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Opinion

Investors get a Lynching

Peter Lynch

"You should always buy a company that any fool can run, because one day, one will." These were the words of one of the world's most successful investment managers, Peter Lynch, speaking at an awards lunch in London.

Lynch, former head of the Fidelity Magellan Fund, is said never to have given a speech for money. But it's easy to talk for free when it adds kudos to your success. Between 1977 and 1990, Lynch built his fund from $20 million to more than $14 billion, which prompted him to pen two best-selling books on investing.

But this was all a long time ago and the vice-chairman of Fidelity could do with some new material. His speech, by his own admission, repeated anecdotes from his 1989 book, One Up on Wall Street.

Entertaining though it was to hear how the 1987 crash cut short his golf trip to Ireland, his advice could have been more contemporaneous. Telling jittery investors in uncertain markets that they have plenty of time to realize returns on their investments fell on deaf ears.

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