Articles: Sir John Templeton
The Greatest Investors - John Templeton
Born: Winchester, Tennessee in 1912
Employer: Founder of the Templeton Group
Most Famous For: Created some of the world's largest and most successful global investment funds using his independent investment strategy.
Less Celebrated For: More recently, his funds have failed to provide the astounding gains his followers were used to, partly due to the recent Asian recession.
Quote: "The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell."
Background: Templeton is a true pioneer of the global mutual fund industry. He has led the charge for teaching investors to explore the world for great investments. Investing overseas was virtually unheard of until investors caught on to Templeton's strategy. Today, the Templeton Group's combined assets exceed $25 billion.
Besides pioneering global investing, a great example of his independent investment strategy occurred in 1939. With the outbreak of war looming, a twentysomething Templeton bought every stock selling for under $1 per share on the major exchanges. Within four years, he had quadrupled his money.
Templeton is one of the strongest proponents of diversification. He once stated that "the only investors who shouldn't diversify are those who are right 100% of the time."
Another one of Templeton's success stories is a man by the name of Leroy Paslay. He was one of Templeton's earliest investors, giving him $65,500 to invest in 1954. 40 years later, Paslay was worth over $37 million.
After making billions through his innovative approach to investing, he has now become one of the world's greatest philanthropists. In 1987, he founded the $1/4 billion John Templeton Foundation.