Thursday AM April 1st, 2010

A producer at CNBC with access to some of the top business minds in the country has written a book based on interviews with people like Steve Forbes, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Ed Mayberry reports.

Thriving in the New Economy: Lessons From Today's Top Business Minds book coverLori Ann LaRocco has been senior talent producer with CNBC for ten years, lining up guests and conducting pre-interviews with some of the country’s top business minds.  Her book Thriving in the New Economy: Lessons From Today’s Top Business Minds finds that business tycoons view tougher economic times as opportunities.

“I have built what a lot of people call the ‘trillion dollar Rolidex,’ where I have at least a baker’s dozen of billionaires, where I talk to them almost on a daily basis, getting their insight and analysis on what’s going on in the markets and in the economy.”

Ed: “In talking to these different business minds, did you find some continuity in their thinking?”

“They all had very common threads, and it was–they literally just, you know, wrapped their arms around a problem, and then they started seeing, okay ‘where are the pockets of opportunity?'”

LaRocco says top investors go against the beaten path.  As others run out of a burning building, these people run into it.

“I mean, you can really take these strategies and put it into your daily investing life, like say Ron Barron.  He is a billionaire, and you know, he’s viewing this as a great opportunity for investors and he’s using certain situations.  The true unemployment right now—anywhere from 18 to 20 percent—that’s the true unemployment, the ones that are not being counted.  And he’s saying a lot of people are losing their jobs, so where is he putting his money?  He’s putting his money in DeVry, because people aren’t going back to college, they’re going back to learn a new trade.  It’s almost like using the mantra like the Warren Buffetts—you invest in what you know.”

LaRocco says top business leaders look ahead and make plans for three, five or ten years, rather than get caught up in current tough economic times.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required