Wednesday, July 01, 2009

What Makes Fidelity Tick?

Fidelity's culture is defined by paradox. It invests heavily in its investment capabilities, but it's also a marketing machine. It's a leviathan, yet it encourages individuality. It hires some of the best and brightest analysts and managers, but it too frequently shifts them from fund to fund, making it difficult for investors to benefit from their talents.

Ultimately, Fidelity's greatest strength is its individualistic ethic. It's not a place where you'll find many cookie-cutter personalities. Instead of imposing rigid, one-size-fits-all constraints, Fidelity managers have latitude to implement their own investment strategies. And unlike many overly buttoned-down investment organizations, Fidelity tolerates offbeat, and even eccentric, personalities--so long as they put up the numbers. While more buttoned-down investment organizations might push conformity, Fidelity encourages creativity. It could well be that the reason that great investors like Peter Lynch, Will Danoff, and Joel Tillinghast emerged from Fidelity is because they had the freedom to think and invest differently.

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