When to buy? When to sell? Peter Lynch Explains

From a PBS Interview with Peter Lynch:
“Well, I remember in my career you’d say to somebody you worked in the investment business. They’d say, “That’s interesting. Do you sail? What do you think of the Celtics?” I mean it would just go right to the next subject. If you told them you were a prison guard, they would have been interested. They would have had some interest in that subject, but if you said you were in the investment business, they said, “Oh, terrific. Do your children go to school?” It just went right to the next subject. You could have been a leper, you know, and been much more interesting. So that was sort of the attitude in the ’60s and ’70s.

As the market started to heat up, you’d say you were an investor, “Oh, that’s interesting. Are there any stocks you’re buying?” And then people would listen not avidly. They’d think about it. But then as the ’80s piled on, they started writing things down. So I remember people would really take an interest if you were in the investment business, saying “What do you like?” And then it turned and I remember the final page of the chapter would be you’d be at a party and everybody would be talking about stocks. And then people would recommend stocks to me. And then I remember not only that, but the stocks would go up. I’d look in the paper and I’d notice they’d go up in the next three months. And then you’ve done the full cycle of the speculative cycle that people hate stocks, they despised, they don’t want to hear anything about ’em, now they’re buying everything and cab drivers are recommending stocks. So that was sort of the cycle I remember going through from the ’60s and early ’70s all the way to ’87.”

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