Templeton’s 22 Principles For Successful Investing
1. There is only one long term investment objective, maximum total after tax return.
2. Success requires study and work. It’s harder than you think.
3. Outperforming the majority of investors requires doing what they are not doing.
4. Buy when pessimism is at its maximum, sell when optimism is at its maximum.
5. Therefore, buy what most investors are selling.
6. Buying when others have despaired, and selling when they are full of hope, takes fortitude.
7. Bear markets aren’t forever. Prices usually turn up a year before the business cycle hits bottom.
8. Popularity is temporary. When a sector goes out of fashion, it stays out for many years.
9. In the long run, stock index prices fluctuate around the EPS trend line.
10. Stock index earnings fluctuate around replacement book value for the stocks in the index.
11. Buy what other people buy and you will succeed or fail as other people do.
12. Timing: buy when short term owners have finished selling and sell when they’ve finished their buying, always opposing the fashion.
13. Stock prices fluctuate more than values. So stock indexes will never produce the best total return performance.
14. Focus on value because most investors focus on outlooks and trends.
15. Invest worldwide.
16. Stock price fluctuations are proportional to the square root of the price.
17. Sell when you find a much better bargain to replace what you are selling.
18. When your method becomes popular, switch to an unpopular method.
19. Stay flexible. No asset or method is forever.
20. Stock market investing takes more skill than any other kind of investing.
21. A person can outperform a committee.
22. If you begin with prayer, you will think more clearly and make fewer mistakes.
I first came across this list in Charles Ellis book, The Investor’s Anthology: Original Ideas from the Industry’s Greatest Minds. Its also online here: William Proctor, from The Templeton Touch (1983).