June 20, 2018
In another exclusive interview with Business Insider, MSIM’s Dennis Lynch reveals an epiphany he had early in his career that has informed his decision-making process.
In order to become the best, you have to learn from the best.
That's the mantra Dennis Lynch has followed. Now head of growth investing at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, where he runs six funds and directly oversees $27 billion, Lynch's success can be attributed to many things — his unique management style, his research capabilities, and an epiphany he had more than a decade ago.
But there are also several developmental choices Lynch made along the way that he thinks can help young, aspiring money managers follow in his footsteps. Here are Lynch's top four pieces of advice for conquering Wall Street, in his own words:
1) Study and read the work of Warren Buffett, the billionaire CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
"Obviously Buffett is one of the greatest investors of all time, if not the greatest, and reading and studying what he does is so interesting. Anybody from any field could learn a lot from what he does. He's exemplar. You can't go wrong studying someone like him."
"What he does is just one way of being a successful investor — having a core competence, finding companies that are unique and buying large positions when the time is right, and then hold them for many years. That certainly resonates with us."
2) Study and read the work of Marc Andreessen, the tech legend who co-authored the first widely-used web browser, and now runs venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz
"Then you have someone like Marc Andreessen, who makes small bets and speculates on things that could change the world in dramatic fashion. He's looking to get in really early on companies that could be disruptive. That's a different form of investing — more of bet small to win big. But it works as well, and you can see a lot of wealth creation using it."
"I don't think you have to be one or the other. I think both work. You can look at the world through both of those lenses and be successful."
3) Constantly be open to new ideas
"When you think you have it all figured out in this business is exactly the time when there's something you're probably missing."
"It's a weird position in the sense that you have to develop conviction through analysis and research through differentiated thinking, but you also have to be simultaneously open to new ideas and thinking."
"I try to spend most of my time trying to assess the contrarian angle to what we think, looking at things that could be total game-changers, and being totally open to things before other people."
4) While business school can help, it's by no means the end all to be all
"Going to business school can be useful, if you don't already have that perspective. Although part of being a good investor is undoing some of the dogma that's taught at business school."
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