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Peter Lynch 20 Golden Rules

Below 20 rules the most important lessons Peter Lynch has learned from his two decades of investing. 

(from Book 'Beating the Street')


Rule 1. Your investor's edge is not something you get from Wall Street experts. It's something you already have. You can outperform the experts if you use your edge by investing in companies or industries you already understand. 

Rule 2. Over the past three decades, the stock market has come to be dominated by a herd of professional investors. Contrary to popular belief, this makes it easier for the amateur investor. You can beat the market by ignoring the herd.

Rule 3. Often, there is no correlation between the success of a company's operations and the success of its sotck over a few months or even a few years. In the long term, there is a 100% correlation between them. The disparity is the key to making money; it pays to be patient, and to own successful companies.

Rule 4. You have to know what you own, and why you own it. 

Rule 5. Long shots almost always miss the mark.

Rule 6. Owning stocks is like having children - don't get involved with more than you can handle. 

Rule 7. If you can't find any companies that you think are attractive, put your money in the bank until you discover some.

Rule 8. Never invest in a company without understanding its finances.

Rule 9. Avoid hot stocks in hot industries. Great companies in cold, nongrowth industries are consistent big winners.

Rule 10. With small companies, you 're better off to wait untile they turn a profit before you invest.

Rule 11. You need to find only a few good stocks to make a lifetime of investing worthwhile.

Rule 12. In every industry and every region of the country, the observant amateur can find great growth companies long before the professionals have discovered them.

Rule 13. A decline is a great opportunity to pick up the bargains left behind by investors who are fleeing the storm in panic.

Rule 14. Everyone has the brainpower to make money in stocks. Not everyone has the stomach. If you are susceptible to selling everying in a panic, you ought to avoid sotcks and stock mutual funds altogether.

Rule 15. There is always something to worry about. Avoid weekend thinking and ignore the latest dire predictions of newscasters. Sell a stock because the company's fundamentals deteriorate, not because the sky is falling.

Rule 16. Nobody can predict interest rates, the future direction of the economy, or the stock market. Dismiss all such forecasts and concentrate on what's actually happening to the companies in which you've invested.

Rule 17. If you study 10 companies, you'll find 1 for which the story is better than expected. There are always pleasant surprises to be found in the stock market - companies whose achievements are being overlooked on Wall Street. 

Rule 18. If you don't study any companies you have the same chance of success buying stocks as you do in a poker game if you bet without looking at your cards.

Rule 19. Tiem is on your side when you own shares of superior companies. You can afford to be patient - even if you missed Wal-Mart in the first five years, it was a great stock to own in the next five years. Time is against you when you own options.

Rule 20. In the long run, a portolio of well-chosen sotcks will always outperform a portfolio of bonds or a money-market account. In the long run, a porfolio of poorly chosen stocks won't outperform the money left under the mattress.