In Memorium: John Marks Templeton

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by SouthAmerica, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. .
    July 10, 2008

    SouthAmerica: A new member to this forum sent me an email asking me if I had posted some more information about Mr. John M. Templeton on this forum, because he would like to read it. If you are a long time member of this forum then you probably have read most of this information at the time of each original posting.

    I found most of my postings on this forum where I mentioned Mr. Templeton name, and my experiences with him and his group of close friends and associates.

    Please continue posting your comments on the other thread that has been going on about Mr. Templeton. This thread is only a Memorium about Mr. Templeton for the young members of this forum who want to learn a little more about this great man.

    Thank you.


    07-09-08 04:47 PM
    July 9, 2008

    SouthAmerica: I just started reading the Financial Times (UK) then I was in shock when I came across the obituary of John Marks Templeton.

    This is a very sad day for me it is like losing a close member of my own family.

    Mr. Templeton was a great man and probably the smartest man I had the chance to meet in my entire life - and I had the chance to meet a lot of smart people of the years - but John Templeton always had a very special spot.

    He was one of the most ethical human beings that I had the pleasure to meet.

    I met Mr. Templeton in 1969 when I started working for Templeton Dobrow and Vance in Englewood, NJ - at that time I was just a young man but Mr. Templeton was interested in learning about Brazil and we did chat about that subject a number of times.

    After Mr. Templeton moved to the Bahamas I still saw him a number of times over the years and kept a close friendship with a few fellows who were close friends of Mr. Templeton and they used to spend their vacations with Mr. Templeton at his house in the Bahamas.

    Mr. Templeton was our Guru and our Master and we worshiped the old man.

    Mr. Templeton was in a class by himself and he was outstanding in every way.

    All I can say is that the world has lost a giant - It was a privilege and an honor to know such a great man, and I will miss Mr. Templeton.

    Ricardo C. Amaral


  2. .
    05-26-05 08:56 PM

    May 26, 2005

    SouthAmerica: Reply to HJT. I have been following the stock market in the US since 1970, and here is some information about how I got interested in the US stock market as follows:

    In the early 1970’s when I was a young man, I was lucky to work for a few years at Templeton, Dobrow and Vance. I had a great time during those years, and I used to hang around and go to lunch on a daily basis with a bunch of old investment advisors. Some of these men had been working as financial analysts for Sir John M. Templeton for over 25 years at that time.

    In case you don’t know whom I am talking about; Sir John M. Templeton is a legend in Wall Street, he is a “Master” in the field of international investments, and there are only a hand full of people that are in the same league as Mr. Templeton, people such as Warren Buffet, George Soros, and very few other people.

    In the early 1970’s I was studying for a B.A. in economics at the time, and every Monday we had a meeting to discuss what was happening in the stock market, and the strategy for that week. The meetings usually lasted most of the morning, and we had guest speakers from Wall Street on a regular basis.

    I used to stay in the office after hours to discuss about stocks with some of the other investment counselors. One of the old analysts became my very good friend, and we spent hours and hours in the research library going through the files of companies. These files had all kind of information about most companies in the US, from annual reports, newspaper clippings, to quarterly reports, 10-Q, etc, etc.

    After working very close for over 25 years with Mr. Templeton, my friend learned a lot about how Mr. Templeton did his analysis, his philosophy, and his way of looking at investments.

    I learned a lot from my old friend, and after Mr. Templeton sold that company and moved to the Bahamas, I had the pleasure to meet him in Englewood, and in New York City a number of times.

    I did continue meeting my old friend on a regular basis until his death in 1996 at age 91. But every time I meet my friend we discussed the old times and he used to up date me with everything that was going on with Mr. Templeton, since he was a close friend and used to talk with Mr. Templeton on a regular basis.

    Mr. Templeton is the smartest man that I had the pleasure to meet in my entire life. It was a privilege to have the chance to meet and work for such a person. In my opinion, Sir John M. Templeton is an outstanding man in every sense of the word.



    06-15-05 09:05 AM

    JorgeAmado88: The greater question is the headline of this thread, and more importantly how we can benefit from it as traders. Any views on that would be interesting.


    SouthAmerica: A question for you JorgeAmado – Are you a Brazilian?

    I am asking you because Jorge Amado is one of the most famous contemporary writers in Brazil, and he died just recently.

    I am a member of the “Uniao Brasileira de Escritores” which is to most important association of writers in Brazil. This organization has only one chapter outside Brazil that is located in New York City – UBENY

    We meet once a month in New York City, but we have some members that live in England and also in France.

    Going back to your question. I am not a trader. I am from the school of John M. Templeton, and Warren Buffett.

    I did work for Mr. Templeton in the early 1970’s when I was a very young fellow and still going to college. For few years when I worked for Mr. Templeton I used to hang around with a bunch of old financial analysts that had been working for John Templeton from twenty to twenty-five years. I was only 19 years old at the time but for some reason the old fellows enjoy teaching me about the stock market and they let me go to lunch with them every day, I was allowed to go to sit on all the senior meetings when they were discussing all the stocks that they were buying for the clients of the firm, and I also stayed after hours in the office going over stocks that were potential investments.

    After I left Templeton I continued a close relationship with a very close associate of Mr. Templeton, and used to visit him on a regular basis and every time I saw my friend all we talked about was what was going on with John Templeton, and about investments. If you work so close to someone like these analysts did for such a long period of time you end up picking up a thing or two about the investment philosophy of the master.

    What I am trying to say is that I am a conservative investor and a value player. I think like a long-term investor and not as a trader.

    If you have been reading what I have been posting then you know that I am very negative regarding the future of the US economy. (We have idiots running the show in Washington today)

    In my opinion, Alan Greenspan is overstaying his welcome, and it is time for him to retire immediately. If I were making the decision, I would choose Stephen Roach – The Senior economist at Morgan Stanley to be the replacement for Alan Greenspan, and I would request that Alan Greenspan resign immediately as Chairman of the Fed.

    I believe that Stephen Roach has the insight and intellectual ability to understand what is happening in the global economy and he has the potential to be a Fed chairman of the stature of Paul Volcker.

    I don’t know why Alan Greenspan doesn’t retire. He is out of touch what it is going on in the global economy. Stephen Roach travels frequently to India, China, and other places around the world and from what I have been reading from his writings, and from his television interviews he is one of the American economists that has a better understanding of what is happening as a result of globalization.

    Based on George Bush’s record he probably will replace Alan Greenspan with some idiot, I guess George would like to be consistent on his cabinet selections.

    Take a close look a some of George Bush selections:

    Secretary of the Treasury: John Snow Job

    Credentials: Used to run a train station somewhere in the US.

    Main goal for the coming 4 years: to continue to give snow jobs to the world regarding the American economy.

    Secretary of Labor: Elaine Chao-Mein - (She is Chinese)

    Credentials: Before becoming Labor Secretary she prepared the “United Way of America” for a path of: Scandals, accounting shenanigans, Mismanagement, and Fraud.

    Main goal for the coming 4 years: to continue exporting to China as many good paying American jobs as possible.

    In the last few years the US had a flood of good paying American jobs being exported for China – What George Bush does in that regard? He selects a Chinese woman to be US Labor Secretary.

    The US economy continues to lose a ton of jobs to China and in the mean time almost 100 percent of the American population does not even know that the US government still has a Labor Secretary. It seems to me that Mrs. Chow-Mein has been hiding from public view in the last 4 years, and the only good job that she is doing is in helping export the American jobs to China.

    You got the picture what I think of the Bush Administration economic team.

    This US pressure that the US government is putting on China for them to float their currency against the US dollar might have consequences that the US government is not taking in consideration.

    Please don’t quote me on that, but I believe that Warren Buffett said something like this recently: one of the major differences between China and the United States today is that the Chinese people choose smart people to run their government.



    12-10-05 09:51 AM

    Jem: People with conviction do not predict they trade.


    SouthAmerica: I have seen my old friend Sir John M. Templeton on the Rukheiser – Wall Street Week show at least 20 times over the years.

    Mr. Templeton has a lot of conviction about his theories on investments and he used to share his predictions with the public all the time.

    By the way – he was not a trader.

    Mr. Templeton is the real deal.

    I know a lot of people who made a lot of money over the years by investing their money – many of them became millionaires.

    I don’t know a single person that became wealthy as a trader – but a know a number of people who used to be traders and all of them have lost their shirt over a period of time until they gave up on daily trading.

    I understand investing in the mode of John Templeton and of Warren Buffett, but I could not make a living as a daily trader.

    Daily trading is not my cup of tea.


  3. .

    03-21-07 09:00 AM
    December 28, 2006


    …The first time I realized how devastating Alzheimer’s can be happened about 10 years ago when I went to a party of a friend of mine who was turning 90 years old.

    This friend of mine I met him when both of us were working for John Templeton’s company in the early 1970’s – my friend had been a financial analyst for John Templeton for the last 25 years – that was before John Templeton moved to the Bahamas and his mutual fund empire was moved to Florida.

    John Templeton’s company had been located in Englewood, NJ for a long time – and Mr. Templeton was the president, and Colonel Donald Liddell was the chairman of the board.

    At that time I was finishing high school and started going to college, but for some reason these old guys invited me to go to lunch with them almost on a daily basis – there were 5 or 6 of them and they were financial analysts or investment counselors for their private accounts – all of them had graduated from Princeton or Yale University and my friend had graduated with an engineering degree from Cornell University. These guys were a bunch of very smart fellows and all of them were millionaire. But for some reason that group did not mind that a 20-year-old kid tag along for lunch with them almost on a daily basis.

    But the person that I want to mention is Colonel Liddell (people called him colonel Liddell because he had been a colonel in the US army during world war II) – Colonel Liddell was a brilliant investment counselor and he did handle the investment account of many famous people at that time – Colonel Liddell also was in the board of directors of close to 50 different companies. He was one of the closest friends of Mr. John Templeton, and he used to go and spend his vacation with Mr. Templeton on his Bahamas mansion.

    But what I remember the most about Colonel Liddell was his sense and practice of ethics and integrity, because today it is rare to find people in the investment world with that same high standard of ethics and integrity of people such as Colonel Liddell and also John Templeton.

    Today most people in Wall Street would laugh of Colonel Liddell, with few exceptions such as Warren Buffet and a few others – But here is a lesson from Colonel Liddell to the new generation:

    Colonel Liddell had a major investment in a bank here in New Jersey and he also was a member of the board of directors of that bank – and over the years he invested the money of many of the clients that he handled their investment account on the stock of that bank – and over the years his clients did very well with their investments.

    But in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that bank started having financial problems and the stock started declining accordingly. Here comes the ultimate ethics and integrity lesson: Colonel Liddell wrote a memo and he sent to all his accounts saying that the bank had financial problems and that Colonel Liddell was going to sell his financial position on that bank – but before he did that he wanted to give a chance for all the people who he had invested their money in that stock for them to get out of that stock before he sold his position.

    By doing that Colonel Liddell lost a few extra million dollars of his own money, but he felt the obligation to let the other people sell their stock positions before he sold his.

    Since then when hear people talk about honesty, ethics and integrity the first person that comes to mind it is the name of Colonel Donald Liddell because he did practice all these virtues in real life.

    Going back to that party 10 years ago for my friend from Templeton days when I saw Colonel Liddell at that party I got all excited in seeing him after 20 years, and I went to speak to him and I said: How are you Colonel Liddell do you remember me?

    I assumed that he had to remember me since over the years when I worked for Mr. Templeton I had had lunch with him and the other guys at least 200 times during that period.

    Mr. Liddell looked at me and said: “my house has big rooms.” I said: I am sure your house has big rooms, since you live in a mansion, but don’t you remember me from the time when I worked at Templeton in the early 1970”s?

    Mr. Liddell told me once more: “ my house has big rooms and I go to the park.”

    At that point his wife saw me talking to Colonel Liddell and she told me that he had an advanced stage of Alzeimer’s. She also told me that they still had their mansion in Englewood, NJ, but they were staying for long periods at their apartment in Manhattan by the Central Park – and yes his nurse used to take him for a walk on Central Park.

    I was shocked that day and could not believe how such a smart man - Mr. Liddell was a brilliant man - could end up like that.

    When I walked to see Colonel Liddell I expected him to remember me from 20 years ago – but the reality was at that point he could not remember even his own name. About 2 years later I heard that Colonel Liddell had passed away.

    Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease for family and friends – and not in a million years I ever expected to see Colonel Liddell in that state of mind.



    05-25-07 05:36 PM
    May 25, 2007

    SouthAmerica: Reply to Libertad
    I used to be 100 percent in favor of free market solutions for everything.

    My way of thinking was influenced not only by Milton Friedman, but also in a big way by someone who I respect and one of the smartest people I know – Sir John Templeton.

    John Templeton was a strong supporter of free market solutions and he had a strong dislike for government regulation in most forms. After listening to many of John Templeton’s speeches and interviews over the years you would know that he thought that governments in general are a very bad source for resources allocation.

    I started changing my mind about free markets solutions after the dot-com crash of 2000.

    During that crash in the telecom industry alone US$ 2 trillion went up in smoke overnight. That was the free market at its worst and a big chunk of that US$ 2 trillion dollars that went up in smoke was pension money which is not available today to pay pensions to retirees.

    It is very hard to know what the right balance is and sometimes you have to bit the bullet which is almost impossible to do in a country such as the United States because of the amount of lobbying that goes on in Washington to keep the old game going on as far they can get away with.

    It is not a conspiracy it is far from that – it is how the system works everybody trying to maximize his own profits at any costs.

    If you are an oil company you will try to protect your turf and you bread and butter and you are going to try everything to keep your business going and trying to make as much money as possible in the bottom line.

    Today, most US oil companies don’t let the gas stations put a pump were you can get ethanol for your car as they do it in Brazil – the major oil companies are trying to protect their interests which is oil and they will do anything they can to undermine any competition from ethanol or biofuels that will reduce the oil company profits in the future.



    07-09-08 09:47 PM
    July 9, 2008

    SouthAmerica: Reply to ShoeshineBoy

    Mr. Templeton hand-picked Mark Mobius about 20 years ago. Mr. Templeton knew that Mr. Mobius would follow his philosophy and don’t forget John Templeton always had the Midas touch – everything that he touched turned into gold.

    John Templeton used to receive a ton of materials from all kinds of analysts in Wall Street but he just read a hand full of people that he trusted their savvy and knowledge.

    Mark Mobius had to have done something that caught the attention of Mr. Templeton and then he hired Mr. Mobius. I don’t follow Mr. Mobius performance but many years ago he was performing at the level that would please Mr. Templeton. I can tell you that their thinking were in the same wavelength.

    After having such a close relation with Mr. Templeton for about 40 years I can tell you one thing – I don’t think that he would be pleased with the performance of Ben Bernanke at the Fed.

    Mr. Templeton must be going bananas in the last year mainly when Ben Bernanke opened the Feds wallet to bailout Bear Sterns. He would not approve this type of welfare to the richest people in the US. He also extended the welfare to the other major investment banks of Wall Street.
    Ben Bernanke turned himself into a Santa Claus for Wall Street and these days it is always Christmas time at the Fed.

    By doing that Ben Bernanke placed an artificial floor on Wall Street and prevented the stock market from making the proper correction – probably a decline of another 30 percent from todays’ closing levels.

    When the market has these types of declines or corrections then the bargain hunters such as Mr. Templeton pick up the gold nuggets.

    Basically Ben Bernanke has been and he said he would continue to interfere with the workings of a free market system.

    And people are going to wonder later on about the new distortions that he is creating down the road – including hyperinflation.

    I don’t know why people are dumping Fannie and Freddie since Ben Bernake and the Fed will pick up the tab for any losses incurred by these institutions.

    The Fed has become the Toxic waste dump of Wall Street.


  4. .
    07-22-06 09:07 AM
    Tradernik: you didn't respond to the second post - is that your bio? Sorry if it is and you didn't want it posted but it is at the bottom of an article you linked to so I assume that if it's you, you don't mind people reading it on here.


    July 22, 2006

    SouthAmerica: Yes, it is my biography.

    The information it is posted on the web and anyone could find it by Googling my name.

    Now you know that I did work for Sir John Templeton at Templeton, Dobrow & Vance, I also worked for Globo Television Network of Brazil and met a number of times Mr. Roberto Marinho (the president maker in Brazil), and I also worked with Hélio Costa at Globo in New York, today he is the Minister of Communications in Brazil.

    I met a number of times over the years my friend former president Jose Sarney, and I also know former president Fernando Cardoso, and I had the pleasure of meeting President Lula and various of his ministers.



    02-28-08 10:00 AM
    ShoeshineBoy: I don't understand what you're lobbying for. What are the alternatives here? Do you really think state run energy and utilities is the silver bullet for an economy? Do you like tariffs, controlled foreign investment? Why do you think these will help any country?

    I'm asking because I don't see many examples of this around the world. Japan, India, Russia and China all have some aspects of this, but in general they're open and opening up.

    For the most part, the poor impoverished countries are the ones that don't open up, right?


    February 28, 2008

    SouthAmerica: You asked me a very complex question here that I don’t have a simple answer for you.

    Even if I could write a book to answer your question, I know I am not smart enough to give you all the right answers.

    If you had the chance to read some of my articles until 5 or 6 years ago, then you would know that I believed 100 percent on a free market economy, and the free market was the best vehicle for allocating scarce resources, and so on.

    I was heavily influenced on my thinking by the years that I worked for John Templeton, in Englewood, NJ – before he moved his company to Florida.

    But after he moved to Florida I kept in close contact with some of his associates that had been working very closely with Mr. Templeton for over 20 years at that time. And these fellows had assimilated over the years John Templeton’s philosophy and way of looking at investments, government regulation and so forth.

    I was very young then, but these group of old men did not seem to mind that I attended weekly investment strategy meetings, went to lunch with them almost on a daily basis, and spent a lot of time after hours talking about investments on their offices, and on weekends I spent hours in the research library helping one of them doing research about some company.

    They became some kind of tutors for me and we used to talk about economics and also about investments. But even tough these guys were very smart and successful and they had degrees from universities such as Princeton, Harvard and Cornell, still there was a certain reverence from everyone towards the Master – John Marks Templeton.

    Everyone in that group was influenced by John Templeton – by the way, after all these years Mr. Templeton still is the smartest man I ever met in my life.

    My very close friend he kept in touch on a regular basis with John Templeton until he died in 1996. And every time when I used to visit him he update me about everything that was going on with Mr. Templeton and his family.

    I met Mr. Templeton a number of times over the years, and I saw his appearances on the Wall Street show on PBS with Louis Rukeiser – over the years Mr. Templeton appeared more than 30 times on that show.

    John Templeton was the ultimate free market thinker and he was completely against any type of government regulation and intervention. I think that in his view everything that the government get involved with they screw up. He did not like government regulation, and he thought that governments should stay out of the way, and should not interfere with the private sector. He believed in privatization of any businesses own by governments, and he also believed in private sector solutions for everything.

    That’s why I admire and have so much respect for Warren Buffet – basically he came from the same school of economic thought that John Marks Templeton did.

    These were the major influences that helped mold my way of thinking in many ways. But I always read a lot books over the years, and I also read a lot of other materials, newspapers, magazines, journals, and so on…

    Despite all of this free market economics education my mind did not stayed frozen on the past, because I think out of the box, and I have an adaptive mind that takes into account the new changing circumstances. I understand that we live in a very dynamic world that is changing all the time.

    There is nothing set in stone on my mind and my mindset is ready to accept new ideas, and new solutions to solve any type of economic problems.

    You can see how much I changed my way of thinking over the years when you read my 4-part article about China investing $ 200 billion dollars in Brazil.

    Today, I know that there is a place for government regulation, and in that article I wrote that the Chinese government in partnership with the Brazilian government should make the investments that I suggested.

    Over the years I realized that the generals in Brazil did a good job regarding economic development during the dictatorship years, and I also realized that the private sector usually don’t make the investments necessary for a country to prosper in the long run.

    Today, I don’t believe in the privatization of government assets, but right now I don’t have time to explain for you why?


  5. hughb


    I'm not reading all that.
  6. .

    July 10,2008

    SouthAmerica: If you want to learn more about Mr. Templeton’s biography the go to:

    As a philanthropist, Templeton established

    · the John Templeton Foundation;
    · the Templeton Prize for Progress Toward Research or Discoveries about Spiritual Realities in 1972.
    · the Templeton Library in Sewanee, Tennessee.

    Mr. Templeton was a very religious man. He was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church. He was a trustee on the board of Princeton Theological Seminary, the largest Presbyterian seminary, for 42 years and served as its chair for 12 years.


    Spirituality and the Templeton Foundation

    As a member of the Presbyterian Church, Templeton was dedicated to his faith. However, Templeton remained open to the benefits and values of other faiths. Commenting on his commitment to what he called spiritual progress, “But why shouldn't I try to learn more? Why shouldn't I go to Hindu services? Why shouldn't I go to Muslim services? If you are not egotistical, you will welcome the opportunity to learn more. Similarly, one of the major goals of the Templeton Foundation is to proliferate the monetary support of spiritual discoveries. The Templeton Foundation encourages research into "big questions" by awarding philanthropic aide to institutions and people who pursue the answers to such questions through "explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity."

    Templeton asserts that the purpose of the Templeton Foundation is as follows:
    We are trying to persuade people that no human has yet grasped 1% of what can be known about spiritual realities.

    So we are encouraging people to start using the same methods of science that have been so productive in other areas, in order to discover spiritual realities.

    —Sir John Templeton, Interview with Financial Intelligence Report


    So, for me at least, it is the end of an era.

    Rest in Peace Mr. John Marks Templeton.

  7. .

    November 22, 2008

    SouthAmerica: On Friday, November 21, 2008 I had the honor to attend a memorial service at Princeton University Chapel for Sir John Marks Templeton.

    What a great memorial service and tribute for a great man!

    The Chapel was full of people, and we went to pay tribute to a legend, since Sir John Templeton has been recognized as a legend in Wall Street for a long time, and he was a ‘Master’ in the investment field.

    Since I met Mr. Templeton in January 1970 I knew he was an extraordinary man in every sense, and the memorial service also showed how much he loved and was loved by his family.

    There were only two people present at the memorial service from the days of Templeton, Dobbrow, and Vance: Mr. John Galbraith and myself. Mr. Galbraith was one of the speakers during the memorial service.

    Mr. Templeton has a wonderful family, a real nice group of people. I had met on the past his son Dr. John Templeton Jr., but finally I had the pleasure to meet the rest of Mr. Templeton’s family.

    Sir John Templeton had a major intellectual impact on my education and on my life, and I had to go to his memorial service to say a final goodbye to this great man.

    Mr. Templeton impact will continue on the future through the efforts of the John Templeton Foundation

  8. .

    November 23, 2008

    SouthAmerica: It was 3 AM when I wrote and posted the above about Mr. Templeton’s memorial service, and I forgot to mention that immediately following the church service Mr. Templeton’s family invited the attendees to join them at the Nassau Club at Princeton University.

    The church memorial started at 3 PM and ended at 5 PM. The event following the church service at the Nassau Club went from 5:30 to 8 PM.

    Here is further information about Mr. Templeton:

  9. February 28, 2011

    SouthAmerica: Today, I was listening to Pimm Fox on Bloomberg radio when I was driving, and Pimm Fox was talking with some investment manager who met John Templeton over the years to discuss investment opportunities.

    The reality is: There's no replacement for John Templeton, but the closest that we can get today to the real thing is: Michael Price.

    I believe he also sold his mutual fund empire to the Franklin group.

  10. If you had to pick one nation that is well worth watching in the next 25 years it is main land China John Templeton on the rise of the next major nation to rival the USA, 1990

    Must be of whom Jim Rogers got his ideas :D

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    #10     Mar 1, 2011