In our last post, we shared the story of John Templeton’s first major investment in 1939 where he invested $100 in 104 different U.S. stocks that were trading below $1 per share. In his 1999 interview with William Green for Money magazine, Templeton observes that he was able to carry out this investment strategy because of his self-confidence:

The only reason he could pull it off, [Templeton] says, was that even then, “I had enough self-confidence to think that most of the people called experts could make big mistakes.” He credits his discipline-free childhood in Winchester, Tenn.: “I don’t remember either my mother or my father ever telling me, ‘Do this’ or ‘Don’t do that.’ They thought it would help me to become self-reliant and self-confident if I had to do everything myself.”

Green continues the article by connecting Templeton’s self-confidence with his willingness to go out on a limb:

Whatever its origin, Templeton’s profound belief in his own judgment is a quality he seems to share with other famed investors. Michael Lipper of Lipper Analytical Services says that Templeton, Warren Buffett, and George Soros all display “the willingness to be lonely, the willingness to take a position that others don’t think is too bright. They have an inner conviction that a lot people do not have.”