“Those who keep learning will keep rising in life.”
The painful experience I had in the stock market during the dot-com bubble made me realize that I knew nothing about stocks. So, I started to learn. In the years that followed, I was reading everything I could find from some of the best investors. I read their books, their quarterly or annual shareholder letters, and any articles about them I could locate. I looked at their portfolios for investment ideas. And, in 2004, I started GuruFocus.com to share what I had learned. Then I learned even more, as many of the investors came to the website to share what they had learned.
I discovered that investing can be learned. I discovered that there is no trick to becoming a better investor. You simply need to learn, learn from the best, and learn from mistakes—mistakes of others, but mostly your own. And you need to work really hard.
The Gurus who had the most impact on me and my investing philosophy are Peter Lynch, Warren Buffett, Donald Yacktman, and Howard Marks. Lynch, Buffett, and Yacktman taught me how to think about business, companies, and their stocks. Marks made a great impression on me regarding how to think about market cycles and risks. What follows in this chapter are the important points that I gleaned from these Gurus.
Peter Lynch is the Guru from whom I learned the most about stock picking. The legendary mutual fund manager of the 1980s at Fidelity invested in thousands ...