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Investing with Anthony Bolton

The anatomy of a stock market winner

By Anthony Bolton and Jonathan Davis

Paperback £12.99 / $26.00
eBook £11.99 / $14.99
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Investing with Anthony Bolton

The anatomy of a stock market winner

By Anthony Bolton and Jonathan Davis

Jacket text

Who is the most successful investment manager in Britain? Arguments could rage forever, but no professional would dispute that Anthony Bolton of Fidelity is among the very best. £1,000 invested in his Special Situations fund at its launch in 1979 was worth more than £125,000 twenty seven years later. No other mainstream UK fund manager has put together such a consistently impressive performance over such a long period.

The 125-fold increase represents an average compound growth rate of more than 20% per annum, or 7% per annum greater than the FTSE All-Share Index over the same period. This track record of sustained outperformance stands comparison with that of the greatest American investment superstars such as Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch. For many years, until the fund was voluntarily split in 2006, Fidelity Special Situations was easily the largest and most popular fund in the UK.

What are the secrets of Anthony Bolton’s success? This important book, now fully revised and updated, takes an in-depth look at the way that Bolton goes about his business and analyses in detail the fund’s outstanding performance. Anthony Bolton gives his own personal account of the history of the fund, explains why he believes his contrarian stockpicking methods have worked so well for so long and summarises the lessons he has learnt from his long and succesful career. This book is required reading for anyone with a personal or professional interest in investment.

– Fully revised and updated second edition with 25 pages of new material and graphics.

– The only full-length book to analyse in detail the strategies and techniques used by the UK’s number one professional investor.

– Detailed analysis of the performance of his funds and the lessons that investors can draw from its exceptional track record.

– Written jointly by Anthony Bolton and one of the UK’s best known financial authors, a leading authority on the fund management business.

About the author

Anthony Bolton left Cambridge University with a degree in engineering to start a career in the City. In 1979, aged 29, he was recruited by Fidelity, the international fund management group, as one of its first London-based investment managers, a move that proved to be the launch of a long and successful career as an investment manager. In surveys of professional investors, he is regularly voted the fund manager most respected by his peers. He still works with Fidelity, and enjoys spending his spare time on his charitable interests and composing classical music. Anthony Bolton is married with three children and lives in Sussex.

About the author

Jonathan Davis is one of the UK’s leading writers on investment. A professionally qualified investor, he is the author of three books about investment, has written regular columns for the Financial Times and The Spectator, podcasts for the Money Makers website and is an adviser to investment companies. His website is

Media coverage


Anthony Bolton, China and the Art of Stock-Picking- Stockopedia24th January 2012

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What’s Special about Special Situations Funds?Christopher J. Traulsen, Morningstar12th February 2008

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From Media Review:

a fascinating and often surprising readJohn Authers, Financial Times13th November 2006

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From Media Review:

Fidelity’s quiet contrarianRobert Budden, Financial Times24th June 2006

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From Morning Star:

“In the wake of Anthony Bolton’s tremendous success at Fidelity Special Situations, the “Special Situations” label has been applied to a raft of UK Equity funds. ‘Investing with Anthony Bolton; Anatomy of a Stock market Phenomenon’, Jonathan Davis, p.15, Harriman House Ltd., Hampshire, 2004.”

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Daring to be different: Three decades as a contrarian investor
By Anthony Bolton

How it all began
The Fidelity experience
The Special Situations fund
Ignoring the benchmark
Drama in the markets
The internet bubble
The changing investment scene
Broking and research
The secret of picking stocks
The size of the fund and its performance
The corporate governance front
Good and bad performance
Largest holdings
Something new: China
Splitting the Special Situations fund
Introducing Jorma Korhonen
The future

The professional's professional: The man and his funds
By Jonathan Davis

An orderly mind
Devoted to detail
A chance beginning
Developing a style
Starting out at Fidelity
One simple insight
The shares he likes
Casting the net wide
Prospering in Europe
Looking beyond the UK
Where the ideas come from
Using technical analysis
Coping with setbacks
The bull market and beyond
Into the limelight: the ITV saga
The battle intensifies
Entering the home straight

Assessing Anthony Bolton?s performance: How good has it been: and why?
By Jonathan Davis

Performance analysis and context
Fidelity Special Situations
Performance over different periods
Risk analysis
Style analysis
Performance of the European fund
Summary and conclusions
Interpreting the performance
How others see it
The qualities great investors need
The scale of the achievement
The importance of being a contrarian

Implications for investors

(1) The lessons I have learnt
By Anthony Bolton

(2) Finding the next Bolton
By Jonathan Davis


APPENDIX 1. Fidelity Special Situations: performance record

APPENDIX 2. How fund analysts see Anthony Bolton
(a) analysis by Alastair MacDougall, Head of Research,
WM Company

(b) Analysis by Lee Gardhouse, Fund of funds manager, Hargreaves Lansdown

(c) Analyst report on Fidelity Special Values, Close Winterflood Securities (September 2004)

(d) Standard & Poor's ratings report on Fidelity Special Situations (October 2004)

APPENDIX 3. Anthony Bolton's 10 largest holdings on an annual basis

APPENDIX 4. Fidelity's relationship with companies it invests in

APPENDIX 5. An example of Fidelity's in-house research: William Hill (spring 2003)

APPENDIX 6. Slides from Fidelity Special Values presentation: July 2006

APPENDIX 7. A lifetime of music: the eight records that Anthony Bolton would take to a desert island

APPENDIX 8. Pages from the first Fidelity Special Situations report to unitholders (October 1980)

Author's acknowledgements

Published: 01/11/2006
Edition: 2nd
Pages: 176
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9781905641116
ebook - ISBN 9780857190994
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