The Investing Philosophy of Philip A. Fisher: Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits

by | May 5, 2004

When Philip A. Fisher died last month at the age of 96, it suddenly struck me that being a wise and patient stock market guru may be the best route to a long life. “His career spanned 74 years,” wrote his son, Kenneth Fisher, in a column in Forbes. “He did early venture capital and […]

When Philip A. Fisher died last month at the age of 96, it suddenly struck me that being a wise and patient stock market guru may be the best route to a long life.

“His career spanned 74 years,” wrote his son, Kenneth Fisher, in a column in Forbes. “He did early venture capital and private equity, advised chief executives, wrote and taught.” Every month, Phil would read “If,” the Rudyard Kipling poem, to remind himself to stay calm and stick to the plan: “If you can keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs. . . .”

Phil Fisher began managing money in 1931, immediately after Herbert Hoover promised prosperity was right around the corner. He was teaching at Stanford 70 years later. In between, Fisher formulated a clear and sensible investing strategy (which I’ll get to in a second), wrote one of the best investment books of all time, “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits,” and made a good deal of money for himself and his clients.

Here are some other examples of how longevity comes with the financial territory:

Ambassador Glassman has had a long career in media. He was host of three weekly public-affairs programs, editor-in-chief and co-owner of Roll Call, the congressional newspaper, and publisher of the Atlantic Monthly and the New Republic. For 11 years, he was both an investment and op-ed columnist for the Washington Post.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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