Veteran bank stock investor Philip L. Carret died May 28 at Mount Vernon Hospital in Mount Vernon, N.Y. He was 101 years old.

Mr. Carret was an investor and money manager for more than 80 years and said some of his best ideas involved banks.

"I have always been fascinated by banks," Mr. Carret told American Banker in 1996. "The banker who doesn't make any bad loans is doing a lousy job for his stockholders, but if he makes too many bad loans he is doing lousy for the bank. They have to strike a happy medium."

In spite of banks' difficult balancing act, Mr. Carret said, he was optimistic about the industry because of its emphasis in recent years on fee-based activities and because of consolidation.

At the recent Berkshire Hathaway Inc. annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, legendary investor Warren E. Buffett lamented that Mr. Carret could not attend because of a hip injury.

"He was my hero," said Mr. Buffett, who knew Mr. Carret for about 50 years.

Mr. Carret was a founder of Pioneer Fund, Boston, one of the country's first mutual funds, and of Carret & Co., New York, the investment firm. He sold the companies in 1963 and 1988, respectively.

At the time of his death, Mr. Carret was at work on the latest of his several books.

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