The Intelligent Investor By Benjamin Graham

The Intelligent Investor

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My service focuses on ideas and concepts that improve the skills of investors to manage their own money. Graham teaches you how to be a rational investor in any market which is irrational by nature. Best to read the hard copy as done if the illustration don’t come across well in audio book. Rich material and time tested wisdom from one of the thought leaders and legendary investors of all time. What separates the world’s top traders from the vast majority of unsuccessful investors? Warren Buffett remains one of the most sought-after and watched figures in business today. He has become a billionaire and investment sage by buying chunks of companies and holding onto them, managing them as businesses, and eventually reaping huge profits for himself and investors in Berkshire Hathaway.

Unless you’re forced to sell your shares, you shouldn’t care about share prices. Much of the book’s data is understandably stale, since it was first published in 1949. You can definitely tell it was written in the pre-Internet era of investing, before people had easy access to mutual funds, ETFs, 401s, IRAs, and day trading. 6) Don’t invest in companies that have had negative earnings-per-share in the last three years. 4) Look for a current ratio (current assets / current liabilities) greater than 2, as a signal the company is financially secure. What The Intelligent Investor does is that it lays the foundation for laymen by giving a sound approach to investment, written with common sense and simplicity. He warned those who tries to beat the market, as many smart people have tied to do this and failed.

Further Reading

Graham was ahead of his time with his ideas about Mr. Market, a margin of safety, defensive investing, and enterprising investing. These topics cover the area of behavioral finance, which is a newer area of finance in the last ten to twenty years. But Graham understood that not everyone wants to manage a portfolio, read financial reports, and calculate financial metrics. He knew that some investors wanted to get the benefits of investing without all the effort, and to do that, he created the idea of defensive investing. Although he believed that companies’ future earnings ultimately drive their future market values, Benjamin Graham was skeptical of investors’ ability to predict the future. What I can assure you is that “wonderful businesses at fair prices” is what most professional investors are looking for all the time. I’ve yet to find one value investor who’s consciously looking for overpriced stocks.

So, I leaned on the power of diversification through buying VTSAX . While the Intelligent Investor is close to my heart, I don’t follow Graham’s investment strategy. The reason being is that I would rather passively invest in low-fee index funds for my own personal strategy. I’m amazed how a book originally wrote in 1949 and updated to provide updated statistics can stay relevant. The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham, is one of the few pieces of literature I can honestly say has changed my life.

  • The Intelligent Investor, written by Benjamin Graham, a former Columbia Business School professor, and first published in 1949, was destined to influence Buffett and became the investing manual that sparked the value investing school.
  • As psychologists at the Carnegie Mellon University showed, the more familiar an individual feels they are with a subject, the more likely they are to exaggerate how much they know about it.
  • We personally assess every book’s quality and offer rare, out-of-print treasures.
  • If the defensive investor could select the “best” stocks, they wouldn’t need to diversify.
  • Benjamin Graham was an influential investor who is regarded as the father of value investing.
  • Investment here is also specifically mentioned to be different from trading or speculating.

Zweig’s commentary is the best part, as it gives relevance and essential updates to the often dated examples. The book is also a great book for the philosophy of investing, setting very realistic goals. Overall I felt that it was a truthful book and has the backing of unmatched investors. Be warned, it’s also a very long read, but broken up well into chapters. A lot of people have used this as their guide to getting into investment, basic strategies.

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Ben is always referencing tables and charts, which kind of defeats the purpose, for me at least, of an audio book. I highly respect Graham and value investing, but if your already convinced it’s a good strategy, then you really just need chapters 14 and 15. Mary Buffett and David Clark clearly outline Warren Buffett’s strategies in a way that will appeal to newcomers and seasoned Buffettologists alike. Inspired by the seminal work of Buffett’s mentor, Benjamin Graham , this book presents Buffett’s interpretation of financial statements with anecdotes and quotes from the master investor himself. Here is THE book recounting the life and times of one of the most respected men in the world, Warren Buffett. The result is the personally revealing and complete biography of the man known everywhere as “The Oracle of Omaha.” I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who really wants to understand more about investing and the markets.

For the majority of the time, the market accurately prices stocks, but occasionally, the price is significantly wrong. Graham explains why by conjuring up an image of the market as being “Mr. Market;” a frantic investor who pays too much for stocks when they are doing well and desperately tries to get rid of them when their price falls. It’s, therefore, important that the intelligent investor can view the market as a fallible, emotion-driven entity, that shouldn’t be blindly trusted, even though most people do. A typical “special situation” arises when a larger firm acquires a smaller firm.

Investment Versus Speculation: Results To Be Expected By The Intelligent Investor

When these opportunities are identified, investors should make a purchase. Once the market price and the intrinsic value are aligned, investors should sell. In Security Analysis, Graham’s first task is to help stock market participants distinguish between an investment and speculation. After a thorough analysis, it should be clear that an investment is going to protect the principal and provide an adequate return. Graham also advocated for a different perspective in regards to stock ownership; equity stocks confer part ownership of a business. For Graham, in the short-term, the stock market acts like a voting machine, and in the long-term, the stock market acts like a weighing machine—so, in the long run, the true value will be reflected in the stock’s price.

It is very difficult to follow tables, graphs and figures by listening alone, so I would recommend against audio-booking technical volumes. Graham is a master of investment and I encourage anyone trying to get into the field to listen twice. While many of Graham’s fundamental principals are still applicable today, such as the importance of establishing a margin of safety, much of it focuses on individual and conservative stock picking. These days, similar exposure can be achieved by buying an index fund, a point Ben Zweig mentions in his commentary. Think and Grow Rich is the number-one inspirational and motivational classic for individuals who are interested in furthering their lives and reaching their goals by learning from important figures in history. The text read in this audiobook is the original 1937 edition written by Napoleon Hill and inspired by Andrew Carnegie – and while it has often been reproduced, no updated version has ever been able to compete with the original. To say that this book is a heavy piece of work is like saying, obesity is not a problem in the US.

The purpose of this book is to supply, in a form suitable for laymen, guidance in the adoption and execution of an investment policy. Comparatively little will be said here about the technique of analyzing securities; attention will be paid chiefly to investment principles and investors’ attitudes. His Life and work have been inspiration for many of today’s most successful investors, including Warren Buffett, Michael F. Price, and John Neff.

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If you found the process exhausting, or you picked bad stocks, it might be worth considering becoming a defensive investor. If, however, you enjoyed the process and made some good returns, Graham suggests assembling a selection of stocks, but limiting them to only ten percent of your entire portfolio. The intelligent investor is aware of the lengths to which top executives and accountants occasionally go to make themselves very rich at the expense of the company and its shareholders.

His method of buying low-risk stocks with high return potential has made him a true pioneer in the financial analysis space, and many other successful value investors have his methodology to thank. The Intelligent Investor, first published in 1949, is a widely acclaimed book on value investing. Value investing is intended to protect investors from substantial harm and teaches them to develop long-term strategies. The Intelligent Investor is a practical book; it teaches readers to apply Graham’s principles. Most importantly, investors should look for price-value discrepancies—when the market price of a stock is less than its intrinsic value.

Net-net is a value investing technique developed by Benjamin Graham in which a company is valued based solely on its net current assets. Those experiences taught Graham lessons about minimizing downside risk by investing in companies whose shares traded far below the companies’ liquidation value. In simple terms, his goal was to buy a dollar’s worth of assets for $0.50.

The Intelligent Investor

The extent of the market’s shrinkage in 1969–70 should have served to dispel an illusion that had been gaining ground during the past two decades. Often considered to be the greatest investment advisor of the 20th century, investor and author Benjamin Graham has taught and inspired people worldwide with his books. Graham’s solid philosophy of “value investing,” which is founded on the principles of shielding investors from substantial error, teaches people to create and foster long-term strategies. This strategy is what makes The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible, and it has been considered so since its release in 1949. Warren Buffett once said that he was “15 percent Fisher and 85 percent Benjamin Graham.” The training that Warren Buffett received from Benjamin Graham was critical to his success. If you read this book, you’ll know why.The Intelligent Investor’s emphasis is on investment principles and investors’ attitudes. Several comparisons of specific securities are included to demonstrate important elements in security selection.

Graham felt that at least a working understanding of the history of the market would help any investors. He felt that any investor who wants to analyze companies must understand the relation to stock prices and earnings, cash flows, and dividends. The idea here is to buy stocks of companies in cyclical industries when prices are depressed and then sell when they recover in the future — it all depends on when Mr. Market decides it’s time to recover. These expectations are much less favorable for stocks against bonds than they were in our 1964 analysis. Consequently we are forced to the conclusion that now, toward the end of 1971, bond investment appears clearly preferable to stock investment.

Because of this, a test for cheapness would be to compare the current price to past average earnings. It must be different from the policy followed by most investors. All bonds are just as susceptible to short-term uncertainty.

The Intelligent Investor

In Graham’s time, the inclusion of investment funds was not as prevalent as today; Vanguard, for example, was not on the scene at that time. He covers the idea that using investment funds is a great choice for defensive investors, remembering that the performance will match the market’s returns. Net net investing is clearly different from what most investors do. Even among value investors, only a minority actually look for these kinds of “sub-asset” stocks. Benjamin Graham would have also pointed out that Newton was actually speculating, or timing the market, and not investing at all. While speculating has its place in the financial world, Graham felt strongly that most investors should avoid the practice all together. The millionaires described in The Millionaire Next Door probably do not have the IQ of Sir Issac Newton, but they are successful investors.

A close price to book ratio means that the price of the stock is essentially equal to the value of the company’s assets (cash, buildings, inventory, etc.). By choosing to invest in companies like these, you are getting an investment with little downside risk but great potential for upside since the companies you will be targeting are healthy ones. Sometimes it can take some time for the investment community to recognize the diamond in the rough that you’ve found, but if you stay the course, it will eventually catch on says Graham.

The virtues of a simple portfolio policy have been emphasized—the purchase of high-grade bonds plus a diversified list of leading common stocks—which any investor can carry out with a little expert assistance. The adventure beyond this safe and sound territory has been presented as fraught with challenging difficulties, especially in the area of temperament. Peter Lynch, one of the most successful investors of all time, shows you how to use what you already know to make money in the market. Lynch is the former manager of the $9 billion Fidelity Magellan Fund, where he earned investors a $190,000 return on a $10,000 investment. Intelligent Investor by many is considered to be the best book on value investing that you will ever read. The book is written by Benjamin Graham who was Warren Buffett’s lecturer at Columbia University.

To do this, he utilizedmarket psychology, using market fears to his advantage. These ideals inspired him to write Security Analysis, which was published in 1934 with a co-author, David Dodd. The book was written in the early 1930s when both authors were professors at Columbia University’s business school. The book chronicles Graham’s methods for analyzing securities. The point of this anecdote is that the investor should not regard the whims of Mr. Market as a determining factor in the value of the shares the investor owns. He should profit from market folly rather than participate in it.

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