David Wendell was a brilliant, imaginative yet humble man, who was gifted with a visionary’s creativity but also grounded by the analytical and no-nonsense world of long-term investing. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, he was often copied but never duplicated.
Today, many professionals and serious students of investing rely upon the investment thinking and prolific written works of David as the basis of their own investment strategies. Clarity of thought and the ability to simplify complex topics were the hallmark of his writing style. For over 12 years, he was editor and a frequent contributor of the well-known and highly respected David L. Babson Weekly Staff Letter. Later from Wiscasset, Maine, in our firm’s early days, he published the Touchstone Report, in which he tracked developments and trends in the domestic economy and featured investment perspectives on long-term growth stock investing. This report evolved into our quarterly investment letter.
Over his forty-year career, David served as President of the Second Club and also the Boston Economic Club. He was a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society. A recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in Investment Education, he was recognized by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.
Much of his life’s work beyond serving clients was devoted to educating the investing public about the need for having a sensible investment plan. His philosophy also included maintaining a healthy attitude towards one’s investments, which can be illustrated by the following quote from a speech David gave in 1997:
“At times, I have been asked how I can possibly
sleep at night knowing that my clients’ assets are
invested in the stock market. Well, I want you to know
I sleep like a baby. I wake up every two hours and cry!
The truth is I sleep very well. The reason I sleep
well is because I know my clients do not invest in
the stock market. They buy stocks, but they are actually
investing in companies, not pieces of paper.”
His inspired thinking is his legacy to us as well and endures as the foundation of our work with clients.