3 Investing Legends We Can Learn From That Aren’t Warren Buffett

August 31, 2021

If we’re starting out our investment journey, or even seasoned investors, there is always good long-term investment advice that we can pick up and put into action when we buy stocks, ETFs or funds.

For most of us, that means looking towards investment guru and Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK.B) CEO Warren Buffett.

However, while the “Sage of Omaha” no doubt has wise words to impart on the merits of long-term investing, there are also plenty of other mentors that we can look to for inspiration.

That’s because, like life, investing is constantly a journey of discovery. The more we learn and the more we can absorb from other sources of information, the better investors we’ll become.

That’s also because a lot of the success that stems from long-term investing can be seen in how we deal with psychological factors, from anchoring bias to everyday fears like “loss aversion”.

So, here are three giants of the investment world (that aren’t Warren Buffett) who I think all investors can learn from.

1. Peter Lynch

Investing great Peter Lynch, who ran Fidelity’s flagship Magellan Fund for 13 years, had an enviable track record.

Over that period his fund outperformed the benchmark S&P 500 Index in 11 of 13 years, during which time he also managed to deliver an average annual return of a whopping 29%.

When he took over the fund it had just US$20 million in assets. By the time he left that had grown to US$14 billion.

Author of classic investment tomes such as “One Up on Wall Street”, which still hold up today, Peter Lynch always has interesting advice.

One of his best quotes was that:

“Everyone has the brain power to make money in stocks. Not everyone has the stomach”.

That perfectly illustrates the raw human emotion we all face when stock markets, and of course stocks, inevitably fall in price. As Peter Lynch also says:

“All the math you need in the stock market you get in the fourth grade”.

Understanding that we can all invest and be successful at it – with the right approach – was one of the things Peter Lynch is so revered for.

2. Ray Dalio

A perma-bull on China stocks, Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio is one of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers.

Primarily known for his “All Weather” strategy and portfolio approach, he’s best known for his gold-standard management practices while running Bridgewater and unique insights.

He’s a voracious reader and one who is always keen to dig deep into new topics of interest. That approach is also useful for us as investors. As Ray Dalio puts it:

“The more you think you know, the more close-minded you’ll be”.

Being flexible and open to changing your investment thesis, when the situation requires it, means you’ll be better able to make better judgments when investing.

That relates directly to one of his other quotes, in that:

“To make money in market, you have to think independently and be humble”.

For investors, looking to think long term and with a critical mind, Ray Dalio’s nuggets of wisdom always offer up refreshing takes on how we can navigate global markets.

3. David Gardner

Finally, we have David Gardner, who’s the co-founder of The Motley Fool – an investment advisory service based in the US.

Having previously worked for The Motley Fool in Asia, I have first-hand experience on what an inspiring figure he is for long-term investors.

David Gardner has always been a very jovial and friendly voice in the investing community, with The Motley Fool’s motto of helping the world become “Smarter, Happier, Richer” a guiding principle of how David himself invests.

When constructing our own portfolio of stocks (if you do decide that’s the approach for you), one of his best-ever pieces of advice is to:

“Make your portfolio reflect your best vision for our future”.

That’s because behind every stock, there’s a company, a founder and a purpose. Ensuring the purpose of the company lines up with your own beliefs – that hopefully also make the world a better place – means that you can do good through what stocks you own.

In an age where we are becoming more conscious of our investments when we view them through the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) lens, it’s particularly timely advice.

Keep learning

Even Warren Buffett, who’s now well over 90 years old, is still learning from his investment portfolio and the results of it.

It’s indicative that all of us can always become better investors over time and that nothing is stopping us from going out there and being successful by continuing to learn how to hone our skills.

With Peter Lynch, Ray Dalio and David Gardner, there will always be great insights that investors of all levels can learn from.

Tim Phillips

Tim, based in Singapore but from Hong Kong, caught the investing bug as a teenager and is a passionate advocate of responsible long-term investing as a great way to build wealth.

He has worked in various content roles at Schroders and the Motley Fool, with a focus on Asian stocks, but believes in buying great businesses – wherever they may be. He is also a certified SGX Academy Trainer.

In his spare time, Tim enjoys running after his two young sons, playing football and practicing yoga.

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