Sir John made his name through his success in using globally diversified mutual funds. He launched his own growth fund in 1954 and recorded a gain of around 16 per cent a year until his retirement in 1992 when he sold his business, Templeton Fund Management to Franklin Group for around £220m.
He was one of the first to tap into post-war Japan in the 1960s. His investment style was heavily researched and looked for shares that were temporarily selling below their true asset value, holding on to them for a number of years before selling them on at what he believed was their actual worth.
Templeton was born and raised in Winchester, Tennessee. He graduated from Yale in 1934 before starting his Wall Street career in 1937. He renounced his US citizenship in 1968, holding dual British and Bahamian citizenship, having moved to the Bahamas in his 50s.
As a prominent philanthropist, Templeton dedicated much of his fortune to religion and science. He was knighted in 1987 for philanthropy and was inducted into the Junior Achievement US Hall of Fame in 1996. He died at Doctors Hospital in Nassau, Bahamas.
Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “He was a legendary investor. I remember a speech he made 10 years ago which was one of the most uplifting I had ever heard. He was in his mid-80s and was still looking forward and, as an investor, he was way ahead of his time. He had a list of investment rules that advisers still use today, you only have to look at his contrarian stance with Japan in the 1960s to recognise that he was one of the brightest investment managers there has ever been.”