Anthony Bolton is widely acknowledged to be the greatest British investor of his generation. Peter Lynch, the leading American investor, described him as one of the best investors on earth. He was a contrarian-value investor, who searched for out-of-favor, under-researched shares with potential that others have missed. He found most of these in the small and medium capitalisation company sectors.
These undervalued and unloved shares were often found where things had gone wrong (but where redemption is likely) or where the company was going through a period of change.
He looked for situations where he believes that investor sentiment about a company is likely to improve in the medium term.
Bolton managed his funds with an above average risk profile. His investors were asked to live with a greater degree of volatility than the average fund. The kind of medium-sized companies he invested in would often, in a recession, fall further than the large companies.
So, while his approach did very well in the medium and longer term a follower of his philosophy has to accept that there will be uncomfortable periods.
He has a remarkable record. The fund he ran at Fidelity, Special Situations, for 28 years between 1980 and 2007 produced a return that averaged 19.5%. This beat the benchmark FTSE All-Share Index by 6% pa. A £10,000 investment at launch was worth £1,480,200 by the end of 2007.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to find someone who has a bad word to say about Anthony Bolton as a person. Unfailingly courteous, he is described variously as modest, genial, collegial and a great listener.
He has an air of quiet efficiency, of deliberateness in his actions, a manifestation of a very orderly mind; he reminds many people of a quintessential professor with a deep intellectual well and agile mind.
Peter Lynch says that he is ‘cool’ in the very best, most British sense of the word – passionately unflappable, intensely calm. He accepts that he is a fairly unemotional sort of person but counts this as a virtue because emotional people generally make poor fund managers.
What you can learn from Bolton:
The making of a great British investor
Bolton ended up in investment by chance. He had a con
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Prof. Glen Arnold
I'm a full-time investor running my portfolio from peaceful Leicestershire countryside. I also happen to be UK´s best selling investment book author and a Financial Times Best selling author.
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