Philip A. Fisher

Philip A. Fisher

Philip Fisher's career began in 1928 when he dropped out of the newly created Stanford Graduate School of Business to work as a securities analyst with the Anglo-London Bank in San Francisco. He switched to a stock exchange firm for a short time before starting his own money management company, Fisher & Co.

Fisher specialized in innovative and technology-focused companies founded on research and development practices. The contemporary analogy for this area would be the tech sector, although Fisher’s investment’s preceded Silicon Valley by five decades. Fisher was a proponent of long-term investing, preferring to buy excellent companies when their prices were low. In spite of his extraordinary skill as an investor, Fisher remained a highly private person and generally kept out of the public eye, although his popularity grew considerably after he published his first book in 1958.

His most famous investment was his purchase of Motorola, a company he bought in 1955 when it was a radio manufacturer, and held it until his death. Phillip is remembered for using and proliferating the "scuttlebutt" or "grape vine" tool, in which he searched fastidiously for information about a company.

In the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, Warren Buffett called Fisher's "Common stocks and uncommon profits" a "very very good book".[9] He further described how using Fisher's "scuttlebutt" technique continues to be a good way to investing, which is still used by Ted and Todd at Berkshire Hathaway. John Train described Warren Buffett as 85% influenced by Benjamin Graham and 15% by Philip Fisher.

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