Kenneth Fisher’s heuristics

Carlo Massironi (Studio Massironi Consulenza Finanziaria, Garda, Italy)
Giusy Chesini (Business Administration Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy)

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets

ISSN: 1755-4179

Publication date: 3 May 2016



The authors are interested in building descriptive – real life – models of successful investors’ investment reasoning and decision-making. Models designed to be useful for trying to replicate and evolve their reasoning and decision-making. The purpose of this paper, a case study, is to take the substantial material – on innovating the investing tools – published in four books (2006/2012, 2010, 2011, 2015) by a US stock investor named Kenneth Fisher (CEO of Fisher Investments, Woodside, California) and sketch Fisher’s investment innovating reasoning model.


To sketch Fisher’s investment innovating reasoning model, the authors used the Radical constructivist theory of knowledge, a framework for analyzing human action and reasoning called Symbolic interactionism and a qualitative analytic technique called Conceptual analysis. The authors have done qualitative research applied to the study of investment decision-making of a single professional investor.


In the paper, the authors analyzed and described the heuristics used by Fisher to build subsequent generations of investing tools (called by Fisher “Capital Markets Technology”) to try to make better forecasts to beat the stock market. The authors were interested in studying the evolutive dimensions of the tools to make forecasts of a successful investor: the “how to build it” and “how to evolve it” dimension.


The paper offers an account of Kenneth Fisher’s framework to reason the innovation of investing tools. The authors believe that this paper could be of interest to professional money managers and to all those who are involved in the study and development of the tools of investing. This work is also an example of the use of the Radical constructivist theory of knowledge, the Symbolic interactionist framework and the Conceptual analysis to build descriptive models of investment reasoning of individual investors, models designed to enable the reproduction/approximation of the conceptual operations of the investor.



Massironi, C. and Chesini, G. (2016), "Kenneth Fisher’s heuristics", Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 130-148.

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