Philip Fisher — 68 Years in the Saddle
American investment legend Philip Fisher (1907-2004) worked for a stock exchange firm for a short time before starting his own money management company, Fisher & Co., in 1931. He managed the company’s affairs until his retirement in 1999 at the age of 91, and is reported to have made his clients extraordinary investment gains.
Investing in Innovation
Philip Fisher specialized in innovative companies driven by research and development some fifty years before the name Silicon Valley became known. He practiced long-term investing and strove to buy great companies at reasonable prices. He was a very private person giving few interviews and was very selective about the clients he took on.
He was seemingly unknown to the public until he published his first book in 1958 that dramatically raised his popularity and propelled him to his now legendary status as a pioneer in the field of growth investing. Morningstar calls him “one of the greatest investors of all time”.
Fisher said that the best time to sell a stock was “almost never”. His most famous investment was his purchase of Motorola, a company he bought in 1955 when it was a radio manufacturer, and held it until his death in 2004. Perhaps the best known of Fisher’s followers is Warren Buffett who has said on some occasions that “he is 85% Graham and 15% Fisher”.
Fisher’s Background and Credentials
Fisher began his career in 1928 when he dropped out of Stanford Graduate School of Business. He later would return to teach the investment course next to working as a securities analyst in San Francisco. Fisher wrote several books that explain his investment philosophy and its development.
The list of books include “Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits,” published in the late 1950s, “Conservative Investors Sleep Well,” published in the mid 1970s and “Developing an Investment Philosophy,” published in the early 1980s.
→ Read more about Philip Fisher’s investing strategy on meetinvest and see how a portfolio would have performed using his strategy.