Phil Carret’s “12 Commandments of Investing”

I just came across an investor with the longest track record via this excellent blog. His name is Phil Carret. He died at the age of 101 in May 1998. His investment career spanned 8 decades. Mr. Carret was known as a longtime proponent of the ”value” style of investing: buying shares of companies with steadily growing earnings, strong balance sheets and committed managers who themselves owned a hefty stake in the company, and then holding onto those investments for many years.

I am taking Phil Carret’s 12 Commandments of Investing from the above mentioned blog.

1. Never hold fewer than 10 different securities covering five different fields of business;
2. At least once every six months, reappraise every security held;
3. Keep at least half the total fund in income producing securities;
4. Consider (dividend) yield the least important factor in analyzing any stock;
5. Be quick to take losses and reluctant to take profits;
6. Never put more than 25% of a given fund into securities about which detailed information is not readily and regularly available;
7. Avoid inside information as you would the plague;
8. Seek facts diligently, advice never;
9. Ignore mechanical formulas for value in securities;
10. When stocks are high, money rates rising and business prosperous, at least half a given fund should be placed in short-term bonds;
11. Borrow money sparingly and only when stocks are low, money rates low and falling and business depressed;
12. Set aside a moderate proportion of available funds for the purchase of long-term options on stocks in promising companies whenever available.

I intend to read up more about this long tenured investor and share my findings.

About Adib Motiwala

Portfolio Manager at Motiwala Capital LLC
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One Response to Phil Carret’s “12 Commandments of Investing”

  1. Juan Velasco says:

    He inested since very young, started before the 1929 crash and went on until almost just before dying. His track record is more than 80 years with an excellent return. That’s why Buffet admired him. You can buy his book, the Art of Speculating, in amazon. I have not read it but if you want to learn from him that’s a nice way to start. You can find info about posts with different sources of information I gathered from Phil Carret here. Thanks for liking my blog ! I’ll check your now… 🙂