One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch

Book Summary: One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch - Ryan Delaney

The Book in a Few Sentences

One of the all-time best investment guides and one of my favorites. A normal person can pick stock just as well, if not better, that the average Wall Street expert. Investing in stocks is an art, not a science, and success is determined not by the stock market or the companies you pick but the investor himself / herself. 

One Up On Wall Street summary

This is my book summary of One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch. My summary and notes include the key lessons and most important insights from the book.

Introduction: The Advantages of Dumb Money

Part I: Preparing to Invest

Chapter One: The Making of a Stockpicker

Chapter Two: The Wall Street Oxymorons

Chapter Three: Is This Gambling, or What?

The Stocks Rebut

Chapter Four: Passing the Mirror Test

(1) Do I Own a House?
(2) Do I Need the Money?
(3) Do I Have the Personal Qualities It Takes to Succeed?

What Stock Market?

What I hope you’ll remember most from this section are the following points:

Part II: Picking Winners

Chapter Six: Stalking the Tenbagger

The Double Edge

My Wonderful Edge

Chapter Seven: I’ve Got It, I’ve Got It — What Is It?

What’s the Bottom Line?

The Six Categories

The Slow Growers
The Stalwarts
The Fast Growers
The Cyclicals
The Asset Plays

Highfliers to Low Riders

Chapter Eight: The Perfect Stock, What a Deal!

(1) It Sounds Dull—or, Even Better, Ridiculous
(2) It Does Something Dull
(3) It Does Something Disagreeable
(4) It’s a Spinoff
(5) The Institutions Don’t Own It, and the Analysts Don’t Follow It
(6) The Rumors Abound: It’s Involved with Toxic Waste and/or the Mafia
(7) There’s Something Depressing About It
(8) It’s a No-Growth Industry
(9) It’s Got a Niche
(10) People Have to Keep Buying It
(11) It’s a User of Technology
(12) The Insiders Are Buyers
(13) The Company Is Buying Back Shares

Chapter Nine: Stocks I’d Avoid

Beware the Next Something

Beware the Whisper Stock

Beware the Stock With the Exciting Name

Chapter Ten: Earnings, Earnings, Earnings

Future Earnings

Chapter Eleven: The Two-Minute Drill

Checking Out La Quinta

Bildner’s Alas

Chapter Twelve: Getting the Facts

Calling the Company

Visiting Headquarters

Kicking the Tires

Chapter Thirteen: Some Famous Numbers

Percent of Sales

The Price/Earnings Ratio

The Cash Position

The Debt Factor

Book Value

More Hidden Assets

Cash Flow


Pension Plans

Growth Rate

The Bottom Line

Chapter Fourteen: Rechecking the Story

Chapter Fifteen: The Final Checklist

Stocks in General


Fast Growers

Here are some pointers from this section:

Part III: The Long-Term View

Chapter Sixteen: Designing a Portfolio

(1) If you are looking for tenbaggers, the more stocks your own the more likely that one of them will become a tenbagger.

(2) I never put more than 30-40 percent of my fund’s assets into growth stocks. 

Spreading It Around

Watering the Weeds

Chapter Seventeen: The Best Time to Buy and Sell

When to Really Sell

Chapter Eighteen: The Twelve Silliest (and Most Dangerous) Things People Say About Stock Prices

If It’s Gone Down This Much Already, It Can’t Go Much Lower

You Can Always Tell When a Stock’s Hit Bottom

If It’s Got This High Already, How Can It Possibly Go Higher?

It’s Only $3 a Share: What Can I Lose?

Eventually They Always Come Back

It’s Always Darkest before the Dawn

When It Rebounds to $10, I’ll sell

What Me Worry? Conservative Stocks Don’t Fluctuate Much

It’s Taking Too Long for Anything to Ever Happen

Look at All the Money I’ve Lost: I Didn’t Buy it!

I Missed That One, I’ll Catch the Next One

The Stock’s Gone Up, So I Must Be Right, or…The Stock’s Gone Down So I Must Be Wrong

Chapter Nineteen: Options, Futures, and Shorts

Shorting A Stock

Chapter Twenty: 50,000 Frenchmen Can Be Wrong

If you take anything with you at all from this last section, I hope you remember the following:

Epilogue: Caught with My Pants Up

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