Born: United States in 1944
Employer: Former Fidelity fund manager, today he is vice-chairman of Fidelity
Most Famous For: When he started managing the Fidelity Magellan Fund in 1978, it had assets of $20 million. When he retired in 1990, it had assets of $14 billion.
Less Celebrated For: Some people were none too pleased when Lynch, one of the greatest, retired at the tender age of 46.
Quote: “Go for a business that any idiot can run – because sooner or later, any idiot probably is going to run it.”
Lynch is arguably the world’s most famous mutual fund manager. Often described as a chameleon, he adapted to whatever investment style worked at the time (growth vs. value). He was one of the first to uncover hidden gems such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Pier 1 Imports and Taco Bell. People began to criticize Lynch once his fund surpassed $1 billion in assets in the early 1980s, but the fund rose to $13 billion less than seven years later. He admits to taking plenty of risks while managing the Magellan Fund, but he never suffered a losing year.
According to Valueline, “a $10,000 investment into Magellan in 1978 and then adding $100 per month, would add up to over $1 million, in 20 years!” While at the helm of Magellan, Lynch achieved an average annual return of 29% a year.