“For some reason I have always felt happier going against the crowd and generally feel uncomfortable doing what everyone else is doing. So many pressures in the investment business encourage one to do the opposite and go with the crowd.”
– Anthony Bolton, “Investing With Anthony Bolton: The Anatomy of a Stock Market Winner”, 2006
A Garland of Carols
While writing this column, I’m listening to some beautiful classical music that fits perfectly into the festive season. The angelic coral voices from “A Garland of Carols” help me relax and find inspiration to write about the legendary British investor Anthony Bolton.
Believe it or not, the man featured in this month’s column is a great classical music composer. Influenced by the British composer Benjamin Britten and an enthusiast of classical music with chorus and solo vocal features, Anthony Bolton has composed music that has been performed at St. Paul’s Cathedral and that currently inspires me through Spotify.
But Bolton is best known as being one of the most talented British investors of all times – a man who has been able to outperform a whole industry for almost 30 years. Starting with just a few million pounds under management for the then newly created Fidelity UK, he turned millions into billions through consistently delivering huge returns to investors.
Someone who invested £10,000 with Bolton at the end of 1979 would have accumulated around £1.5 million by the end of 2007 when he left his main fund management activities. Over that time period, Bolton recorded a 19.5% annual performance, clearly outpacing the 13.5% annual return that was achieved by the FTSE All-Share. The Fidelity UK flagship fund – Special Situations – quickly became the UK’s largest open-ended fund….