One of my personal heroes, Sir John Templeton, passed away today. He was well-known in the world of finance as a true investing pioneer.
My favorite Sir John quote is “the four most dangerous words in investing are ‘this time it’s different.'” A close second is “help people. When people are desperately trying to sell, help them and buy. When people are enthusiastically trying to buy, help them and sell.”
He famously recognized the peril of the internet bubble (and its supporters who fully embraced the “this time it’s different” mantra) and heavily profited from the decline of tech stocks after March 2000 by indiscriminately shorting them (“helping” them frantically buy by selling to them).
During the recent real estate boom he again warned of a bubble (while the mantra again surfaced) but was mainly written off as out of touch. Though he would be the last person to ever celebrate at any misfortune, his call was vindicated with the current real estate crash.
But he was probably best known around the world as a philanthropist.
In his book Agape Love, Templeton describes his life goal of “developing [a] divine ability” to love, best expounded in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Well done, Sir John. May you rest in peace.
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