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Is buying these stocks the most enjoyable way to get rich?

Those who are familiar with famed investor Warren Buffett will likely have heard the name Benjamin Graham mentioned too. Graham was Buffett’s friend and mentor and is also regularly credited with being the ‘father of value investing’. Graham is a very important factor in Buffett being the investor that he is, indeed Buffett has described himself as cast 85% from Graham’s mould.

However that still leaves a critical 15%. According to Buffett the remainder of his approach, has been influenced by another amazing investor, Phillip Fisher. While Graham was focused on value, Fisher was focused on quality and growth. Fisher’s book Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits discusses at length his views on what makes a company superior to its peers. Fisher also talks about ways to go about identifying quality and growth stocks, one of those ways he termed scuttlebutt.

The idea behind scuttlebutt was to build a matrix of information about a potential investee company by gathering perspectives from a variety of sources. One of those sources included testing out the products or services of a particular company – in effect a ‘try before you buy’ approach.

In the past 12 months the S&P/ASX 200 Index (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has gained just 4.4% which isn’t really that much fun, but had one invested in the following stocks not only could you have massively outperformed the index, but if you took Fisher’s advice and undertook a little scuttlebutt you could have had an enormous amount of fun as you grew richer.

To begin with you could have headed along to a cinema owned by Amalgamated Holdings Limited (ASX: AHD) to watch a film produced by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc (ASX: FOX). Having spent a few hours in front of the big screen you might have been in the mood to work up a sweat. To take care of that you could have headed along to a gym owned by Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD). After having fun exercising you would likely be in the mood to cool down and what better way than having a dip at Wet’n’Wild Water World owned by Village Roadshow Ltd (ASX: VRL).

Foolish takeaway

Obviously all that scuttlebutt research would be a lot of fun but the really fun part is that the returns from these four stocks in the past 12 months have been 6%, 17%, 67% and 39% respectively for Amalgamated, FOX, Ardent and Village Roadshow.

It’s amazing what insights an investor can gain from doing some scuttlebutt. It can be helpful in identifying a potential problem a company may experience or it can help to uncover a hidden gem.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Twenty-First Century Fox Inc.

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