The Intelligent Investor (English) Paperback – 2013 Paperback – 2013
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The greatest investment advisor of the twentieth century, Benjamin Graham taught and inspired people worldwide. Graham's philosophy of "value investing" -- which shields investors from substantial error and teaches them to develop long-term strategies -- has made The Intelligent Investor the stock market bible ever since its original publication in 1949.
Over the years, market developments have proven the wisdom of Graham's strategies. While preserving the integrity of Graham's original text, this revised edition includes updated commentary by noted financial journalist Jason Zweig, whose perspective incorporates the realities of today's market, draws parallels between Graham's examples and today's financial headlines, and gives readers a more thorough understanding of how to apply Graham's principles.
Vital and indispensable, this HarperBusiness Essentials edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals.
About the Author
About the Author: Benjamin Graham was born on May 8th, 1894 and died on September 21st, 1976. He was known as the father of Value Investing. Graham was an American and was born in Britain. His love for finance kept burning bright, as he taught at the Columbian Business School. His keen interest in finance is what has made our present day investments fruitful.
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I apologize for the long rant on Buffet especially since he only wrote the first few pages of this edition. The man behind this book’s genius is Benjamin Graham. It was many of his fundamentals and principles that got Buffet started with a foundation that soon grew to be insurmountable. The amazing thing is that anyone interested in these principles has the opportunity to buy a copy of this book for less than twenty dollars. It continues to blow me away; the amount of success-related knowledge that is available to us for the learning.
To be very honest up front, this is not the easiest read. It is written by a 20th century economist and quite frankly it often reads just like that. But to that note one should not pick this book up for humor and entertainment as much as he should to learn. Although there will be times when you will find yourself laughing or smiling at some of the stories told and how they ring true even today in our ever more sophisticated world. One such example is the concept of emotional investing, one of which most all of us have been guilty at one time or another. It is worth mentioning that for every bit of hard theory, this particular revised addition of the book has just about as much digestible commentary (courtesy of Jason Zweig) to help the reader through. This commentary is crucial to the level of satisfaction of the read.
I would not dare to get into the specifics of this book as I would not do them justice and I feel that the above should be more than enough reason to read the full edition. However I will comment on the over all tone of it. The book (as well as Buffet’s proven strategy) is based on a fundamental set of principles. These principles are something that, no matter what the circumstances, is never to be broken. This is how the rigor of an “intelligent investor” is maintained. I believe this to be the real difference between Graham and Buffet and the rest of the investment community (If you have not already, you should be sure to read Buffet’ s 13 principles on Berkshire’s website). Both these men display an inhumane level of disciple to stick to the very principles they have developed.
Having a principle-based investment strategy is something that will prove to be of much value as one progresses along his career (or hobby) of successful investing. If you are able to decide on a set of principles (be them your own or those of others) and stick to them at all costs, decisions suddenly become much more fluid and easy to make. How else do you think Buffet can make a $4 billon investment before lunch time?
The real reason I mention this is that it has a much greater underlying message. If principle based investing has proven so successful (provided your principles are sound of course) then imagine what can be accomplished in the overall success of ones life if you live by a firm set of principles and core values. This quickly becomes clear once you read through some of the top rated books in my personal development section. By now I hope you have already developed your set of core values by which to live. Now take advantage of this book to establish a similar set of values by which to judge personal investments. The added long term financial success will be explicit. Then again I guess you could just buy Berkshire, but perhaps you should make that decision for yourself after reading the book that helped create it.
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Thank you Ben Graham. You were one of a kind. I owe you a lot.
1. The original version of the book may have been well written. I wouldn't know. But after the original version, in the name of making the book relevant to the present day, people added/removed stuff. And I think, as yet new versions were released, even more editing was done. The book now reads like a teenager edited it. Outdated examples are so badly articulated, that instead of understanding the concept of relevance, you just end up getting super confused.
2. Tables/Graphs aren't matching with the text!! - When you first see a table full of financial figures about different companies, what would be your expectation? That a) The table has something to do with the text in that chapter, and, b) The author will walk you through those figures explaining away why you should choose to invest in company A and not in company B etc.. But you would be so wrong! At best, the author will describe different figures in the table and half-way through explaining, just walk away to a different topic. This happens repeatedly in the book. It is *very* annoying.
3. I expected the author to state his philosophy, state a few "rules" derived from that philosophy, and show how to employ these rules while making decisions in the real world. I also expected the author to show counter-examples - where a "rule" wasn't followed and how it costed the investor dearly. The author tries to do all of this - but much more. There is an attempt to cramp too many ideas into a few pages. Often many ideas are tangential to the core ideas and they distract you away from the core ideas.
I think the messed up editing is to blame. I also think that the editors themselves realized it - They added a 'Commentary' for every chapter of the book - and the Commentary is as big as a chapter! These commentaries, thankfully, are each written by reputed people in the discipline. They are well written and easily understandable. I advise readers to first read all the 'Commentary's and then proceed to read the Chapters if you really feel like it. Otherwise you can close the book after reading the commentaries.
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