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The Intelligent Investor, Revised Edition
Cover of The Intelligent Investor, Revised Edition
The Intelligent Investor, Revised Edition

"By far the best book on investing ever written." — Warren Buffett

The classic text of Benjamin Graham's seminal The Intelligent Investor has now been revised and annotated to update the 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 revised edition of The Intelligent Investor is the most important book you will ever read on how to reach your financial goals.

"By far the best book on investing ever written." — Warren Buffett

The classic text of Benjamin Graham's seminal The Intelligent Investor has now been revised and annotated to update the 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 revised 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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  • Chapter One

    Investment versus Speculation: Results to Be Expected by the Intelligent Investor

    This chapter will outline the viewpoints that will be set forth in the remainder of the book. In particular we wish to develop at the outset our concept of appropriate portfolio policy for the individual, nonprofessional investor.

    Investment versus Speculation

    What do we mean by "investor"? Throughout this book theterm will be used in contradistinction to "speculator." As far back as 1934, in our textbook Security Analysis,we attempted a precise formulation of the difference between the two, as follows: "An investment operation is one which, upon thorough analysis promises safety of principal and an adequate return. Operations not meeting these requirements are speculative."

    While we have clung tenaciously to this definition over the ensuing 38 years, it is worthwhile noting the radical changes that have occurred in the use of the term "investor" during this period. After the great market decline of 1929–1932 all common stocks were widely regarded as speculative by nature. (A leading authority stated flatly that only bonds could be bought for investment.)Thus we had then to defend our definition against the charge that it gave too wide scope to the concept of investment.

    Now our concern is of the opposite sort. We must prevent our readers from accepting the common jargon which applies the term "investor" to anybody and everybody in the stock market. In our last edition we cited the following headline of a front-page article of our leading financial journal in June 1962:

    SMALL INVESTORS BEARISH, THEY ARE SELLING ODD-LOTS SHORT

    In October 1970 the same journal had an editorial critical of what it called "reckless investors," who this time were rushing in on the buying side.

    These quotations well illustrate the confusion that has been dominant for many years in the use of the words investment and speculation. Think of our suggested definition of investment given above, and compare it with the sale of a few shares of stock by an inexperienced member of the public, who does not even own what he is selling, and has some largely emotional conviction that hewill be able to buy them back at a much lower price. (It is not irrelevant to point out that when the 1962 article appeared the market had already experienced a decline of major size, and was now getting ready for an even greater upswing. It was about as poor a time as possible for selling short.) In a more general sense, the later-usedphrase "reckless investors" could be regarded as a laughable contradiction in terms—something like "spendthrift misers" -- were this misuse of language not so mischievous.

    The newspaper employed the word "investor" in theseinstances because, in the easy language of Wall Street, everyone who buys or sells a security has become an investor, regardless of what he buys, or for what purpose, or at what price, or whether for cash or on margin. Compare this with the attitude of the public toward common stocks in 1948, when over 90% of those queried expressed themselves as opposed to the purchase of common stocks. About half gave as their reason "not safe, a gamble," andabout half, the reason "not familiar with." It is indeed ironical (though not surprising) that common-stock purchases of all kinds were quite generally regarded as highly speculative or risky at a time when they were selling on a most attractive basis, and due soon to begin their greatest advance in history; conversely the veryfact they had advanced to what were undoubtedly dangerous levels as judged by past experience later transformed them into "investments," and the entire stock-buying public into "investors."

About the Author-
  • Benjamin Graham (1894-1976), the father of value investing, has been an inspiration for many of today's most successful businesspeople. He is also the author of Securities Analysis and The Interpretation of Financial Statements.
Reviews-
  • Warren Buffett "By far the best book on investing ever written."
  • Fortune "If you read just one book on investing during your lifetime, make it this one"
  • Barron's "The wider Mr. Graham's gospel spreads, the more fairly the market will deal with its public."
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