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Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  3,224 ratings  ·  78 reviews
Widely respected and admired, Philip Fisher is among the most influential investors of all time. His investment philosophies, introduced almost forty years ago, are not only studied and applied by today's financiers and investors, but are also regarded by many as gospel. This book is invaluable reading and has been since it was first published in 1958. The updated paperbac ...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published August 29th 2003 by John Wiley & Sons (first published November 30th 1957)
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When I first discovered my interest in investing, Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits is one of the first books I read. I remember being enthralled by the notion of taking what seemed incomprehensible and boiling it down to a simple decision--invest or not. Fisher's approach requires common sense and conviction, but most importantly, is repeatable.

There are many awful "investing" books out there that seize on people's need to be cutting edge and innovative. Well, not everything changes every year
Isaac Breese
Common Stocks And Uncommon Profits by Philip A. Fisher is a book about investments and how to be successful when investing in stocks. Fisher divides his book into three parts. First with common stocks, conservative investments, and developing an investment philosophy. In these sections Fisher emphasizes what to look for in a growth stock, the characteristics of a profitable business, and how his experiences in the stock market helped to develop his own philosophy.
There are many things that I
Steve Bradshaw
Bland, obvious and somewhat outdated. Disappointing given Warren Buffet's recommendation.

I was hoping for some good ideas on identifying growth franchises that can be backed for long periods of time - most likely the common ground that Buffet finds with Phil Fisher, but instead I found a lot of obvious, MBA-style wisdom, short of real insight. Very little of what is presented is verifiable or backed up with data. The book is particularly dangerous as the basis of an investment manifesto for inve
The great investor Phillip Fisher wrote this book more than fifty years ago.

In this book Mr. Fisher describes interesting ways of acquiring more information about companies that you wish to invest in. He describes how to identify outstanding companies, how to determine companies' competitive advantages, and what to look for when buying a company, as well as when to sell a company and when not to. Don't miss reading part two of the book, "Conservative investors sleep well." This book is a must fo
An excellent and thoughtful book on the investing process. It also debunks my previous conception of value investing as going only for old, staid companies, Fisher makes a beeline for the growth-oriented stocks that he thinks will multiply several fold in value over the coming years -- only he won't overpay for them. I like, also, the short autobiography at the end, especially his quotation of Shakespeare: "There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune."

A classic on growth investing.

Key takeaway:

1. The key philosophy of Fisher is that he believes that investing in companies that will grow faster than the economy, acquire them at reasonable price and hold them for a long time will outperform the market.

2. Fisher is less price sensitive to value investors. He emphasizes the business quality much more. Buying good companies is more important than buying cheap companies.

3. No companies will stay the same. They will either become better or become wo
Jonathan Perez
Classic must read for all those like me who got caught by the value investing bug. While reading I could not help but thinking about the famous quote from Warren Buffet being "85% Graham and 15% Fisher" and I have to say after reading this book that it feels that Fisher deserves more than 15% credit. Many of the 15 points appeared in The Buffet Way by Robert Hagstrom. Anyway solid reminder once more of things such as the power of compounding interests, management ownership and integrity, organic ...more
Jimmy Huynh
A well written book on the fundamentals of long position strategy. Fisher goes into detail in explaining the rationality behind each of his recommendations/strategies. Fisher uses fictional examples as well as sharing his real life experiences as well. Specifically, I found his 15 point system to be relevant as opposed to the many outdated finance strategies/books out there as well as his approach on finding & researching growth stocks towards the end of the book. Overall a great book and I ...more
James Lan
The book was really good in giving you the mindset of how to find and what to look for in the potential winning stocks. In this book, it is mainly focusing on looking at the company's fundamental. The book teaches you how to use the scuttle butt method or a method that is used to extract information related to the company's performance and evaluate whether this company is worthwhile for investment. Moreover, it also teaches when to buy and more importantly when to sell. It also point out common ...more
This book challenged me given its emphasis on growth investing and the scuttlebutt approach. I think I struggled with it because I prefer the simplicity and inherent beauty of the value investing methodology. I invest by identifying undervalued assets, analyzing measures of profitability, liquidity, solvency, and cash flow. I parse the balance sheet in particular and income statement and cash flow statement to a lesser extent.

Phil Fisher recommends an alternative approach. He prefers to researc
This book contains all 3 books ever (as to my knowledge) written by the legendary Fisher

(1) still on my way through the first book ( common stocks and uncommon profits). it's proposing an 'art' in investing using the method called scuttlebutt ( verbal input from customers, competitors etc). key highlight is the classic 15 points used to evaluate the soundness of a company ( because it's an art, it's more qualitative in nature)

(2) 2nd book is called conservative investors sleep well. it is divid
For the investor (not the trader).

This book is actually the title and 2 other writings: Conservative Investors sleep well and Developing an investment philosophy.

The latter is by far the best part of the book because it is a biography of sorts and some real life experiences.

The 1st part is the one that is the most well known and describes ways of judging businesses - the scuttlebutt approach is unlike what most practitioners preach.

The 2nd part describes the nuances of making the decision. N
Dvir Oren
read only the summary

think long term
ignore mr market
research your companies well
look to buy when there's a temporary drop in the stock price

To be a successful investor, you have to be willing to dig. A company’s true value is based on so much more than its stock price alone! If you’re willing to put in the detective work, you stand to reap great rewards no matter whether you’re a conservative investor or a high-risk one.
So far this is the best book on investing I've read for a novice investor. He lays out 15 points on how to research companies (examples are how good the management is, how much research they're doing on new products, how strong the sales team is, etc.). He also discusses when to buy and sell stock. Basically says to not sell good growth stocks if you are confident their value will continue to rise. Would be a good one to read again if investing alot.
Roope Keto
I try to summarize this book really briefly:

This book emphasizes growth. And that's easily understandable when you take fishers's attitude of long-term holding.

So, you look for a company with a potential and competence.

"it's better to get great company with a good prize than a good company with a great price"

Brentley Campbell
Phil Fisher teaches some amazing lessons in this collection of a few of his writings. I especially enjoyed "Conservative Investors Sleep Well". I was able to add many items to my investment checklist. When viewed through a 'value-lens', many of Fisher's points are highly relevant to a diligent value investor. Additionally, I believe many people misinterpret his thoughts on 'growth' companies because his manufacturing growth companies are very different from what we saw during the tech bubble, wh ...more
Now undisputably invstment classic. This book is superb suplement to Ben Graham's Security Analysis. Phil asks us to pay attention to quality of earnings and management and urges us to bet disproportionately on great company. Phil's checklist may help you get extraordinary results rather than medicre ones. I have personally seen advantage of following some of his advice and difference it made in my long term portfolio.
Phil is a great teacher and mentor in the league of Ben Graham. One reason mig
Very informative, but also very dry at times. The straight forward manner of writing is probably great for the serious, established investor, but may not be the best for beginners. Also, while the general principles of the book are timeless, the examples and methods of gathering information are rather dated, as to be expected from a book written in the 50's (i.e. "scuttlebutt" could probably just be replaced with "internet" now). Overall I think this is a great book, and probably invaluable for ...more
Eugene Yap
This is a book that all beginner investors should read, and all investment professionals should memorise. With very little of those intimidating statistics and maths, i.e. all those scary looking graphs and tables, and channeling no little common and uncommon sense, Fisher makes the case for careful, prudent, sensible and sure investment in the wild, wild mess that is the equity market. Mulling over his stringent criteria for a stock worthy of investment, it occurred to me that if he was alive t ...more
I'm not that into finance stuff, so this was pretty dull for me. I was pretty impressed that Fisher wasn't what I consider to be a typical, corporate cold-blooded jerk, though. He puts a lot of value on how companies treat their employees.
The most interesting part is this edition's introduction, which is written by Fisher's son. It's very personal and doesn't paint the nicest picture of his father. It's tough to read a book of financial advice that's been introduced with a detailed explanation
Vivek Rajan Vivek
The title says it all. Philip, the son of legendary investor Fisher has written a book that espouses the methods of the god father of modern day investing - Benjamin Graham who happens to be the guru of the wealthiest investor in the world - Warren Buffet, one among a host of other students who have gone on to become very wealthy by following a few simple principles on investing.

The best book in the genre was and still is 'The Intelligent Investor', a gem of a book that will continue to be cheri
Quick read and informative. Very interesting writing on the way successful companies work in the 1950's (not massively different to today). Touch of the Horatio Alger to stretches of the prose. Fisher basically says he gets all his information from his stockbroking pals which is bad news for any newbies and once sorta tells you to just go to an investment advisor instead of trying it yourself. His focus on information gather correlates with my experience of how difficult it is to find out about ...more
Robert Henrich
In spite of the age of this book, I thought many of Fisher's ideas were quite well founded and visionary. For the small investor, his suggestion of the scuttlebutt approach is rather silly. You simply would not have the type of influence needed to meet with the senior management of your target company. Much of his advice seems like common sense, but I expect that at the time of publication, that it was rather unique. It was good reinforcement of things most investors consider second nature and I ...more
Alex Sacerdote
The single best book for growth stock investing.
The only reason this book is missing that fifth star is because of the author's paragraph structure and writing. The ideas here are golden but I wish that Fisher expressed them more clearly and without awkwardly structured sentences.

Other than that, the investing ideas and techniques designed and illustrated by Fisher are ones that I will carry with me throughout my financial career. Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits is a priceless asset that I would recommend to anyone in the investing indust
Vasanth Gopal
foundational book on investing...
Jan 07, 2008 Anthony rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: value investing type stock pickers
Title is self explanitory. This book goes into detail about sound strategies to picking winning stocks from companies with great management, products, and financials. He prefers to ignore the stock of the day and instead search for out of favor stocks in beaten down industries that have the liklihood of returning to past glory. He expects to find stocks that will double in 5 years and will net him a 15% yearly gain. He favors value investing over momentum investing and is able to stomach downtur ...more
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Philip Arthur Fisher was an American stock investor best known as the author of Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, a guide to investing that has remained in print ever since it was first published in 1958.

His career began in 1928 when he dropped out of the newly created Stanford Graduate School of Business (later he would return to be one of only three people ever to teach the investment course)
More about Philip A. Fisher...
Paths to Wealth Through Common Stocks Conservative investors sleep well Philip A. Fisher Collected Works, Foreword by Ken Fisher: Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits, Paths to Wealth through Common Stocks, Conservative Investors ... and Developing an Investment Philosophy Developing an Investment Philosophy Philip Fisher Investment Classics: Collected Works of the Father of Growth Investing

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