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Security Analysis: The Classic 1934 Edition Hardcover – October 1, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0070244962 ISBN-10: 0070244960 Edition: 1st

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Security Analysis: The Classic 1934 Edition + The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel (Revised Edition) + Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 725 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070244960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070244962
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 2.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Read and reap? J.P. Morgan Co.'s private-banking unit, New York, compiles "Summer Must-Reads for Millionaires." The 10-book list includes the 1934 edition of "Security Analysis." The Wall Street Journal 20000726

From the Author

Security Analysis is the bible of fundamental analysis. Originally published in 1934, the tome systematically lays bare the science of security analysis. Written with the assistance of cowriter David Dodd, Benjamin Graham's intellectual tour de force has yet to be equaled in the annals of investing. Written only a few years after the devastating stock market crash of 1929, Graham had one objective--to make the investment process as safe as possible using knowledge of key factors about the business.

Beginning with bonds and moving quickly to stocks, Graham and Dodd go over all of the angles. Articulating a comprehensive theory of fixed-value and common stock investment, they examine in detail the various factors that one should consider when valuing securities. Dividends, extraordinary items, depreciation, amortization, capital structure and balance sheet analysis are all described and defined in lurid detail. It is impossible to read Security Analysis and not come away with a deeper understanding of corporate finance and how it relates to investing.

On the downside, let's be frank--Security Analysis is not an easy book to read. However, it remains one of the key textbooks for communicating fundamental analysis to millions of MBAs, in spite of the fact that it first saw print 63 years ago. I personally believe that reading and understanding most of Security Analysis would make a great benchmark for determining whether or not you are ready to start investing your money in specific investments. Sure, Graham is very value-biased in his investment philosophy, but looking for growth without focusing on the price you are paying is the golden road to underperformance.


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Customer Reviews

Every serious value investor has to read this book.
Mariusz Skonieczny
Warren Buffett was the most favorite student of Ben Graham.
Indrajith A. Weeraratne
The style and reasoning is extremely clear and sound.
ws__

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By S. Schneider on December 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Although it is fun to read Graham & Dodd's First from the context of historical perspective, there is more to this volume than history. When I first learned that Warren Buffett keeps and peruses EACH edition of Graham & Dodd's "Security Analysis", this struck me as a sort of silly fanaticism. But anyone who takes the time to read more than one edition of "Security Analysis" will understand why Buffett probably keeps all four. For better or worse, each edition has some gem which may not be found in the other volumes. In the first, for instance, there is a section on rights offering analysis which can't be found in the 3rd and 4th editions (I've actually never been able to get my hands on a second edition, so I don't know whether the equation he offers in in the 2nd or not).
I'm not sure if this would be the first "Security Analysis" volume I'd try to tackle (the 3rd is probably the best...Graham participated less actively in the 4th), but if you are comfortable enough with security analysis terminology to know what is antiquated and what is not in this 1934 text, you will not be sorry you made the effort to buy and read it.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Samuel W. Harnish, Jr. on September 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is book has been updated many times (through the fifth edition). If you have read the latest edition, and believe you have read anything like the original, go back and read this one. Once you have read 'Old Ben', you will find other editions very disappointing. That could be why Warren Buffet suggested going back to the original if you want to know what value investing is all about.
Current investment practice, and later editions of this book concentrate on the one thing that Graham said was, if not impossible, very non-productive - estimating future earnings. This book concentrates on understanding proven value. Where one spends most of its time on the income statement, this book spends most of its time on the balance sheet. There is a world of difference, and the difference leads to a much different portfolio, and future.
There is, as the author points out repeatedly, a difference between investment and speculation. There is also a difference between helpful discussion and meaningful analysis. The original edition is full of meaning, written by a practitioner who also could teach. Later editions (especially the fifth) make me wonder how much of the master's works the new authors read before starting. It also makes me question how much influence Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette and Autanet exercised in return for their grant to finance the book.
If you want a great book on investing read the original. It will give you much more insight and at least twice as much 'food for thought'.
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70 of 75 people found the following review helpful By JP on April 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My star rating is for the 1934 edition, but this review may appear for other editions of the book.

The 1934 edition came out before the creation of the SEC and deals with a lot of accounting irregularities that are not such a problem today. I suggest you buy a newer edition.

Some people seem to have a preference for the 1940 edition. The 1951 edition was the first one written after the Great Depression, so it dealt with businesses in a more normal economic environment. The 1962 edition was the last written directly by Graham and Dodd, but it is currently unavailable. The 1988 edition is the most recent edition of Security Analysis, but it was updated by other authors years after Graham had died. The 1988 edition is the one currently used as a textbook for Columbia University's Security Analysis course.

Update: Since I wrote my review, the sixth edition of this book has been published. Apparently, it is essentially the 1940 edition with commentary from some of today's most notable value investors.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Someone wrote reviews to this book indicating that the major downside to it is its age. The book was written in 1934 therefore it misses all the modern developments of finance - modern portfolio theory for example - and all the new techniques that Wall Street "experts" use today.
As an answer I give an anecdote from Warren Buffett's life:
When stock investments started to become popular, the volume increased ten fold, and the modern techniques to make a profit were developed, Warren Buffet was extremely worried. He remembered what happened in 1929. He loathed the new trends in investment that tried to predict the future price of a stock. Therefore he had a meeting with all his fellow Graham students, he expressly forbid to bring anything newer than the 1934 edition of Security Analysis.
This happened decades ago, but history repeats. We all know what happened 3 years ago. We all know how "experts" thought that the market was booming, and how they let it crash. We all know how they made a profit on the money that private investors lost.
Nowadays when I go shopping for a book I always look at the date of pubblication, if it is between 1997 and 2000 I'm very wary. All those books about "new economy", "digital era", "e-commerce", "dot coms", etc. have to be taken with the maximum attention. Usually they contain a lot of inflated ideas that as we look at what happened after they were written we understand how much those "experts" really understand about stock investments.
If they were wrong then, why should they be righ now?
Trust me, but more importantly, trust Graham, trust Buffett, (those that have been consistently right for 50 years) this is the book to buy, "anything newer looks suspicious."
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