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Peter Lynch is America’s number-one money manager. His mantra: Average investors can become experts in their own field and can pick winning stocks as effectively as Wall Street professionals by doing just a little research. Now, in a new introduction written specifically for this edition of One Up on Wall Street, Lynch gives his take on the incredible rise of Internet stocks, as well as a list of twenty winning companies of high-tech ’90s. That many of these winners are low-tech supports his thesis that amateur investors can continue to reap exceptional rewards from mundane, easy-to-understand companies they encounter in their daily lives.
Investment opportunities abound for the layperson, Lynch says. By simply observing business developments and taking notice of your immediate world— from the mall to the workplace—you can discover potentially successful companies before professional analysts do. This jump on the experts is what produces “ten baggers,” the stocks that appreciate tenfold or more and turn an average stock portfolio into a star performer.
The former star manager of Fidelity’s multibillion-dollar Magellan Fund, Lynch reveals how he achieved his spectacular record. Writing with John Rothchild, Lynch offers easy-to-follow directions for sorting out the long shots from the no shots by reviewing a company’s financial statements and by identifying which numbers really count. He explains how to stalk ten baggers and lays out the guidelines for investing in cyclical, turnaround, and fast-growing companies.
This book was written to offer encouragement and basic information to the individual investor. Who knew it would go through thirty printings and sell more than one million copies? As this latest edition appears eleven years beyond the first, I’m convinced that the same principles that helped me perform well at the Fidelity Magellan Fund still apply to invest in stocks today.
It’s been a remarkable stretch since One Up on Wall Street hit the bookstores in 1989. I left Magellan in May 1990, and pundits said it was a brilliant move. They congratulated me on getting out at the right time—just before the collapse of the great bull market. For the moment, the pessimists looked smart. The country’s major banks flirted with insolvency, and a few went belly up. By early fall, the war was brewing in Iraq. Stocks suffered one of their worst declines in recent memory. But then the war was won, the banking system survived, and stocks rebounded.
Inside this book
Before you think about buying stocks, you ought to have made some basic decisions about the market, about how much you trust corporate America, about whether you need to invest in stocks and what you expect to get out of them, about whether you are a short-or long-term investor, and about how you will react to sudden, unexpected, and severe drops in price.
It’s best to define your objectives and clarify your attitudes (do I really think stocks are riskier than bonds?) beforehand, because if you are undecided and lack conviction, then you are a potential market victim, who abandons all hope and reason at the worst moment and sells out at a loss. It is personal preparation, as much as knowledge and research, that distinguishes the successful stockpicker from the chronic loser. Ultimately it is not the stock market nor even the companies themselves that determine an investor’s fate. It is the investor.
There’s no such thing as a hereditary knack for picking stocks. Though many would like to blame their losses on some inbred tragic flaw, believing somehow that others are just born to invest, my own history refutes it. There was no ticker-tape above my cradle, nor did I teethe on the stock pages in the precocious way that baby Pelé supposedly bounced a soccer ball. As far as I know, my father never left the pacing area to check on the price of General Motors, nor did my mother ask about the ATT dividend between contractions.
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