Sir John Templeton (1912-2008): A Tribute

Published on 5th August 2008

One of the great innovators of the twentieth century has died. John Marks Templeton was born on November 29, 1912 in Winchester, Tennessee. He graduated with honors from Yale, won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and then went on to bring investment insights and opportunities to everyday investors. In 1987, he founded the John Templeton Foundation, which supports numerous research and educational initiatives involving science, religion, character development and freedom. Sir John's many charitable works earned him a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.

His Legacy Continues

In 1992, the firm he built became part of Franklin Templeton Investments. After the merger, Sir John retired from investment management to devote his time fully to philanthropy. Although he has not been affiliated with Franklin Templeton since 1996, Sir John's investment principles continue to guide the Templeton mutual funds today. We are honored to carry forward both his name and investment ideals, continuing his legacy of helping people in all walks of life participate in investment opportunities around the world.


1. Invest for real returns: The true objective for any long term investor is maximum total real returns after taxes

2. Keep an open mind: Never adopt permanently any type of asset or any selection method. Try to stay flexible, open minded and skeptical. Long term top results are achieved only by changing from popular to unpopular the types of securities you favour and your methods of selection

3. Never follow the crowd: If you buy the same securities as other people, you will have the same results as other people. It is impossible to produce superior performance unless you do something different from the majority. Buying when others are despondently selling and selling when others are greedily buying requires the greatest fortitude and pays the greatest reward.

4. Everything changes: Bear markets have always been temporary. And so have bull markets.

5. Avoid the popular: When any method for selecting stocks becomes popular, you will need to switch to unpopular methods.

6. Learn from your mistakes: This time is different are among the most costly four words in market history.

7. Buy during times of pessimism: Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell.

8. Search worldwide: To avoid having all your eggs in the wrong basket at the wrong time, you should diversify. When you search worldwide, you find better bargains than when you monitor only one nation. You also benefit from more safety thanks to diversification.

9. Hunt for value and bargains: Too many investors focus on outlook and trend. Therefore, more profit is made by focusing on value. In the stock market the only way to get a bargain is to buy what most investors are selling.

10. No-one knows everything: An investor who has all the answers doesn’t even understand the questions.

Sir John Templeton. Rest in  peace. Your Legacy Lives On

Posted by Emerging Africa Capital

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