The simple phrase "it's different this time"
are the four most expensive words in the English language. Sir John Templeton
, we thank you for this lesson and countless others.
One of modern finance's greatest pioneers, in 1954 Sir John Templeton launched what was one of the first globally oriented mutual funds, Templeton Growth Fund
. At that time, almost nobody invested outside
The United States. However Templeton argued that by restricting choices to domestic securities, investors were denying themselves of the chance to markedly increase portfolio diversification, lower volatility while increasing overall returns.
Today Templeton's approach to portfolio diversification is textbook at business schools
. Ideas and theories he devised and put into practice decades ago led to such stunning performance that in 1999 Money Magazine called Sir John “arguably the greatest global stock picker of the century”. Over a period of forty years, Templeton Growth Fund returned an average of 14.5% per annum
In 1992, a month before his 80th birthday, Templeton sold his mutual fund empire
for a reported $440 million to Franklin Resources Inc. of San Mateo, California.
While still was active in the fund's strategic management, Templeton next turned his attention to religion and charitable endeavours, founding the John Templeton Foundation
which he intended to "serve as a philanthropic catalyst for research on concepts and realities such as love, gratitude, forgiveness and creativity."
Sir John did, however, leave those of us still learning how to invest with one final gift: Sir John Templeton's 16 Rules for Investment Success.
Sir John Templeton, 1918-2008, RIP and Godspeed.