The Buy and Hold Optometrist Billionaire

Forbes recently profiled self-made billionaire and philanthropist Herbert Wertheim, 79-year-old who amassed his fortune from a “lifetime of prudent do-it-yourself buy-and-hold investing.”

The article chronicles Wertheim’s life as an optometrist and small businessman, describing him as “the greatest individual investor the world has never heard of” and calling his strategy a “mix of Warren Buffett and Peter Lynch, with a touch of Jack Bogle, given that he dislikes fees.”

Wertheim’s engineering and inventing background has fueled an affinity for “industry and technology companies and dividend payers,” the article reports, adding that instead of analyzing metrics and financial statements, he devotes much of his time to “reading patents and spends two six-hour blocks each week poring over technical tomes.”

Like Buffett, Wertheim believes in staying the course when his high-conviction stock picks go south, even buying more if the fundamentals remain intact. “My goal,” says Wertheim, “is to buy and almost never sell. I let it appreciate as much as it can and use the dividends to move forward.” Also, like Buffett, he rarely reinvests dividends, instead channeling cash from his portfolio to make new investments and focuses on finding companies with strong management.

“You take what you earn with the sweat of your brow, then you take a percentage of that and you invest it in other people’s labor.”