Sir John Templeton (November 29, 1912 – July 8, 2008) was a legendary investor and a pioneer of global investing. He took value investing to an extreme, picking industries and companies he believed to be at rock bottom, or as he called it “points of maximum pessimism.”He bought when there was blood on the streets. For example,when investors fled the New York market after the Second World War was declared, Templeton borrowed $10,000 to scoop up stocks priced at less than a dollar, often in companies that were near bankruptcy. In four years, he sold the stock, paid off the debt and pocketed $40,000—the seed money for Templeton Growth Fund, a market beater for many years.
Templeton did not care where a company was located. If it was selling below what he considered to be its asset value, and if it was in an industry or nation that was “out of favor,” he was interested in it. He was among the first to invest in postwar-Japan and among the first to sell out of Japan in the mid-1980s. He was one of the very few who invested in Peru when the communist Shining Path was running rampant, and by doing so, he reaped a fortune for his investors. Read more of this post