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How to Invest: Masters on the Craft

David Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, The Carlyle Group
Matthew Swift, Co-Founder & CEO, Concordia

Opening the session, David Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Co-Chairman of The Carlyle Group, listed the characteristics he believes make a good investor: they are intelligent, prepared, specialized, able to overcome mistakes, and in it for the right reasons. They also are willing to go against conventional wisdom. Philanthropy also plays a big role. 

Pushing on the issue of philanthropy, Matthew Swift, Co-Founder & CEO of Concordia, asked Rubenstein to look at his own work in giving money and time away. Rubenstein noted that his charitable giving focuses mostly on education and history, including Monticello and Mount Vernon. He believes that it is important to focus on the past in order to learn the mistakes, correct them, and move civilization forward. 

Rubenstein shared forward-looking views on drivers of the economy. He explained that improved literacy rates will help reduce wealth disparity in this country. Internationally, he sees the rise of China as a major future challenge for the U.S. and has been pleased by U.S. efforts to share intelligence and capabilities with Ukraine. Europe is likely to suffer recession this winter and emerging markets have not demonstrated the kinds of rates of return investors hoped to see. Ending on a positive note, he said that his favorite kinds of investors are those who help the country by investing wisely in solutions that benefit us all.

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Philanthropy is one way in which successful investors can give back. Investing in history allows us to learn from the past and correct for the future.
  • The U.S. faces a variety of political and geo-strategic headwinds but we remain in a good position vis-à-vis other countries less able to withstand these pressures.

“The theory of history – if you learn the mistakes of the past, you can learn from and correct them, and move forward.”


David Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Co-Chairman, The Carlyle Group

“It feels like this growing economic divide in the country between the upper class, lower class, and shrinking middle class [has] this disconnect and it is playing out in our politics.


Matthew Swift, Co-Founder & CEO, Concordia