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Know what you own with Peter Lynch

Updated: Apr 5

According to Peter Lynch, a renowned investor, one of the most important concepts in stock investing is to "Know what you own and know why you own it."

At first glance, this concept may seem straightforward, but it has significant implications. Essentially, it means that as an investor, you must have a deep understanding of the company or stock you are investing in.

This understanding involves several components, such as knowing the company's business model, its financial performance, competitive advantages, risks, and opportunities. You must also be able to articulate the reasons why you are investing in it.

Know what you own

Investing based on herd mentality, hot tips, or short-term thinking is a recipe for disaster. Such approaches often lead to overvalued stocks, significant losses when market sentiment changes, and missed long-term opportunities. Thus, knowing what you own requires extensive research and a thorough understanding of the company or stock you are investing in. This research may involve analysing financial statements, reading annual reports, understanding the company's sources of revenue, and assessing its economic moat. It also requires an understanding of the risks associated with the investment and the potential returns.

Know why you own it

Knowing why you own it involves assessing the company's growth prospects and competitive position in the market. It also involves having a clear investment goal, whether long-term growth, dividend income, or capital appreciation. Having a clear investment goal helps you avoid making impulsive decisions that could lead to costly mistakes.

The misconception

One common misconception about this concept is that it only applies to professional investors. However, all investors need to understand the companies or stocks they are investing in to avoid making costly mistakes. Furthermore, it is an ongoing process that involves continuous research, monitoring, and analysis of the company or stock.

Bottom line

Peter Lynch's approach of "Know what you own and know why you own it" is a crucial concept that all investors need to understand. It requires extensive research and a deep understanding of the company or stock you are investing in, understanding its risks and opportunities, and having a clear investment goal. This approach allows investors to make informed investment decisions, avoid costly mistakes, and achieve better investment outcomes. By following this approach, investors can be more confident in their investment decisions and better able to weather market volatility, making them better storytellers of their financial success.


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