Thursday, January 16, 2014

John Templeton: Contrarian (2013 documentary)

The life of famed investor, Sir John Templeton is recalled by family and friends in Contrarian, a 2013 film directed by Mary Mazzio. You can watch the film online here, via Bloomberg, for a limited time.  

As an admirer of Templeton's investing acumen and wisdom, I was glad to check out this breezy overview of the legendary investor's career and to hear a few tales about his long and productive life (Templeton, who lived to be 95, died in 2008). 


However, those looking for a more critical look at John Templeton's business and philanthropic efforts may be disappointed. The documentary is wholly based on interviews with family and colleagues who fondly look back on his life and his habits and drives. You won't find much here that bucks the close-knit family atmosphere and retellings of cherished memories. In fact, I felt this biographical film bordered on hagiography. 

Having said that, there is still much to be gained from a look back at the ups and downs of Templeton's life and the lessons he accrued, and passed on, from his travels, his spiritual inquiries, his writings, and his long investing career. In fact, it might be a good idea to share this link with your family (especially your kids) and friends. You never know what good habits Templeton's lessons may inspire in others.

You can also find an excellent review of John Templeton's investing lessons in this video post from investor, Lauren Templeton (Sir John's grand-niece). There are some fantastic quotes and lessons within on savings, investing, and long-term contrarian thinking.