#13. David Tepper

Investor Extraordinaire

David Tepper

David Tepper is a renowned investor who is widely regarded as one of the most successful hedge fund managers of all time.

He is the founder and CEO of Appaloosa Management, which he started in 1993 with $57 million in initial capital. Today, Appaloosa Management manages more than $13 billion in assets and has earned Tepper a net worth of $16.7 billion, as of 2022. In this article, we will explore Tepper’s investment strategies and principles, his most famous deals, and some little-known trivia about him.


Investment Strategies and Principles

Tepper’s investment philosophy is centred around identifying undervalued companies and investing in them with conviction. He is known for his contrarian views and his ability to identify market dislocations before they become apparent to the broader market. One of his most famous quotes is, “You have to be a little bit of a contrarian to be really successful.”

Tepper is also a master of risk management. He uses a variety of hedging strategies to manage risk in his portfolio and to protect against market downturns. This has allowed him to achieve consistent returns even during periods of market volatility. Another of his famous quotes is, “I’m more concerned about the return of my money than the return on my money.”

Tepper is a firm believer in the power of macroeconomic analysis. He pays close attention to economic indicators such as GDP growth, inflation, and interest rates, and uses this information to make informed investment decisions. He is known for his ability to accurately predict changes in the market based on macroeconomic trends.

One of Tepper’s most successful investment strategies is distressed debt investing. This involves buying the debt of companies that are in financial distress and then working with the company to restructure its operations and improve its financial performance. Tepper’s ability to identify undervalued distressed debt investments has been a key driver of his success.


Famous Deals

Tepper’s most famous deal was his investment in Bank of America during the financial crisis of 2008. At the time, the market was in free fall, and Bank of America was one of the most heavily impacted banks. Tepper recognized that the bank had a strong franchise and a solid balance sheet, and he invested heavily in the bank’s stock and debt. As a result of this investment, Tepper’s fund made a 120% return in 2009.

Another famous deal that Tepper is known for is his investment in American Airlines. In 2013, American Airlines was in bankruptcy and facing significant financial difficulties. Tepper recognized that the company had a strong franchise and that its restructuring plan was likely to be successful. He invested heavily in the company’s debt and equity and was able to generate significant returns as the company emerged from bankruptcy.

Tepper is also known for his investments in technology companies. In 2011, he invested heavily in Apple when the stock was trading at around $200 per share. Today, the stock is trading at over $1,000 per share, and Tepper’s investment has generated significant returns for his fund.


Famous Quotes

Tepper is known for his blunt and straightforward style, and he has delivered some memorable quotes over the years. Here are a few of his most famous:

  • “When things are going great, it’s probably the time to sell, and when things are going terrible, it’s probably the time to buy.”
  • “The stock market is the only market where things go on sale and people run out of the store.”
  • “I’m not a genius. I’m just good at figuring out when everyone else is being an idiot.”
  • “The biggest mistake investors make is trying to predict the future.”


Little-Known Trivia

Despite his success as an investor, David Tepper is a private person who keeps a low profile outside of his professional life. However, there are a few interesting facts about him that are worth mentioning.

Firstly, Tepper grew up in a middle-class family in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Pittsburgh and later earned an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating, he worked as a credit analyst at Equibank before joining Goldman Sachs in 1985.

Secondly, Tepper is a well-known philanthropist who has donated millions of dollars to various causes over the years. He has donated to education, healthcare, and the arts, among other causes. In 2013, he donated $67 million to Carnegie Mellon University, which was the largest gift in the university’s history.

Lastly, Tepper is an avid sports fan who has a particular love for football. He is a part-owner of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, and he has been known to attend games regularly. He is also a big fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and has been spotted wearing Steelers gear on multiple occasions.



David Tepper is a legendary investor who has achieved remarkable success over the course of his career. His investment strategies and principles have proven to be highly effective, and his ability to identify undervalued companies and make contrarian bets has earned him a reputation as one of the most skilled investors in the world. His famous deals in Bank of America, American Airlines, and Apple have generated significant returns for his fund, and his philanthropic efforts have had a positive impact on numerous causes. Despite his success, Tepper remains humble and grounded, and his dedication to risk management and macroeconomic analysis is a testament to his commitment to excellence.

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