Everyone on Wall Street knows that Carl Icahn is a billionaire activist investor; but for the longest time, when people heard his name, he was associated with words such as: corporate raider, bully, and ruthless. Earlier this year, something happened that changed all this. He made a few TV appearances that allowed the general public to see the REAL Carl Icahn.

Mr. Icahn has done hundreds of interviews throughout his career, but his appearances earlier this year on CNBC were powerful! Much credit can be given to Scott Wapner because it takes a great interviewer and strong questions to bring out someone’s true personality and character. Through his series of interviews with Wapner, we got to see a side to Carl Icahn that we never would have seen otherwise. Now, when I ask people about Carl Icahn, he is associated with words such as: brilliant, likeable, and someone who really doesn’t give a shit about what other people think of him.

This last point is why I respect and admire him so much. Of course he has strong investment skills, but what’s more important to me is that he seems to not care about other people’s opinions. We could clearly see this during his showdown with Bill Ackman where he didn’t hold back and said EXACTLY what was on his mind. Some of the unhappiest people in this world are those who care so much about what other people think of them, and Carl Icahn is certainly not one of them. You can see it in his demeanor. Not only is he the sharpest he’s ever been (at the young age of 77), but he’s also having fun! All humans have the need for significance and wanting to be accepted by others, but I’m sure part of Mr. Ichan’s happiness comes from letting go of this need.

As the brilliant Dr. Wayne Dyer says: “One of the highest places you can get to is to be independent of the opinions of other people.” Of course, we can study Carl Icahn’s moves and strategies to become better investors; but if you REALLY want to improve, learn from his mind set and strong attitude. I am 100% sure that his mental toughness is what gives him a clear mind and allows him to make better investment decisions. Something we can all learn from.

I can be reached at: jfahmy@zorcapital.com.

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