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Why Young Founder-CEOs Might Be the Key to Your Long-Term Investment Success

Updated: Jan 6

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Disclaimer: This communication is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a recommendation or a solicitation to buy, sell or hold any investment product. Readers are solely responsible for their own investment decisions.

 

Remember the days of Steve Jobs unveiling the iPhone, Mark Zuckerberg launching Facebook, and Larry Page revolutionizing search with Google?


These young visionaries, fueled by passion and innovation, not only changed the world but also created empires that continue to thrive.


This begs the question: could favoring companies led by relatively young Founder-CEOs be the secret to long-term investment success?


The Math of Longevity:

Let's face it, time is a crucial factor in investment. The longer you have your money invested, the more it can grow through compounding returns. Now, consider this: the average publicly traded CEO retires at around 62 [1][2].


So, if you have a 20-year investment horizon, wouldn't it be advantageous to choose companies led by CEOs who have at least 20 years left in their career timespan?


Companies

Founder CEOs/ Key-Persons

Age

years until 62 years old

Meta

Mark Zuckerberg

39

23

Airbnb

Brian Chesky

41

21

Duolingo

Dr. Luis von Ahn

44

18

Tesla

Elon Musk

52

10

Fortinet

Ken Xie

60

2


Case in Point: Meta, Airbnb & Duolingo:

Take Mark Zuckerberg, a youthful 39, leading Meta (formerly Facebook). He has roughly 23 years of potential leadership left, giving you ample time to benefit from his vision and strategic direction.



Similarly, Airbnb's Brian Chesky, at 41, has around 21 years of potential stewardship, allowing you to ride the wave of the travel revolution he's pioneering.


And let's not forget Dr. Luis von Ahn, the young and energetic CEO of Duolingo, the revolutionary language learning app. At 44, he brings his passion for education and technology to the table, promising continued innovation and growth for the company.


Method to find these companies:

You can use AI Chatbots like Googlebard to help you generate a list of companies that meet this criteria,

using a prompt like:

I am a long-term investor interested in investing in some good publicly companies which are currently led by Founders/ CEOS who are under 50 years old,
can you provide me a list of them? 30 of them will be great, thank you.

You should get a pretty good list like this (as responded by Googlebard):

Absolutely! Here's a list of 30 publicly traded companies led by founders/CEOs under 50 years old, with some diverse industries represented:

**Technology:**

1. **Palantir (PLTR):** Alex Karp (47) co-founded this data analytics giant used by governments and businesses.
2. **Coinbase (COIN):** Brian Armstrong (39) leads the leading cryptocurrency exchange platform.
3. **Zoom Video Communications (ZM):** Eric Yuan (52) built a video conferencing software powerhouse.
4. **Snowflake (SNOW):** Benoit Forget (46) and Devin Goodreau (47) are behind this cloud-based data warehouse company.
5. **Datadog (DDOG):** Olivier Pomel (45) and Alexis Lê-Quôc (44) founded the cloud monitoring and security platform.
6. **MongoDB (MDB):** Dev Ittycheria (47) and Dwight Merriman (48) head this NoSQL database company.
7. **Shopify (SHOP):** Tobi Lutke (41) is the CEO of the leading e-commerce platform for small businesses.
8. **Twilio (TWLO):** Jeff Lawson (48) and Jed Bernstein (48) built a platform for businesses to communicate with customers.
9. **Tesla (TSLA):** Elon Musk (51) needs no introduction, leading the electric vehicle and clean energy leader.
10. **Rivian Automotive (RIVN):** R.J. Scaringe (46) heads the electric vehicle start-up competing with Tesla.

**Consumer Goods & Retail:**

11. **Warby Parker (WRBY):** Neil Blumenthal (45) and Dave Gilboa (45) revolutionized the eyewear industry with online prescription glasses.
12. **Allbirds (BIRD):** Tim Brown (45) and Joey Zwillinger (46) offer sustainable and comfortable wool-based footwear.
13. **Beyond Meat (BYND):** Ethan Brown (54) leads the plant-based meat alternative company.
14. **Peloton (PTON):** John Foley (54) started the interactive fitness equipment and subscription service.
15. **Chewy (CHWY):** Ryan Cohen (46) and Michael Day (45) co-founded the online pet retailer.

**Finance & Healthcare:**

16. **Robinhood Markets (HOOD):** Vlad Tenev (35) and Baiju Bhatt (37) provide a commission-free stock trading app.
17. **Square (SQ):** Jack Dorsey (46) and Jim McKelvey (54) revolutionized mobile payments and point-of-sale systems.
18. **Moderna (MRNA):** Stéphane Bancel (54) leads the biopharmaceutical pioneer behind a leading COVID-19 vaccine.
19. **Teladoc Health (TDOC):** Glynna Shaw (49) and Livia Ricciuti (49) head the leading virtual healthcare platform.
20. **23andMe (ME):** Anne Wojcicki (50) founded the personal genomics and biotechnology company.

**Miscellaneous:**

21. **Spotify Technology (SPOT):** Daniel Ek (40) leads the world's leading music streaming service.
22. **DraftKings (DKNG):** Jason Robins (44) and Matt Kalish (43) co-founded the sports betting and fantasy sports platform.
23. **Airbnb (ABNB):** Brian Chesky (42) and Joe Gebbia (42) revolutionized the hospitality industry with peer-to-peer rentals.
24. **Slack Technologies (WORK):** Stewart Butterfield (47) and Cal Henderson (48) created the popular workplace communication platform.
25. **Dropbox (DBX):** Drew Houston (42) and Arash Ferdowsi (42) offer cloud storage and file sharing platform.

**Bonus:**

26. **Atlassian Corporation (TEAM):** Mike Cannon-Brookes (42) and Scott Farquhar (43) lead the software development tools company.
27. **Pinterest (PINS):** Ben Silbermann (43) and Evan Sharp (44) head the visual discovery platform.
28. **DoorDash (DASH):** Tony Xu (43) and Andy Fang (42) deliver food with this online ordering and delivery platform.
29. **Zillow Group (Z):** Rich Barton (54) and Spencer Rascoff (45) offer online real estate marketplace and services.
30. **Etsy (ETSY):** Josh Silverman (51) leads the online


Beyond Age: A Holistic Approach:

Of course, age is just one piece of the puzzle. While a young, visionary leader is promising, it's crucial to consider other factors like the company's financial health, market position, and the CEO's demonstrated track record.


For instance, Fortinet's Ken Xie may be 60, but his brother Michael Xie, the experienced CTO, at 54, offers stability and continuity even when Ken Xie decides to step down in the next 2 years time.


Similarly, while Elon Musk's potential retirement in 10 years might raise concerns, his focus on succession planning and the presence of talented internal candidates could alleviate those anxieties.



Of course, age is just one piece of the puzzle. While a young, visionary leader is promising, it's crucial to consider other factors like the company's financial health, market position, and the CEO's demonstrated track record.


Navigating the Future:

Even with the most promising young leadership, it's wise to plan for the future. Here are two key strategies:

  • Monitor the Caliber of New CEOs:  Just like Tim Cook and Satya Nadella thrived after Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, capable successors can emerge. Evaluate the skills, vision, and leadership qualities of newly appointed CEOs to assess their potential.

  • Identify New Stars:  The investment landscape is constantly evolving. Stay updated on emerging companies led by young, innovative CEOs who are disrupting their industries. These could be the next Meta or Airbnb waiting to be discovered.

Remember, investing is a complex game, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach. However, considering the potential of young, visionary Founder-CEOs, along with a holistic evaluation of the company and its future, could tip the scales in your favor. So, keep your eyes peeled for the next Zuckerberg or Musk, and let their youthful drive fuel your long-term investment success.

Call to Action:

Share your thoughts on this strategy in the comments below, and let's start a conversation about the future of investing!

This is just a suggestion, feel free to adapt it to your specific style and add more examples or statistics if you wish. I hope it helps you create a compelling and informative blog post!



[Footnotes]:


 

Looking for a set of checklists to identify great companies for your portfolio?

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