Book Review : Investing The Templeton Way

Investing The Templeton Way is authored by Templetion's grand-niece, Lauren and her husband, Scott.

The book would be a splendid addition to a value investor's library. The book elaborates on Templeton's principle of buying at maximum pessimism and his way of thinking in his recent exploits of the market (for example, shorting the Internet stocks in early 2000)

Some interesting points are:

1) The book contains two analogies to explain how buying at maximum pessimism. One is the lemonade example, and the other describes how Templeton's grandfather's bidding strategy for farmland. That is to bid only when there are no bidders for the farmland. In this manner, the purchased farmlands were bought at a very low price and hence, a profit was almost guaranteed when the farmlands were sold some years later.

2) The right question should be "When is the outlook most pessimistic?" and not "When will the outlook be good?"

3) Diversification will be helpful if one is using borrowed money. This was illustrated when Templeton uses borrowed funds to purchase every small caps below $X dollars, so as to profit enormously from his divergent views when compared to the prevalent market view.

4) Always use real data (and not press commentaries) in your decision making process. This is seen when the book describes how Templeton uses comparison of current P/B and P/E against the historical P/B and P/E to derive the conclusion that the market was very cheap in 1979-82.

5) Patience is a necessity. Investing in unwanted stocks requires patience as it may take a few years before the stocks take off.

6) Be flexible. Templeton recognizes that bonds are good buys at Mar 2000 and he bought zero-coupon bonds using borrow money (carry trade) at that time, which further amplifies his returns.

7) What you learn may be transitive. The book has described how Templeton identifies Japan as an investor's paradise before many other fund managers and how Templeton is able to use the same insights to spot Korea as the investor's paradise. Templeton invested in an unit trust holding only Korea equities during 1998 Asian Financial Crisis.

In short, if you are a value investor, you should read the book.


musicwhiz said…
Hi thinknotleft,

Thanks, will certainly check out the book ! :)


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