9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2004
I first read this book over ten years ago, and like the other reviewers, I too found it a difficult read. When I first read it, I thought the advice was somewhat impractical for the small time investor (try to imagine calling Bill Gates asking him what he thought of Steve Jobs' company). Graham's security analysis was much easier for the little guy investor to apply. Yet Fisher's techniques were and are used by the big time investors ( most notably Peter Lynch, and though I don't think he gives Fisher enough credit, Warren Buffett). Even the rankings of "Top CEOs" by Forbes, Businessweek, Fortune etc. was based on Graham's security analysis. Then came the corporate scandals of the 1990's, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and Elliott Spitzer of New York and now the little guy investor can apply Fisher's theory of investing. Fortune Magazine's CEO ranking has as much to do about corporate governance as it does with security analysis. There are websites devoted entirely to corporate governance. The Institutional Shareholder Service was created solely to act as a corporate governance watchdog. I recently re-read Common Stocks. It's still a difficult read and you can't read it in one day or even in one week. It's a book that you have to read and re-read to get the most out of it. The most useful chapters for an investor are Chapter 3 "What to Buy: the fifteen points to look for in a common stock", Chapter 8 "Five Don'ts for Investors, and Chapter 9 " Five More Don'ts for Investors." Fisher's Common Stocks and Graham's the Intelligent Investor are the two basic building blocks that every investor must master to be succesful in the stock market.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2004
when "scuttlebutt" is one of the leading litmus tests before investing, you're dealing w/ a program that is impractical for average individual investors. but the book is quite valuable for its focus on long run investing, its 15 rules for investors (and moreso, the rules for investors to NOT follow), and its stress on conservatism in practice is very helpful.
ultimately, this book is less about security selection than it is in investing philosophy---which it excels at. that's why buffett loved it, and you may too.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2004
I first read this book in 1992, and it did nothing for me. At the time, I had very little investment experience and was only starting to study the market. I re-read the book again in 2001 and, wow, it took me to a different level.
I would not recommend this book to investors who have less than 5 years of stock investing experience. You simply wouldn't get much out of it and might unintentionally lead you down the wrong path. Once you get your investing fundamentals down, this book will expand your horizon beyond your dreams.
Warren Buffett credited Ben Graham as the most influential force in his investment style/thinking, but I believe that it's Philip Fisher who gave him the edge and made him one of the great investors of the 20th century.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2009
Like Warren Buffett always says; he is 85% Graham and 15% Fisher. This book is where he gets the 15% from.
I always like re-reading this book every couple of years to maintain discipline on my investments.
This book is geared towards Growth investors.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2013
If you are a investor like me and trying to improove as much as possible I would start with this book BEFORE
making ANY investement decision,read the book many times there is a lot of wisdom to think about it,I belive that
good education in investing is a must so lets start with this book and some others like The Warren Buffet way for
example,you realize that making money is not so complicated if you get the message.