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on June 21, 2016
Edition: I found commentary very useful (though often distracting). If you are not a professional - you'll appreciate the commentaries and epilogue - read it first? It's very inspiring.

Book: "You either get the idea in the first five minutes, or you don't get it at all", commented Warren Buffet in the epilogue. I would add - you don't necessarily need to read all 550 pages, but you must read through the idea of value investing - and it will change your way of looking at the world. I always felt confused and amazed by listening to all the ridiculous fuzz that comes from the Wall Street through TV and the internet. The book explains why.

Several rules of thumbs I noted into my keep:
- Investor buys the business [based on its price/value], speculator buys the stock [based on an absurd believe that he can foresee where the stock price will go].
- The best way to earn adequate return without any trouble whatsoever is to invest into cheap (low maintenance cost) indexes; use dollar averaging (buy every month instead of once at a random point of time) for smoothing the luck involved.
- For enterprising investor (willing to spend much more time), look for a diversified list of bargain issues (at least 30 issues, business values (i.e. net current asset and other related metrics) is below market cap)
- During the bubble, hot industries and companies are getting overpriced. That could only be financed from somewhere. Partially that money are coming from well established old economy companies that lose the appeal. Thus, invest in such old economy companies while bubble grows, as soon as the bubble burst - undervalued companies would rise back.
- Don't ever buy IPOs! (See chapter for compelling arguments)
- Don't consider companies that do not pay dividends. Dividends - money firm pays you for providing capital, they belong to you. They cut a piece for reinvestment - payout ratio. If firm doesn't pay dividends - invest all into growth so you could profit later - that's a speculation. Moreover stock price would be more volatile because it should now rely on future rather than current prospects.
- When gambling - bet on a single chip to maximize the payoff (roulette $1 to $35 payoff at 1/37 chance). When investing - diversify: each investment must have a margin of safety, the more diversified portfolio - the less likely that all will fail. You are a roulette house now who earns with each turn of the wheel.
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on July 11, 2016
No complaints of the book itself, but the Kindle edition of it is bad. The book has a number of tables in it: they are all rotated 90 degrees and in such a low resolution that they are basically just unreadable pixels.
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on February 13, 2016
I do not think that The Intelligent Investor needs another review, the book's reputation is well established - and well deserved. There is, however, something that has to be said about its modern printing. The revised edition specifically is, I imagine, very much like what you'd get in case you let a ghetto sprayer try to improve a Michelangelo. If you can get your hands on the 4th edition from 1973, the last one written by Graham, go get it. Not only will you get superb financial advice, but also an outstanding piece of literature written by a brilliant mind.

I have no idea who decided that Graham needed a commentary - the book has aged very well, there is only a small amount of information irrelevant to today's markets - but the choice of Zweig was most unfortunate.

Graham reads like a humble, kind man - whose classical education, intelligence and humor show through every line. On the other hand, Zweig's sections offer an irritatingly jarring contrast - he contradicts himself, contradicts Graham, annoyingly cross-references everything, rehashes his mutual funds advice or tells some of his pet stories about the dot.com bubble excesses - again and again. In an illustrative contrast between the two men, while Graham might show what he thinks about a certain Wall Street practice with a sardonic quote from classical literature, Zweig disparages IPOs by showing us how many silly phrases he can think up to stand for the acronym.

Commenting on a work of genius is not easy and it should be done with extreme care, if at all. Someone like Buffett might have succeeded here, but Zweig is hopelessly out of his depth.

5 stars for Graham, 1 for Zweig.
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on May 16, 2017
Benjamin Graham's pioneer work on value-investing is unquestionably canonical. However, Jason Zweig doesn't seem to understand what an "update" to such classic should be. Graham's book was originally written back in 1949, and the fourth revised edition by Graham himself was published in 1973, so some updates could have helped bring the book up to our times. The updates that I'd like to see include statistical analysis of financial market data of recent years following the same analysis that Graham did 40 years ago and see if the conclusions are consistent; and whether some of the accounting treatments that Graham described as "ridiculous" has since been updated. Instead, Zweig took too much creative liberty and was too eager to tell his own stories rather than provided the "updates" to the classic work.

I recommend getting the 1973 edition and update it with your own analysis with the easily accessible financial data on the internet.

Additional note on the Kindle version -- the diagrams are of such low resolution that they are all but unreadable. I had to download a pdf of the book and read it side by side with the Kindle to see what was in the diagrams.

A further note on the Audible edition -- it is even more inconvenient to skip Zweig's commentaries in the audiobook edition, plus there are no diagrams in an audiobook.

Five stars for Benjamin Graham's original work. Minus one star for the poor edition.
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on January 27, 2018
I would give it a 5/5 if I were in Graham's times, but some of the material is not relevant to today's time. When he mentions a specific year of the sp500, I have to constantly check the graph of the sp500 to get an idea of what he is talking about.

Also, the modern approach Buffett uses is a modified approach of the one Ben uses in the book. Buffett uses DCF but Ben does not, hence why I think this book is outdated. It is still good for the foundations of value investing, tho.

Furthermore, the book does give goodwill enough value and Ben even mentions that his experiment/observations yielded goodwill giants to be outperformers, yet here we are decades since the publishing of the book, and it still has not been updated.

Overall, a solid read for the price, and if you are investing and if you follow the book thoroughly, you will make the cost of the book back, if not more.
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on August 16, 2016
Man, this book took a long time for me to finish! This happens every 4 years though; the US Presidential election cycle always consumes me no matter who is running.

Anyways, on to the book! So I decided to pick this one because I wanted something totally out of left-field, a thing completely out of my comfort zone, and it also came highly recommended on some random-website suggesting books that would improve one's self. I'm happy to report that I enjoyed it nonetheless.

In brief summary, The Intelligent Investor is about how to wisely invest in the stock market, written by a guy who survived The Great Depression and really learned a thing of two from the experience. Now, I'm not going to lie, about 25% of this book went too in-depth for me to absorb, but I caught that other 75% and I found it absolutely fascinating.

On the whole, this is one long book that can be summed as "the best path to wealth in investing is patience, diligence, and avoiding mistakes." Essentially, Graham makes a strong argument that the stock market is going up and down all the time with a general upward trend from now to the end of days, so all you have to do is invest across the board, sit quietly, and let the funds roll in. I'm simplifying, but that's the basic premise. According to Graham, the hardest part about being an investor is remembering you can't predict the future and that you should be investing, not gambling.

Sounds basic, right? And yet, The Intelligent Investor provides example after example after example of real life people in real life periods throughout history that made the gambler's error, and over the course of this book one begins to pick up the simple fact that common sense is not actually all that common. Oh, and interestingly enough, this book has quite the comical side, as the author throws around a fair bit of wit. Prepare to chuckle on occasion.

I'd highly recommend this book to anyone thinking about investing in the stock market, but I really can't think of any other reason to read this book. It's a highly specialized piece of reading material (not that I expected any less) but it absolutely owns its area of expertise. I swayed between 4 and 5 stars on this one, but I ended up going with the 4 because the book is a tad dated and can run a bit dry in the details (that 25% I mentioned earlier). A commentary section is needed after each chapter to clarify/clear up what has changed since Graham first wrote this book, and I enjoyed that commentary often times more than the actual chapter itself. For that reason, I went the 4-star route, since I'm not allowed to give 4.5 or anything in between. Still an amazing work though!
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on September 4, 2017
You can read full review of this book on my Blog: imeducatingmyself.com/the-intelligent-investor-by-benjamin-graham/

This book is recommended by Warren Buffet, and that’s why I’ve decided to read this book, and learn more from it. Warren claims that this book changed his way of thinking about “how to invest intelligently”, and if we see what Warren Buffet has accomplished so far, we all need to take his advice’s seriously.

In conclusion, this book helped me a lot understanding how the stock market works, and how to invest intelligently.

In today’s time, we are constantly “bombarded” by different kind of ads promoting “how to invest in stocks”. But, when I read this book, it changed my opinion completely.

These days online “gurus” are constantly promoting trading every day, or every hour, and this book isn’t anything like that. There are section in this book that is talking about these kind of traders. Basically, Brokers makes all the money when you trade often, you have to pay them a fee, no matter whether you make or loose money.

Investing in “bubble” it’s also a common problem, when too many people starts to buy one particular stock, and their prices goes up and up, but there are nothing valuable behind that stock, that could justify the high price of that stock.

You can read full review of this book on my Blog: imeducatingmyself.com/the-intelligent-investor-by-benjamin-graham/
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on December 22, 2015
Benjamin Graham’s last line in The Intelligent Investor sums up the entire book in his trade-mark common-sense way: “ To achieve satisfactory investment results is easier than most people realize; to achieve superior results is harder than it looks.” First published in 1949, this version that I read was re-published in 2005 with a forward written by John Bogle, who started Vanguard Mutual Fund. Bogle’s forward serves as a very good summary of The Intelligent Investor, highlighting key points clearly. So I found it useful to read the forward again after finishing the book as a quick refresh of its content. Graham’s language may be a bit old fashioned, so some may find his writing style takes a little bit of getting used to. However, once I got my pace of reading going, I find the old fashion style gives me a sense of comfort and assurance, as if a grandfather was sharing all his valuable experience with me. Certainly, good things stand the test of time, just as sound values: “Sound investment principles generally produced sound investment results…we must act on the assumption that they would continue to do so.” Graham is very clear form the start that he is not writing for speculators but for the layman who wants to have a sound approach to grow his/her wealth steadily. He believes that lay investors can achieve “a creditable if unspectacular result with a minimum of effort and capability…since anyone, by just buying and holding a representative list, can equal the performance of the market averages…” He warned those who try to beat the market, as many smart people have tried to do this and failed. How he explained this makes a lot of sense to me, every stock market broker thinks he can outdo the market. That means the stock market experts as a whole are trying to beat themselves; a logical contradiction. They just cancel each other out. Thus, one should not rely on a financial advisor who promises the sky and raises your hopes that he can do better that the market average. That, claims Graham, is not possible. “The real money in investing will have to be made, as most of it has been in the past, not out of buying and selling but out of owning and holding securities, receiving interest and dividends and benefiting form their longer-term increase in value.” Graham chastises average investors for their sloth and ignorance, for willingly giving up their responsibility and rights as business owners to management. This, he feels, is due to the institutionalization of financial services which has left investors a step removed from ownership. He disagrees with the commonly held view that “If you don’t like the management, sell the stock.” He feels this does nothing to improve bad management, only puts down the price of the stock and shifts the ownership to someone else. “Investors as a whole seem to have abandoned all claim to control over the paid superintendents of their property.” Ultimately, it is important for investors to give themselves a margin of safety by buying a stock at a price that is lower than its appraised value and to diversify the portfolio. These would put the investors in good stead, as against speculators.
I like this book. It does not give you many formulas for security analysis (Graham says you can read further in his earlier book Security Analysis). What The Intelligent Investor does is that it lays the foundation for laymen by giving a sound approach to investment, written with common sense and simplicity.
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on May 1, 2017
So far into my career, this book has un-ironically been one the greatest investments I have made so far.

This is a great book for anyone who is interested in introducing themselves into the world of investing, or wants to hone their skills and better themselves. Although, while a great book I would not recommend it to anyone who doesn't have the discipline to treat this book as a college textbook. Annotate, take notes, and create a guide. If you want to start taking investing seriously and want to begin practicing the discipline of self education, this is the book for you.

Best of luck to everybody.
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on April 3, 2017
This book was definitely a lot to digest and should be read and reread over time to reinforce and imprint the message. It's not going to be the book that you read and then go out and become a billionaire overnight its just going to introduce you to a way of thinking that could be different then what you are used to. i would say that you should probably read this book with a pen and pad to take not and understand the finance jargon but besides that it is a timeless read that is most definitely worth picking up.
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