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Security Analysis: The Classic 1934 Edition 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 282 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0070244962
ISBN-10: 0070244960
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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."

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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 725 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (October 22, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070244960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070244962
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (282 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Befragt VINE VOICE on June 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read this book twice now - one time is certainly not sufficient to absorb all of its wisdom - ten times probably would not suffice. There are some people who question whether this book is still relevant because it was published over half a century ago. I doubt they ever took the time to read it, or if they read it, I doubt that they really thought about it.

The book's central point is that an investment should be made based upon a thorough investigation of the investment's merits - not on the market generally, or interest rates, etc. It does not promise an easy path to riches - the techniques take work. However, Graham and Dodd's theory of focusing on safety of principal plus satisfactory return has been time-tested, and no one can question the success that Graham's disciples such as Warren Buffett have enjoyed.

A few interesting points: the book is not limited to equity investments. As Security Analysis highlights, equity investments and debt investments are similar insofar as both lay claim to the underlying assets of a company (they are different in the priority they have if the company does not make money).

The book also contains an excellent section on analyzing financial statements. Many of the accounting concerns that this book raised in 1951 occured during the Internet bubble (such as the effect of stock options on a company's value and the use of write-offs to manage earnings). So much for the book being dated!

Even though the book does spend some time analyzing utilities and railroads, the underlying approach used there does have some relevance to other companies.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a re-issue of the 2nd edition in more modern form. There's no need to talk about the content and importance of this book to value-investor. But some reminder concerning this edition: 1) It is an abridged edition of the original 2nd edition (published in 1940). A total of 10 chapters have been deleted. 2) The Appendix Notes was also deleted. That's why the publisher could keep the pages at around 700+ something. 3) In compensation for the missing chapters, the publisher has attached a CD which contained the pdf format of the original 2nd edition (with 52 complete chapters as well as the Notes). I think that's really the most valuable part of this edition. That why I commented that it's a more convenient version of the 2nd edition.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have pointed out, this (sixth) edition of Security Analysis includes a reprint of the popular 1940 edition (Warren Buffett's favorite), minus some chapters. The deleted chapters, which can be found in the CD that accompanies the book, make room for (new) general introductory remarks to this edition and also to the eight major parts of the book, written by a variety of modern commentators. If all you really want is the 1940 edition, then the better choice for you is probably to buy the currently in-print reprint that's available (for a lower cost that this sixth edition). You could also buy one of the books actually printed back in 1940, but that will set you back big bucks, because original versions of Security Analysis are collectors' items today. For example, a good copy of the first printing of the 1934 edition easily runs into five figures.

Concerning the 1940 edition (or just the 1940 chapters contained in this sixth version), other than for the references to corporate examples from the 1920s or 1930s, the content is amazingly relevant to today's investing. I had read Security Analysis (the fourth edition) many years ago, and I had forgotten just how clear, precise, insightful and truly sophisticated Graham and Dodd were. Remarkably, in many instances this 1940 edition does a better job describing 21st century investing issues than the majority of material written today.

What you get with this sixth edition that's not available in the other editions are a short (two page) foreword by Warren Buffett and 10 essays by some of the most well-regarded modern investors and authors. Indeed, it was an honor to be asked to contribute to the sixth edition. The essays run about 15 pages, on average, and many of them are highly informative and useful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The 6th edition is the 2nd edition minus 10 chapters and the very valuable and data rich appendix however with new introductory chapters by various value investors. Although the introductory chapters are enlightening and somewhat informative, I would rather have had the valuable appendix. I wish they could have made the introductory chapters less lengthy and still included the appendix. I felt that many of the introductions although informative were rather windy at times and could have been reduced significantly and still gotten the point across. I know the appendix is on the CD, but that is a pain in the butt to have to look something up on CD as you're reading the book. It would be nice to just flip to the back quick to reference something up as you are reading. Honestly, if I had to do it over again and choose only 1 edition, I would have purchased the more practical and full text 2nd edition.
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