Legendary investor Peter Lynch on stock picking: 'The sucker's going up' is not a good reason

Legendary investor Peter Lynch has one of the best investing records under his belt, but he still has regrets for not buying into some of the biggest tech companies in recent years.

The former Fidelity Magellan fund manager¬†revealed Tuesday that he wished he hadn’t missed out on the explosive growth in Apple.

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“Apple was not that hard to understand. I mean, how dumb was I?” Lynch, vice chairman of Fidelity Management & Research, said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” Apple has a “nice balance sheet. I should have done some work on Apple … it’s not a complicated company.”

Lynch recounted how his daughter had bought an iPod for $250 at the time and how he recalled thinking Apple was making a high margin on it. Yet he didn’t buy the stock.

Peter Lynch (L), Fidelity Funds Advisory Board Member.

Peter Lynch (L), vice chairman of Fidelity Management and Research Co

Lynch, 79, acknowledged that Warren Buffett saw Apple’s potential and capitalized on it. The “Oracle of Omaha” had shied away from tech stocks for decades, claiming they were outside of his expertise. But under the influence of his investing lieutenants, he bought into Apple in 2016 and made it the single biggest holding in his portfolio.

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Apple stock – long term

The tech giant turned out to be one of the most successful bets in Buffett’s career, making him more than $100 billion on paper in just a few years. Buffett still views Apple as a consumer products company for its loyal customer base and strong brand effect.

Other than Apple, Lynch expressed regret for not buying into chip giant Nvidia, one of the biggest gainers in the semiconductor space in the past few years and a big enabler in artificial intelligence.

“Nvidia has been a huge stock I wish I could pronounce it,” Lynch joked.

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Nvidia long term

Lynch made his name managing Fidelity’s Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990. Under his 13-year management, the fund earned an annualized return of 29.2%, consistently more than doubling the S&P 500‚Ä≤s performance. He also increased Magellan’s assets under management from $20 million to $14 billion during his tenure.

The outstanding record made Lynch a renowned figure on Wall Street, who later wrote investment books including “One Up on Wall Street.”

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