Philip Carret: Carving Clarity in Chaotic Charts

Philip Carret: Carving Clarity in Chaotic Charts

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

Philip Carret was an investor and fund manager, known for his long-lasting career spanning over seven decades. Born in 1896, he established one of the earliest mutual funds in the US, the Pioneer Fund, in 1928. His investment principles were driven by diligence, patience, and sensible judgement, which earned him a reputation as a financially savvy individual. Carret was also a prolific writer who shared insights about his investment strategies. Warren Buffet, one of the most noted investors, admired him for his approach towards market investment. Philip Carret passed away in 1998, but his legacy in the investing world remains significant.

1. Philip Carret’s Investment Philosophy

Philip Carret was far-sighted with a diligent mindset, which stood as the cornerstone of his investment philosophy. He considered patience to be the key factor in successful investing. According to him, investments should not be driven by the short-term fluctuations of the market, but by a long-term perspective. He stated that smart investors are those who keep calm and don’t let temporary market movements influence their investment decisions.

For Carret, practical judgement was another element fundamental to his investment strategy. He used to study the financial health of companies thoroughly before investing and always evaluated the risk-reward ratio. He aimed for consistency in returns rather than spectacular short-term gains. He also believed in diversification of portfolio to mitigate risks and enhance the potential for returns.

Thus, Carret’s philosophy was not about getting rich quickly, but about building wealth over time. It demonstrated a unique blend of patience, prudence and diligence, which is still considered a reliable approach by many investors today.

2. Establishment of Pioneer Fund

The Pioneer Fund was founded by Philip Carret in 1928 and is one of the first mutual funds established in the United States. The idea was to make investing available and affordable for the average American. Instead of buying company shares directly, people could invest in the Pioneer Fund, which spread the investment over a diversified portfolio of stocks. This was something new at the time and opened up a new pathway for those wanting to invest in the stock market.

Despite the Great Depression soon after its establishment, the Pioneer Fund not only survived but flourished under Carret’s management. His prudent investment strategy helped the fund navigate through the economic downturn and come out stronger. The fund’s success established Carret as a respected and successful investor.

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The Pioneer Fund, more than 90 years old now, continues to be actively managed and has a consistent track record of returns. Its inception fostered an era of mutual funds in the U.S., making it an integral part of the country’s financial history.

3. Philip Carret’s Influence and Legacy

Philip Carret’s name continues to inspire investors even years after his death. His long-term investment approach and unwavering patience in the face of market volatility became the bedrock of modern investing principles. Many investors, both professional and retail, consider his investment philosophy as a guide while making their financial decisions.

Among his most notable followers is Warren Buffet, one of the world’s most successful investors. Buffet admired Carret’s investment style and often expressed high praise for his principles. This admiration acts as a testament to Carret’s enduring influence in the investment world.

Additionally, Carret left a significant written legacy. He penned down his thoughts on investment and market behavior in several books, which have become valuable resources for many investors. His writings reflect his insightful understanding of the market and offer timeless advice, further contributing to his lasting legacy.


Philip Carret’s contribution to investing spans over establishing one of the first mutual funds in the U.S., to formulating an investment philosophy that continues to influence investors today. As the enduring admiration from respected investors like Warren Buffet attests, Carret’s legacy thrives, shaping the practices of modern investment.

Key Takeaways

  • Philip Carret’s investment philosophy emphasised patience, diligence, and practical judgement.
  • Carret established the Pioneer Fund in 1928, marking the inception of one of the first mutual funds in the U.S.
  • Despite the Great Depression, the Pioneer Fund survived and flourished owing to Carret’s prudent investment strategy.
  • Carret’s influence is acknowledged by renowned investors like Warren Buffet and continues to guide the practices of modern investors.
  • Besides his achievements in investing, Carret also penned numerous writings, contributing significantly to investment literature.

Related Questions

1. What is the Pioneer Fund and why is it significant?

The Pioneer Fund is a mutual fund established by Philip Carret in 1928. It’s significant because it was one of the first mutual funds in the United States, promoting investment opportunities for the average American. The success of this fund attests to Carret’s skill in investing and its survival through the Great Depression is a testimony to his prudent strategies.

2. How did Philip Carret’s investment philosophy influence modern investing?

Carret’s investment philosophy, emphasizing patience, practical judgement and diligence, moulded the essence of modern investing. It taught investors to take a long-view approach focusing on steady growth over time rather than quick, risky gains. This philosophy continues to guide many, including well-known investors like Warren Buffet.

3. Did Philip Carret write any books? If so, what are they?

Yes, Philip Carret authored several books providing invaluable insights into his investment strategy. Some of his notable works include “The Art of Speculation” and “A Money Mind at Ninety.”

4. How did Warren Buffet view Philip Carret?

Warren Buffet admired Philip Carret for his investment philosophies and his unwavering patience in the face of market volatility. Buffet’s admiration for Carret is a testament to his enduring and influential role in the investment world.

5. How did Philip Carret’s methods steer the Pioneer Fund through the Great Depression?

Carret’s prudent investment approach entailing careful analysis, long-term focus and diversified portfolio contributed to the survival and growth of Pioneer Fund during the Great Depression. Despite being a period of economic downturn, the Fund managed to stay afloat and subsequently flourish owing to Carret’s strategic management.