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Benjamin Graham on Investing: Enduring Lessons from the Father of Value Investing [Hardcover]

Benjamin Graham , Rodney G. Klein

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Book Description

1 Aug 2009

“They laid out a road map forinvesting that I have now beenfollowing for 57 years. There’s beenno reason to look for another.”
—Warren Buffett, on thewritings of Benjamin Graham

Legendary investing author and philosopherBenjamin Graham lived throughinteresting times. Soon after his graduationfrom Columbia College, the nation enteredthe First World War. As the stock market fluctuatedin wild dips and peaks, the governmentseized control of the railroad industry, inflationand interest rates rose dramatically, andeconomic depression loomed on the horizon.

During these events—and perhaps inspiredby them—Graham began writing articles forThe Magazine of Wall Street, putting to paperhis earliest ideas on value investing and securityanalysis.

For the first time, these important workshave been anthologized into a single volume.Benjamin Graham on Investing is a treasure troveof rare and out-of-print articles that documentthe early flashes of genius from a manwhose ideas and theories would revolutionizeinvestment philosophy and inspire the careersof such luminaries as Warren Buffett, SethKlarman, Charlie Munger, and countless othertop-tier investors.

The early works of Benjamin Graham havenever been as relevant as they are today.The world’s markets are undergoing changeon a scale not unlike that of Graham’s era.David Darst, one of the world’s most respectedexperts on asset allocation, provides insightfulanalyses connecting Graham’s articles toevents today.

,i>Benjamin Graham on Investing is a timelessclassic that continues to have relevance morethan 30 years after the author’s death.

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From the Back Cover

Most famous for his investing classic Security Analysis, first published byMcGraw-Hill in 1934, Benjamin Graham wrote for The Magazine of WallStreet between 1917 and 1927. It was in these early articles that Graham began fleshingout what would eventually become some of the most influential investmenttheories in history.

Now, for the first time, Graham’s early writings areavailable exclusively in a single volume.

Benjamin Graham on Investing is a rare presentation of the legendary investor’s uniqueanalytical style and methods for determining a company’s true value. Writing fromthe last two years of World War I through the years leading up to the crash of 1929,Graham’s articles are not only indicative of the economic turbulence of the periodbut also serve as timeless pieces of wisdom for any investor.

Edited and featuring a preface by Rodney G. Klein, a former student of the legendaryvalue investor, and with detailed commentary by asset allocation expert DavidM. Darst, this collection is a prized volume for any fan of Benjamin Graham.

About the Author

Benjamin Graham was the author of manyinfluential investment books, including theclassic Security Analysis, now in its sixth edition.The first proponent of the value schoolof investing and founder and former presidentof the Graham-Newman corporation investmentfund, Graham taught at ColumbiaUniversity’s Graduate School of Business from1927 through 1957.
Rodney G. Klein is aWall Street historian and former student ofBenjamin Graham at UCLA. He founded theKlein Stock Market Museum & Library inMassillon, Ohio.
David M. Darst, CFA, is amanaging director of Morgan Stanley. Heserves as Chairman of the Asset AllocationCommittee and Chief Investment Strategistof the Global Wealth Management Group.Darst was the founding president of theMorgan Stanley Investment Group.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Collectable 6 Oct 2009
By Mr. Rafi Nelson - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Couple of good articles from young Graham, but mostly redundant.
I like to collect financial history and would count this as a collectable piece... but do not expect more than that.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good compilation of articles - provokes thoughts 19 Aug 2009
By Jim Estill - Published on
Graham is the value investing ideology the Warren Buffet follows. Buffet worked for Graham for a couple of years. "If you buy shares in a company you are an owner so only buy shares of a company you want to own".

One problem with articles is they are topical at the time but the companies referenced are no longer in business in most cases. So no hot stock tips (and of course the basis of value investing is there is no such thing as a stock tip).

What is interesting is to see the methods he uses. Most of it is common sense. But then again, common sense is not that common.

He placed a high emphasis on the balance sheet and the numbers. Although he does not ignore the fundamentals of what the business does, he does not spend as much time as I do in trying to vision the future. The other factor that seemed weak was the attention to management and entrepreneurial creativity within the companies he analysed.

It was interesting to see that Graham owned majority control of Geico at one point and now Buffet owns it.

If you are going to be an investor, it seems to me following Grahams' ideology is a good idea. Think like an owner - not a speculator.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great........for the correct reader 2 Jun 2010
By Lynn S. Hamilton - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you were a joint econ/history major you will love this book. It is super to read about the stock markets our grandparents experienced. Excellent commentary by Klein and Darst. The Graham article on Goodyear's experience in 1920-21 I found particularly interesting. Shows how little has really changed. Obviously if you are looking for current investment ideas, this isnt the book for you.
By way of background: I have been in this business for 33 years.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Graham 10 July 2010
By Mr. Wan - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is actually a collection of articles written by Graham that appeared in "Magazine of Wall Street." They were articles Graham wrote early in his career, some as early as 23 years old. According to the author, we should read these articles because they show a young genius at work, and the evolution of Graham's way of thinking. To me, reading this book is about as relevant as a computer programmer reading a collection of articles written by Steve Jobs in 1975 on the state of technology and how to build a computer.

Many of the concepts Graham talked about are not applicable today. He goes into discussions on how certain companies are overestimating their tax, that we must remove some of the tax liability and add it to the balance sheet, etc. Other stories involve a mining company expected to dissolve in the near future and how we should see what the value of assets will be once it dissolves.

This book also discusses bonds. I've never owned a bond nor do I plan to, at least for a very long time.

I rummaged through this book through the bookstore and read the discussions on how Goodyear bought expensive assets and took on too much growth during the boom years and how it's business suffered during the depression because of this. I thought this book would be filled with examples on how to analyze the merits of a company's management by using the numbers. Instead, this book focuses heavily on accounting. I would say this book focueses in great detail on things I don't care about, quite frankly.

Graham's writing style is quite dry. "Security Analysis" is very dry. "Intelligent Investor" is also dry but is at least readable and serves more as a guidebook on how to think, and how to approach the markets. This book is more of a careful analysis on the statistics on certain companies from the early 1900's, and a very analytical discussion on their financial statements.

Graham came from a different time. A few of the articles discuss how companies are approaching taxes on assets and goodwill, and a tax code that has changed dramatically since the early 1900's, and how we must make adjustments to get the correct book value.

This book came from a different era; stocks were still viewed as "speculative" and the only safe way to invest in stocks is if you didn't buy at a price higher than book value. The business world has changed significantly since those days. Now, companies are all about doing more with less, outsourcing, and focusing on ROI and ROE. I just don't think this book is relevant. Though, some very serious value investors may actually enjoy this book! I cannot give this book a low rating. However, I was disappointed with it. We also see articles by a very young Graham and see him write things we probably wouldn't have seen from him in later years. As an example, after a dry discussions on capitalization, assets, depreciaction, and on and on, Graham concludes that there's not much value in the company, but the article ends by saying since the shares are under accumulation and this usually ends up with further higher prices, we should buy. That goes against the Graham I imagine.

I have read literally hundreds of books about the stock market. I can read books that discuss technical analysis, fundamentals, etc. I read a book by Mary Buffett in a few days, "Buffettology" which discusses competitive advantage, and other important topics. But this book is about as exciting as reading a textbook on your least favorite subjetc. And to add to that, much of it is not relevant.
5.0 out of 5 stars My view 23 Sep 2010
By Encuero - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is well written. I bought it as a collectors item to complement all the other books I have written by Graham. A must for any serious collector of fine works.
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