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.
“A road map for investing that I have now been following for 57 years.”
–From the Foreword by Warren E. Buffett
First published in 1934, Security Analysis is one of the most influential financial books ever written. Selling more than one million copies through five editions, it has provided generations of investors with the timeless value investing philosophy and techniques of Benjamin Graham and David L. Dodd.
Featuring a foreword by Warren E. Buffett (in which he reveals that he has read the 1940 masterwork “at least four times”), this new edition of Security Analysis will reacquaint you with the foundations of value investing—more relevant than ever in the tumultuous 21st century markets.
Over the years, I have read several of the essays that Warren Buffett included in Berkshire Hathaway’s annual reports. After reading two biographies of him (Alice Schroeder’s The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life and Roger Lowenstein’s Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist), I purchased a copy of this volume and began to work my way through the contents selected, arranged, and introduced by Lawrence A. Cunningham. I began with Cunningham’s Introduction (all by itself, worth much more than the cost of the book) in which he reviews what he considers to be key points about Buffett and his leadership of Berkshire Hathaway.
“The Snowball” begins with a Buffett presentation to an elite 1999 group at Sun Valley, suggesting in a humorous manner that the “.com” frenzy was no more than a bubble. Then, its on to learning why his associate Charles Munger (an inseparable partner since 1959) is both the opposite and highly similar to Buffett.
Warren Buffett, we learn comes from a heritage of very thrifty small business owners. His parents initially struggled through the Great Depression, carried initially by grandfather’s letting the food bill run at his grocery store, then by the success of his newly opened stock brokerage that focused on conservative investments. Unfortunately, his mother was somewhat unbalanced, directing frequent tirades at Warren and his sister, creating a lifelong need for the approval of women. Calculating the comparative life spans of religious song writers while in church led Warren towards religious skepticism at an early age.
Starting with $10,000 in 1956 and today worth some $8.5 billion, with significant holdings in Coca-Cola, Capital Cities/ ABC and the Washington Post Company, Omaha, Nebr.-based Buffet is a major player on Wall Street. Financial consultant Hagstrom, who did not interview his subject but obtained permission to quote from his Berkshire Hathaway annual reports, here outlines Buffet’s iconoclastic tenets for investing. Unlike many entrepreneurs who take over companies to sell them off in bits, Buffet buys and holds. He rejects the “efficient market theory”; he doesn’t worry about the stock market; and he buys a business, not a stock. He manages with a small staff, no computers and a “hands off” strategy. Learning his secrets here, now the rest of us can do a Buffet? Illustrations. Fortune Book Club dual main selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.