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Value Investing Made Easy: Benjamin Graham's Classic Investment Strategy Explained for Everyone Paperback – November 22, 1997


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

An investing classic—now in paperback! Now every investor can profit from the proven techniques of Benjamin Graham, "the most influential investment philosopher of the 20th century."—Smart Money. For more than 60 years, savvy stock market pros like Warren Buffett have practiced Benjamin Graham’s principles of value investing, the technique that ferrets out undervalued stocks and uncovers hidden winners—with minimal risk. What was once an insider’s secret is now a wealth-building strategy every investor can use! In a clear, easy-to-understand style laced with entertaining stories and quotes, financial writer Janet Lowe demystifies value investing and gives you simple-to-use trading tactics that can help you reap enormous rewards. Praise for Value Investing Made Easy: "A book whose time has come."-Richard Russell, Editor and Publisher, Dow Theory Letters. "The best guidance possible for the investor."-Charles Brandes, Managing Director, Brandes Investment Partners and author of Value Investing Today.

About the Author

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Janet Lowe is the author of numerous popular books on investment topics, including the best-selling Warren Buffett Speaks, Ben Graham on Value Investing: Lessons from the Dean of Wall Street, and Dividends Don’t Lie, with Geraldine Weiss. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (November 22, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070388644
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070388642
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #489,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Janet Lowe's career as a writer has included everything from freelance feature writer to technical writer, poet, reporter, editor, media spokesperson and author of 18 books and audiotapes.

The "Speaks" series -- small, carefully researched biographies of American leaders including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Jack Welch, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan and the founders of Google -- are her best-known books. Among her full-length biographies is Damn Right: The Story of Berkshire Hathaway Billionaire Charlie Munger.

Lowe is a leading authority on the value investing theory. Her books on that subject include Benjamin Graham on Value Investing, Value Investing Made Easy and others.

Her books have been reviewed by USAToday, Newsweek, Barron's, and dozens of other national publications. She has been a guest on Jim Lehrer's News Hour, the PBS Nightly Business Report, CNN, CNBC and many national and local televisions shows.

Lowe's freelance articles have appeared in more than 100 publications including Newsweek, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, the San Jose Mercury News, San Diego Union-Tribune, Modern Maturity, Planning Magazine and others.

A popular public speaker, Janet has addressed investment seminars in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain. She has appeared before audiences at the University of Nebraska and University of Nevada at Las Vegas business schools. She has been a guest speaker at the New York City Financial Analyst's Society and has been asked to speak to private companies such as Brandes Investment Partners in Del Mar, California.

Lowe grew up in California and Nevada, attended Las Vegas High School and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Economics from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. She earned her Master's Degree in Mass Communications from San Diego State University. She completed a Wharton Business School fellowship and has a lifetime teaching certificate in California.

Janet has been a San Diego YMCA Woman of Achievement. She is past president of both the San Diego County Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists. She was named San Diego Press Club's Journalist of the Year in 2000 and again in 2007.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Leonard R Budney on May 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
Some reviewers criticize Lowe, claiming 1) the book is too simple, 2) she simply quotes people like Buffet, Graham and Lynch, and 3) she doesn't explain her calculations enough. I disagree on all counts! You really should take a look at this book; it's an excellent all around introduction.
1. Is the book too simple? No, it's supposed to be simple. Lowe herself explains in the title, and in the preface, that this book is meant to be ``Graham and Dodd made easy''. She did a good job; that's just what the book is. After you read this book, you should think about moving on to Graham and Dodd--but this book is a good start.
2. What's wrong with quoting successful folks like Buffet, Graham and Lynch? Remember, this book is ``Graham and Dodd made easy'', so it's bound to contain lots of references to Graham and Dodd. Naturally, it also contains quotes from Graham's most successful disciple, Warren Buffet. The quotes are well chosen, so Lowe has done us a service. She has distilled the wisdom of the master.
3. Should Lowe make recommendations, like ``use this formula; don't use that one''? I don't think so. The problem with value investing is that no one formula perfectly captures business worth. If there were a simple formula, then everyone would be a millionaire. The fact is that you need to know several different ways of looking at company value. Each way is reasonable. Your personality, viewpoint and tolerance for uncertainty decides how you weight these different variables. However you do it, you will be exactly as successful as you are careful and businesslike.
So all around, I think this book is an excellent introduction to value investing. It captures the spirit of great investors, while remaining readable and clear. Well worth your time.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By macaStat on July 17, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like the idea, but...
Having recently undertaken the wonderful journey of studying Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett through reading most of their writings, I felt obligated to comment on this book. Many important concepts are nicely explained, and the format is pleasing, however, a disturbingly significant number of facts presented are gross misinterpretations.
The author does a nice job of explaining commonly used Wall Street terminology and concepts, for the novice. However, she fails in the infinitely more important task of consistently explaining the core concepts of investing (and not just stock speculating -- as so many of us all too often do).
Two (among the many) misleading points involve investment diversification and Buffett's used cigar-butt approach. She implies both Graham and Buffett whole-heartedly embrace diversification. Unless I have been reading the wrong Graham and Buffett, they certainly do not do so, unconditionally. The author further misrepresents Buffett when she actually leaves it that he finds the "cigar butt" approach, a wise way to buy businesses. He indeed called that method, "foolish" [Mr. Buffett: if that is no longer the case, please excuse my error.]
If you are searching for enlightenment, the way I was, you will be 1000 times better served to read "The Essays of Warren Buffett", arranged by Cunningham and, of course, Graham's "The Intelligent Investor".
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 18, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Janet Lowe explains that value investing a-la Benjamin Graham is not a simple matter of following a cookbook recipe, i.e. screening stocks based on x number of factors, ratios, or other factors being met. Instead, it is a philosophy which must be applied by calculating several measurements of value which, when combined with a "margin of safety", diverse portfolio and enough time, should produce gains. My problem with "Value Investing Made Easy" is that Ms. Lowe fails to adequately explain the variables in her value formulas, repeatedly quotes other investment authors directly from their books, such as Peter Lynch out of "Beat the Street," and takes the easy way out by consistently presenting either or alternatives without recommending when to pick a particular alternative, one of which will work, the other of which will fail or not work as well, but had you chosen her other recommendation, it would have worked better.

An example of Ms. Lowe not adequately explaining the variables in her valuation ratios is her attempted application-explanation of Ben Graham's formula for intrinsic value, which is the most important measurement in the book. The formula is E(2r+8.5) x 4.4/Y with E representing earnings, r representing earnings growth, and Y representing the current yield on AAA corporate bonds. Perhaps you are asking yourself which earnings E represents, the trailing 12 months, the current years, etc. I sure did. Same thing with r, is it the percentage increase of earnings growth from the trailing 12 months to the current year? Ms. Lowe simply assigns a value for each in her example without explaining its basis.

As for quoting other authors, and investment gurus I might add, Ms.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gregory McMahan VINE VOICE on January 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
The author touts the book as a distillation of the key concepts of Benjamin Graham's classic text, Security Analysis, but fails to elaborate on a key point repeatedly mentioned in Graham's book. Graham noted that at times, some bonds make for better investments than stocks as a class of investments, and at other times, some stocks make for better investments than bonds as a class. This readily follows from Graham's definition of an investment, which he stated most succinctly in his book for the novice investor, The Intelligent Investor:

An investment is any activity which provides safety of capital with a reasonable expectation of income. All other activities are speculative.

Lowe's book concentrates solely on stocks, and ignores the potential of bonds as an investment. As a result, the book distills only some of the wisdom of Security Analysis, which, by the way, can be found in a more accessible form in Graham's book, The Intelligent Investor.

By saying this, I do not mean to imply that Value Investing Made Easy is not a worthwhile read. Rather, it is the book the novice should read if and only if he or she does not want to spend the time reading Graham's Security Analysis, a formidable text nearly a thousand pages long (however, in Graham's defense, most of these pages are devoted to graphs, charts and numerous examples of the application of his techniques).

Lowe's book presents most of the important tenets necessary for picking stocks along the lines of Graham and Dodd (and Warren Buffett). A careful reader will notice, however, that the stock universe for which the tenets are applicable limits him or her to solely the proven performers.
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