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The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing Paperback – Feb 21 2006
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Among the library of investment books promising no-fail strategies for riches, Benjamin Graham's classic, The Intelligent Investor, offers no guarantees or gimmicks but overflows with the wisdom at the core of all good portfolio management.
The hallmark of Graham's philosophy is not profit maximization but loss minimization. In this respect, The Intelligent Investor is a book for true investors, not speculators or day traders. He provides, "in a form suitable for the laymen, guidance in adoption and execution of an investment policy" (1). This policy is inherently for the longer term and requires a commitment of effort. Where the speculator follows market trends, the investor uses discipline, research, and his analytical ability to make unpopular but sound investments in bargains relative to current asset value. Graham coaches the investor to develop a rational plan for buying stocks and bonds, and he argues that this plan must be a bulwark against emotional behavior that will always be tempting during abrupt bull and bear markets.
Since it was first published in 1949, Graham's investment guide has sold over a million copies and has been praised by such luminaries as Warren E. Buffet as "the best book on investing every written." These accolades are well deserved. In its new form--with commentary on each chapter and extensive footnotes prepared by senior Money editor, Jason Zweig--the classic is now updated in light of changes in investment vehicles and market activities since 1972. What remains is a better book. Graham's sage advice, analytical guides, and cautionary tales are still valid for the contemporary investor, and Zweig's commentaries demonstrate the relevance of Graham's principles in light of 1990s and early twenty-first century market trends. --Patrick O'Kelley
“By far the best book on investing ever written.” (Warren Buffett)
“If you read just one book on investing during your lifetime, make it this one” (Fortune)
“The wider Mr. Graham’s gospel spreads, the more fairly the market will deal with its public.” (Barron's)
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I made the first attempt to read this book 2 years ago but had failed. At that time, I knew little about the stock market, the economy, how businesses work. Much of the text made no sense to me and I had eventually given up after 4 chapters. However, after getting educated by the good folks on YouTube, I was able to give this book another try. Granted, it was still very challenging, but the value that I received from it was far greater than the literary hardship I endured.
This is not a book that will get your blood to boil with excitement; it does not have tactics that offer promises of "do this and get rich". If you are here for that reason, this is not the book for you. It however, guides you to approach the art of investment with the right attitude to stock prices, fluctuations, portfolio and risk. This book provides the readers immense investment experience with an attempt to shape an aspiring investor like myself with a proper mindset.
Mr. Zweig's commentary after each chapter are mostly helpful. There are instances that I had finished a chapter without getting much of it. The commentary then explains what Mr. Graham really meant in an easy-to-understand way. However, I did find the comparisons of different companies in one of the commentaries to be quite repeated. Most of the examples from the commentary were drawn from the dot com bubble and therefore the comparisons had rather predictable endings. Though it is still valuable to witness second hand at how bad things became when it burst.
On the literary side, the language employed was slightly historical. Many sentences required me to re-read in order to understand. I think this is a good way to practise patience, as information is so easily accessible in today's world. I also got to learn a few new words from the text.
There are a lot of online commentaries on this book, as it has become almost "biblical" in value investing. I recommend the readers to use these commentaries to get a modern view of Mr. Graham's concepts.
I never review any stocks without thinking about what I learned in this book and I refer to it often.
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