The ideal way to learn investing would be to study the best growth investors of all time. Studying the investment style and moves of the best growth investors of all time would enable you to understand the things you must keep in mind before including yourself on the list of the best growth investors of all time.
If you really want to learn how the stock market works, you will invest your time reading books about the best growth investors of all time. The best growth investors of all time were, in turn, themselves inspired by other best investors. Knowledge is all about sharing. So do most of the best growth investors of all time believe in.
In this article, we will have a look at the investment philosophies of the best growth investors of all time and how they made the best out of a bad time and turned their mistakes into epic success stories. The best growth investors of all time didn’t become what they are in a day; it took them patience and perseverance.
So, if you see yourself in the future list of the best growth investors of all time, read on.
Who are the best growth investors of all time?
1. Warren Buffett
Record Growth: 23% annually for 54 years
Net Worth: $105.2 billion
First Investment: He purchased three Cities Services Preferred shares at $38 and later sold them at $40
Best Investment: In the early 1960s, he took control of Berkshire Hathaway and then in 1965 converted it from a textile company to an investment firm.
Warren Buffett, the CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway, even at the age of 90, is often regarded as one of the best growth investors of all time. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, he still lives in the house that he purchased back in 1957.
He achieved a record annual growth of 23% for 54 consecutive years through his investment strategy. There’s a reason he’s regarded as one of the best growth investors of all time.
He still happens to be on the rich list. At times, he even managed to peak the list of the rich and still is considered to be one of the wealthiest individuals of his time.
He went from having a few dollars in his pocket to sitting on an astounding wealth of more than $100 billion. He is quite popular on Wall Street and has often been dubbed as the “Oracle of Omaha”.
Warren Buffett is an admirer of Benjamin Graham’s value investing strategy. By the likes of John Templeton, he lives a decent and frugal lifestyle despite the enormous wealth at his disposal. His company Berkshire Hathaway is an $873 billion national conglomerate holding company.
Unlike other investment funds, Berkshire Hathaway holds major equity positions in large companies besides the direct management of the operation. Buffett has an economic interest of 16.45% in Berkshire Hathaway.
Warren Buffett started his journey as an investment salesman but started multiple business partnerships soon after. Eventually, he started working at Benjamin Graham’s association, but after Graham closed his firm due to retirement; later Buffett started one of his own— Buffett Partnership LTD.
When he started doing partnerships, he had around $174,000 as savings, and now over time, he turned that amount into more than $50 billion.
In 1959, Warren Buffett met Charlie Munger. By 1965, he started purchasing multiple shares in Berkshire Hathaway and eventually started taking control of the company. Berkshire Hathaway was originally a textile company, but Buffett turned it into insurance by including Geico’s great insurance giant.
Buffett, a generous investor, also shares his learning from his investments and financial advice with his Twitter followers.
Two personal investments and what you can learn from them: http://t.co/vwWfFvmTVb
— Warren Buffett (@WarrenBuffett) February 24, 2014
Though in recent years, Buffett’s average annual return has been falling at a steady pace, there’s no comparison to the long track record that he’s managed to keep up with.
According to Market Watch, Berkshire Hathaway’s stock returned to an annual average of 18.3% per year as compared to 10.2% for the S&P 500, way back in 1965. Berkshire Hathaway investors who invested $10,000 in 1965 have accumulated more than $165 million now.
Buffett’s investment styles have always been quite simple. He puts his money into undervalued stocks, improves these undervalued companies by management, and pays focus to long-term improvements in the stock market, also known as value investing.
He is a true value investor, who understands the value and essence of a particular company, and no matter the criticism he receives for his decisions, he always abided by his own rules and made amazing returns.
Buffet’s style of investing involves playing the stock market with patience and discipline. Based on his investment philosophy, investments should be made when the market has beaten down its price. Due to this, Berkshire Hathaway made most of its profitable investments when quality companies were sold at a discount.
But when the market is bullish, he holds hefty cash on the land while others are drowning in the ocean. Due to these reasons, we can conclude that Warren Buffett is one of the best growth investors of all time.
2. Peter Lynch
Record Growth: 29.2% annually for 13 years
Net Worth: $450 million
First Investment: He bought his first stock at college that gave out a ten-bagger return.
Best Investment: No information available
Peter Lynch is well known for serving as the fund manager at the Fidelity Magellan fund for over 13 years. During this time, he turned $20 million into a mind-blowing $14 billion and beat the S&P 500 in 11 out of 13 years.
It generated an annual average return of 29.2%. The fund managed to outperform 99.5% of the other competing funds during the last five years of him running it.
He very fondly supports small retailer investors and believes that small investors can have tremendous advantages over large investors; they can do this by investing in what they know.
Peter Lynch happened to be a master of value investing. Though Benjamin Graham found this widely popular investment strategy, Lynch mastered the art to perfection.
Peter Lynch is also acclaimed for his books on investing. He was the best-selling author in 1989 for his book One Up on Wall Street. Lynch had a decent beginning, his father died when he was ten, and his mother supported the family.
Lynch himself started working as a golf caddy to support his family. From this money that Lynch bought his first stock while still in college and it turned out to be a ten-bagger in Lynch’s own words.
He has often been described as a chameleon in the past because he adapted to the kind of investment style that worked at the time. When it came to selecting stocks, Lynch counted on his knowledge and understanding.
3. John Templeton
Record Growth: 15% for 38 years
Net Worth: $1.7 million during his death in 2008 at age 95, he was known for donating his wealth to charities
First Investment: No information available
Best Investment: Bought 100 shares of all the 104 companies listed on the NYSE, which sold for less than $1 in 1939
John Templeton was a one-of-a-kind contrarian investor who was one of the best growth investors of all time and an ultimate bargain hunter. He pioneered value investing. He started building his fortune during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
During the early stages of World War II, he saw the crashing stock markets as an opportunity and made a pretty bold move by buying all the low-cost USD stocks that traded below $1 at the New York Stock Exchange.
He bought 100 shares of each company that sold for less than $1. He purchased 104 companies in all, and 34 of them went bankrupt. Templeton did it all on borrowed money.
After World War ended, the $10,000 he had invested multiplied to $40,000 after holding them for around four years. Only four of his companies became worthless.
Due to his extensive experience, Templeton was one of the most successful mutual-fund managers, as he was deep into the use of globally diversified mutual funds. He realized that some markets companies would fail while others would gain. Him being claimed as the founder of the modern mutual fund came from him being an experienced investor.
He is acclaimed as the founder of Templeton Growth Fund, where he particularly pioneered global investment diversification. He was a persistent value investor and a huge fan of another best growth investor of all time, Benjamin Graham. Templeton preferred fundamental analysis over technical analysis for stock evaluation.
John Templeton was the ultimate bargain hunter. He used to keep an eye on companies globally when no one else thought of doing so. He truly believed that the best value stocks had been neglected.
Templeton created a few of the world’s largest and successful international investment funds. He sold his own Templeton funds to the Franklin group in 1992. With a close look at his growth investing in the financial world and his investment philosophies, we can acknowledge him as one of the best growth investors of all time.
4. John “Jack” Bogle
Record Growth: No Information Available
Net Worth: $111 million during his death in 2019 at age 89
First Investment: No information available
Best Investment: His launching index funds at Vanguard Group
Jack Bogle is just a personification for the term “great investor.” Vanguard is the world’s largest mutual fund and exchange-traded fund provider, with $7.1 trillion in assets under management.
Bogle has been of great help to the investing world and the financial markets. When he was an undergraduate at Princeton University, he conducted a study where he determined that most of the mutual funds did not earn any more money than the popular stock market indexes. He further found out that the fees associated with the mutual funds caused them to underperform market indexes.
He went on to work at Wellington Management Company, where he quickly rose to the rank of a Charmain. Despite that, he was fired for a bad merger. He learned a huge lesson and went on to find the Vanguard Group, which people now associate with low coast mutual funds.
Several years later, in 1976, Bogle launched the first index fund, which was tied to the performance of the S&P 500. The fund is now called the Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFIAX).
It is the largest S&P 500 index fund with the leading industry position. With his idea of index mutual funds, he grew the Vanguard Company into the second-largest mutual fund company.
Bogle actually revolutionized the financial world with the development of index funds. They are now very common in portfolios of individual investors across the world because of their low cost and passive nature.
Jack Bogle’s investing philosophy advocated capturing market-beating returns by investing in the broad-based index mutual funds characterized as low cost, no-load, low turnover, and passively managed. His unique philosophy of investment made him one of the best growth investors of all time.
5. Benjamin Graham
Record: 21% for 20 years
Total Net Worth: N/A as he died in 1976 at the age of 82
First Investment: Most likely Northern Pipeline Co.
Best Investment: No information available
Benjamin Graham was a British-born American investor who is often brought up as the “Father of Value Investing.”
For the past decade, value investing has been widely accepted as one of the most successful investment strategies for long-term growth in the market. Value investing meant buying fundamentally strong companies which promised market-beating returns but were overlooked by investors.
He is renowned for his book The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing and Security Analysis, where he spelled out his investment philosophy. Benjamin Graham also happened to be Warren Buffett’s mentor. He nurtured one of the best growth investors of all time, which reveals that he was one of the greatest investors that existed.
Graham was well-known for his ability to apply the skill of financial analysis on stocks. He emphasized obtaining a safety margin, which meant that he bought stocks below their book value and waited patiently to see their value rise.
Value investment has primarily fallen below people’s favor over the past decade. His investment firm put up with average annual returns of nearly 20% between 1936-1956, which was well above the financial market at the time.
He made his clients and himself a lot of money without taking huge risks in the stock market. He managed to do this because of his financial management skills. He also remained very influential during the Securities Act of 1933, where public companies were asked to disclose independently audited financial statements.
He preached that any stock should be considered worth more than you actually pay for it. This could mean a strong balance sheet, high profits, lack of debt, or any other underlying financial strengths. He believed that purchasing anything at a discount meant losing money and should be a trap that every investor avoided.
Other Notable Mentions of the Best Growth Investors Of All Time
A few other best investors of all time who deserve notable mention are:
Thomas Rowe Price Jr.
He spent his formative years struggling with the Great Depression. It taught him not to stay out of stocks but to embrace them instead. As a person who opposed the crowd, he invested in good companies for the long run, which was practically not much talked about at the time.
His investment philosophy said that investors must put more focus on individual stock pricing for long-term benefit. Consistency, discipline, process, and fundamental research became the basis of his successful investing career.
Bill Gross is often considered the “King of many bonds.” He is the founder and leading manager of PIMCO, and along with his team, he has amassed a fortune of more than $600 billion under management in fixed-income investments. His main investment style focuses on the total portfolio.
In 1931, Fisher started his investment firm, Fisher & Company. He managed the company till his retirement in 1999 at the age of 91. He achieved excellent returns for his clients and himself during his 70-year career as an investor.
Fisher focused on long-term stocks and had a 15 point list of characteristics that he looked out for before buying a stock.
As the only woman on this list, Cathie Wood has become a household name in the investing world. She focuses mainly on growth investing. Her current management Ark Invest was the best performing fund with at least $1 Billion presently under management. Cathie has a modern-day approach towards investing, which makes her a one-of-a-kind investor.
Ray Dalio, one of the contrarian investors, is the best-performing hedge fund manager of all time. He is the chief investment officer of a fund which is called Bridgewater Associates that has relentlessly achieved the highest returns in the industry. Ray happens to be one of the best investors of all time as he is willing to share the knowledge that he beholds.
George Soros’s net worth is estimated to be somewhere around $8.6 Billion. He is a part philanthropist and part investor, having made over $32 billion in donations to the Open Society Foundations.
He’s a hedge fund manager and started a Quantum Fund in 1969, which had $12 million assets. Presently, it rose to $25 billion by 2011. The fund generated net gains of $4.9 billion, making it Soros’s primary success as an investor.
The Bottom Line
The best growth investors of all time didn’t become what they are overnight. It involved discipline and consistency in them to become the best investor. They analyzed numerous past performance market graphs and patterns before putting their money at risk.
In this list only, you can see how other successful investors inspired the best growth investors of all time. Take this list as an inspiration if you want to start your investment firm or invest your own money in growth stocks for long-term benefit. Whatever it may be, the greatest of minds know how to shine through the dark.
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