The Intelligent Investor

Title: The Intelligent Investor, The definitive book on value investing.

Author: Benjamin Graham. Preface and Appendix by Warren E. Buffett. New Material by Jason Zweig. 

Editor: Harper Business

Year: 2003 (Revised Edition)

Year of first edition: 1949

Rating: 5 / 5

Amazon Link:

Main topic: A practical counsel on Value Investing.

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About The Author

Benjamin Graham was a British-born American economist, professor, and founder of the Graham-Newman Partnership, an important investment firm founded in 1936. He is known as the "father of value investing". His investment philosophy helped generations of investors to better understand fundamental analysis, concentrated diversification, buying within the margin of safety, activist investing, and contrarian mindsets. His work in managerial economics and investing has led to a modern wave of value investing within mutual funds, hedge funds, diversified holding companies, and other investment vehicles. Throughout his career, Graham had many notable disciples who went on to receive substantial success in the world of investment, including Irving Kahn and Buffett, the latter going on to describe him in the preface of this book as the second most influential person in his life after his own father. [1]

Summary:

To introduce this book, and to answer the question "What makes The Intelligent Investor so valuable and different from the best financial books ever written?",  we would like to repeat some of the words used by Warren Buffett, because there are no better words to  define it.

 

The Buffett's preface begins with these words:  

"I read the first edition of this book early in 1950, when I was nineteen. I thought then that it was by far the best book about investing ever written. I still think it is. To invest successfully over a lifetime does not require a stratospheric IQ, (...). What’s needed is a sound intellectual framework for making decisions and the ability to keep emotions from corroding that framework. This book precisely and clearly prescribes the proper framework. You must supply the emotional discipline.
If you follow the behavioral and business principles that Graham advocates (...) you will not get a poor result from your investments. (...) Whether you achieve outstanding results will depend on the effort and intellect you apply to your investments, (...) Follow Graham and you will profit from folly rather than participate in it."
[2]

The purpose of this book is to supply to readers, who do not know the subject, guidance in the aquisition and execution of an investment policy. Big attention is paid to investment principles and investors’ attitudes, while little about the technique of analyzing securities. This revised version of the text contains comments by Jason Zweig, financial journalist and editor of this book, which completes the text and makes it better adapted to the present day.

This book is directed to investors as distinguished from speculators, where the first task of the Author is to clarify and emphasize this distinction.

From our point of view, The Intelligent Investor is a book for anyone who is interested in introducing themselves into the world of value investing or wants to hone their skills on this subject. 

Thanks to this book, the reader will be able to:

  • understand the differences between Investment and Speculation,

  • buy the Business (value Stocks),

  • use a margin of Safety,

  • Identify exact portfolio allocations,

  • adjust his portfolio,

  • avoid risky investments,

  • ignore short term fluctuations,

  • improve the way he makes investing decisions.

We believe this is a must read book that absolutely deserves to be purchased and should be read and reread over time to reinforce and imprint a strong-minded approach to investment.

Evaluate the purchase on:

[1] Source on authors biography: Wikipedia
[2] The intelligent Investor, (preface to the Fourth Edition by Warren Buffett). page ix.

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