In The Rediscovered Benjamin Graham
, Janet Lowe collects plenty of value. Graham was one of the greatest seers and bargain hunters in Wall Street history. Lowe, a veteran financial journalist and editor, showcases a wide range of Graham's writings, lectures, speeches, and interviews from the 1930s to the 1970s. A money manager, author, and adjunct professor at Columbia University, Graham became a millionaire by buying beaten-up stocks following the 1929 crash. Warren Buffett was an early enthusiast of Graham, whose style of investing and advice remain important nearly 25 years after his death. Graham preached the need to buy companies at a major discount to the rest of the market, based on factors such as book value, dividend yields, and price-to-earnings ratio. "Graham still has one of the largest and most loyal followings of any investment philosopher of this century," Lowe writes in the preface. "The more readers study Graham's value investing principles, the more loyal they are likely to become."
The book includes "Renaissance of Value," an address by Graham from 1974 that foreshadowed the bull market of the next decade; "Is American Business Worth More Dead than Alive?", Graham's three-part series in Forbes in 1932 that correctly heralded the deals on Wall Street at the time; and "Interviews with Benjamin Graham," three magazine articles about his musings in retirement after 60 years of investing. Graham, known for his books Security Analysis and The Intelligent Investor, could be amazingly prescient. But he also made lots of mistakes, leading him to conclude that no one could be precise about the direction of the stock market. "The only thing that we can be pretty sure of, perhaps, is that we are acting reasonably and intelligently," he said in a lecture 50 years ago. "And if we are wrong, as we are likely to be, at least we have been intelligently wrong and not unintelligently wrong." Like most books by and about Graham, this belongs on the shelf of any value investor. --Dan Ring
"Graham's thoughts are as relevant as they ever were. Go forth and seek value." (Investor's Week, 2nd November 2000)