Kenneth Fisher

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Kenneth Fisher
Ken Fisher.jpg
Fisher c. 2014
Kenneth Lawrence Fisher

(1950-11-29) November 29, 1950 (age 68)[1]
ResidenceCamas, Washington, U.S.
Alma materHumboldt State University
OccupationFounder and Chairman of Fisher Investments
Net worthIncreaseUS $ 3.9 billion (est.)
(March 2018)[2]
RelativesPhilip A. Fisher (father)
FamilyMarried, 3 children

Kenneth Lawrence Fisher (born November 29, 1950) is an American investment analyst and the founder and chairman of Fisher Investments, a fee-only financial adviser with United States offices in Woodside California; San Mateo, California; Camas, Washington; and Plano, Texas, and international offices in England, Germany, Australia, Japan, and the Dubai International Financial Centre. Fisher's Forbes "Portfolio Strategy" column ran from 1984 to 2017, making him the longest continuously-running columnist in the magazine's history.[3] He is currently a regular columnist for several publications, including USA Today, Financial Times and Interactive Investor in the UK, Dagbladet Børsen in Denmark, De Telegraaf in The Netherlands, and Focus in Germany. Fisher has authored eleven books on investing, and has written research papers in the field of behavioral finance. He is on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans[4] and Forbes list of world billionaires, and as of 2017 is worth $3.8 billion.[2] 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.[5] As of 2018, Fisher's firm manages $100 billion.[6][7]

Life and work[edit]

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 eleven books, four of which became New York Times bestsellers. 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.[8] Citing contributions to the finance world and the ongoing study of redwood ecology, Humboldt State recognized Fisher with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007.[9] In 2015, Fisher was appointed to the Board of Advisors of The Forbes School of Business at Ashford University.[10]

Over the past few decades, Fisher has helped Fisher Investments become one of the largest independent money managers in the world.[11] 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.[12] According to an interview with Inc. Magazine, Fisher believes the pursuit of passion, not the pursuit of money, creates wealth.[13]

In 2007, Fisher and Thomas Grüner founded Grüner Fisher Investments in Germany.[14] In 2009, Fisher received the inaugural Tiburon CEO Summit award for Challenging Conventional Wisdom. Charles R. Schwab, founder of the Charles Schwab Corporation, received the inaugural award for Maintaining a Focus on Consumer Needs. Fisher also has a Bernstein Fabozzi/Jacobs Levy Award for his research on market forecasting, which he published in 2000 with Meir Statman of Santa Clara University.[15]

In 2011, Fisher was ranked as one of the top 25 most influential figures in the financial industry by Investment Advisor Magazine.[16]

Fisher has three adult sons, Nathan, Jesse and Clayton.[17] Nathan Fisher is the senior executive vice president of Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions.[18]

Published research[edit]

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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21]

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.[22]

Books and other authorship[edit]

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),[23], The Little Book of Market Myths (2013),[24] and Beat The Crowd (2015).[25] 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.[25] 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.[26] In April 2012, Fisher released the Second Edition of The Only Three Questions That Count, and in April 2017, Fisher released the Second Edition of The Ten Roads to Riches.

Fisher Investments[edit]

Fisher is founder and chairman of Fisher Investments, an independent money management firm.[27][28] He founded the firm in 1979, incorporated in 1986,[29] then served as CEO until July 2016, when he was succeeded by long-time Fisher Investments employee Damian Ornani. Fisher remains active as the firm's executive chairman and co-chief investment officer.[30]

Fisher Investments and its subsidiaries manage over $100 billion in assets for individual investors and institutional investors across North America, Europe, and beyond. The firm maintains four principal business units: Fisher Investments Institutional Group, Fisher Investments Private Client Group, Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions Group and Fisher Investments International Group.[31]

According to The Guru Investor by John P. Reese and Jack M. Forehand, in the late 1990s, Fisher defined his investment philosophy after studying the stock returns and P/E Ratios between January 1976 and June 1995 of six investment categories: big-cap value, midcap value, small-cap value, big-cap growth, midcap growth, and small-cap growth.[32]

After expanding Fisher Investments to the United Kingdom in 2000, Fisher expanded the firm's US operations by opening an office in Vancouver, Washington.[33]

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.[34] Fisher Investments has since opened international offices, including locations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Dubai, and Australia.[35] For four consecutive years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017) the firm was recognized as one of the top 300 US-based Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) in the Financial Times' Top 300 list.[36][37][38]

Fisher Investments’ Camas campus was identified as a site of public exposure during a 2019 measles outbreak, with the public being exposed to the vaccine-preventable illness Jan. 10, 11, 14, and 15, 2019. [39]

In 2016, Fisher Investments ranked #164 on the Pensions and Investments/Towers Watson list of the World's 500 largest money managers.[40] In 2016, Financial Times ranked Fisher on the "US Top 300" registered investment advisers on desirable traits for investors.[41] The survey ranks money managers with at least $300 million 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,[42] and again in 2016 by the magazine Das Investment.[43] 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.[43]

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.[44] The awards aim to recognize and celebrate best of breed products and services from across the financial industry, both nationally and internationally.[44]

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.[45] Employers from across the country participated in the survey, which ranked companies based on benefits, mentorship, training, company culture, ratings, and work/life balance.[45]

Interests and philanthropy[edit]

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.[46] 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.[47] 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.[46]

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.[46] His personal library contains more than 3000 volumes of regional logging history.[48] His interests extend to lumbering history in general and beyond it to everything about trees.[49] 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.[50] He also funded publication costs for a new edition that is available at the San Mateo County History Museum in Redwood City, California.[51]

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.[52] "The bottles help me date the mill sites," he says.[46] 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.[52]

In 2006, Fisher gave $3.5 million to endow the Kenneth L. Fisher Chair in Redwood Forest Ecology at Humboldt State.[53] 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.[54] Fisher's goal in creating the chair was to transform our understanding of trees and forests.[54] It is the world's first endowed chair devoted to a single species.[54] The chair is currently held by Stephen Sillett,[55] the biologist who is featured, along with Sillett's brother and his wife, in Richard Preston's 2007 book The Wild Trees.[56] "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.[48] Fisher is also matching contributions to the Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative up to $500,000.[57]

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.[58]

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.[59] 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.[60]

Further reading[edit]

  • "Never Enough Fisher," by Anthony W. Haddad and Jonathan Bernard. Equities. September 2007.[1]
  • "Uber-Fisher," by Anthony W. Haddad and Jonathan Bernard. Equities. May 2008.
  • Market Gurus: Investing Strategies You Can Use from Wall Street's Best by John P. Reese and Todd O. Glassman. Validea Press. 2005.
  • The Money Monarchs: The Secrets of 10 of America's Best Investment Managers by Douglas J. Donnelly. Irwin Professional Pub. 1992.
  • Super Stocks by Kenneth L. Fisher. McGraw-Hill. 1990.
  • The Guru Investor: How to Beat the Market Using History's Best Investment Strategies (Wiley 2009)


  1. ^ "The World's Billionaires: #764 Ken Fisher". Forbes.
  2. ^ a b "Ken Fisher - Forbes Profile". Forbes. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Fisher, Ken (September 14, 2016). "My Best Advice - 32 Years in the Making". Forbes.
  4. ^ "The Richest People in America List - Forbes". Forbes. 21 November 2014. Archived from the original on 21 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Thirty for Thirty". Think Advisor. 1 May 2000. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Company information". September 30, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
  7. ^ Green, James. "Doing it Right". Advisorone. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Shaking it Up," but Vernon Felton, Humboldt Stater, Fall, 2006.
  9. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Hailed, Honored". Humboldt State University. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
  10. ^ "Forbes School of Business at Ashford University Appoints Eight Members to Its Board of Advisors". Forbes School of Business. Retrieved 2015-08-28.
  11. ^ "The P&I/Towers Watson World 500: World's largest money managers". 2014-11-10. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  12. ^ Frankel, Matthew (2015-06-19). "3 Things to Learn from Ken Fisher's Net Worth -- The Motley Fool". Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  13. ^ Daum, Kevin (2015-05-01). "Billionaire Ken Fisher Shares 8 Insights Only the Self-Made Super Wealthy Understand". Inc. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  14. ^ "OTS: Gruner Fisher Investments / Gruner Fisher Investments verhalten". Finanzen (in German). 5 August 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  15. ^ Anderson, Aaron (2010). The Making of a Market Guru: Forbes Presents 25 Years of Ken Fisher. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780470285428.
  16. ^ McBride, Kathleen (4 May 2011). "Ken Fisher, Fisher Investments: The Extended 2011 IA 25 Profile". Think Advisor. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  17. ^ Fisher, Kenneth L. (2008). The Wall Street Waltz. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780470267967.
  18. ^ Iacurci, Greg (3 April 2018). "Fisher Investments growing fast in 401(k) market". Crain Communications. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  19. ^ O'Shaughnessy, James (2005). What Works On Wallstreet. McGraw Hill Professional. ISBN 9780071452250.
  20. ^ Fisher, Kenneth L. (2012). The Only Three Questions That Still Count: Investing By Knowing What Others Don't. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-470-07499-X.
  21. ^ CFA Institute publications website
  22. ^ Munk, Chelyl Winokur (1 November 2006). "The Heretic". Wealth Management. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  23. ^ Fisher, Kenneth L. (2012). Plan Your Prosperity: The Only Retirement Guide You'll Ever Need, Starting Now- Whether You're 22, 52, or 82. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118516096.
  24. ^ Fisher, Kenneth L. (2013). The Little Book of Marketing Myths: How to Profit by Avoiding the Investing Mistakes Everyone Else Makes. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118445006.
  25. ^ a b "Beat the Crowd | By Ken Fisher". Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  26. ^ Gillespie, Patrick (2015-04-22). "Billionaire investor Ken Fisher's advice". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2015-08-05.
  27. ^ Corvin, Aaron (21 June 2012). "Fisher Investments CEO heralds the singularity". The Columbian. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  28. ^ Margaret Brennan & Ken Fisher (7 September 2010). Fisher Investments Ken Fisher Interview Expert (Television). Bloomberg Television.
  29. ^ "Fisher Investments - CrunchBase". AOL Inc. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  30. ^ "Fisher Investments names Damian Ornani CEO as Ken Fisher relinquishes role". Investment News. March 22, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  31. ^ Wollman Rusoff, Jane (2015-06-01). "Ken Fisher Reveals His Market-Beating Secrets". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  32. ^ Reese, John P.; Forehand, Jack M. (2009). The Guru Investor: How to Beat the Market Using History's Best Investment Strategies.
  33. ^ Joner, Cami (26 December 2013). "Work Starts on 2nd Fisher Building". The Columbian. Vancouver, WA: Archived from the original on 11 June 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
  34. ^ Acheson, Heather (7 June 2011). "Fisher Investments plans for two new buildings". Camas-Washougal Post-Record. Archived from the original on 25 March 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  35. ^ "Fisher Investments Address and Office Locations". Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  36. ^ "FT 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers" (PDF). Financial Times. June 26, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  37. ^ "FT 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers" (PDF). Retrieved 25 March 2015.
  38. ^ "The FT 300 List". Financial Times. June 15, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  39. ^ Measles Investigation | Clark County, Washington, Public Health
  40. ^ "Table: The world's largest money managers". Pensions & Investments. October 31, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  41. ^ "Table: The FT 300 list". Financial Times. June 15, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2017.
  42. ^ "Die besten Arbeitgeber in der Finanzbranche". Cash.Online. November 18, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  43. ^ a b "Die nettesten Chefs der Finanzbranche". Das Investment. October 14, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  44. ^ a b "ADVFN International Financial Awards 2016". October 14, 2016. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  45. ^ a b Wiltshire, Emma (April 15, 2016). "Announcing Best Places to Work for Recent Grads 2016". Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  46. ^ a b c d "Ken Fisher: a passion for local history". The Almanac. 29 October 2003. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  47. ^ "Stater Fall 2006 image" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on June 19, 2010.
  48. ^ a b "Ken Fisher Chair to Take Redwood Ecology to New Heights". Newswise. 3 February 2006. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  49. ^ "Ken Fisher, Bestselling Author, Forbes Columnist, Fisher Investments CEO". Only Three Questions. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  50. ^ Frank M. Stanger. Sawmills in the Redwoods. San Mateo Historical Society, San Mateo, CA 1992.
  51. ^
  52. ^ a b "Ken Fisher Update – Sawmills and Logging". La Honda Historical Society. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  53. ^ "Humboldt State University". Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  54. ^ a b c "The Kenneth L. Fisher Chair in Redwood Forest Ecology". Humboldt State University. Archived from the original on 6 November 2013. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  55. ^ Kenneth L. Fisher • HSU Fisher Chair in Redwood Forest Ecology Archived December 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  56. ^ Preston, Richard (2007). The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring. Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6489-2.
  57. ^
  58. ^ "From the archives - San Mateo Daily Journal". San Mateo Daily Journal. 10 June 2010. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  59. ^ "Ken and Sherrilyn Fisher - Wall Street Donors Guide". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  60. ^ "The Fisher Center Discovery Program Request for Application" (PDF). The Johns Hopkins Institute for Clinical and Translational Research. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2015.

External links[edit]