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Benjamin Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (March 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140255346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140255348
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

When he died in 1976 at the age of 82, Benjamin Graham was highly respected in the investment community for his groundbreaking contribution to security analysis. During his faculty years at Columbia University, he professed an analytic approach to identifying undervalued securities that proved successful. This approach was later codified with the help of David Dodd in the landmark book Security Analysis (McGraw Hill, 1962. 4th ed.). Lowe (Keys to Investing in International Stocks, Barron, 1992) provides here a superficial biography of Graham, a summary of his investment principals, and a brief survey of opinion on the value of Graham's investment theory in the contemporary stock market. Glimpses into Graham's interaction with the pre-Depression stock market lend some color to this book. While experienced investors will find nothing new here, beginners may find this a worthwhile primer to value investing.
Joseph Barth, U.S. Military Acad. Lib., West Point, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Scientific American

Near the bottom of the 1973-74 bear market, legendary investor Ben Graham was asked: 'Are you amused or disappointed that it takes real bear market to get analysts interested in your value approach?' Graham's response is recorded in a wonderful biography by Janet Lowe that celebrates his 100th birthday. The old master noted: 'The thinking man looks at the world and sees a comedy. The feeling man looks at the world and sees a tragedy.' --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is basically Graham's life story, with a curious emphasis on his alleged "womanizing" and macho attitude -- that were quite typical of the era yet seem to fascinate and repel the author no end (whereas I, for one, am totally disinterested).
Still, the book would be OK if it was entitled something like "The Life and Times of Benjamin Graham".
But calling it "Benjamin Graham on Value Investing" is in my opinion a misrepresentation.
I would say there are less than 10 pages' worth of "lessons from the dean of Wall Street", barely skimmed, and scattered all over the book.
For readers who are not yet too serious about their investments, this may be a brief and painless introduction to the concept of value investing; but for my money, what little appears here of Graham's thinking was better explained and better organized in every other book by or about Graham that I've read, as well as most general textbooks on personal investment.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 1997
Format: Hardcover
The adage "Don't judge a book by its cover" proves to be true for Janet Lowe's book about Ben Graham. In fact, after reading this book, the adage can be updated to "Don't judge a book by its cover, its subtitle, or its endorsements."

Let's start with the book's subtitle, "Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street." The subtitle makes it sound as if Ms. Lowe's book explains Mr. Graham's investment ideas. This impression is reinforced when you read the endorsements on the book's dust cover. There you'll find quotes from a handful of investment managers (including Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway and John Bogle of the Vanguard Group) that extol the virture of Mr. Graham's ideas and the importance of Ms. Lowe's book.

Ms. Lowe's book turns out to be biography that intersperses some of Mr. Graham's ideas throughout its 230 pages. More pages are devoted to information about Mr. Graham's mistresses than to details about his investment ideas. Thankfully, the book is a quick read.

From the extensive endnotes that appear at the end of the book, it's evident that Ms. Lowe spent a great deal of time researching her subject. Unfortunately, her presentation of this information needs a better structure and more focus.

The book jumps back and forth through time, often repeating information that had been discussed earlier. This happened so frequently that I had to pause several times to figure out if I was re-reading a section.

Worse yet, Ms. Lowe seems to get lost in this time warp herself. At one point, she tells us that Mr. Graham's son was in his early teens in the mid-1960's and then, two pages later, tells us that the same son enrolled at Berkeley in 1963.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Elliott on September 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is near useless! Don't let the title fool you this book has near nothing to do with Graham's views on value investing. It is an extremly boring book on Ben's life, one which makes me have little or no respect for Ben as a person. I made the mistake of choosing this book hoping to pick up some tips and save a few bucks on the cover price, instead of buying the sure things (Intelligent Investor or Security Anaylsis). Those looking to be a value investor, this is one where there is little "value" in my opinion, and money would better be served somewhere else.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
Janet Lowe's book is a reasonable book that is easy to read. I agree with other critisms that have been made that the book spends too much time dealing with anecdotal information rather than discussing value investing. If you want a pseudo-biography, then this is okay, but all the useful stuff is available to the laymen in The Intelligent Investor already.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mariusz Skonieczny on August 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book should be titled: Biography of Benjamin Graham. For those who are interested in his life, this book is for you, but if you want to learn about value investing, then just read author's other books.

Graham's commandments:

1. Be an investor, not a speculator.
2. Understand the difference between price and value.
3. Rake the market for bargains.
4. Buy the Graham formula.
5. Regard corporate figures with suspicion.
6. Don't expect every decision to be perfect.
7. Smart investing does not require higher math.
8. Rule #1: Diversify with stocks and bonds.
9. Rule #2: Diversify with a wide variety of stocks.
10. When in doubt, stick to quality.
11. Dividends provide a clue.
12. Defend your shareholder rights.
13. Be patient.
14. Think for yourself.

- Mariusz Skonieczny, author of Why Are We So Clueless about the Stock Market? Learn how to invest your money, how to pick stocks, and how to make money in the stock market
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 1998
Format: Paperback
Wall Street really does have a culture of its own, a history, its heros. Graham was one of them. Good book about his life, his philosophy, investment record, and the impact he had on the big investors of today, Warren Buffett the star among them. Entertaining story.
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Format: Paperback
More than a book on value investing this is a book describing the history and person of Benjamin Graham written by one of today's most prominent business writers. It's a biography, not an investment text and together with the 1996 posthumously published, and never really finished, The Memoirs of the Dean of Wall Street, by Graham himself, the book is probably the best way to get acquainted with the person known as the father of value investing.

To understand Graham you have to know his background. Young London-born Benjamin Grossbaum moved to New York at the age of 5. His parents were Polish Jews. Only a brief period thereafter his father died and the children were raised in relative meager conditions. As an intelligent boy Ben got to skip several classes, which attracted the painful attention of the school bullies. Without a father Ben turned inwards and found his role models in literature. He idolized characters like Marcus Aurelius, Ulysses and - above all - Benjamin Franklin. He now formed a kind of stoic relationship to the world around him. It is here that the intellectual, rational and emotionally guarded person of Ben Graham is formed. His difficulty for emotional attachment later on lead him to remarry twice and to have numerous affairs, he "leaped from blond to blond like an Alpine goat springing from peak to peak". With his third marriage and only after leaving the investment world Graham finally opened up and seemed to find peace with himself.

This is not the place to recapitulate Grahams well known history, but I would like to share a few interesting trivia. For example, what role did Jerome "Jerry" Newman have in Graham's investment partnership Graham-Newman and what did Professor David Dodd contribute to Security Analysis?
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