The Intelligent Investor: The Classic Text on Value Investing
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The Intelligent Investor: The Classic Text on Value Investing

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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  10,203 ratings  ·  402 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 3rd 2005 by HarperBusiness (first published 1949)
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Monica
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 clearl...more
Brent
OK, the recent stock market drops scared me. I got hit by the drops in 99 and said I would never let it happen again. This time I had what I thought would be value stocks. The problem was I didn't know if I should sell or hold the stocks. So for $8 I bought a used copy of Ben Graham's book. I stopped reading my other book and read this book like crazy.

It was the best $8 ever spent. It teaches you some basics about the behavior of the market and it teaches you to be very careful. I learned some...more
Kenyon Harbison
Warren Buffett's pick as the greatest investment book of all time, and it really does live up to that review. Some highlights:

1) Your main goal should be to not LOSE money; so understand the distinction between 'investing' and 'speculating,' and understand that most so-called investors are actually speculators. Minimize the extent to which you are a speculator. If you go in trying to get rich quick, you'll lose.
2) To that end, trailing P/E should be less than 15 and P/E * P/B (tangible) should b...more
Chad Warner
Jun 21, 2010 Chad Warner rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Investors
Shelves: finance
If you read investing books or magazines, you've undoubtedly heard of Benjamin Graham. He's considered the father of value investing, and Warren Buffett is one of his disciples. In fact, The Oracle of Omaha called this book "the best book about investing ever written."

I have to disagree with Buffett on this one, but that's because I'm a very different type of investor than Buffett. I'm a Boglehead (follower of Vanguard founder John Bogle), so I invest through broadly diversified, passive index f...more
David
Okay, this is the book to read if you are serious about investing in stocks. Benjamin Graham's "value investing" method is the time-tested "choose 'em carefully and hold 'em" long-term strategy used by Warren Buffett. Benjamin Graham is the man that Warren Buffett calls The Man. So, you know, if you want to be rich like Warren Buffett, read this book.

... Of course it's not that easy. This book is long, dense, and dry. And even if you read and absorb every page, you're still not going to be Warre...more
Andy
The classic book on investing by the man who taught Warren Buffett. Originally written 50 years ago, and it is still relevant. The same lessons applied to specific industries and companies at the time of the writing have obvious parallels to different industries and companies today.

And there are some radical ideas, despite it's age, that fly in the face of "conventional wisdom". The most important example in my opinion was the idea of how much risk you should have in your investments:
The "risk"...more
Scott Dinsmore
Why I Read this Book: Warren Buffet became the successful man he is today greatly as a result of what he learned from the man who wrote this book. We have the chance to read exactly what he read.

Review:

Whether you are an avid investor with a complex understanding of the markets or a beginner who is yet to start learning, there is little doubt that you have heard of Warren Buffet. He represents a level of success that very few people ever reach. Most of us know Buffet as the second richest man in...more
Tim Chang
To be honest, the commentary and footnotes of this book were more useful to me than the original content. The book in its original form is obviously outdated in terms of the specific examples it gives for ways to invest and the different companies it details. However, the commentary by Jason Zweig draws from the fundamental messages behind the book to provide more up-to-date advice on how to invest. Undoubtedly, Benjamin Graham provided the foundation for the commentary with his book, but I pers...more
Phil
It's amazing that this book is still relevant after so many years. Graham uses 100 years of stock market data to humble and convince you that you never know what the market will do and if you ever start thinking you do know, be careful. Based on the idea that you don't know, he then builds common sense strategy for investment.

The newest edition as been updated with a chapter of commentary after each of Graham's original chapters that attempts to discuss how Graham's advice would have held up th...more
Joseph
I'd read several books about Benjamin Graham as well as articles by him in the past, but this was my first foray into reading a book authored by him. It's definitely a great primer into the world of value investing and not only outlines its tenets but also their rationale. Several historical examples are used to illustrate his points.

One criticism: for all the words spent on intrinic value, no clear cut way is proposed for its calculation, however. Several proxies (i.e. book value, fair value, e...more
Aik Yong Heng
The central Idea that I got from this book is that an Index Stock Fund outperforms other equity funds on a historical basis. And sometimes it outperforms active investing too. And from my wife’s portfolio of 5 years, it seems to be true.

The other Idea is the emotional Mr. Market. The stock market as a speculative investment is a zero-sum game, and Mr. Market plays the role of the crazy trader who trades stocks at a different price everyday. Of course, the book encourages investing for the long t...more
Deborah
Ben Graham hoped every day to do “something foolish, something creative and something generous.”

The secret to your financial success is inside yourself. If you become a critical thinking and you invest with patient confidence, you can take steady advantage of even the worst bear market. By developing your discipline and courage, you can refuse to let other people’s mood swings govern your financial destiny. In the end, how your investments behave is much less important than how you behave.

All of...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
I've been reading this book for ages, not because its boring or now worthwhile, but because it is so rich and detailed that I could only take it in small bites. (OK, and honestly, its so much easier to read escapist literature for entertainment!)

Why is this such a good book? Well, the particular edition I have, with a preface by Warren Buffet AND a preface by Jason Zwieg AND individual chapter commentaries by Jason Zwieg, gives the reader the teaching of legendary investor from an earlier time P...more
Phillip
The reason this is 5 stars is because of chapters 8 and 20. This was written more than 60 years ago. In very clear and simple language, Graham writes a book that makes sense and elucidates principles that are timeless, three of which, in my view, are the essence of investing and not speculating (investing defined as upon thorough analysis that promises return of principal and a reasonable rate of return): (1) the metaphor of Mr. Market -which, incidentally, Graham, in my view, invented behaviora...more
Omar Halabieh
This is a book that has been on my reading list for a while - as The reference in the investment field (from a fundamental analysis perspective). As Benjamin puts it in the introduction: "the purpose of this book is to supply, in a form suitable for the laymen, guidance in the adoption and execution of an investment policy."

The author makes it very clear from the beginning of the book (and throughout it) that his advice is addressed to investors and not speculators (see excerpts below). Within t...more
Steve Bradshaw
Similar to the bible in that there are a few technical parts that haven't dated well but the overall message sheds light on human behavior and provides powerful, specific guidance on how to act that is just as relevant today as it was at writing. Actually, now that I think about it, it's much more defensible than the bible!

A must read for anyone considering actively managing their own investment portfolio. Out and out the best book I've ever read on investing. I highly recommend this version wi...more
Phillip Welshans
A great introductory text for value investing and generally how to value securities. This, along with Stocks for the Long Haul are good gateway drugs for investors looking to do more than trust a financial advisor or broker for your stock information. I like this edition in particular because Jason Zweig provides commentary at the end of each chapter. Zweig is a columnist for the WSJ and writes about personal finance and investing, and his comments often shed additional light on Graham's text an...more
David Bruns
At long last, I finished The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. After hearing about the wonders of Graham as the teacher of Warren Buffett for so many years, it was a pleasure to get to know his work in person.

As Mr Buffett has said, there is no great secret in investing - buy low and sell high - but Graham takes the time to educate and talk through why this tends to be so hard for mortal beings as well as some guidelines to not let yourself be carried away by Mr Market. Investing is like...more
Eric
This edition combines “the classic text on value investing” with a foreword by John C. Bogle, the founder or the Vanguard Group. Not surprisingly, Bogle’s foreword unabashedly promotes investing in passively managed index funds, using quotes of Graham to bolster his position, while Graham’s actual text is somewhat favorable on the topic but mostly lukewarm.

I first heard about this book while reading about the investment strategies of a certain student of Benjamin Graham. You may have heard of h...more
Alvin Lim
More than one million hardcovers sold
Now available for the first time in paperback

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...more
Peter
Benjamin Graham lays out a compelling case for value investing in this book. He draws a fine distinction between an investor as someone who treats stocks as purchasing part of a business, vs a speculator as someone who buys stocks hoping the price will go up today or maybe tomorrow, with no real knowledge of the business who's shares they bought. The commentary chapters push the point further by repeatedly showing that Warren Buffett and others like him follow Graham's method and have been pheno...more
Mark
The value investors Bible.

If value investing had a holy book of scripture, this would be it! Not only was Ben Graham's timeless investment advice unassailable, but the commentary's after each chapter by Jason Zweig were current and refreshing.

While I learned and re-learned many truths with this book, some of the most valuable ideas were to distinguish between "investing" and "speculation." Graham asserts that most of what is called investing today would be more accurately named speculation. Also...more
Parksy
Was recommended as a must read for getting into investing.
Overall very readable - some chapters get a little heavy into issues i'm not really interested in, like bonds for example - but overall a very good place to start.

Main gist:
- buy value, and it tells you how to identify value - mostly looking at P/E, growth, and dividend history
- don't listen to Mr. Market - the day to day changes of the market shouldn't affect your opinion if you've done your research
- don't day trade
- if you aren't going...more
Aaron
Benjamin Graham is often considered the father of value investing - evaluating the underlying value that a company’s stock represents and then buying when the price is significantly below that value (to achieve a margin of safety). The Intelligent Investor describes how to do this in a helpful nuts-and-bolts sort of way, with examples of specific companies and balance sheets to illustrate many of Graham’s principles. Because Investor was first published in 1949, I’d recommend reading the 2003 re...more
John
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Doug
A very good approach to investing that stands the test of time - although, it is pretty easy to tout the benefits of value investing when comparing it to dotcom stocks like they do in the most current edition. The most important lesson is the discipline needed to be successful at investing: "One lucky break, or one supremely shrewd decision - can we tell them apart? - may count for more than a lifetime of journeyman efforts. But behind the luck, or the crucial decision, there must usually exist...more
Chad Touchberry
This book was updated by Jason Zweig and I found his insight after each chapter a nice addition to how the principles in each chapter are relevant in the modern investing world. This would not be the first or second book on investing that I would read - there are better introductions out there. However, this book is nearly biblical for an approach to value investing. I found both the early chapters on investing basics beneficial, as well as the last half of the book on fundamental analysis and v...more
Deepak
I would say this is first book that change my psychology towards investing. For small investors (in fact for very small investors), information available is already reflected in share prizes. What they have access to is accessible to everyone. So there is nothing that will make you different than other. This is where i guess this book helps you. Rather than just doing calculations and following herd, it gives you framework to control your greed/fear. Very simple common sense - "Buy when cheap an...more
Wendy Yu
2013 seems to be a good time to reread this book ...

"If the investor concentrates his portfolio on common stocks he is very likely to be lead astray either by exhilarating advances or by distressing declines. This is particularly true if his reasoning is geared closely to expectations of further inflation. For then, if another bull market comes along, he will take the big rise not as a danger signal of an inevitable fall, not as a chance to cash in on his handsome profits, but rather as a vindic...more
Charlotte
This is a book that offers down-to-earth, practical advice on investing to a layman audience. Graham's message can be summarized in the last sentence, "to achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks."

In particular, Graham introduces the following concepts:

1. Value Investing. Before selecting a stock, understand the company, protect yourself against serious losses, and aspire to "adequate" not extraordinary perfo...more
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Benjamin Graham (May 8, 1894 – September 21, 1976) was an American economist and professional investor. Graham is considered the first proponent of value investing, an investment approach he began teaching at Columbia Business School in 1928 and subsequently refined with David Dodd through various editions of their famous book Security Analysis. Disciples of value investing include Jean-Marie Evei...more
More about Benjamin Graham...
Security Analysis: Principles and Technique The Interpretation of Financial Statements: The Classic 1937 Edition Security Analysis, Part III - Senior Securities With Speculative Features The Rediscovered Benjamin Graham: Selected Writings of the Wall Street Legend Benjamin Graham on Investing: Enduring Lessons from the Father of Value Investing

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“An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis, promises safety of principal and an adequate return.” 15 likes
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