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The Intelligent Investor: A Book of Practical Counsel (1973)

by Benjamin Graham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,434362,629 (4.09)11
The Classic Text Annotated to Update Graham's Timeless Wisdom for Today's Market Conditions 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.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
Don't know how to rate a book like this: it won't appeal to everyone but it was exactly what I was looking for -- something like "stock investing from first principles". The main text of this book was last updated in 1972, but this edition includes 2003 commentary from Jason Zweig. Helpful to get a long view into how stock and bond markets operates over long periods of time. Lots of the advice (esp bond advice) is US-specific. Main thesis is: don't put money into stocks based on your expectations of future market prices, buy stocks as if you were buying a tiny chunk of the company. When doing so, buy stocks that are obviously underpriced compared to value, because then there's more room for something to go wrong. It's got one or two good fundamental ideas, and then proceeds to apply and unpack those as they apply to various situations. It's mostly well written and pretty engaging. ( )
  capnfabs | Mar 9, 2024 |
Explains value investing in detail, with other generic financial concepts about stock markets, securities, market psychology, inflation etc. You'll learn:
• The stock market’s history over 100 years, with key lessons on market psychology, stock price movements, and how to maximize returns over the long run.
• The core principles and concepts of value investing, including: real returns after inflation, the difference between investment and speculation, and why/how to mitigate emotional impulses that could lead to bad investments.
• The 2 main investment pathways (Defensive vs Enterprising), and the strategies/practices associated with each.
• How to analyze securities (stocks, bonds and derivatives) and other investment insights, such as: considerations for other financial tools, engaging professional advice, and dividend policy.

Book summary at: https://readingraphics.com/book-summary-the-intelligent-investor/ ( )
  AngelaLamHF | Nov 1, 2023 |
People say it is the greatest value investing book of all time. I don't disagree, although I did enjoy Poor Charlie's Almanac slightly more. The book is content-heavy, so I'd recommend watching The Swedish Investor's video summary or finding a detailed summary on reddit. ( )
  siamm | Aug 20, 2023 |
Benjamin Graham’s last line in The Intelligent Investor sums up the entire book in his trade-mark common-sense way: “ To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks.” First published in 1949, this version that I read was re-published in 2005 with a forward written by John Bogle who started Vangard Mutual Fund. Bogle’s forward serves as a very good summary of The Intelligent Investor, highlighting key points clearly. So I found it useful to read the forward again after finishing the book as a quick refresh of its content. Graham’s language may be a bit old fashioned, so some may find his writing style takes a little bit of getting used to. However, once I got my pace of reading going, I find the old fashion style gives me a sense of comfort and assurance – as if a grandfather was sharing all his valuable experience with me. Certainly good things stand the test of time, just as sound values: “Sound investment principles generally produced sound investment results…we must act on the assumption that they would continue to do so.” Graham is very clear form the start that he is not writing for speculators but for the layman who wants to have a sound approach to grow his weath steadily. He believes that lay investors can achieve “a creditable if unspectacular result with a minimum of effort and capability…since anyone – by just buying and holding a representative list – can equal the performance of the market averages…” He warned those who tries to beat the market, as many smart people have tied to do this and failed. How he explained this makes a lot of sense to me - every stock market broker thinks he can outdo the market. That means the stock market experts as a whole is trying to beat itself – a logical contradiction. They just cancel each other out. Thus, one should not rely on a financial advisor who promises the sky and raise your hopes that he can do better that the market average. That, claims Graham, is not possible. “The real money in investing will have to be made, as most of it has been in the past, not out of buying and selling but out of owning and holding securities, receiving interest and dividends and benefiting form their longer-term increase in value.” Graham chastises average investors for their sloth and ignorance, for willingly giving up their responsibility and rights as business owners to management. This, he feels, is due to the institutionalisation of financial services which has left investors a step removed from ownership. He disagrees with the commonly held view that “If you don’t like the management, sell the stock.” He feels this does nothing to improve bad management, only puts down the price of the stock and shifts the ownership to someone else. “Investors as a whole seem to have abandoned all claim to control over the paid superintendents of their property.” Ultimately, it is important for investors to give themselves a margin of safety by buying a stock at a price that is lower that its appraised value and to diversify the portfolio. These would put the investors in good stead, as against speculators. I like this book. It does not give you many formulas for security analysis (Graham says you can read further in his earlier book Security Analysis). What The Intelligent Investor does is that it lays the foundation for laymen by giving a sound approach to investment, written with common sense and simplicity.
  HassanMunir | Sep 8, 2022 |
This book provides a lot of information regarding investing in the stock market:
- analyze the long-term value of a stock
- understanding the company and reading the market
- how to deal with IPOs
- indexes are best for beginners (like me)
Accordingly, you get to know when not to invest in a company as well. I'm still very new into this, but the list of checks that we need to do to invest is big and I hope there are at least a couple of companies that pass all these criteria.

As mentioned by others, the examples can be modified to be more relevant and current. Will this generation be able to correlate with what happened in the 70s and 80s?

Also, this is the third book that I've read on this topic and it still had many things that I couldn't comprehend. I had to look online for quite a few things to get a basic understanding before continuing in the book. ( )
  nmarun | Jun 2, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Benjamin Grahamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Buffett, WarrenForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zweig, JasonContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
"Through chances various, through all vicissitudes, we make our way...." -Aeneid
[Ch. 1 commentary] All of human happiness comes from one single thing: not knowing how to remain at rest in a room.
-Blaise Pascal
[Ch. 2 commentary] Americans are getting stronger. Twenty years ago, it took two people to carry ten dollars' worth of groceries. Today, a five-year-old can do it.
-Henny Youngman
[Ch. 3 commentary] You've got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, 'cause you might not get there.
-Yogi Berra
[Ch. 4 commentary] When you leave it to chance, then all of a sudden you don't have any more luck.
-Basketball coach Pat Riley
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The purpose of this book is to supply, in a form suitable for laymen, guidance in the adoption and execution of an investment policy.
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The Classic Text Annotated to Update Graham's Timeless Wisdom for Today's Market Conditions 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.

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