|Born||Kenneth Lawrence Fisher
1950 (age 65–66)
San Francisco, California, United States
|Alma mater||Humboldt State University|
|Occupation||Founder and Chairman of Fisher Investments|
|Net worth||US $ 3.6 billion (est.)
|Relatives||Philip A. Fisher (father)|
|Family||Married, 3 children|
Kenneth Lawrence Fisher (born November 29, 1950) is an American investment analyst and the founder and chairman of Fisher Investments, a money management firm with offices in Woodside, California, San Mateo, California, and Camas, Washington, London, England, and Frankfurt and Rodenbach. Fisher writes a monthly column in Forbes magazine, and is the publication's longest continuously running columnist. He contributes to other financial and news magazines, has written eleven books, and has written research papers in the field of behavioral finance. He is on the 2016 Forbes 400 list of richest Americans and Forbes list of world billionaires, and as of 2016 is worth $3.6 billion. In 2010, he was named to Investment Advisor magazine's "30 for 30" list of the 30 most influential people in the investment advisory business over the last 30 years. As of 2016[update], Fisher’s firm manages $71 billion and has been called the largest wealth manager in the United States.
Life and work
Kenneth Fisher was born in San Francisco, California, the third and youngest son of Dorothy (née Whyte), from Arkansas, and Philip A. Fisher, an investor and author of three books, most notably Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. Fisher was raised in San Mateo, California. He went to Humboldt State University to study forestry, but graduated with a degree in economics in 1972. Citing contributions to the finance world and the ongoing study of redwood ecology, Humboldt State recognized Fisher with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. In 2015, Fisher was appointed to the Board of Advisors of The Forbes School of Business at Ashford University.
Over the past few decades, Fisher has helped Fisher Investments become one of the largest independent money managers in the world. He started his firm in 1979 with just $250 and it has steadily grown into one of the premier money management firms in the world by using time-tested investment principles to grow his business and his fortune. According to an interview with Inc. Magazine, Fisher believes the pursuit of passion, not the pursuit of money, creates wealth.
In 2007, Fisher and Thomas Grüner founded Grüner Fisher Investments in Germany. In 2009, Fisher received the inaugural Tiburon CEO Summit award for Challenging Conventional Wisdom. Charles Schwab received the inaugural award for Maintaining a Focus on Consumer Needs. Fisher also has a Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Award for published research. In 2010, Forbes published an accounting of Fisher’s stock pick performance, as made in his columns, over the previous 14 years. According to the magazine's measurements, his stock picks beat the S&P 500 overall on average, and have beaten the S&P in 11 years out of 14. In 2011, Fisher was ranked as one of the top 25 most influential figures in the financial industry by Investment Advisor Magazine.
Fisher has three adult sons, Nathan, Jesse and Clayton.
Fisher’s theoretical work identifying and testing the price-to-sales ratio (PSR) is detailed in his 1984 Dow Jones book, Super Stocks. James O'Shaughnessy credits Fisher with being the first to define and use the PSR as a forecasting tool. In Fisher’s 2006 book, The Only Three Questions That Count, he states that the PSR is widely used and known, and no longer as useful as an indicator for undervalued stocks. However, the PSR is still frequently included as required curriculum for the Chartered Financial Analyst exam and has allowed Fisher to avoid significant portions of several bear markets over his career.
Small-cap value was not defined as an investing category until the late 1980s. Fisher Investments was among the institutional money managers offering small-cap value investing to clients in the late 1980s.
Fisher has authored eleven investing books: Super Stocks (1984), The Wall Street Waltz (1987), 100 Minds that Made the Market (1993), The Only Three Questions That Count (2006), The Ten Roads to Riches (2008), How To Smell A Rat (2009), Debunkery (2010), Markets Never Forget (2011), Plan Your Prosperity (2012), and The Little Book of Market Myths (2013), and Beat The Crowd (2015). The Only Three Questions That Still Count, The Ten Roads to Riches, How to Smell a Rat, and Debunkery were all New York Times bestsellers.
In 2015, Fisher released his most recent book, entitled Beat the Crowd: How You Can Out-Invest the Herd by Thinking Differently. In the book, he discusses the true definition of contrarianism. According to Fisher, avoiding the mistakes of the masses requires the ability to see the motivations of an opposing group, as well as the group of which the investor is a part. In an interview with CNN Money, Fisher discusses how media hype around major economic events have already been priced into stock markets globally, and why investors are better served worrying about factors the market is ignoring.
Fisher is founder and chairman of Fisher Investments, an independent money management firm. He served as CEO until July 2016, when he transitioned out of the CEO role, succeeded by long-time Fisher Investments employee Damian Ornani. Fisher remains active as the firm’s executive chairman and co-chief investment officer.
The firm manages money for both high-net-worth individuals and institutions with nearly $71 billion in assets under current management. Fisher founded Fisher Investments in 1979 as a sole proprietorship and incorporated it in 1986. According to The Guru Investor by John P. Reese and Jack M. Forehand, in the late 1990s, Fisher did a study of stock returns between January 1976 and June 1995 where he defined six investment categories: big-cap value, midcap value, small-cap value, big-cap growth, midcap growth, and small-cap growth. After expanding Fisher Investments to the United Kingdom in 2000, Fisher expanded the firm’s US operations by opening an office in Vancouver, Washington.
In late 2011, Ken Fisher established the Fisher Creek campus on a 120-acre property in Camas, WA. Over the next three years, Fisher Investments expanded its Pacific Northwest activities by constructing two additional buildings on the Fisher Creek campus. Fisher Investments has since opened international offices, including locations in the United Kingdom and Germany. For three consecutive years (2014, 2015, 2016) the firm was recognized as one of the top 300 US-based Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) in the Financial Times' Top 300 list.
On July 7, 2011, Bloomberg News reported that, according to an interim arbitration award, "Fisher Investments Inc. may have to pay damages of $376,075 for breaching its fiduciary duty to a retired investor", Sharyn Silverstein. According to the arbitrator, Karen Wilcutts, Silverstein contacted Fisher Investments to request a copy of a free book. According to Bloomberg: "In conversations with Fisher representatives in 2007 Silverstein made it clear that she and her husband, Seth, intended to take withdrawals from their investments after her husband retired, which he was planning to do at the end of that year, the [interim award] said. When her assigned investment counselor with the firm drew up her recommended portfolio ... he entered that she had no income needs from her portfolio and that her only objective was to increase the value of her investments at the time of her death. The Silversteins have no children and therefore have no need to leave an inheritance, the award said." Fisher Investments pressured Silverstein, aged 64, into liquidating all of her fixed income investments, and investing them in equities. In the arbitrator's words, "Fisher simply made the same recommendation to Ms. Silverstein that it makes to the vast majority of its clients: 100 percent equities benchmarked to the MSCI World (MXWO) index." Silverstein reportedly lost about $376,075 of her initial investment of $876,357. A Fisher Investments spokesman described the interim award to Silverstein as "completely wrong on the law and the facts." He continued, "With more than 25,000 clients, losing an arbitration once every seven years is a record far better than any major competitor, which underscores the integrity of our firm."
In November 2014, Fisher Investments was ranked #206 on the Pensions and Investments/Towers Watson list of the World’s 500 largest money managers. In 2016, the firm ranked #164 on the list. The survey ranks money managers based on total assets under management.
Grüner Fisher Investments was rated “Best Employer in the (German) Financial Sector” in 2015 by the German investment magazine, Cash.Online, and again in 2016 by the magazine Das Investment. The honor is based on a survey of employees across 115 different companies, ranked on 13 individual factors including career opportunities, work climate and atmosphere.
Fisher Investments Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fisher Investments, was recognized by ADVFN as Wealth Manager of the Year in its International Financial Awards, announced March 8, 2016. The awards aim to recognize and celebrate best of breed products and services from across the financial industry, both nationally and internationally.
In April 2016, Fisher Investments was named one of the top places to work for recent graduates by Symplicity, a market leader in career services management solutions. Employers from across the country participated in the survey, which ranked companies based on benefits, mentorship, training, company culture, Glassdoor.com ratings, and work/life balance.
Interests and philanthropy
Fisher's ongoing study of redwood ecology, particularly the emerging field of study of redwood canopies, appears to have grown from a love that developed in the 1950s while he was growing up in San Mateo, California, two blocks from Crystal Springs Canyon, near ancient redwood logging camps. Fisher even lived for a while in an elaborate two-story tree house in McKinleyville, California. The home was outfitted with a phone, wood-burning cook stove, skylight, and electricity. Shortly after graduating from Humboldt State University, Fisher moved his family to Kings Mountain in Woodside, California (a redwoods area at the northern end of the Santa Cruz Mountains). This was the same remote area he hiked through in 1967 as a teenager, when he found what would be his first deserted trapper's cabin.
Fisher is regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on 19th-century logging and has documented more than 35 abandoned mill sites in the northern Santa Cruz Mountains. His personal library contains more than 3000 volumes of regional logging history. His interests extend to lumbering history in general and beyond it to everything about trees. In 1992, Fisher wrote the introduction to the second edition of Sawmills in the Redwoods by Frank M. Stanger. In it, Fisher details his own experiences locating, excavating, and cataloging artifacts from 1890s steam-powered sawmills on Kings Mountain. He also funded publication costs for a new edition that is available at the San Mateo County History Museum in Redwood City, California.
Fisher has thousands of 19th-century redwood forest logging artifacts, including the removable teeth from an old circular saw blade, double iron oxen shoes, old radio batteries, an ebony-handled dinner knife, pulleys, a corner spool that guided cables in Purisima Canyon (part of the Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve), photographs, and hundreds of bottles, including an opium bottle. "The bottles help me date the mill sites," he says. During forest hikes Fisher also found a foot-long twisted and melted piece of metal from the passenger plane BCPA Flight 304 that in 1953 crashed into Kings Mountain in fog with 19 passengers on its way to San Francisco International Airport from Honolulu.
In 2006, Fisher gave $3.5 million to endow the Kenneth L. Fisher Chair in Redwood Forest Ecology at Humboldt State. The gift supports redwood ecology research in perpetuity and provides support for graduate students, laboratories, and field equipment; the research has focused particularly on canopy studies. Fisher's goal in creating the chair was to transform our understanding of trees and forests. It is the world's first endowed chair devoted to a single species. The chair is currently held by Stephen Sillett, the biologist who is featured, along with Sillett's brother and his wife, in Richard Preston's 2007 book The Wild Trees. "Fisher is particularly drawn to Sillett's pioneering work, amazed at the botanist's discovery of elevated communities of crustaceans, lichens, other organisms, tiny ponds and rich soil deposits high in the trees. Fisher is also matching contributions to the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative up to $500,000.
In 2010, he and his wife Sherrilyn donated $500,000 to the San Mateo Public Library Foundation to support the construction of the Kenneth and Sherrilyn Fisher Journalism Center.
In 2012, Fisher and his wife gave $7.5 million to Johns Hopkins University to fund the new Sherrilyn and Ken Fisher Center for Environmental Infectious Diseases. The Fishers also established the Fisher Center Discovery Program (FCDP), which supports research projects focused on clinical or translational research related to environmental infectious diseases. The Fishers’ gift also helps the FCDP facilitate the careers of young researchers and provide resources for studies lacking traditional funding mechanisms.
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