Sam Altman Used To Be A Wildly Successful Angel Investor Before OpenAI – Here's A Sneak Peek Into His Portfolio Of 125 Startups

Altman didn't make his fortune founding and leading startups but rather by investing in them.  The creator of ChatGPT acquired stakes in around 125 early-stage companies. The 18 successful exits that resulted were more than enough to balloon his net worth to 11 figures. 

Startup investment opportunities starting at $200 also give regular investors the opportunity to own shares in early-stage companies. 

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Altman Is An Open Book

Most billionaire angel investors don't share the secrets of their trade. The general public rarely gets to pick the brains that correctly predict future unicorns out of thousands of startups while they're still in their infancy. But Altman is different. He has written extensively about the methods he uses, which you should consider before investing in a company before its initial public offering (IPO).

Those methods led him to invest in Airbnb Inc. in 2008, Stripe in 2010 and Reddit in 2014. In 2021, he invested $375 million in Helion Energy Inc., a company dead set on cracking nuclear fusion. Several months later, Helion made a nuclear power deal with Microsoft Corp.

Altman was also an angel investor in Pinterest, Asana Inc., FarmLogs (now Bushel Farm), Teespring, Alt, Optimizely and Oyster. 

Trending: Invest like a millionaire. Exclusive opportunity to invest in Epic Games $17 billion gaming empire.

Advice For Angel Investors

Altman adheres to two guiding principles anyone can follow when adding shares of pre-IPO companies to their portfolio:

1. Do not care about what other investors think: Altman stresses that the opinions of your peers shouldn't influence your reasoning. Getting swayed by naysayers is too easy, often leading to missing out on something big. If you see potential in a company, stick to your guns, no matter the criticism.

2. The power law is crucial: It dictates that your single best investment will yield more in return than all of your other investments combined. Instead of focusing on the failure rate, you should concentrate on the magnitude of your biggest success.

Altman discusses what you should look for in founders, which will determine the startups’ prospects. He underscores "creativity and independent thinking, execution speed, motivation and communication skills" as positive traits a founder should have.

Implementing Altman's Tips

It might seem unrealistic that you can heed a billionaire's investment advice from your laptop and build a portfolio of startups with as little as $1,000, but it's been an option since 2016. Since then, many companies that opened their doors to regular investors have had successful exits. Some were bought by bigger companies and some launched IPOs. Various startups are looking for investors, and you can own their shares by the end of the day.

Keep Reading or explore a selection of vetted pre-IPO startups:

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