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The Intelligent Investor: A Book of Practical Counsel [Hardcover]

Benjamin Graham
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1973
The classic bestseller by Benjamin Graham, perhapsthe greatest investment advisor of the 20th century, The Intelligent Investor has taught and inspired hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. Since its original publication in 1949, Benjamin Graham's book has remained the most respected guide to investing, due to his timeless philosophyof"value investing," which helps protect investors against the areas of possible substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies with which they will be comfortable down the road.

Over the years, market developments have borne out the wisdom ofBenjamin Graham's basic policies. Here he takes account of both the defensive and the enterprising investor, outlining the principles of stock selection for each, and stressing the advantages of a simple portfolio policy. Among the book's special features are the use of numerous comparisons of pairs of common stocks to bring out their elements of strength and weakness and the construction of investment portfolios designed to meet specific requirements of quality and price attractiveness.

The Intelligent Investor may be the most important book you will ever read on making your investments a success.

"The Intelligent Investor is the best book ever written for the stockholder," says author and investment counselor John Train. Benjamin Graham's classic work offers sound and safe principles for investing-principles that have worked for more than forty years since the first edition was published. With an introduction and appendix by Warren Buffett, one of Graham's most famous students in investing strategy, this book takes account of both the defensive and the enterprising investor.

"By far the best book on investing ever written." -- Warren E. Buffett

"There have been other good books written about money since 1841, but only a few hold up. The best known and most likely to make you money is The Intelligent Investor." -- Andrew Tobias

"Graham ranks as this century's (and perhaps history's) most important thinker on applied portfolio investment." -- John Train, author of The Money Masters



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Review

Ben Graham is single-handedly responsible for the fact that investors even think about ratios like the price/earnings ratio, the current ratio or working capital-to-market capitalization. Coming out of the stock market's total implosion in 1929 and throughout the '30s, Graham knew that he needed to discover logical rules that any investor could use in order to attain safe, sustainable, market-beating results. He was so preoccupied with ensuring that anyone could duplicate his methods towards the end of his career that he often told his junior analysts at Graham-Newman like Albert Schloss or Warren Buffett that they could not involve themselves in complicated financial shenanigans to make money--it all had to be plain vanilla.

The Intelligent Investor was Graham's attempt to make his cumbersome joint-effort with David Dodd--Security Analysis--comprehensible to the average person. Much like Nietzsche's Beyond Good & Evil was intended to make Thus Spoke Zarathustra transparent, Graham's Intelligent Investorset about educating the average person as to what made an investment, what made a speculation and how this knowledge could be applied to build wealth in the most risk-averse way possible. Although he was a little bond-crazy, Graham's zeal for the common investor made him about as Foolish as they come. The fifth edition of The Intelligent Investor comes with the added bonus of a laudatory introduction by editor Warren Buffett as well as the best essay Warren Buffett ever wrote, bar none, called "The Superinvestors of Graham & Doddsville." Although it can make for pretty dense, didactic reading, the investor will come away from The Intelligent Investor with a newfound understanding of how the numbers fit together to make a great stock. -- The Motley Fool, Randy Befumo

About the Author

Benjamin Graham (1894-1976), the father of value investing, has been an inspiration for many of today's most successful businesspeople. He is also the author of Securities Analysis and The Interpretation of Financial Statements.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it !!! For any investor April 27 2004
By Manish
Format:Hardcover
The issue is how to make money on the stock market.
The conclusion is that if you have the discipline and follow the advise with rigour, you will make money on the stock market. It is not for a day trader but a genuine investor.
There are many pieces of sound advice. One of the recommended easy and time saving way to pick a stock: buy the stock of Dow Index companies with minimum P/E ratio.
It is a classic.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Sept. 7 2011
Format:Hardcover
This is a great investing book, but I bought the one from '72 so there are some dated aspects. Seller was awesome and the book was great value and arrived in like new condtion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on investing ever written March 20 2004
Format:Hardcover
This is a must read for any person serious about investing (ie not gambling) in the stock market. The book is rather easy to read. Graham was an investor but also a teacher (at Columbia). He has a good balance between technical yet simple explanation. If you know absolutely nothing about the stock market and financials, you may still find it a bit obscure at time, but you should probably not invest directly anyway (at least not right away). For everyone else, read it.
Yes the latest edition was written in 1972. It is amusing at time to see the evolution. But actually this evolution is also part of what you learn by reading the book. You do see that some things never change (like valuing a company!), and others do change quite a bit. it gives you a nice perspective. Now the intersting part of the book is to understand the logic of Graham, less its conclusions. The conclusions date a bit. Graham used to work at a time when most corporations where industrial companies, when nowadays services are dominant for example. So take graham conclucions with a grain of salt. But do read in depth and try to understand his logic.
Value investing won't make you rich overnight. But reasonnably well done, it will avoid having you lose money, and can even open you the doors of year by year over-performance in the market. Warren Buffett and several other successfull investors have followed the approach of Graham. But as they all say, when you first read about value investing, you either understand it right away, or you never will. But trust my 15 year of investing on the stock market, you're better of understanding the value of value investing. And this book is the key to it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Use With Caution Dec 6 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
It may seem an odd thing to say about a book whose hallmark is prudence, but this volume is dangerous. The general principles it inculcates are fine but be very wary of following its more specific recommendations such as avoiding a stock if its price/book ratio is greater than 2. Under current conditions you would end up with an odd, unbalanced portfolio. The basic premise of this book, that Mr. Graham could reduce his complex discipline of value investing to rules of thumb simple enough for individuals to follow, may just be a mistake.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opener Nov. 10 2003
Format:Hardcover
Graham's book is by far the most thorough, well thought out volume on investing that has ever been produced. Graham's thought processes and advice are indispensable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Source April 1 2003
Format:Hardcover
This book is must reading for anyone who is serious about investigating and analyzing investment opportunities in a logical, sound and prudent manner.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pennies from Heaven March 8 2003
Format:Hardcover
If you believe - as I have always believed - that the value approach is inherently sound, workable and profitable, then devote yourself to that principle. Stick to it, and don't be led astray by Wall Street's fashions, illusions, and its constant chase after that fast dollar.
Investing is most intelligent when it is most businesslike. After all, you are neither right or wrong when the market disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right. True, there is safety in growth and some of us will go as far as to declare that there can be no real safety except in growth. But these sound to me like slogans than scientifically formulated and verified propositions. A case can be made for putting all your growth eggs in the best or relatively few best baskets.
If we assume that it is the habit of the market to overvalue common stocks which have been showing excellent growth or are glamorous for some other reason, it is logical to expect that it will undervalue - relatively, at least - companies that are out of favor because of unsatisfactory developments of a temporary nature. Focus on larger companies, for 2 reasons: First they have the resources in capital and brain power to carry them through adversity and back to a satisfactory earnings base. Second, the market is likely to respond with reasonable speed to any improvement shown.
Let me emphasize that it does not take a genius or even a superior talent to be successful as a value analyst. What it needs is, first, reasonably good intelligence; second, sound principles of operation; third, and most important, firmness of character.
Now, let me close with a few words of counsel from an 80-year-old veteran of many a bull and many a bear market.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Past Has Some Of The Answers March 4 2003
Format:Hardcover
There is no doubt that Benjamin Graham's insights and expertise have shaped the science of portfolio management to what it is today. It is also nice to look at a book like this and realize that literally there is nothing new under the sun. There have been daytraders and charlatans since the inception of the stock market. That being the case Benjamin Graham's approach to value investing will never go out of style. In a sea of volatility buying value is the only way to go.
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