Fidelity's World

fidelitys_worldFidelity is the world's largest mutual fund company and entirely private.

Based in Boston, power is exercised through it's subsidiary, Fidelity Investments which controls the savings of millions of Americans.

"By early 1995, Fidelity had more than 400 billion under its control - in mutual funds, corporate retirement plans, insurance programs, and private partnerships - in the United States, Europe, and Japan. It was one of the largest investors in the securities of bankrupt companies."

Chapter 1

Complicated and secretive in nature, the company is owned and operated by the Johnson family. The duties  of the Boston trustee were the preservation of capital and that of trusted family counselor. During the 1950s, immediate profits began to look appealing and the old hold your investments for the long haul was on the way out. A Fidelity prospectus from the early decade indicated that securities would be held from time to time with short-term objectives when the management believes that the action will benefit shareholders. Focus shifted from participating in the long-term growth of the American Economy to trading in and out of stocks for a quick buck. Since investments were now looked upon as products, many more were developed. 

"The great thing about Fidelity was that you could propose funds and products that Ned wouldn't put five cents of his own money into," said one admiring former executive, money manager Mark Shenkam. "If Ned thought it would sell, he would do it."

Chapter 10

Ned Johnson has successfully made marketing the heart of Fidelity. Follow the largest mutual fund giant as it uses innovation to permanently change the economic landscape of America and the world.

Diane B. Henriques is an investigative reporter for The New York Times. She had a weekly column in the wall street journal and was formerly a feature reporter for Barron's.

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