Peter Lynch On How To Beat The Market | 2019 | Summary and Q&A

December 2, 2020
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Peter Lynch On How To Beat The Market | 2019

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In this video, Peter Lynch discusses his investing philosophy of "buying what you know" and emphasizes the importance of doing thorough research before investing. He also talks about the advantages of sticking to industries or products that you are familiar with and shares his thoughts on beating the market, holding onto great stocks, and the significance of avoiding anticipated downturns. Lynch also reflects on the changes in the market and industries over the years, including the decline of the textile industry and the potential opportunities in the energy sector.

Questions & Answers

Q: What does Peter Lynch mean by "buying what you know"?

Peter Lynch believes that it is essential for investors to do their research and understand the companies they invest in. Rather than blindly investing in trending stocks or relying on tips, he suggests that investors should analyze the company's financials, research reports, and balance sheets to get a better understanding of the risks and potential rewards.

Q: Is it advisable for regular investors to stick to industries they are familiar with?

Yes, Lynch suggests that regular investors can have an advantage by investing in industries they have knowledge of or products they see gaining popularity. By observing the market trends, consumer behavior, and assessing the growth potential of a company, investors can make more informed decisions and potentially identify great investment opportunities.

Q: How does information overload affect active investors?

Information overload can make it challenging for active investors to sort through the vast amount of data available. However, Lynch believes that having access to the same information does not guarantee success in beating the market. He argues that the key to outperforming the market is to avoid stocks that are declining and focus on companies that are growing or have the potential to grow, even if they are outside the S&P 500 index.

Q: Why does Lynch advise against trying to predict the market?

Lynch believes that trying to predict the market is futile because it is impossible to accurately forecast its fluctuations. He points out that he encountered multiple downturns during his tenure at Magellan Fund, but over the long term, the market tends to rise. Instead, Lynch suggests that investors should assess their own financial needs and goals, and if they have a long-term investment horizon, they should focus on investing consistently over time.

Q: Why does Lynch recommend holding onto great stocks instead of taking profits?

Lynch argues that selling great stocks too soon is akin to cutting the flowers and watering the weeds. By holding onto successful companies, investors can benefit from their continued growth potential. He cites an example of Warren Buffett calling him to express admiration for Lynch's statement in a book about holding onto great stocks. Lynch emphasizes the importance of staying invested in promising companies, even when they experience short-term gains.

Q: Has there been more money lost in anticipating downturns rather than in actual downturns?

Yes, Lynch states that more money has been lost by investors trying to predict market downturns than in the downturns themselves. He highlights that the market has consistently shown long-term growth, and trying to time the market can be detrimental to an investor's returns. Instead, he advises investors to assess their financial needs and invest accordingly, focusing on a long-term investment strategy.

Q: Are secular changes happening more rapidly now compared to the past?

Lynch does not believe that secular changes are happening more rapidly now than before. He reflects on the deterioration of the textile industry during his career and explains that industries can transition from being profitable to experiencing significant decline. He advises investors to wait for signs of recovery and not to write off entire industries based solely on short-term performance. Sometimes, industry participants can perceive a potential turnaround before it becomes evident to the broader market.

Q: What are Peter Lynch's thoughts on the energy sector?

Lynch finds the energy sector interesting, especially because it is currently undervalued on Wall Street. He explains that while there is currently a surplus of oil, the difference between a glut and shortage is relatively small in terms of daily consumption. Lynch believes that if the global economy remains stable and shale production doesn't decline substantially, there could be investment opportunities in the energy sector. However, he cautions against assuming that growth in the shale industry will continue at the same pace in the future.


Peter Lynch emphasizes the importance of doing thorough research and understanding the companies one invests in. By buying what you know and focusing on industries or products that you are familiar with, investors can gain a competitive advantage. Lynch advises against trying to predict market movements and encourages investors to focus on long-term investment strategies, holding onto great stocks rather than taking short-term profits. Additionally, he suggests being mindful of secular changes in industries but cautions against writing off entire industries prematurely. Finally, Lynch finds the energy sector intriguing and believes there could be potential investment opportunities despite its current unloved status on Wall Street.

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