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One Up on Wall Street

One Up on Wall Street is a classic investment book written in 1989 by the great Fidelity Magellan fund manager Peter Lynch and his collaborator John Rothchild. Despite its increasingly dated references, it is a plain-talking humorous book beloved by many Motley Fool members, including co-founders David Gardner and Tom Gardner.

Expanded Definition

Lynch wrote the book after having retired from Magellan. Rather than write from the position of an expert fund manager condescending to provide precious morsels of Wisdom to a naive public, he game at things Foolishly, from the complete opposite angle. Lynch led with a message that "you can do this," and indeed he coaches individual investors to believe they have advantages over professional investors.

It is this populist spirit that informs this book and his follow-up, Beating the Street.

Lynch's strongest message in the book is "buy what you know" -- and also in his case, what his wife knows, as he spends ink at length mentioning how his wife turned him on to Leggs pantyhose (and Hanes, the apparel firm behind Leggs), and other popular sellers at local malls.

Lynch also advocates business-focused investing, patience, and humble willingness to acknowledge and accept one's failures in pursuit of great success. He also popularizes the concept, his concept, of multi-baggers, and particularly makes famous the coveted ten-bagger.

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