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Learnings from 5 great investors

On Teacher's day, a quick reflection on the investment philosophies of five great investors. Patience, discipline and rationality have been the central ideas of most all-time great investors. These ideas are very relevant to us and even more in current times.

Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha

One of the core principles of Buffett's investing philosophy is buying when others are selling. “Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful,” he has been quoted saying on a number of occasions. He has often said, "Never lose your money. Stay rational and control your emotions. Never invest in a business that you don't understand."

Benjamin Graham, father of Value investing

One of the cornerstones of his investing philosophy was to have faith in the company's values and not focusing too much on the volatility in stocks. "Invest only if you are comfortable owning a stock even if you had no way of knowing its daily share price."

Peter Lynch, legendary investor

One of the important lessons one can learn from Lynch is that success comes after many setbacks and one should take them as lessons. "People who succeed in the stock market also accept periodic losses, setbacks, and unexpected occurrences." His investment philosophy, too, had discipline as the key theme. "The trick is not to learn to trust your gut feelings, but rather to discipline yourself to ignore them."

Jack Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group

Bogle did not believe in timing the market and found it a less credible idea as his quote suggests, "The idea that a bell rings to signal when investors should get into or out of the market is simply not credible. After nearly 50 years in this business, I do not know of anybody who has done it successfully and consistently.”

Ramesh Damani

“The overwhelming teaching lesson of thirty years is the importance of understanding compounding and if you understand that then a large part of your battle towards financial freedom is won,” said Damani. When asked what his biggest learning from a bear market was, he said, “There are two lessons — the first is someone is sitting in a shade today because someone planted a tree many years back. The moral of this lesson is if you invest wisely in a bear market, you can reap the harvest in a bull market. The second lesson is... the word of wisdom... ‘this too shall pass’."

When asked what his advice would be to young investors, he said, “India is a long-term bullish story and it had paid to be bullish in India over the last forty years.”

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Great lessons of value and virtue. Ramki, you have set a great example to youngsters.

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