Partner With Us NRI

Philip Fisher: The man who inspired millions of growth investors

Philip A Fisher was an American investor and author who propagated growth investing, buying company Stocks showing extraordinary growth potential, and wrote the bestseller Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. Unlike Benjamin Graham, known as the Father of Value investing, Fisher is known as the Father of Growth investing. While Benjamin graham focuses more on the quantitative factors, Fisher focuses on the qualitative factors like company’s long term growth prospect, quality of management, commitment to research and development, etc.

Today, most analysts combine both quantitative and qualitative models of stock analysis.

Who was Philip Fisher?

Born in 1907, Fisher began his career as a securities analyst in 1928 and three years later founded his investment counselling firm, Fisher & Co. Though he managed money for others via his company, his rise to fame was the publication of the seminal book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits in 1958. Fisher is known as the greatest investor due to his unconventional but successful investing style.

He was also a proponent of holding his stocks forever. One of his famous investments is Texas Instruments, which he bought early at $14 per share. Fisher also purchased Motorola in 1955, when it was making radio, and held it until his death in 2004.

Investment philosophy

Operating nearly half a century before anyone even heard of the internet, Fisher perfected an investment philosophy that sounds more apt in the age of technology companies. Instead of focusing on business cycles, he preferred to identify and buy shares of companies that were well-positioned for long-term growth in sales and profits. If he believed in a company, he would hold it forever.

Fisher disagreed with buying great stocks when they are available below their intrinsic value, which is the basic tenet of value investing. In his book, he argues that growth stocks do much better because they show gains in value in the hundreds of per cent each decade. In comparison, he adds that a value pick available at a 50% discount to intrinsic value will rise only that much.

It does not mean he favoured only small companies but those with characteristics such as long-term growth potential in sales of products or services, ability to maintain a favourable competitive edge for the long term, and excellent management.

What to buy and when to buy

In his book, Fisher described a 15-point system that he used to analyse a prospective investment, and if the company fulfilled most of those requirements, he would only buy the stock. Following are the 15 points suggested by Fisher to check in any company before making investment in it.

  • Product and services offered by a company
  • Focus on to develop product and services
  • Commitment towards research and development
  • Strong sales force
  • Higher profit margin
  • Focus on growth of the margin
  • Focus on cost control
  • Focus on employees
  • Ability to nurture employees to create leadership
  • Higher debt borrowing capacity
  • Sustainable long-term profits
  • Integrity of management
  • Quality of management
  • Company’s winning strategy or path
  • Management’s relation with their staff and quality of teamwork

Fisher believes in the scuttlebutt approach, which focuses on gathering information about a company via its employees, customers, competitors, suppliers, management etc. Fisher prefers a concentrated portfolio with a few stocks and believes in a buy-and-hold strategy.


Given a flurry of new-age tech stocks landing on the Indian Stock Market, the importance of stock analysis proposed by Philip Fisher has become more important for Indian investors. Though not easy to implement as Fisher’s methods require extensive reading and research, his ideas and theories have been adopted by several successful investors over 70 years, including Warren Buffett, arguably the most successful value investor globally.

This is a testament that Fisher’s methods work for growth investors and are employed by value investors. 

Disclaimer: ICICI Securities Ltd. (I-Sec). Registered office of I-Sec is at ICICI Securities Ltd. - ICICI Venture House, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai - 400025, India, Tel No : 022 - 2288 2460, 022 - 2288 2470. I-Sec is a Member of National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (Member Code :07730) and BSE Ltd (Member Code :103) and having SEBI registration no. INZ000183631. Name of the Compliance officer (broking): Mr. Anoop Goyal, Contact number: 022-40701000, E-mail address: complianceofficer@icicisecurities.com. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing. AMFI Regn. No.: ARN-0845. We are distributors of Insurance and Mutual funds, Corporate Fixed Deposits, NCDs, PMS and AIF products. Please note that Mutual Fund Investments are subject to market risks, read the scheme related documents carefully before investing for full understanding and detail. ICICI Securities Ltd. acts as a referral agent to ICICI Bank Ltd., ICICI Home Finance Company Limited and various other banks / NBFC for personal finance, housing related services etc. & the loan facility is subjective to fulfilment of eligibility criteria, terms and conditions etc. The contents herein above shall not be considered as an invitation or persuasion to trade or invest.  I-Sec and affiliates accept no liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Most Popular

  • 21 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

Should you invest in Mutual Funds SIPs or FDs?

Choosing between a Systematic Investment Plan and a Fixed Deposit comes down to risk appetite and investment goal. Nevertheless, mutual fund SIP investments can be beneficial in many ways. This article will outline the difference between the two investment instruments and which one you should choose.

  • 21 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

How to choose the best SIP investment?

Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) are an option to make regular investments in mutual funds. Before heading to make an investment in SIP mutual funds, consider these factors to find the one that perfectly justifies your financial goals. 

  • 21 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

How does long term capital gains tax impact you?

Certain assets, such as real estate and shares, attract long term capital gains (LTCG) tax. Here’s what you need to know about LTCG tax and how it can impact your finances.

  • 21 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

Choosing between stock market and fixed deposit investments

Choosing the right investment option is critical for meeting personal financial goals. This article will highlight the difference between choosing stock market investments and fixed deposits—the aspects to consider, the risk-return profile, and what would fit into your portfolio.

  • 21 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

Are Small-Cap funds good investments?

The best small-cap funds outperformed large-cap and mid-cap mutual funds last year. Now that the markets are turning bearish, is it a good idea to invest in small-cap mutual funds? Here’s an overview of these equity mutual funds to help you make an informed decision.

  • 17 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

What Does the US Fed's Biggest Rate Hike Mean?

On 15th June 2022, the US Federal Reserve hiked interest rates by 75 basis points, the biggest hike since 1994. Why did it do so? What are its implications for India? Read on to find out more.

  • 15 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

What is ESG investing and everything you need to know about it

In the last few years, since climate awareness and social justice have piqued people’s interest worldwide, ESG investment has increased. This article talks about ESG investing and the options available for ESG investment in India.

  • 15 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

The Latest ESG Reporting and Framework in India

In May 2021, India introduced a new environment, social, and governance (ESG) guideline for the top 1,000 listed companies by market capitalisation. The Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) will be mandatory for these companies from FY 2022-23. Here’s what you should know about this ESG guideline.

  • 15 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

Difference Between ESG and SRI Investing

When it comes to value investing, the two terms—ESG investing and SRI investing—are often confused. However, ESG investing strategies are different from SRI investing strategies. Read more to find out what sets the two apart and how you can decide which approach to adopt.

  • 14 Jun 2022
  • ICICI Securities

Four ways to ensure you leave your children a financial legacy

It is a moment of pride for parents to see their children earn their own money and lead a life with dignity. No words can express the joy to see your children grow, but how do you touch their life when you are gone? You can do that by leaving behind a financial legacy for your children to inherit. Here are four ways you can align your financial plan such that you leave behind something for your children.