, coupled with Rule #2.  Buffett is notorious for sticking with an investment.  He is famous for saying if you liked it at a higher price where you bought it, you have to like it even more when it’s cheaper.

Rule 2. Don’t forget Rule #1Dont Lose money

This actually feels like something the Vice-Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Charlie Munger would say.  Buffett usually gets the med